Red Steagall

Love of the West

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At the end of the '90s -- at the end of the 20th century, actually -- Red Steagall stands as an individual. There really isn't anyone like him. Nobody else is keeping the sound of traditional western music or cowboy songs alive, and nobody plays it straight like Red. That would be noteworthy even if he were simply a straight revivalist, but he's much more than that; along with some select collaborators, he keeps the tradition alive by adding new songs and ideas to it. That much is evident by Love of the West, a brief, ten-song salute to cowboy romance. It's a warm, endearing album, filled with warmth and humor. Most impressively, the new songs -- and it's all new songs and stories, most of them at least co-written by Steagall -- sound like campfire classics, not newly written tunes. It is true that if you view Steagall as a fuddy-duddy, this won't change your mind, but anyone who's enjoyed his previous album will certainly be charmed yet again by Love of the West.

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