Ranch Romance – Western Dream

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SKU: Sugar Hill 3799 Categories: , Tag:


Taking their name from a Western pulp magazine published in the 1930s, the genre-hopping swing band Ranch Romance formed in the late '80s. In the Seattle-based group's initial incarnation, Ranch Romance was an all-female quartet featuring singer/guitarist Jo Miller, bassist Nancy Katz, fiddler Barbara Lamb, and mandolinist Lisa Theo; in 1989, they issued their debut LP, Western Dream. After touring in support of k.d. lang, Theo left the band in 1991 and was replaced by accordionist Nova Karina Devonie and David Keenen on guitar, mandolin, and banjo. Lamb departed to attempt a solo career prior to the release of the second Ranch Romance effort, Blue Blazes; Flip City followed in 1993. - Jason Ankeny, AllMusic

Track Listing:
1. When the Bloom Is on the Sage - 3:30   2. Lovesick Blues - 2:18   3. Baby's on the Town - 4:33   4. St. Louis Blues - 2:53   5. Cowboys and Indians - 3:23   6. St. James Avenue - 3:09   7. Gotta Lotta Rhythm (In My Soul) - 2:08   8. Ain't No Ash Will Burn - 4:09   9. Why Don't You Love Me (Like You Used to Do)? - 2:08   10. Birmingham Fling - 2:16   11. The Last One to Know - 3:06   12. Western Dream - 3:15

Jo Miller (lead vocals, guitar, yodeling) , Lisa Theo (vocals, mandolin) , Barbara Lamb (fiddle, vocals) , Nancy Katz (string bass, vocals) , Nova Devonie (accordion) , David Keenan lectric guitar)


1. AllMusic - Rick Anderson
With their retro-swing-country style and all-girl harmonizing, Ranch Romance was one of the best country bands you've never heard of. Although it fails to capture the energy the band generated in concert, Western Dream does a great job of summarizing the band's many qualities: singer Jo Milleryodels her pants off on showcase numbers like "When the Bloom Is on the Sage" and "Western Dream," and the group takes an irreverent, almost bossa nova-ish approach to the Hank Williams standard "Lovesick Blues." There are also fine versions of potboiler material like "St. James Avenue" and "Ain't No Ash Will Burn." Fiddler Barbara Lamb provides the center of gravity in instrumental terms, but Miller's rich, bell-toned voice is always the main attraction. (Western Dream was originally released on the band's own Ranch Hand label in 1989; the Sugar Hill reissue adds three tracks.)

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