Runaway Express "Oh Boy!" (Raven Records RVN2004)

(Includes a cool 3-D pop-up, Buddy Holly Stratocaster guitar within the CDís superb packaging)

Although Buddy Holly tribute songs and albums are a dime a dozen, "Oh Boy!" by Runaway Express aims to be slightly different from the rest, mainly because the band avoids sounding merely nostalgic and has the ability to let its own vision shine through. Professional and efficient, the Englewood, Colorado outfit is forever on the same page and it's evident they're deeply smitten with the music of Buddy Holly.

Most of the usual suspects are here: "Peggy Sue," "Not Fade Away," "Think It Over," "True Love Ways," "Learning The Game" and so forth. Clasping tight to the original structures and arrangements of these timeless tunes, Runaway Express adds extra layers of punch and power to the proceedings. A little bit of rock and roll, a little bit of country, a little bit of pop. It all works like a charm. Two versions of "Rave On" also appear on the disc. One is a typically rocking take, while the other is done bluegrass style.

Aside from material Buddy Holly composed, "Oh Boy!" contains songs he performed by other artists. Covers of Fats Domino's "I'm Ready" and "Come On Let's Go" by Richie Valens are just a couple of such numbers.

Another arrestive track on "Oh Boy!" is "Caprock," which was authored by Runaway Express vocalist and guitarist Jim Ratts. Scripted of picturesque lyrics, this up-tempo ditty salutes the spirit of Buddy with warmth and passion. The musicianship on "Oh Boy!" gushes with brilliance and awareness.

Runaway Express is a great roots rock band whose expertise and attention to detail magnifies the indelible songwriting of Buddy Holly with purpose and tasteóand then some.

Beverly Paterson (TLM Staff Writer and Reviewer)

Inside the U.S.

$15.00

Outside the U.S

$17.00

The Band:

Jin Ratts (vocals, guitar)

Salli Severing Ratts (vocals)

Scott Bennett (guitars)

Ernie Martinez (mandolin, dobro)

Butch Hause (bass)

Chris Stongle (drums)

Ted Cole (flute)

Daniel Jones (pedal steel)

Guest Players:

John McEuen (banjo and mandolin)

John Magnie (accordion)

Ed Contraras (accordion)

Neil Haverstick (guitars)

Guest Backup Vocalists:

Vickie Jones

Amy Nugent

Annie Phillips

Mary Huckins

Timothy P. Irvin

Steve Pierce

Tracks:

Rave On

Love is Strange/Come on Letís Go

Caprock

Peggy Sue

Raining in My Heart

Good Rockiní Tonight/Iím Ready

Not Fade Away

Learniní the Game

Doesnít Matter Anymore

Rave On

Think It Over

Oh, Boy

Clovis Highway

True Love Ways

Down the Line

Coda (Rave On)