Brennen Leigh (featuring Asleep at the Wheel) — Obsessed with the West
There is an old adage that says that sometimes in order to move ahead you have to go back. Nashville staple Brennen Leigh’s seventh album does just that. Partnering with the legendary band Asleep at the Wheel and other top notch artists Leigh brings an old sound with a new feel to the table.
Obsessed with the West is built on the foundation of old Western Swing and Country and Western ballads that have stood the test of time but yet are all originals penned by Leigh and/or co-writers Paul Kramer, Josh Owen, Noel McKay, Katie Shore, Keenan Ray Wade, and Grace Adele and hit the nail squarely on the head.
The twelve track album with a run time of 37 minutes and 8 seconds produced by Ray Benson and released on Signature Sounds Records features Leigh’s soaring, powerful, and at times soulful vocals supported by the amazing cast of Ray Benson on electric guitar, acoustic guitar and duet vocals, Katie Shore on fiddle and duet vocals, Chris Scruggs on lap steel and electric guitar, Emily Gimble on duet vocals, Ginny Mac on accordion, Josh Hoag on upright bass, Dave Sanger on drums, Floyd Domino on piano, Paul Kramer on fiddle, electric mandolin, acoustic guitar, and electric guitar, Chloe Feoranzo on clarinet, Noel McKay on harmony vocals, and Beth Chrisman and Melissa Carper on harmony vocals. That is worth the price of admission right there.
All twelve tracks are gems but standouts are:
1) “If Tommy Duncan’s Voice was Booze” a lyrical track set to Western Swing that humorizes his role in setting the standard for that genre from Leigh’s perspective.
2) “In Texas with a Band” a duet with Ray Benson that swings and swings and swings.
3) “If I Treated You Like You Treat Me” a Country and Western ballad with duet vocal by Emily Gimble where you can just smell the campfire burning and the beans cooking.
4) “Tell Him I’m Dead” a hilarious Western Swing tune with Katie Shore duet vocal dealing with a heart breaking relationship.
5) “Coming in Hot” a creatively funny jump blues tune with Beth Chrisman and Melissa Carper on accompanying vocals about life on the road.
6) “Riding Off Onto Sunset Boulevard” An entertaining country and western ballad with Beth Chrisman and Melissa Carper on backing vocals doing an old time sounding song with a modern twist.
7) “Obsessed with the West” the title track, a country and western ballad with Leigh paying homage to the West.
Final tracks are “Same Dream,” “I Was Just Thinking of You,” “I Don’t Want Someone Who Don’t Want Me,” “You’re Doing it Wrong,” and “Cottonwood Fuzz.”
Packaging is basic but has everything needed including song tracks, artists, and a nice little foldout with all the song lyrics. Cover and foldout art is wonderfully photographed by Lyza Renee with portraits of Brennen Leigh in western attire and landscapes of the west fitting the theme.
Based on the publicity information that was provided, it was Leigh’s goal to honor her love for Western Swing, Country and Western ballads, and her love for the West. And, with the help of the accompanying legendary artists she has done that and more. This is a true modern day classic. Bob Wills and Tommy Duncan would be pleased along with the rest of the Texas Playboys.
Obsessed with the West can be found at: https://www.brennenleigh.net/, Amazon, and all streaming platforms. Or, better yet, catch her on tour.