The Ranchhands - The Ranchhands
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The Ranchhands (Clutch, 2002)

The Ranchhands

Reviewed by Dan MacIntosh

The Ranchhands come off like real go-getter farm help, as this duo of Jamey Garner (vocals, harmonica) and Chris Tedesco (fiddle, guitar, mandolin, backing vocals) create high-energy, yet still traditionally-centered, country music. When they're not making music together as The Ranchhands, these two busy performers are either touring with musicals, traveling with high profile country artists or providing music for various television projects.

But on this independent release, Garner (from Illinois) and Tedesco (from New York) wrote eight staunchly country songs. They co-wrote five, while Tedesco wrote the rest. The sound here ranges from the lonesome fiddle-led "Another You," to the foot-stomping opener in "All The Wrong Places," which reprises Johnny Lee's good advice about where not to go lookin' for love.

"Daphine," the best cut of the bunch, is a hot-stepping hoedown of a song about a girl from some godforsaken place called Gum Slew Ditch. (And with an unattractive name like that one, it sure sounds like a good place to leave). Overall, this brief release gives one the distinct impression that these two experienced musicians may perform a wide variety of professional chores in order to collect their necessary paychecks, but turn to The Ranchhands as the vehicle to create and play the music they truly love most.




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