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Tim Ryan

Tried, True and Tested – 1997 (Warner Western)

Reviewed by Larry Stephens

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CDs by Tim Ryan

Once upon a time country music was known as Country-Western. This album is a good example of why we shouldn't have lost the Western tag. The cowboy slant to C-W isn't for everyone, but Ryan comes close to the middle-of-the-road with these songs, nine he helped write. They are songs of love and wide open spaces, all in a gentle voice with a good band behind him. It's a relief to get away from the thumping drive of so much country music these days and enjoy the melodies; to close your eyes and let him draw scenes in your mind.

"The Old Cowboy" recalls Tom T. Hall's heyday and "Girl With Eyes of Green" has you looking 'round for Marty Robbins with its minor key melodies on flattop guitars. "Horse Thief Row" could be a Jim Croce song, while "Golden Harvest" should become a great farmers's anthem. Great instrumentation!

From flattop guitar to dobro to mandolin, each song has variety. You're not likely to hear these on radio, but if there's an ounce of romance in your soul, buy this album.