Gary: I am far from a Country Music expert, but I do love some of the country bands. This is about as up to date as I may ever get, but still I am looking at a band from 20 years ago. This band, as quoted by Steve Ripley, “is maybe just a state of mind”.
Originally made up of some great sidemen who are very good (studio men) and very experienced. I guess Steve Ripley is the only real member, but he introduced me to a form of music I should have been aware of, because I have been to Tulsa Oklahoma many times. The company I worked for in the 70’s and 80’s had it’s manufacturing facility there. I guess I was too dedicated to the business side because I missed the opportunity to experience the real Tulsa Country Blues.
I first heard the band in 1994 and I was immediately a fan. Do they exist today, well maybe, but not really, they are all in the business and get together when ever Steve wants to do a concert, so I give you one of my favourite Country/Blues Bands…
Album Songs I enjoy (I enjoy most of them, so I will pick only 4)
The Tractors are an American country rock band composed of a loosely associated group of musicians, headed by guitarist Steve Ripley. Under the band’s original line-up, The Tractors was signed to Arista Records in 1994, releasing their self-titled debut album that year; the album only produced one Top 40 hit on the Billboard country charts. To date, the band has followed up with five more albums. Since their foundation, most of the band’s original members have moved on to separate projects, although they often collaborate with frontman Ripley on The Tractors’ more recent recordings. Ripley is the only official member of the group; he has stated that The Tractors is more of a “state of mind”, and the band contains a largely undefined cast of unofficial contributors. The Tractors were formed in 1988. The original line-up comprised Ron Getman (electric guitar and slide guitar); Jamie Oldaker (drums); Walt Richmond (bass vocals, keyboards); Steve Ripley (guitar, lead vocals); and Casey van Beek (bass guitar, baritone vocals). All five members had previously been backing musicians for other notable artists, including Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, Bonnie Raitt, Linda Ronstadt, and Leonard Cohen. Oldaker had also worked with Bob Seger and Eric Clapton. By 1990 the group was signed to Arista Records, a newly-formed record label based in Nashville, Tennessee. In 1994 they released their self-titled debut album, which produced the single Baby Likes to Rock It and soon became the fastest-selling debut album from a country group to go platinum. A Christmas album called Have Yourself a Tractors Christmas soon followed. The Tractors were nominated for two Grammy Awards and won the Country Weekly 1995 Golden Pick Award for Favourite New Group. Their true follow-up, Farmers in a Changing World, was released in 1998. The band’s members, except for Ripley, soon departed for other projects, although they and Ripley remained close friends and made cameo appearances on subsequent albums. Ripley released the next Tractors album, Fast Girl, with several other musicians on Audium Entertainment in 2001. After Fast Girl, the Tractors left Audium and formed their own label, Boy Rocking Records. In 2009 “Trade Union” was released on E1.