BUCKLES & BOOTS
Open Road Recordings
If you like country music, and you haven't heard of Ridley Bent I suggest you stop reading this review and head out and buy Buckles & Boots right now.
Bent is one of those intriguing country performers, in that he is largely a throwback to an earlier era in country, yet he mixes in a sort of urban country savvy that makes it fresh.
Bent mixes early John Anderson with Corb Lund, yet copies neither, so the result is purely good Bent country.
In terms of country, the music has an older swing feel, although at times Bent twists in some modern elements to keep it unique.
This British Columbia artist is also great at changing tempo on material. He can slow it down with a hurting song with the best of them, as is the case with Cry.
Arlington is another slower number, one which is arguably the best cut among the 11 here, although to be honest, this is a very strong effort from start to finish.
Then he shifts up with Heartland Heartbreak, with a cooking upbeat cut.
While Bent can up the tempo, he never goes so far that you start to think its rock from the 1970s disguised as today’s country. This guy knows what country is, and he sticks to that.
When you listen to this outstanding CD you will understand why Bent was nominated for Best Roots Artist at the 2009 Canadian Country Music Award, and won seven BC Country Music Awards.
Mark this one as a must if you like country. They don’t get much better than this.
Check it out at www.ridleybent.ca
— CALVIN DANIELS
-- Review first appeared in Yorkton This Week newspaper Nov. 18, 2009 - Yorkton, SK. Canada