This album features Andy & Andy backed up by the likes of Lloyd Maines, Amanda Shires, Bob Livingston, and the legendary Billy Faier!
Review from www.cowboypoetry.com:
Welcome to the Tribe, real cowboy folk music by Andy Hedges and Andy Wilkinson marries tradition and the present in an important, masterful album that celebrates the "keepers of the code" and the "members of the tribe." With a mix of classic cowboy songs and fresh originals—some written by Andy Wilkinson and some collaborations by the two—it's not about exclusion, but it's about principle. The songs on Welcome to the Tribe are sometimes frank, sometimes funny, and always entertaining.
Both Hedges and Wilkinson are songwriters, poets, and performers—and folk historians.
In the liner notes for the opening track, "Welcome to the Tribe (for Buck, Buster, and Bob)," Andy Wilkinson writes about his inspiration for the song and sets up all that is to come, "While making an introduction of Bob Moorhouse, Buster Welch listed the three things that it takes to make a cowboy....the very best, most succinct description of the cowboy code I've heard since Buck Ramsey defined it as 'being in the right place at the right time....'"
Welcome to the Tribe offers one sterling performance after another.
Traditional selections shine with carefully crafted arrangements. They include "The Cowboy's Soliloquy," "Diamond Joe," the lesser known "Wild West Rambler," and a resonant a cappella performance of "The Dreary Dreary Life" by Andy Wilkinson. Their "Old Paint Medley" is an entrancing study of the familiar cowboy standard, with an infrequently-sung verse by Woody Guthrie and the inspired incorporation of "The Horse With a Union Label."
The original songs are filled with novel, smart lyrics. "The Palm Leaf Lid" pokes fun at the "all hat" types ("Now if you never break a sweat nor pitch into a wreck, it's logical to wear a Silver Belly 100X...but if you mix it up outside an air-conditioned rig..."). Their amusing, catchy, and absolutely sparkling "The Glitterbus" says all there is to say about "fame" (the liner notes simply caution, "It's best to stay off this bus."). Andy Wilkinson's "The Lost Lonesome High" is a plain-truth story of today's cowboy "All day in the pickup runnin' errands to town, when I shoulda been horseback, prowlin' some ground, what once was the orders for a half-dozen hands is now the to-do list for a single camp man."
Another standout is Wilkinson's "The Keepers of the Code" (for Jack and Peter)." Again, the liner notes make an important statement, "Some of us think that Tin Pan Alley and Hollywood oaters would have completely gutted cowboy music if it hadn't been for the folk revival of the 1950s, in particular the work of Ramblin' Jack Elliott and Peter LaFarge. This song is for them." The lyrics make their case and offer lines for an enduring cowboy music philosophy and anthem: "It don't matter where you're from, it's just where you're goin', it don't matter what you've done, it's just what you do, sing where you live, live where you're singin', it don't matter who's listenin' to you."
Amanda Shires, Lloyd Maines, Bob Livingston, and other top musicians join Hedges and Wilkinson with a level of excellence that holds throughout the entire project, from the songwriting, singing, and continuity to the package design.
If they are spinning CDs in the Great Beyond, the likes of Buck Ramsey, Jack Thorp, Alan Lomax, and other members of the tribe and keepers of the code will have Welcome to the Tribe on their top shelves.
- Margo Metegrano, Cowboypoetry.com