Marty Robbins could sing more styles well than anyone else in country music history. His versatility may have left him underappreciated, since anyone can find some Marty Robbins records in a style they strongly dislike. Of course, anyone should also be able to find Marty Robbins records they love. Released on Columbia in 1979, this represented a return to the Western motif that had served Robbins well for years, but was only a minor part of his work in the late '70's. Robbins had been dipping increasingly into pop and novelty songs. The album was not a big commercial success, and this is its first issue on CD.
The album is a treat for fans of this side of Robbins. The two hit singles, "Buenos Dios Argentina" and the title track, are in the same lazy plains spirit as a more traditional track included here, "Tumbling Tumbleweeds," but with mariachi style horns added. There are gunfighter ballads as well. "Pride and the Badge" and "The Ballad Of A Small Man" are worthy companions to Robbins' earlier classics, but "San Angelo" just seems a poor copy of "El Paso." Robbins was still singing as well as ever, and there's plenty here to enjoy.