Personnel: Ranger Doug (vocals, acoustic guitar); Woody Paul (vocals, fiddle); Too Slim (vocals); Paul Worley (guitar); Tommy Goldsmith (acoustic guitar, electric guitar); Mark Howard, Richard O'Brien, Gregg Galbraith (acoustic guitar); Kayton Roberts (steel guitar); Andrea Zonn, Carl Gorodetzky, Pamela Sixfin, Lee Larrison (violin); Joey the Cowpolka King (accordion); Bob Mater, Tommy Wells (drums); Eddie Bayers, Kenny Malone (percussion).
Audio Remasterer: Marcello Azevedo.
The Riders in the Sky entry in Rounder Records' discount-priced Perfect 10 Series of compilations finds the Western music revival group performing favorites from its repertoire borrowed mostly from such 1930s and `40s predecessors as Gene Autry, Roy Rogers, and the Sons of the Pioneers. The standards range from `30s copyrights like "Tumbling Tumbleweeds" and "Cattle Call" all the way up to 1958's TV theme "Rawhide." Although Riders in the Sky are known to add a touch of wry humor to their performances, these versions are taken straight, unless the listener considers the extensive yodeling on "Back in the Saddle," for instance, to be inherently funny. The performers themselves simply apply themselves to the material with precision and gusto. Of course, with only ten tracks, this is a far shorter representation of the group's work than the earlier compilations Best of the West and Best of the West Rides Again, but both the selection and the renditions are sure-fire. ~ William Ruhlmann