Not Forgotten: Marty Robbins – More Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs

Such is the high regard that 1959’s Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs is held, that the fact that the late great Marty Robbins released another 43 albums in his lifetime (and a further two posthumously) is often overlooked.Perhaps inevitably, the snappily titled More Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs, is not dissimilar to Robbin’s best known work. Released a few months later, and kicking off with a trio of contrasting tunes, the betrayal ballad that is “San Angelo”, the almost poppy “Prairie Fire” and his version of the immortal “Streets of Laredo”, it’s perhaps actually a little more commercial than its much celebrated predecessor. Certainly a song like “Song of the Bandit” has crossover appeal.

More Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs may be titled like a cynical attempt to cash in to a better known album, but when you listen to it, it really does stand up on its own as an enjoyable collection of American country folk songs. It’s the kind of album that you get the feeling Quentin Tarantino is keeping to one side to raid for one of his non-more hip soundtracks at some point in the future (and if he hasn’t, he should), with the relentlessly propulsive “Five Brothers” being a tune which is crying out to be played over a contemporary pursuit scene.

If you are one of the many that have associated Marty Robbins with just one album, then I advise you to investigate this unimaginatively titled follow up, because it might just prompt you to find out a little bit more about the career of a man that in addition to being one of the key artists of his generation, but also found time to be a NASCAR driver. No really…

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