“Around the Campfire”,
June 13, 2006
Sometimes western albums make nice background music for a cowboy
party. Sometimes they bring you great stories that run like
mini-western films through your mind. Sometimes they have one song
that stands out from the rest, and you keep returning to the album
just to hear that one song over and over. And occasionally you come
across an album that is just simply downright pleasurable listening
from start to finish. That's where I'm filing "Swingin' & Trail
Dreamin'" by the Sisters of the Silver Sage - under "Dang Good
Music." The Sisters of the Silver Sage, with this CD, are simply
bringing you western sounds that are a joy and pleasure to listen
to. And when you return to this CD to play it again, it won't be for
just one superb cut - because there are 13 superb cuts here, and
you'll want to hear them all again!
With seven songs written by Donna Guffey, who collaborated with
sister Janet on one and with two more written by sister Rhonda
Whiting, these gals not only show off beautiful singing but their
excellent songwriting skills as well. From the lilting Spanish
melody of "Down in Mexico" to the celtic sounds of "This Bonny Land
America" and through all the fine western tunes, this album never
"Some Old Rusty Spurs", penned by Jon Scott, comes to you like a
fresh Charlie Russell painting. If you're in a dancing mood, try on
"Texas Cowboys Always Break Your Heart." And if it's cowboy classics
you like, "Streets of Laredo" and "(Ghost) Riders in the Sky" will
suit your fancy fine. The ladies have made these two venerable
workhorses sound as fresh as anything else on the project - not an
easy task when you consider that hundreds of artists have recorded
these songs hundreds of times through the years.
Every serious fan or student of western music should have this CD in
his library. There isn't that much music available by female artists
who sing with the styling of the Sons of the Pioneers. I suggest you
grab this one while you can. It's a keeper!
“Toe Tappin' " Tommy Tucker
DJ KRLC Radio
& Music Reviewer for Cowboy Troubadour Magazine
"I Love this album!!!...Once again the Sisters of the Silver Sage
prove that they are the premier gal group in Western Music today!
Great song selection with beautiful harmonies! This one is a
contender for Album of the Year! 5 Stars.....all the way!"
"The Backforty Bunkhouse Show"
KNMB/KWMW Radio, Ruidoso, NM
"Through the past several years, the Sisters (Donna, Rhonda & Janet)
of the Silver Sage has not amazed only me, but the Western Music
Industry as well! Their sensationally smooth harmony has captivated
audiences all over the United States! "The Sisters..." has this new
project and I am certain it is destined for Album of the Year!"
Hugh T. Wilson
Country Music People Magazine
A new group to me but one that I have grown very much
to enjoy whilst reviewing the album. The Sisters of the Silver Sage
consist of Donna Whiting Guffey, Rhonda Whiting McDowell and Janet
Whiting Giles, who are three of the children of Grand Ole Opry member
Donna, the eldest sister, learned piano as a child but changed to
guitar in her teens because she says, "I can't carry a piano
everywhere." Inheriting her father's love of music, she taught her
younger siblings three-part harmony singing. Seemingly, there were
differing members of the group until the present three began singing
professionally in 1998 when they appeared on the PBS television show,
Riders of the Silver Screen. This led to them adopting their present
Donna and Rhonda are responsible for the majority of their new song
repertoire and all 12 tracks on the album are self-penned. They vary
from good ol' cowboy type numbers to western swing, and even a
narration, How Western Swing Was Born. Personal favorites are the
lilting ballads, City of Angels, I'll Meet You in Cheyenne and The
Cold Wind Blows. He's a Cowboy and Little Darlin' lean to western
swing and the girls close out with the toe-tapping A Cowboy's Prayer.
Like all the best sibling groups of the past, the sisters' ability to
harmonize is outstanding. Their yodel is proof of a dying art and
their ability to interchange parts provides smooth vocal work although
Rhonda takes the majority of the lead vocals. In addition to the
sisters' own guitars, there is excellent backing by Dave Pomeroy
(bass), Joe Spivey (fiddle & acoustic guitar) and Jellyroll Johnson
This is music of a bygone era but if you like the sound of
yesteryear's cowboy groups such as The Sons of the Pioneers, you will
thoroughly enjoy this CD.
"Sisters of the Silver Sage" have been nominated for the Academy
of Western Artists' 2003 "Western Music Duo/Group of the Year" award
and the prestegous "Rising Star" award. In addition the "Sisters"
have been nominated for the "Western Music Album of the Year" and
two "Western Music Song of the Year" awards.
Daughters of long time Grand Ole Opry member Smoky
White, the Sisters of the Silver Sage are
made up of Donna, Rhonda and Janet, bringing us 12 tracks of
self-penned material with a stylistic western flavour. The three
sisters offer killer lighter than air harmonies that span the measure
of time with a kiss of the Sons of The Pioneers and a sound that is
warm rich and inviting, putting them one notch above the rest.
Donna, Rhonda and Janet only started singing
professionally in 1998 after being approached to play on Marshal Andy
wanted them to guest on his Saturday morning PBS television show
Riders Of The Silver Screen. With an overwhelming response from the
viewers to their performance, the girls were asked to make another
taping in the studio. A little reflection as to a name for the group,
finally came up with Sisters of the Silver Sage
and they haven't looked back since. The natural progression has seen
the girls writing their own material with Donna taking the lead
writing and over 45 songs, Rhonda following her with 25 songs and
Janet only more recently being bit by the "bug" and is now working on
I wouldn't venture to pick out one track above the
rest as they are all tip-top, or as we say in the North of England a
real bag of "Bobby Dazzlers!!!" A taste of cowboy songs and a touch of
western swing can be found opening with a real top-hand, "He's
A Cowboy". Slowing things down we find the lovely "City
Of Angels", while "Blue, Blue Sky"
showcases the lovely harmonies of Donna, Rhonda and Janet to
perfection. 'Little Darlin' sees Hoot
Hester and The Time Jumpers backing the girls on this particular track
with Dave Pomeroy (bass), Joe Spivey (guitars and fiddles) and
"Jellyroll" Johnson (harmonica) playing on all other songs. Just one
poem is to be found with the amusing "How
Western Swing Was Born".
This wonderful anthology of western music sees "A
Cowboy's Prayer" closing this stellar performance from Donna,
Rhonda and Janet. An old style of music in its purest form, I just
can't get enough of the breathtaking voices of this fine trio.
from O. J. Sikes
This is a terrific CD! As soon as I
heard this trio harmonize on "He's a Cowboy," the upbeat song that
leads off this collection, my ears perked up. I knew some
exceptional music was in store.
There are 11 songs in this
collection, and one poem, "How Western Swing Was Born." The poem is
positioned just before an easy-going Western swing tune called
"Little Darlin'," which was co-written by two of the Sisters. They
really are sisters, by the way! The musicians on this particular
song are Hoot Hester's superb swing band, The Time Jumpers.
All compositions were written by
the Sisters themselves. There's not a weak song in the bunch. The
poem is cute, but music is their forte, with great harmony
their trademark. And the musicianship by Dave Palmeroy (bass), Joe
Spivey (fiddles & acoustic guitars) and Jellyroll Johnson
(harmonica) is excellent.
This CD knocked me out! Don't
All material copyright (c) 2002-Present by Sisters
Of The Silver Sage and may not be reproduced without the express written
permission of the Donna Guffey, 4727 Mullendore St., Maryville, TN