Boen and Texas Mud
Ricky Boen and Texas Mud were voted 2001 Western Swing Group of the Year by the Academy of Western Artists. Big deal? Yup, huge! Trust me, it's a deserved award. Perfect harmonies, flawless instrumentation, and excellent song selection mark their latest offering, Trail To San Antone (Westex Records). World Champion fiddler Ricky Boen appears and leads the project in a non-ostentatious manner, giving time to his equally talented partners, Tim Gregg, Darrell Boen (Ricky's dad) and Mark Lowe. Neal Goates appears as percussionist. As I listen to this well-produced project, engineered by Nick Carlton (who also engineers Shake Russell), I'm transformed to a new level. Western Swing, long thought to be a dying art, is alive and well. Tim Gregg's guitar winds through the dusty streets of yester-year as he delivers his obviously Lester Flatt-influenced licks. Texas Mud meanders skillfully through several classic tunes including "Across The Alley From The Alamo," Miles and Miles of Texas," and "Back In The Saddle Again." My favorite cut, though is Tim Gregg's original "My Heart Burns For You (Jalapeno Song)" which is a love song that has side-splitting implications due to the fact that the song is an ode to the jalapeno pepper. Boen's voice is strong and confident throughout the disc and is tailor-made for Western Swing. The harmonies are brilliant and the instrumentation is classic, traditional, and masterful. I usually shy away from bass solos, but Mark Lowe makes you smile with his acoustic bass performances which are just right, every time. Also available is In The Swing Of Things (Westex), a 2001 release which is another great project that includes a couple of Ricky Boen originals. In response to their fans' requests, Ricky Boen and Texas Mud have released a gospel CD entitled Old Time Gospel Favorites (Westex) and it's absolutely full of the best gospel songs. Listening to it took me right back to my happy childhood singing those great tunes. If you like Western Swing, you should order all three titles, they're available exclusively on mytexasmusic.com and they're only 13.99 each. Get them today!
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