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Twenty Golden Greats - debut album from The Malpaso Gang


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"Twenty Golden Greats"
review by Graham Knight


This whimsically titled new CD from The Malpaso Gang is simply excellent.


Over the last few years The Malpaso Gang have been garnering quite a reputation in the North East of Scotland for a sound that is deeply rooted in 40's and 50's country.  No live Gang show is ever complete without a lively version of George Jones' hit White Lightning but The Gang always included several numbers written by the  members themselves.


This new CD has no copy-cat covers and all the material is entirely original.  The first track is titled, "El Paso"  but it has no connection with the Marty Robbins tune with that name but it still has a feeling for life on the Rio Grande.


"Back of You" was written by Dusty Valentino and Nina Eggens  and has nicked a few bars of You Are My Sunshine at the beginning but is one of the best tracks on the CD.  Nina's vocals are particularly  clear.


The third track, "Tabasco" will be familiar to everyone who has seen this six piece band in action.  It has become something of an anthem for the band and always has the crowd leaping about at shows with the audience joining in the chorus of "Oh Oh Tabasco".  Great fun and a great number.


"Dead On The Road" tells a woeful story that features some good vocal harmonies and excellent steel guitar.


"Whatever" has a lively piano style intro that is used to good effect.  A different steel guitar is featured on this track as well as having the whole band  joining in the singing of the chorus.


The sixth track, "Call It A Day" has Nina singing typical torch song lyrics about a break up between two lovers.


Track seven, "Not My Style" bemoans the fact that country girls don't go for the big money attractions of Monte Carlo.  Great guitar and drumming on this number that features a solo for each "Gang" member.


"Travellers Blues"  is another tune that always gets a good reaction at the Gang's live shows with a superb vocal by Nina.


The final number is a tour de force by the whole band and Nina fairly spits out the message "Stop Talking - Start Walking".  Interesting use of tacets and this track finishes a great CD in first-rate manner.


The whole CD has great drumming and perfect bass and all six "Gang" members have done well to produce such a fine CD that showcases all their talents.


The sleeve notes have to be seen to be believed and the picture by Rolling Stone Magazine's Annie Leibovitz is quite incredible.


The CD follows in the tradition of recordings made in the fifties at RCA's Studio B in Nashville. 


These current state of the art recordings were made with the help of Calum Farquhar and Johnny Lees of Aberdeen's ultra modern D-Range Studio.

I thoroughly recommend this CD.

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