Rick & The All-Star Ramblers Western Swing Band introduced their new album, “Green Mountain Standard Time,” at a Standing Room Only CD Release Party on Sunday, November 27th in Juniper Hall at Burlington’s magnificent Hotel Vermont. “Green Mountain Standard Time” is a masterful collection of 11 western swing songs and a strong follow-up the Academy of Western Artists’ 2014 “Western Swing Song of the Year” award for Rick’s song “You Can’t Make It Up” from their previous CD release, “Welcome to OUR Vermont.”
Five of the “Green Mountain Standard Time” songs, along with two additional co-writes, were written by band leader Rick Norcross. They continue his signature and slightly off-center approach with songs like “Don’t Do Me Like That With Your Cowboy Hat” and “I’m Gonna Take It With Me When I Go.” And as usual, there are two history themed songs. “Shelburne Yesterday,” a sharply focused snapshot of a small Vermont town in the 1950s, and “I Love Western Swing,” a tribute to the Founder, the Father and the King of Western Swing, a genre that began in Fort Worth, TXs in the early ’30s.
There are four tasty covers, including Hank Williams’ only western swing recording, his 1947 dismal failure, “Fly Trouble,” already creating a “buzz” from those who have heard the Ramblers’ version. The mighty Ramblers take a spirited instrumental ride on “Texoma Bound,” a terrific Time Jumpers’ finger-bender. Rambler songbird Taryn Noelle delivers a stunning vocal performance on “I’ll Get Over You,” a haunting Richard Leigh song originally recorded by Loretta Lynn’s kid sister, Crystal Gayle in 1976. And further down the album, Taryn nails the classic “I’m A Blue Baby Now,” released in the early ‘80s by The Whites. Longtime Rambler vocalist and bass player, Dave Rowell steps up to smoothly deliver the gospel-tinged “They Say You Can’t Take It With You (When You Go),” complete with a Hammond B-3 organ backup. This song respectfully celebrates many of the things you can and do take with you when you go.
The title track, “Green Mountain Standard Time,” is a co-write that came to the project from longtime Canadian songwriting pal, Grant Heywood. The retro-sounding track tells the story of the 54-year long music career of Rick Norcross and what it means to sing in Green Mountain Standard Time.
“Green Mountain Standard Time” is Rick & The All-Star Ramblers’ seventh album release on the Airflyte Records label. Visit their web site at www.rickandtheramblers.com for further information about the band.