Reggae Cowboys

By Garth Paulson

The Reggae Cowboys look exactly like their name would suggest–the pictures on the CD insert show three dreadlocked men straight from the Caribbean decked out in Western garb. Everything appears normal until you notice a young Ron Jeremy lurking in the corner. First it was his “performance arts” that attracted the public eye; next he became a successful director, a bit actor in legitimate films and then even a stand up comedian. This time, however, he has outdone himself. Not only has he seemingly invented some sort of reverse aging serum, he has also used his new found youth to become a decent musician in a reggae band of all things. What makes this tale uplifting is the band isn’t half bad either.

On Stone Ranger the Reggae Cowboys come across as a talented and innovative act, adding such unorthodox elements as pedal steel guitar, Latin influences and French vocals to a traditional reggae groove. It isn’t earth shattering stuff, but at least they’re trying to push the genre into new directions instead of simply rehashing the same ideas. That isn’t to say they aren’t guilty on a few occasions, their greatest sin comes in the form of a pointless cover of Peter Tosh’s cover of Chuck Berry’s “Johnny B. Goode.”

Aside from a few unnecessary songs, Reggae Cowboys has managed to create a pleasing album, whether that guy actually is Ron Jeremy or not.

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