The first Band of Blacky Ranchette album was released way back in 1983. It was recorded for 400 dollars and was largely a Rainer Ptacek and Howe Gelb notion. Oh yeah, it was a whole lot of fun. The second Blacky record 1986’s Heartland was followed three years later by the third, Sage Advice. These records all predated the "Alt Country" movement by a decade at least. The impetus for the fourth Band of Blacky Ranchette Record, Still Looking Good To Me is less a vehicle to explore country roots and more a vehicle for Gelb to record with a broad circle of talented friends.
We would all come together and play this brand of western music because we loved it. We were reckless and young…trying to deliver some element of the old country records that we thought were so great. - Gelb
Giant Sand front man and Band of Blacky Ranchette wrangler Howe Gelb travels the globe delighting and confounding fans with his rapid musical shifts; playing a cd over a performance, using 3 different effects on three different vocal mics or even changing songs several times within a song. Gelb has an endless ability to ask "what if?" that gives his music its charm and individuality. It is a free spirit such as Howe and the corresponding joy that guides the merry Band of Blacky Ranchette. Recorded in cars, studios, and hallways, to name just a few of myriad locations, Still Looking Good To Me delivers charming performances, security guard interruptions and all.
In the Pro–Tools/computer era, engineers can polish every note; performances can be augmented by computer generated symphonies. Technology can simulate just about anything, but it will never replicate the spark and energy of a good time jam.