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September 22, 2017


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Red Dirt Rangers
Rangers' Command (Lazy S.O.B. Recordings)

By: Alex Steininger

This five-piece Oklahoma band embody a pure, roots rock sound that travels through country, rock, pop, bluegrass, and western swing. Their music, much like their name, comes straight from the soil of the land, harvested and developed by the hard working, blue-collar citizens of America.

"Cold December Wind" is a sweet pop, roots rocker that will take your ear with soft hooks and keep you listening as the tale unravels. The lyrics are sad yet experienced. This here is the working man's ballad. "Nickels and Dimes" is another blue-collar thriller that speaks of getting by on those "nickels and dimes" and being content with it. Verses like "If I inherited a fortune from my rich Uncle Ben/ I wouldn't think twice, I'd know where to begin/ I'd take it down to the bank and watch 'em look at me strange/ When I walked up to the window and say give me some change/ Make it nickels, nickels and dimes" make you think and feel about the threads on which this land was built.

"Times Have Changed" reach into the country side of the band as they serve up a warm, sunshine-filled porch rocker that owes as much to its country bloodlines as it does to bluegrass for its bite. Then there is "Steel Rail Blues," a fast, roaring country rocker sure to get you up and dancing.

All of this is great, but the true highlights are "Rangers' Command" and "Cadillac Eight," two songs written by Woody Guthrie and put to music for the first time by the Red Dirt Rangers. The first is a roots-rock stomper with plenty of chomp and bite while the latter lets it all simmer is a slow country stew. Also, their tribute to the great Bill Monroe, "The Day The Mandolin Died," is about as good as a tribute can get. Bill would be a fan.

The Red Dirt Rangers are working man's country with plenty of heart and soul to make it all come together. Whether they're covering Prince (like they do on "1999") or paying homage to the great Bill Monroe, or even putting music to Woody Guthrie lyrics, the band gets dirt underneath their nails with honest to god rock, country, and bluegrass that can't be passed on. I'll give this a B+.

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