Riders in the Sky celebrate their 25th anniversary by revisiting a number of their most requested numbers with brand new renditions. All four members are strong singers as well as being able instrumentalists. They're also ready to add a touch of humor at a moment's notice. The obvious favorites are the decades-old songs known by listeners barely familiar with cowboy music, including "Texas Plains," "Back in the Saddle Again," "(Ghost) Riders in the Sky
" (which easily eclipses Vaughn Monroe
's hit record), and a live version of "Rawhide." Two extremely funny tracks include "Sidekick Heaven," with a narrative piece with amusing impressions of a number of famous cowboy movie sidekicks, and the side-splitting "Phantom of the Chuckwagon," which lampoons the ridiculous works of the nauseating Broadway composer Andrew Lloyd Webber
(one sample lyric: "Don't cry for me, Arizonie, I ate a bad burrito"). The yodeling may take some getting used to for those not well-versed in the cowboy tradition, but the music within this well-packaged two-CD set, with extensive liner notes and lots of photos, will easily stand the test of time.