Stampede (Capitol Nashville, 1996)
Reviewed by Jana Pendragon
While nothing is really wrong with the latest by American cowboy singer Chris LeDoux, there is a definite lack of that old wild west spirit that made his earlier work so very interesting. Seemingly, he has fallen prey to the Nashville machine, a cultural crime if ever there was one. LeDoux seems to have smoothed all his edges and put away his spurs. The most interesting cuts include his own "Take Me To the Rodeo" and the title cut. Both are lyrically reminiscent of cowboy poetry. "Five Dollar Fine" and "I'll Get the Job Done" also are fine. Musically, LeDoux borrows West Coast guitar outlaw John Jorgensen, which pays off in aces. And including Larry Franklin's fiddle and Paul Franklin's steel gives the music a traditional feel. Yet, there is something missing. Over-produced and lacking the soul of his early indy projects, LeDoux strayed too far from the heard. Too pop-like and not at all what would be expected from a modern day cowboy, this is a purist's disappointment.