CMJ - 2/21/00, p.27
"...[Wylie Gustafson's] yodeling cowboy songs are the deal. His heartfelt tunes about cattle roundups, rodeos and loneliness on the prairie are inspired by first-hand experiences....downright touching."
Wylie & The Wild West: Wylie Gustafson, Ranger Doug, Joni Harms (vocals); Ray Doyle (guitar, baritone guitar, background vocals); Mark Thornton (guitar, gut-string guitar); Hoot Hester (guitar, mandolin, fiddle, whistle); Robby Turner (pedal steel guitar); Duane Becker (steel guitar, dobro); Mike Fried (dobro, background vocals); Sam Levine (piccolo, clarinet); Dennis Crouch (acoustic bass); John McTigue (drums).
Recorded at The Ol' Bunkhouse Studios, Nashville, Tennessee in June & July 1999. Includes liner notes by Don Edwards, Jim Smith, Eddie Stubbs and Wylie Gustafson.
Personnel: Ray Doyle (vocals, guitar, baritone guitar); Mike Fried (vocals, dobro); Ranger Doug Green, Joni Harms (vocals); Hoot Hester (whistling, guitar, mandolin, fiddle); Mark Thornton (guitar); Duane Becker (steel guitar); Sam Levine (piccolo, clarinet).
Audio Mixer: Mark Thornton.
Liner Note Authors: Don Edwards; Eddie Stubbs; Jim Smith.
Recording information: Ol' Bunkhouse Studios, Nashvill (06/1999-07/1999).
Photographer: Bill Watts.
Arranger: Wylie Gustafson.
The fifth album by Wylie Gustafson and his musical cohorts is again a marvelously honest modern-day stroll through the world of C&W music. The songs are filled with buckaroos, cowboys and wide open spaces; however, while it draws from a rich tradition, this is no mere nostalgia festival. Gustafson writes songs in the C&W tradition, but with his own perspective.
The song "Ridin' the Hi-Line" is an example, with its references to northern Montana, railroads and the spiritual redemption to be found by a secluded riverbank. Recording in Nashville, Gustafson utilizes an array of session musicians in addition to the regular Wild West players. Steel guitarist Duane Becker is the perfect foil for Gustafson throughout, mirroring his plaintive emotional balladry as well as his exuberant yelps and yodeling.