Michael Nesmith

Pretty Much Your Standard Ranch Stash

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After hitting a groove with And the Hits Just Keep on Comin', which Michael Nesmith recorded with just pedal steel guitarist Red Rhodes for accompaniment, Nesmith beefed his sound up again with a full band on Pretty Much Your Standard Ranch Stash. But the previous album seems to have reminded Nesmith about the virtues of restraint, and while he had a six-piece band at his disposal this time out, the arrangements are tight and efficient, offering the warmth and immediacy of his First National Band sessions (and sometimes even beating them for subtle, understated swing). Red Rhodes, as always, is the star soloist here, but the rest of the band also shines, in particular the guitars of Jay Lacy and Dr. Robert Warford and the solid drumming of Danny Lane. Nesmith wrote one of his best and purest country songs for this set, "Winonah," and offered up a solid remake of the Monkees obscurity "Some of Shelly's Blues," while dipping into bluegrass for the lovely acoustic medley "Back Porch and a Fruit Jar Full of Iced Tea." Pretty Much Your Standard Ranch Stash was Michael Nesmith's final album for RCA Records, and if it didn't fare especially well in the marketplace, from a musical standpoint he certainly left the House That Nipper Built on a high note -- it was hardly your standard '70s country-rock album.

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