Picks and Pans Review: Tonight We Ride

updated 02/24/1986 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 02/24/1986 AT 01:00 AM EST

Michael Martin Murphey

Someone seems to have lit a small fire under Murphey. Perhaps it was a move to a new label. Perhaps it was a reunion with his old producer Jim Ed Norman, the Nashville veteran who has worked with such people as Anne Murray, Mickey Gilley and the Eagles. In any case, Murphey has spiced up his delivery—he can sometimes sound so sweet it's a little cloying. Except for the strained prison song I'll Break Out Again Tonight, Murphey wrote or co-wrote all the tunes. Rollin' Nowhere has an infectious, Western swing feel, while Ghost Town (Messages From the Ghost Ranch) recalls Murphey's entertaining Cosmic Cowboy period, when he was blending socially conscious lyrics with rock-influenced tunes. It is indeed tempting to say that Murphey is back in his cosmic saddle again. (Warner Bros.)

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