The Willms / Hugh McLennan

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Know My Heart

The Willms

The Willms family raise cattle on a remote ranch just west of the Alberta border near Goodlow, B.C. The girls, Chantelle, Rachelle and Chelsea spend most of their spare time riding the ranges, sorting calves, feeding and doing the unending list of chores most ranch kids know all about. This family has been blessed with an abundance of natural musical talent and when Tom Cole was lining up musicians for our recent CD release, The Creak of the Leather, he suggested using the talents of the girls. Jim and I couldn’t have been more pleased with their contribution.

When the whole family stopped in for a visit this spring they brought their new CD. Family harmony, masterful picking and a collection of mostly original songs makes it a treat for your ears. The theme is clearly bluegrass gospel with fantastic banjo, mandolin, fiddle and acoustic guitar work. Their dad, Scott adds the fine stand up bass tracks. Of the 13 tracks, all are written by the girls except for a riveting instrumental of Amazing Grace. This talented family is worth hearing live or on CD.

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The Creak of the Leather

Hugh McLennan

By Guest Reviewer Denise Withnell

Hugh McLennan has become one of the foremost experts on our Canadian cowboy culture and one of its greatest advocates through his popular radio show, Spirit of the West, his writing, and his own work as cowboy, rancher and MC. Now a CD! Hugh’s first musical CD showcases yet another side of this multi-faceted man, including his rich and expressive voice. The CD does a great job of blending the old West into the new and weaving poetry in with songs. Classics include Texas In the Spring, Little Joe the Wrangler and Bruce Kiskaddon’s The Creak of the Leather (an outstanding cut backed with a Dvorjak melody exquisitely played on guitar by brother Jim McLennan).

Hugh adds an interesting mix of original material by Dave Stamey, Ken Lee, Bill Barwick, Steve Bell, Stan Wilson, Johnny Kendrick, Tom Munn, RW Hampton and his brother Jim (whose guitar instrumentals are wonderful). Songs that stand out vocally are Dream Ridin’ and Echoes of the Trail.

This CD has great arrangements and harmonies, and the producing talents of Tom Cole do not go unnoticed. Hugh can be very proud of what he has accomplished here. This CD is a “must have” for fans of authentic Canadian cowboy poetry and music made by a man who knows what he’s talking about.

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