In a musical milieu dominated by hat acts and assembly-line arrangements, Tulsa's Tractors have delved deep into their Oklahoma roots to rekindle some real down-home fire on the country charts. THE TRACTORS' chicken-fried, Southwestern sounds harken back to those wild nights at the local roadhouse, gettin' down to the sounds of hard drinkin' storytellers as the band pumps out dirt-floor boogie from behind a barbed-wire fence.
With "The Tulsa Shuffle." the Tractors give a nod to their favorite musical styles, while making a persuasive case for their own good-natured, down home mix of country, blues, R&B and western swing. A rocket-in-the-pocket version of Chuck Berry's "Thirty Days" reinforces these connections, as lead singer Steve Ripley's gruff, yard-dog vocals frame the tune in a decidedly back-porch context.
Elsewhere, the Tractors employ a host of legendary sidemen in telling cameo roles. On the terrific "The Little Man" the Tractors fantasize about bankers, IRS flunkies and politicians trading places with actual working people ("the little man is getting smaller all the time"), as Bonnie Raitt's slide guitar moans away in the distance. Telecaster guitar legend James Burton enlivens "Baby Likes To Rock It"; the venerable Bob Wills guitarist Eldon Shamblin puts the pedal to the metal on "Doreen," and Jim Keltner and Ry Cooder add a classic touch to "The Blue Collar Rock." THE TRACTORS is a classic jalopy.