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The Tractors

Fast Girl – 2001 (Audium)

Reviewed by Robert Loy

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CDs by The Tractors

The Tractors plowed down country fans with their 1994 debut CD. Behind the blockbuster single "Baby Likes to Rock It" the record, a delightful throwback to the days when rock and country were just married and enjoying a boisterous honeymoon, went double platinum. But the band disappeared from view shortly after that when - in the words of Tractors driving force Steve Ripley - country radio found out they weren't young and pretty.

They've solved the pretty problem by filling their CD with vintage cheesecake pictures from Gil Elvgren, the absolute master of wholesome sexiness. If CDs were as big as LPs, these pictures alone would be worth the price of admission. Not that the music really needs any help. The Tractors take something from rock, country, soul and western swing and - with the legendary Leon Russell on keyboards - make something unique and irrestible. Standouts include "Babalou" where it is revealed that the song Joshua played to raze the walls of Jericho was actually Ricky Ricardo's theme song, "Can't Get Nowhere" a rockabilly look at getting older and a cover version of Bob Dylan's goofy masterpiece "On the Road Again."

On "Computer Controlled," Ripley laments the high-tech path country seems hellbent on following: "It won't be long, we won't need musicians/Just button pushers and good electricians" On the front lines of the fight to save us from this fate are the Tractors. Long may they mow.