George Ray Russell
Wrangler Of Rhymes: Volume 1
George Ray Russell might be a living example of the historic Cowboy Music origin pattern….that being stories become verses and verses are set to music. Russell’s mostly tenor-range voice is believable and sufficiently musical to put it across.
You will hear some of today’s songwriters say (in seminars, usually) that sometimes when poems are set to music they may benefit from judicious removal of certain lengthy verses. After all it is said that “brevity is the soul of wit.” In Russell’s case, full poems are set to music, some with recitations. Your personal position on it may govern how you receive this effort and whether or not you occasionally ask “where have I been for the last eight to twelve minutes of my life?”
To be sure, Russell offers some good stuff. Song picks include “The Blizzard,” “A Cowboy And His Horse,” “If I Can Rope Him” and “Extra Bonus.” Picks among the poems are “Cattle Rustlin’ Country,” “Wild Horses” and “I’m Way Too Old.” Nineteen tracks total.
CD: $15 + $3 through email@example.com or download through iTunes, Spotify and bandcamp.
– by Rick Huff