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Admittedly, the first thing you think of when you hear the new release 'Walkin' the Country' by Capitol Nashville's the Ranch, the first think you think of is a country road in either rural Tennessee or Kentucky, where the rolling hills of bluegrass give the average American heart a reason to sing about the wonders of being in the country. But if you start to think the three members of the Ranch spent the better part of their childhoods riding horses in Kentucky or fishing in the Chattahoochie, you definitely have to think again. The Ranch came into being in the 'more country than you think' land of Australia. The Ranch did not, however, spring up from nowhere. This group came to Music Row after charting with four number one songs in Australia. Lead singer of the group Keith Urban explains, "I've never been comfortable putting music into a category. I've sometimes called some of our music 'Funktry', meaning country with an R&B backbeat to it, but we use a lot of different brushes on a country canvas." Urban, the founder of the group, says he knew from a very early age he was destined to come to Music City. His influence came from his mother and father who were fans of Don Williams, Charley Pride and Jim Reeves. But like every successful act in country today, his influence came from the pop field as well as country. Band drummer Peter Clarke also admits to drawing inspiration from this diverse musical influence. Last member to join the group was West Virginia native Jerry Flowers. After just one audition, Urban and Clarke asked Flowers if he had a passport. Since that first journey back to the Land Downunder, the three 'Ranchers' have been well in tune when behind the mike. The unique 'funktry' style of the Ranch also attracted the attention of manager Miles Copeland (founder of I.R.S. Records and manager of The Police), who manages them to this day.

Again, the first thing you think of when listening to the Ranch's debut cd is the successful folk/country blending made popular by such acts as the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. The songs on this CD, however, have a story to tell with every line. Probably the first thing you think of when you hear the song 'Walkin' The Country' is the down-home comfortable feeling you usually get when you go to visit your friends/relatives away from the hustle and bustle of the city. But The Ranch isn't limited to the fast driving country funk of their first release. Songs like Desiree and Tangled Up In Love show the listener how far country love has come, and how much the songs about it remain close to the heart. Probably one of the most heartfelt songs on the CD is the song Ghost In This Guitar, which tells the story of a young man learning to play the guitar from an old black gentleman. The teacher passes away, but lives on in the songs played by the student in the old guitar. The one song many of us who drive 4x4 vehicles identify with is 'Freedom's Finally Mine'. Those of us that have put in the hours behind a computer for the better part of a week can see the inspiration for this bit of musical thunder. The entire CD is a pleasure to listen to, and a superior effort by any country group starting their climb to stardom.