The follow-up to a strong 1994 debut, Swingin' West continues the Western swing and rockin' hillbilly assault that first endeared the California-based Big Sandy & His Fly-Rite Boys to fans and critics alike. While many rockabilly outfits derive their sound primarily from artists from the 1950s, Big Sandy & His Fly-Rite Boys are a more accurate take on the style, venturing back into the '30 and '40s to tap the influences for legends such as Elvis Presley and Gene Vincent. With the lead guitar/steel guitar combination of Ashley Kingman and Lee Jeffriess -- both originally out of Britain's rockabilly scene -- the five-piece band is fully empowered to explore Western swing, jump blues, and hillbilly boogie, while still injecting originality to make the sound unique. Big Sandy (aka Robert Williams) possesses a big rich, molasses-coated voice that is engaging throughout this 15-song set. Produced once again by Dave "Everything-I-Touch-Turns-into-Musical-Gold" Alvin, Swingin' West captures the energy of the band's live show intact. Highlights include the Latin-influenced rhythms of "Hey Muchachita" and the vintage dancehall-like call-and-response vocalizing on "We Tried to Tell You."
AllMusic Review by Jack Leaver