Still Lookin' Good to Me

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
The Band of Blacky Ranchette has released just four albums in 20 years. Not a bad average, especially if you are Howe Gelb and you've released countless other titles with your band Giant Sand and under your own name. The Band of Blacky Ranchette is a strange, lazy, hedonistic country music side project for Howe Gelb to record whatever Tucson hillbilly songs he has at the moment no matter where they're written or taped, they all reek of Tucson with a disparate yet jolly band of odds and sods strictly for the pleasure of recording them. While this may not seem to be the most lofty ambition for a bona fide singer/songwriter, but what the hell? It works. These 14 song all have ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
The Band of Blacky Ranchette has released just four albums in 20 years. Not a bad average, especially if you are Howe Gelb and you've released countless other titles with your band Giant Sand and under your own name. The Band of Blacky Ranchette is a strange, lazy, hedonistic country music side project for Howe Gelb to record whatever Tucson hillbilly songs he has at the moment no matter where they're written or taped, they all reek of Tucson with a disparate yet jolly band of odds and sods strictly for the pleasure of recording them. While this may not seem to be the most lofty ambition for a bona fide singer/songwriter, but what the hell? It works. These 14 song all have Gelb's deep appreciation for country music at their root. How they are executed is something else again. At times, such as on "Train Singer's Song," the approach is ghostly and reverent and anchored by longtime partners drummer John Convertino and steel boss Jon Rauhouse. As on others, such as "Rusty Tracks," the song barely crawls out of its embryo and slithers along with strange vocals effects, loopy lyics that refence Captain Beefheart albums, misplaced guitar solos, and a nonexistent rhythm. "Mope-A-Long Rides Again," is a bona fide country-rock masterpiece that sounds as if it were cut after the gig, after hours, when everybody wanted to play their asses off but had only enough energy and sobriety to focus and get one solid take. With Neko Case who guests with Richard Buckner on "Getting It Made" helping out on vocals and Joey Burns on bass, Dallas Good tracks Gelb's lyric line with tasty, sleepy lead lines that just drip beauty. On the aforementioned duet, Cuban son piano, mariachi guitar, jazzed-out funky acoustic basslines dream their way into a solid, 4/4 honky tonk tune. With Paolo Russo's bandoneon slipping underneath the piano and original Blacky drummer Tom Larkins returning for a guest spot, it's easily the most delightful thing on the record. The groove is easy but jarring in places, and altogether of apiece, despite the fact it might be two tunes jammed into one. While every cut on this set is equally sunny and peyote-drenched with humorous insanity and sheer musical brilliance, "The Muss of Paradise" features Kurt Wagner on blues vocals, turned lyric pages, and a full-on stop at a gas station with the attendant telling them to keep moving is a particularly wondrous rough diamond, as is "Airstream" with Bobby Neuwirth. But then there is the relative polish and sparkle of "Left Again," with its bleeding-heart pedal steel and Case buoying up Gelb's vocal as it becomes a country weeper par excellence. The down and out restless country soul of "Square" that closes the disc is graced by Burns' moving cello and Convertino whispering along his trap kit as Gelb plays some of the most achingly gorgeous guitar of his life while telling an honest and moving tale of love's woes. This is simply awesome. Let's hope that Gelb gets bitten by the Blacky bug again soon.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/7/2003
  • Label: Thrill Jockey
  • UPC: 790377013825
  • Catalog Number: 70138

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 The Train Singer's Song (5:39)
  2. 2 Searing Wine (0:59)
  3. 3 Rusty Tracks (4:32)
  4. 4 Mope-A-Long Rides Again (2:57)
  5. 5 Getting It Made (3:51)
  6. 6 Under The Table (2:16)
  7. 7 Working ON the Railroad (2:33)
  8. 8 Bored Lil' Devil (2:50)
  9. 9 The Muss Of Paradise (2:25)
  10. 10 Left Again (3:45)
  11. 11 The Moons Of Impulse (2:50)
  12. 12 Airstream (2:07)
  13. 13 My Hoo Ha (2:09)
  14. 14 Square (3:23)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Band of Blacky Ranchette Primary Artist
Bob Neuwirth Guitar
Richard Buckner Vocals
John Convertino Drums
Howe Gelb Guitar, Piano, Keyboards, Vocals, Banjolin, Casio
Tom Larkins Drums
Kurt Wagner Vocals
Neko Case Vocals
Matt Ward Slide Guitar
Chan Marshall Vocals
Jon Rauhouse Pedal Steel Guitar
Dallas Good Guitar
Jason Lytle Drums, Keyboards, Vocals
Anders Pedersen Lap Steel Guitar, Slide Mandolin
Peter Dombernowsky Percussion
Lucky Lew Bass
Paolo Russo Bandoneon
Technical Credits
Rainer Ptacek Composer
Jan Eliasson Mastering
Howe Gelb Arranger, Composer, Producer, Engineer
Harvey Moltz Engineer
Kurt Wagner Contributor
Neko Case Producer
Craig Schumacher Producer, Engineer
Nick Luca Engineer
Traditional Composer
Jim Blackwood Engineer
Morten Bue Mastering
Lucky Lew Engineer
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