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In the Ranch
     

In the Ranch

5.0 1
by Keith Urban
 
Before he struck gold as a solo artist, Aussie guitar-slinger Keith Urban was just another Nashville newcomer, trying to make it big with his band, the Ranch. The hard-charging country-rock trio signed with Capitol, released one album in '97 to little notice, and soon split. Those recordings resurface on this reissue, which includes two new tracks. Those familiar with

Overview

Before he struck gold as a solo artist, Aussie guitar-slinger Keith Urban was just another Nashville newcomer, trying to make it big with his band, the Ranch. The hard-charging country-rock trio signed with Capitol, released one album in '97 to little notice, and soon split. Those recordings resurface on this reissue, which includes two new tracks. Those familiar with Urban's solo work won't be surprised by his performance here: the trebly, twangy, speed-picked licks, the clever lyrics, or the warm, expressive voice. "Walkin' the Country" percolates to a jaunty riff and steely, popping licks, as the singers' smooth harmonies evoke a mountain sound in celebrating the joys of rural life with a significant other. "Freedom's Finally Mine" busts out of the gate white-hot behind a serpentine, steely guitar riff from the Skynyrd textbook. The mid-tempo acoustic workout "Homespun Love" charts the rush of new love, heavy on exuberant dobro punctuations, while at the other end of the spectrum, Urban's measured, deeply felt reading of the breakup tale "My Last Name" lends grandeur to a gentle, propulsive shuffle. The new tracks include a rocking cover of Stealers Wheel's "Stuck in the Middle with You" and the Urban co-write "Billy," a stomping country blues rich in banjo and acoustic and electric guitar exhortations. The Ranch may not have been right for its time, but it sounds right on time now.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
Technically, the Ranch is a country music trio consisting of Peter Clarke, Jerry Flowers, and Keith Urban, but in practice, it is a group of equals to about the extent that the Jimi Hendrix Experience was, which is to say, not at all. Clarke provides drums and percussion, Flowers plays bass and sings background vocals, and Urban does everything else. That means singing lead and background vocals and playing a variety of stringed instruments and keyboards, as well as taking co-writing credits on nine of the 12 tracks. The album is a showcase for Urban, the up-and-coming Down Under performer who moved to Nashville to be nearer the music he loved. Urban is a triple threat: he writes songs steeped in country traditions (yet not really traditionalist), he sings them with confidence, and, most impressively, picks a guitar authoritatively. His pop/country
ock sound occasionally recalls the 1980s style of Rodney Crowell, particularly on one of the songs he didn't write, "Just Some Love." His is an approach that takes the history of country into consideration, but looks forward. He may plead "Hank Don't Fail Me Now" in one song title, but he never really sounds like Hank Williams. He is perhaps most comfortable just picking fast, as he does on the instrumental "Clutterbilly," but the album reveals a budding talent not far from fully flowering. Not surprisingly, after the commercial failure of this release, the Ranch broke up and Urban went solo, breaking through to success shortly after. [The 2004 reissue of the album adds two bonus tracks (a polite cover of the Stealers Wheel classic "Stuck in the Middle" and "Billy") as well as the videos for "Walkin' the Country" and "Clutterbilly."]

Product Details

Release Date:
02/10/2004
Label:
Capitol
UPC:
0724359401904
catalogNumber:
94019

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Keith Urban   Primary Artist,Banjo,Guitar,Keyboards,Vocals,Background Vocals,Group Member
Tony Harrell   Organ,Piano,Glockenspiel,Wurlitzer
Jim Horn   Horn
Buck Reid   Steel Guitar
Joe Spivey   Fiddle
Johnny Neel   Hammond Organ
Ranch   Hand Clapping
Charlie McMahon   Didjeridu
Peter Clarke   Percussion,Drums,Group Member
Jerry Flowers   Bass,Background Vocals,Group Member
Vernon Rust   Crowd Noise

Technical Credits

Gerry Rafferty   Composer
Joe Egan   Composer
Troy Johnson   Composer
Gary Burr   Composer
Steve Cormier   Engineer
Carlton "Santa" Davis   Production Support
Bill Deaton   Engineer
David Leonard   Engineer
Marshall Morgan   Composer
Mike Poole   Engineer
Monty Powell   Composer,Producer
Ron Reynolds   Engineer
Joe Rogers   Repackaging Design
Tony Baker & His Orchestra   Tray Card Design
Ranch   Producer
Keith Urban   Composer,Producer,String Arrangements
Peter Clarke   Composer
Greg Kane   Engineer
Vernon Rust   Composer
Joanna Carter   Repackaging Art Direction
Miles Copeland   Producer

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