Riders in the Sky make for joyful ride
McCabe's, Santa Monica, Cal., July 19, 1998
By Dan MacIntosh
SANTA MONICA, CA - Although they may have looked a little out of place in this trendy beach community club, Riders In The Sky trotted into town with a large dosage of Western hospitality as they treated both cowboys, and cowboy wannabes, to a lively presentation of the cowboy way.
Dressed in their colorful cowboy garb, the trio of Woody Paul, Ranger Doug, and the eternally silly Too Slim (augmented by Joey The Cowpolka King) entertained with a lively 90-minute set of zany originals, nutty between song dialogue and a large portion of Western classics.
Many originals were drawn from the Riders' brand new Rounder release, "A Great Big Western Howdy From Riders In The Sky," including the sing-along "Wah-hoo," the hilarious "The Ballad Of Palindrome" and the inspirational "Camp Mettin'."
In addition to covers of "Cool Water" and "Ghost Riders In The Sky" early on, the guys closed with a tribute to the recently departed King of the Cowboys, Roy Rogers. In this touching medley, they performed "Don't Fence Me In" among many others, and closed with, of course, "Happy Trails." By concentrating on these standards, Riders In The Sky displayed their well-developed singing skills, highlighted by sweet harmonies.
Everybody - from the toddlers dressed in cowboy garb, to their grinning parents - more than likely left the club a little happier than they were when they arrived, because Riders In The Sky obviously love what they do, and they know how to bring audiences along for a joyful ride.