Review: “Imus Ranch Record,” Various Artists

No matter what you think about radio talk show host Don Imus (I happen to like him and listen to him daily) there is one thing you can’t deny…the guy does alot for kids with cancer and their families. He and his wife, Deidre, run the Imus Ranch in New Mexico, a working cattle ranch where kids with cancer can work with animals and get away from their illness for a little while. He has raised millions of dollars for the ranch in a number of different ways throughout the years and his latest fund-raising effort is the Imus Ranch Record.

Imus is a huge country music fan, but this collection features a wide variety of tunes from artists, old and new. Lucinda Williams lends her unique perspective to “Mama Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys,” Randy Travis belts out “I Don’t See Me,” the great Willie Nelson’s voice and his acoustic guitar solo are both cool on “What a Difference a Day Makes,” Dwight Yoakum brings new country flavor to “Give Me Back the Key to My Heart,” the always colorful Little Richard brings his usual flare to “I Ain’t Never,” the underrated Delbert McClinton brings the swamp to Eric Clapton’s “Lay Down Sally,” Big & Rich bring country fun to the Beastie Boys “Fight for Your Right to Party,” and Patty Loveless performs a stunning version of Stevie Nicks’ “Silver Springs.” It also features Levon Helm and Vince Gill.

Imus can be a crotchety old guy, but his choice of these artists and these songs is very fresh. Even if you don’t like Imus, you will like this collection, and you’ll be helping out a bunch of kids with cancer who just want to be kids.

MP3: Fight for Your Right to Party – Big & Rich

MP3: Silver Springs – Patty Loveless

Imus Ranch (story about the ranch)

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