Jason Boland And The Stragglers – Rancho Alto (2011)
Jason Boland and the Stragglers (JB & S) will release their sixth studio album. The band includes Oklahoma-born, Texas-based singer, Jason Boland (lead vocals, guitar), Roger Ray (pedal steel, dobro, lead/rhythm guitar), Brad Rice (drums/backing vocals), Jeremy Watkins (fiddle) and Grant Tracy (bass). They encompass everything that authentic and traditional country music should. “It’s all five of us guys [on Rancho Alto] and we added a keyboard player”, remarked Jason Boland in our recent interview. Rancho Alto, Spanish for ‘High Ranch’, is an impressive achievement that deserves generous recognition.The album opens with ‘Down Here in the Hole’, a boot-tappin’, country-swingin’ tune. The momentum of the music matches the message of a trapped mining worker, maintaining an outlook of optimism.‘Every Moment I’m Gone’ stands a little outside of other JB & S songs as a slow and sweet love song, with a delicate maturity about it, punctuated with key work. “Keep your eyes on the horizon and a hand on your heart, a prayer on your precious lips for those wandering the dark, now when I’m lonely I’m never alone, cause I carry you with me now, every moment I’m gone”.