The Band of Blacky Ranchette Still Lookin' Good To Me (Thrill Jockey) Rating: NNN
The resurrected Blacky Ranchette is less a band here than a field recording experiment conducted by the globe-trotting Howe Gelb in various studios, homes and parking lots. Still Lookin' Good To Me is a collection of Howe's sonic holiday snaps featuring Chan Marshall, Richard Buckner, Neko Case, Kurt Wagner, Dallas Good and his Calexico pals Joey Burns and John Convertino. The performances are enjoyably casual, the highlights being Case singing Buckner into the dirt on Getting It Made and the bit where the Tennessee state trooper interrupts Wagner right when he's singing the refrain "Paradise don't come without mistakes" during an impromptu session at the Nashville International Airport. Charming.