Nancy Apple and Rob McNurlin | River Road or Rail

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River Road or Rail

by Nancy Apple and Rob McNurlin

In the same spirit as Johnny and June, Nancy and Rob have conjured up a mix of music with enough twang to bouce you from Tennessee to Bakersfield.
Genre: Country: Traditional Country
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. River Road or Rail
3:15 $0.99
2. Drover
4:40 $0.99
3. Cathead Biscuits and Gravy
3:33 $0.99
4. Chariot Wheels
3:02 $0.99
5. Lucille
3:22 $0.99
6. You Said Goodbye - By The San Juan River
3:10 $0.99
7. Lost Highway
2:57 $0.99
8. Hard Luck Troubadour
3:10 $0.99
9. Angel Cried
2:57 $0.99
10. Sun Will Always Shine
4:37 $0.99
11. Merry Christmas For Me
2:42 $0.99
12. The First Christmas
3:38 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Ringo Records is proud to present RIVER ROAD OR RAIL, a collaborative collection of new traditional country and western music from Nancy Apple and Buffalo Skinner recording artist Rob McNurlin. The press has called Nancy Apple Memphis' reigning Queen of Country and Princess of Twang. One critic went as far to say she was "As country as Cash, as rockin as Carl, and by god as bold as Elvis." said of the Kentucky's Rob McNurlin: "The old is new in his capable hands, and dead voices rise to pass their tales on to the living."

In the same spirit as Conway and Loretta / Johnny and June, Nancy and Rob have conjured up a potent mix of genuine heartfelt music with enough twang to bounce you from Tennessee to Bakersfield. They cover the classic "Lost Highway" - performed in nearly gospel style. The rest is all new material written by Nancy or Rob with the exception of two great tunes from friends - ("Lucille," a murder ballad, and "Drover," a western trail blazer). Two original Christmas songs (bonus tracks) are bound to become classics. Both artists have received a wagon load of press, and have healthy fan bases. Together they set a new standard for modern day troubadours. With their combined fan bases and a slew of one-nighters booked from coast to coast, RIVER ROAD OR RAIL is sure to be a turning point for both artists.

Nancy Apple has been a volunteer DJ on WEVL in Memphis for 9 years. She has performed in America and Asia. She has been called a Memphis treasure by the Commercial Appeal, and a honky tonk legend in the Bluff City by Northwest Airlines World Traveler in-flight magazine. She has released 5 albums and is also known as The Cadillac Cowgirl. She has been a finalist in the International Songwriting Contest and nominated for 13 Premier Player Awards.

Rob has headlined in America, Canada and England. He has been a feature on the Mountain Stage, Woodsongs and toured with Hot Tuna and Ramblin Jack Elliott. John Carter Cash has said of Rob: "He holds his heart to pure music." Larry Groce of the Mountain Stage adds: "Rob personifies the troubadour spirit of Woody Guthrie"



to write a review

Alt Country Belgium

Massive in it's simplicity
Van een unieke samenwerking gesproken! Twee favorieten des huizes treden op “River Road Or Rail” met veel brio in de gigantische voetsporen achtergelaten door klassieke man-vrouw-combinaties als Johnny Cash en zijn wederhelft June, Conway Twitty en Loretta Lynn en Lee Hazlewood en Nancy Sinatra. Zalig gewoon hoe de licht onderkoeld zingende Rob McNurlin en de juist o zo warmbloedige “Princess Of Twang” Nancy Apple elkaar daarop twaalf nummers lang fraai complementeren en met enige regelmaat zelfs naar regelrecht ontzagwekkende hoogten stuwen. Hartverwarmend is het bijvoorbeeld om te horen hoe de twee zich op bijna gospeleske wijze Leon Payne z’n “Lost Highway” – bekend vooral in de uitvoering van Hank Williams natuurlijk – eigen maken. En al evenzeer tot de verbeelding spreken de overige elf songs, met uitzondering van de bij hun maatjes Jeff Walburn en John Flavell geleende moordballade “Lucille” en de door McNurlin van een heerlijke mondharmonicabijdrage voorziene C&W-story song “Drover” uitsluitend eigen composities van de twee. Daarbij eerder spaarzaam begeleid op instrumenten als de akoestische gitaar, de harmonica, het accordeon, de gitjo, de bas, de fiddle, de mandoline en de slide roepen Apple en McNurlin hier voortdurend de hoogdagen van het Country & Western-genre in herinnering. En ingetogen twangende liedjes als “Angel Cried” en het behoorlijk emotioneel geladen Johnny Cash-eerbetoon “Sun Will Always Shine” doorstaan daarbij met glans elke vergelijking met door de jaren heen tot echte klassiekers uitgegroeide nummers. Ze zijn echt groots in al hun eenvoud.
Warm aanbevolen! (Een gegeven waaraan zelfs de twee kerstliedjes waarmee het album wordt besloten niets kunnen veranderen…)
Nancy Apple
Rob McNurlin
Ringo Records
Spoken of an unique cooperation! Two favourites of the huizes step on "River Road or rail" with much brio in the huge foot tracks left behind by traditional man woman combinations such as Johnny cash and are wederhelft June, Conway Twitty and Loretta Lynn and Lee Hazlewood and Nancy Sinatra. Gloriously ordinary how supercooled singing rob McNurlin and correct o this way warm-blooded "Princess or Twang" Nancy Apple lifts each other then twelve numbers long fraai complement and with only rule half-measure even to straight ontzagwekkende altitudes drive. Heart is for example it to hear how two on almost gospeleske wise Leon Payne his "discharge themselves make Highway" - confessed especially in the implementation of Hank Williams of course - own. And already likewise to imagination speak the remaining eleven songs, lent assassination ballad "Lucille" and by McNurlin of a delicious harmonica contribution provided C&w-story, with exception of at their maatjes the Jeff Walburn and John Flavell, the song "Drover" exclusively own composities of two. Thereby earlier economically accompanied on instruments such as the acoustic jet ear, the harmonica, the accordion, the gitjo, the bass, the fiddle, the mandoline and the slide call Apple and McNurlin here continuously the hoogdagen of country & western western-genre in memory. And ingetogen twangende songs as a "sting Cried" and the considerable emotionally charged Johnny Cash-eerbetoon "Sun Will Always Shine" endures thereby with brilliance each comparison with by the years gone to real klassiekers developed numbers. They are really massive in already their simplicity.
Warm recommended! (Data to which can change even two kerstliedjes with which the album is decided nothing...)

Patrick Donders

Nancy Apple & Rob McMurlin – River Road or Rail
Nancy “The Cadillac Cowgirl” Apple en Rob McMurlin hebben met River Road or Rail een pure countryplaat gemaakt. Gillende treinen, gegrilde kip met jus, moord, de San Juan River, dronken liedjesschrijvers, treurende engelen, Johnny Cash, een eenzame kerst, onze Lieve Heer, rode ogen en veel, heel veel, dikke zoute tranen. Apple en McMurlin maken er gelukkig geen theatrale freakshow van. Het is oprecht, echt en heel goed. Drover is het mooiste country-duet van afgelopen jaar. Punt. Te bestellen via (Patrick Donders)
Nancy Apple & rob McMurlin - River Road or rail
Nancy "The Cadillac Cowgirl" Apple and rob McMurlin with River Road or rail has made pure countryplaat. Screaming going by train, grilled chicken with gravy, assassination, the San Juan River, dronken song writers, lamenting angels, Johnny cash, a solitary kerst, our kind lord, red looking and much, as lot of, dikke salt waters. Apple and McMurlin make of it happy no theatrical freakshow. It is sincere, really and complete good. Drover are the most beautiful country-duetcountry-duet country-duet of last year. Point. To order by means of www.ringorecords.exactly. (Patrick donders)

Jerome Clark

A folk equivalent of the sort of country duets George Jones and Tammy Wynette (o
This old-fashioned, pretension-free CD brings together two genial talents, Memphis rockabilly/honkytonk performer Nancy Apple and Kentucky folksinger Rob McNurlin. Though McNurlin is technically a far better singer than Ramblin' Jack Elliott (to whom he's sometimes compared), writes many of his own songs and lays no claim to Elliott-level (which is to say world-class) eccentricity, he's clearly a kindred soul. Apple has a warm and irresistible Southern voice. The only way to dislike this record is to dislike hillbilly-flavored folk music on principle, and if you don't like that sort of thing, you'll want to be on your way. I'll feel sorry for you, though.

Except for a nice reading of the well-traveled "Lost Highway," written by Leon Payne but best known from the Hank Williams recording, the songs are originals by Apple, McNurlin or both, supplemented by two exceptional compositions from -- I take it -- personal friends. One of the latter is Jeff Walburn's nightmarish "Lucille," not to be confused with the comparably titled Don Schlitz song and monster 1978 hit for Kenny Rogers. True, the two songs open with a similar premise; but then Walburn's lurches off in a direction so dark and scary that it makes the Schlitz heart-ripper feel positively uplifting in comparison. Rather less unsettlingly, John Flavell contributes the moody cowboy meditation "Drover," which would fit easily into Ian Tyson's repertoire; one, or at least I, would be hard-pressed to speak greater praise.

Apple/McNurlin's own songs unearth novel ways to re-engage such familiar folk and country subject matter as rambling, homesickness, honkytonk women, love, family, heartbreak and death. Apple's "Cathead Biscuits & Gravy" wittily relates an episode of road food and road sex. Her "You Said Goodbye -- by the San Juan River" is a folk equivalent of the sort of country duet George Jones and Tammy Wynette (or Conway Twitty and Loretta Lynn) used to do to fiery perfection. McNurlin's "Chariot Wheels," a song that burrows deeper into you each time you hear it, finds a striking metaphor to represent a relationship's shifting fortunes. The title tune, another McNurlin creation, fills every expectation one might entertain of a piece whose title alone encompasses the foundational themes of a vast body of American ballads.

The two accompany themselves variously on acoustic and electric guitars, harmonica and accordion, augmented by a handful of other musicians handling fiddle, slide, mandolin and other downhome instruments. A certain Sparky Apple is credited with "tenor and baritone barking." All present, human and otherwise, acquit themselves admirably.

by Jerome Clark
24 December 2005

francois braeken

Niet zo vanzelfsprekend deze samenwerking tussen Nancy Apple, Country Queen of Memphis, en the Mountain Stage Cowboy Rob Mc Nurlin. Nancy begon eind jaren '80 als drumster bij punk en garage bandjes maar de "Cadillac Cowgirl" ligt bij deze jongen in de bovenste la wegens haar schitterende albums "High on the Hog" ('95), " Outside the Lines" ( 2000) en "Shoulda Lied About that" ('03. zie rev. Jan 05). Country, blues, rockabilly ...en ondertussen staat zij aan het hoofd van haar eigen Ringo Record label met ondermeer Jay Ruffin (zie rev. Mei 05) en de onlangs toegetreden Jim Wilson (zie rev. Nov. 04) op de loonlijst. Rob Mc Nurlin is al decennia lang bezig met muziekmaken en is ondertussen uitgegroeid tot een van de betere singer / songwriters die jammer genoeg bij het grote publiek niet de erkenning krijgt die hij verdient. Maar bij Rootstime viel hij wel op en in December 2004 kreeg Mc Nurlin," who personifies the troubadour spirit of Woody Guthrie", nog de nodige aandacht bij het verschijnen van zijn album "Buffalo Skinners". Folk, hillbilly - blues, gospel ...en ook hij is de trotse eigenaar van zijn eigen record label "Buffalo Skinner". Met het onlangs verschenen album " River Road Or Rail" sloegen beiden de handjes in mekaar en zorgen zij voor een van de laatste hoogtepunten van 2005 en meteen voor een grandioze start voor het nieuwe jaar. Mogen wij dit beschouwen als een verstandshuwelijk of hebben hun oprechte gevoelens voor de traditionele country & western music from Tennessee to Bakersfield gezegevierd ? Opener en titelnummer "River Road or Rail" en de song "Drover" met dat schitterend smoelschuivertje en het grandioos fiddle geluidje van Roy Brewer geven onmiddelijk aan dat geld bij hun beslising geen enkele rol heeft gespeeld en dat er gekozen werd voor muzikale hartstocht en passie. Prima duetjes als "Chariot Wheels" en "Lucille" met dat hemels mooie mandolinetje van diezelfde Rob Brewer vegen de vloer aan met de vooroordelen die hier te lande nog steeds heersen bij het draaien / promoten van traditionele country western in de beste Cash / Carter of Conway & Loretta traditie. Zowel Nancy als Rob hanteren met verbluffend gemak harmonica , accordion en Jay Ruffin slaagt er zelfs in om op een sublieme wijze met zijn gitaar het geluid van een kakelende kip na te bootsen op de song " Cathead Biscuit and Gravy". De hemels mooie bijna - gospel versie van " Lost Highway" ( Leon Payne) met Richard Hage on slide guitar en het effenaf schitterende "Hard Luck Troubadour" geven je dat warme nostalgische "Oh Brother Where Art Thou" gevoel en illustreren op een verbluffende wijze hoe je met sober gebruik van de traditionele banjo, fiddle, harmonica, mandoline ook anno 2006 nog de gevoelige muzikale snaar kan raken. Met "the Sun Will Allways Shine " wordt een terechte hulde gebracht aan de "Man in Black" en met de songs "Angel Cried" en " You Said Goodbye" bewijst "Seniorita Muchcha" Nancy Apple dat zij niet voor niets "the Princess of Twang" genoemd wordt. Behoorlijk onder de indruk van deze prima samenwerking besloot deze jongen het album "River Road or Rail " dan ook onmiddelijk een nr. 1 notering te geven voor zijn persoonlijke Januari editie van de Euro Americana Chart. * * * * 1/2 * en je krijgt er nog twee schitterende nieuwe Christmas songs als leuk extraatje bij !!!(SWA).


Everything perfect: Lyrics, harmonies & music. Highly recommended!

Remo Ricaldone - Italian DJ

Great songs!
... Your songs and they're great!! "River Road Or Rail" is amazing and it'll be my pleasure to give airplay on my radio show.
Remo Ricaldone - Italian DJ

John Conquest

Wonderful, warm, homemade feeling to Apple and McNurlin’s collaboration.
Ten odd years ago, Jim Beal Jr and I were cohosting a Third Coast Music Network show and after playing Redd Volkaert’s version of Ronnie Milsap’s The Girl Who Waits On Tables, agreed that while we detested Countrypolitan at the time, it was starting to sound pretty good compared to contemporary Nashville product. Seems we were ahead of our time, now that musicians like Martí Brom are mining this seam.
Off at a bit of a tangent, ‘The Cadillac Cowgirl’ of Memphis and the “Beatnik Cowboy’ of Kentucky marry a Conway Twitty & Loretta Lynn duet style, with a far better grasp of the basic concept than Caitlin Cary & Thad Cockrell, to offbeat original material and, come to that, a cover of Leon Payne’s Lost Highway, that no Countrypolitan act would have touched. Though they slightly cripple their album by closing with two Christmas songs, there’s a wonderful, warm, homemade feeling to Apple and McNurlin’s collaboration that makes one wonder how much more effective Twitty and Lynn could have been if slickness hadn’t been Music Row’s priority. JC

Cary Cochran

Nancy Apple, is the Dairy Queen of Cuntry Muzac!!!
I can't get enough of her!!!!! Thanks Nancy, keep them Dilly Bars a cummin!!!!!!

San Antonio Current

... about as honest and gripping as anything you're liable to hear these days.
Nancy Apple & Rob McNurlin
Appearing at Casbeers — Nancy Apple and Rob McNurlin have passed through here with their own trips. This time around, Memphis cowgirl Apple and mountain cowboy McNurlin are touring with their new duet CD, "River Road or Rail," which features deep country/folk/etc. that's about as honest and gripping as anything you're liable to hear these days.

Matthew Finch

This is an astonishing record.
This is an astonishing record, & if Apple & McNurlin don't get special kudos for production & orchestration it's a crime.

Please feel free to let me know if either artist is scheduled to play New Mexico during 2006 -- we can announce the gig & maybe do an in-studio.

Thanks for keeping KUNM on your review list!