Before we talk about the album, “This Tall To Ride,” I need to tell you all a little about Robyn Ludwick. I wasn’t familiar with her at all, until we met on Twitter. And, I’m certain she will be new to many of our readers. The first thing I liked about Robyn was that she is from Texas. And, our readers all know how much I enjoy country music that comes out of Texas. The Texas Country Charts are full of names like Kyle Park, Shane Owens, Pat Green, Derek Anthony and the list goes on. Just about every song on that chart is what we older folks call ‘country music’.
I mean, it is just good country music. No one needed to rename it to make it something suitable for a country radio station in the year 2017. Most of what we are hearing on our Top 40 stations today is what we now call “Today’s Country” (or, country/pop, country/rock, country/rap, etc.) You never had to do that with country music that flows from Texas. It didn’t need a second name…it is just country music. The artists there seem to have stuck to their country upbringing. But we now have a female from Texas who doesn’t quite fit into that mold.
While Robyn has been called “The Queen of Modern Texas Country Soul,” I think country blues works just as well. She has powerful vocals, and a very bluesy sound to her music. If any of our readers are as old as I am, and remember ‘coffee houses’ in the 1960’s – that is the kind of place you might find someone like Robyn. It was always a stool in the front right-hand corner, one spotlight, a lot of smoke, and a sound that fell somewhere in the middle of blues, folk, and a little country. The bio on her website is long, and very interesting. Robyn comes from a music family, and I think you are all going to find her bio to be great reading.
Her album, “This Tall To Ride” has been named the “Best Album of 2017” on mid-year lists. Here is what a few folks are saying about it: “This Tall To Ride ~ “It’s humble, hopeful, and hurting — another side of the coin to the welcome swagger elsewhere on one of 2017’s best records yet.” Lone Star Music Magazine
“But what she also has is a fearlessness to delve head first into adult themes that short of Tom Waits in the Heartattack & Vine era, few have ever illustrated the courage to lean into with such conviction in roots music.” ~SavingCountryMusic.Com
Best Albums of 2017 So Far: SavingCountryMusic.com, GalleyWinter.com, CountryExclusive.Com
When I got her album, “This Tall To Ride”, I guess the first thing that I noticed was that the title of the album, doesn’t have title track in the album. There is not a song called “This Tall To Ride”.There should be What a great title for a song. Now I’m trying to guess which direction that story would go. Would it go the obvious route? (You aren’t big enough to ride that big Ferris Wheel, or that fast roller coaster)… or would it be talking about a different kind of ‘ride’ … like that ride we take as we journey through life. But, it doesn’t matter, because that is not the name of any of the 10 songs on this album. I’m going to give you the cover, along with the track list – then I’ll give you my thoughts on some of the music. But, this is an album I’d really like all of you to listen to.
1. Love You For It
2. Rock N Roll Shoes
3. Lie To Me
4. Freight Train
5. Bars Ain’t Closin’
8. Wrong Turn Gone
9. Junkies and Clowns
10. Texas Jesus
If you are in the mood for a bit of jump up and dance music. Wait until you calm down before listening to this album. There is not one song that is going to make you want to jump up and dance. In fact, I didn’t find many that I wanted to sing along with either. Instead, the whole album was something you just wanted to prop your feet up, grab a tall glass of iced tea, and listen. I mean – really listen.
While the eighth song, “Wrong Turn Gone”, is the about fastest one on the album, it still isn’t a toe-tapping, dance around the living room kind of song. Like the others, it’s a story. And, a good story. That one is followed by “Junkies and Clowns”. “If you can find a place in your heart for junkies and clowns, you’re halfway to believing in me”. She is a brilliant writer, and every lyric will make you stop and think. Lyrically, this was one of my favorite songs on the album.
You aren’t going to find typical country music subject matter in Robyn’s writing. There aren’t lost dogs, cheating spouses, pickup trucks and a lot of beer. I’ve always loved that country music tells a story, and talks about real life. But, Robyn focuses on those real life stories that ‘today’s’ country’ doesn’t even begin to touch. And, she talks about subjects that most might avoid.. The songs are good. But to me, they are still more soul and blues than country.However, when I say that, keep in mind that I grew up on Bill Monroe, Hank Williams, Hank Snow, Red Foley, Carl Perkins,Johnny Cash, Bill Anderson, Eddie Arnold, Jessi Colter, Janie Frickie, Merle Haggard, George Jones and Dolly (just to name a few).
If someone asked me what was my one favorite song on this album, I would have to choose “Bars Ain’t Closin’.” I really liked the story, I liked the melody, out of the 10 songs on this album, this is the one I found myself playing the most. I also think this is the one that our Top 40 country radio stations might be more inclined to add to their playlist. (Since I said this one is my favorite, I’ll include a video at the close of this article.)
In addition to Robyn’s website, visit her Facebook page, and please remember to “Like” it while you are there. She has some great merchandise available on her website, too, including the album you just read about. Visit her YouTube page as well to check out some of her great videos, and hear more of her music. You can follow her on Twitter @RobynLudwick. If you aren’t already following Country’s Chatter on Twitter, we’d love to have you. You will find us @countryschatter.https://www.countryschatter.com/2017/06/robyn-ludwick-delivers-country-soul-in-her-album-this-tall-to-ride/New ReleasesReview"The Bars Ain't Closin",facebook,Galley Winter,Lone Star Music Magazine,Robyn Ludwick,Saving Country Music,Texas Country Charts,This Tall To Ride,Twitter