Buck Owens

Roll Out the Red Carpet

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While Roll Out the Red Carpet continued the tradition of solid long players for Buck Owens & His Buckaroos, it was ironically their first album not to have a single in the charts. The stability of the lineup, as well as a few Buckaroo instrumentals and vocal duets -- featuring lead Buckaroo and longtime Owens collaborator Don Rich -- contribute to the power of this oft-overlooked effort. The increasingly subtle yet significant impact of rock & roll can be heard throughout Roll Out the Red Carpet. The cross-referencing of the British Invasion with the equally guitar-heavy Bakersfield sound is more than evident. Beatles classics such as "What Goes On," as well as the vocal arrangements to "And Your Bird Can Sing," have audible roots in compositions such as Rich's "I'm Layin' It on the Line" or "There Never Was a Fool." The unique vocal blend that Owens and Rich share could have easily been the prototype for the Lennon and Starr duet on the former Fab Four favorite. The Buckaroos' instrumentals are particularly potent this go-round as well. On "Cajun Fiddle," Owens marries the light electric guitar sound of Bakersfield with a swampy bayou fiddle from Rich. The same airy groove would be incorporated into performance favorites such as "Fishin' on the Mississippi." "Tom Cattin'," the other instrumental on Roll Out the Red Carpet, is a more traditional hoedown featuring an ethereal-sounding pedal steel guitar rhythm track -- presumably overdubbed by Buckaroo steel string man Tom Brumley.

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