Reviewed by C. Eric Banister
Even though the Steep Canyon Rangers open their new album, with a pair of songs about rambling, fans need not worry the Rangers have rambled too far afield. Their third release for Rebel continues with the same mixture of traditional song structure and instrumentation and original lyrics that won the band "Emerging Artist of the Year" at the 2006 IBMA awards.
Following up the rambling openers, the theme switches to a man trying to figure out why his woman has left him in "Ain't No Way of Knowin'." "Call the Captain" slows the tempo with a bluesy sway that tells the story of a coal miner who has had enough. With "Don't Ease Me In," the band takes a break from original compositions to rework a traditional most often associated with the Grateful Dead. Although the band seems to honor songs and band cohesiveness over solos, they do show their chops on the instrumental "Kuykendall."
The closing "Pickin' On Josh," written about Dobro legend Uncle Josh Graves, is a perfect summation of the Steep Canyon Rangers, a young band unafraid to push forward while still honoring those that came before them.