The Goat Roper Rodeo Band “Tall Grass” (Old Pup Records, 2019)

Hailing from Rhuddlan in North Wales, The Goat Roper Rodeo Band release their 3rd album, ‘Tall Grass’. Taking influence from artists such as The Band, Bob Dylan and Gillian Welch, their own brand of country music, which they brand as “Cosmic Country Blues” really refreshes the listener and makes for a mind opening experience. 

The mysterious ‘Unwrap My Bones’ opens the album with beautiful use of harmonies, pedal steel and a droning harmonica. The Goat Roper Rodeo Band include The Band as one of their influences and you can definitely hear this in the swampy ‘Main St’. The only thing missing from this track is the great Levon Helm behind a drum kit, however as much as you could imagine some spacious percussive sections throughout the album, The Goat Roper Rodeo band never seem to be lacking a percussion player. The upright bass and rhythm guitar lock in together perfectly, adding all the rhythm you could possibly need,  both at times playing in a percussive manner.

Lovely three-part harmonies feature in ‘High Heel Blues’, there’s also a great use of light and shade within the dynamics of the track, adding to it’s driving nature. ‘Toss and Turn’ adds a new feel to the album. This melodic and melancholic track is lead by an organ and typically beautiful pedal steel. The vocals are sung soulfully and with sincere meaning. It’s great to hear the introduction of a banjo on ‘Ask For Alice’, this is a track that you could imagine being the sing-along moment when played at a live show. A really catchy melody with more meaningful use of great harmonies. 

This release is really, very interesting to listen to. It could be described as a bit of a “grower”, However, it is worth every listen. There are many different aspects for both musicians and the avid music listener to hear throughout. Bands of this ilk do have the tendency to sound particularly repetitive as their albums progress, however, The Goat Roper Rodeo Band keep their sound fresh and develop their music from track to track. 

Lovely musicianship and an interestingly joyful listening experience

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[…] North Wales’ country-blues trio the Goat Ropers whose new album ‘Tall Grass’ we raved about recently and deserve all the success in the world – this is the hairs on the back of your neck opener […]