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Articles Home » 1991 Articles » Tattoo Rodeo - 1991 Rode Hard Put Away Wet
Tattoo Rodeo - 1991 Rode Hard Put Away Wet

ARTIST: Tattoo Rodeo
ALBUM: Rode Hard Put Away Wet
LABEL: Atlantic
SERIAL: 7-82241-2
YEAR: 1991


LINEUP: Dennis Churchill Dries - vocals, bass * Rick Chadock - guitars * Richard Wright - drums * Michael Lord - keyboards

TRACK LISTING: 01 Strung Out * 02 Sweet Little Vicki * 03 Been Your Fool * 04 Everybody Wants What She's Got * 05 Ain't No Reason Why * 06 Let Me Be The One * 07 Blonde Ambition * 08 Love Shuffle * 09 Shotgun Johnny * 10 Tell Me Why * 11 One Way Love * 12 Down * 13 Hard Like A Rock

This would have to be one of the most ill-advised moves in the history of melodic rock. Just why perennial favourites of pomp/AOR White Sister had to change horses and become the cowboy rockers Tattoo Rodeo was confusing and downright silly. Of course back in the day, many of us bought the CD based purely on the WS legacy, but I'd put money on it we all offloaded our CD pretty much after giving it one spin. It's amazing how the rock music industry can influence so many acts, and while Bon Jovi, Tesla, Tangier and many others were changing their leathers and studs for tassles, stetsons and rawhide during this era, some came to the party late, Tattoo Rodeo being one such outfit. Look don't get me wrong, I have huge respect for Dennis Churchill-Dries, Rick Chadock and co, but even they could look back and perhaps say to themselves.. 'what the heck were we doing'? Having given this a recent re-listen, this isn't such a bad CD after all, it's just not what many of us expected. Kept in the context of southern rock (and if we can all just have a mind blank for 40 odd minutes and try not to remember White Sister while listening to this), then it would probably sound half decent to the uninformed and non trainspotter! Dennis has an amazing voice on any given day, and even on this album, he sounds great!

The Songs
When Dennis and the boys stop pretending to be cowboys (let's be honest, it's hard to be convincing being a cowboy rocker from Burbank Los Angeles, less so Austin Texas), they do cause a bit of a ruckus. The opener 'Strung Out' and 'Everybody Wants What She's Got' are two good examples, while 'Shotgun Johnny' and the excellent 'One Way Love' follow this up with some fine melodic hard rock, the latter is in keeping with White Sister material. 'Been Your Fool' is a southern slow crawl ballad with Dennis giving a rollicking vocal performance, and it lines up nicely against southern rock ballads from this time frame. It was one of the singles from the CD. 'Let Me Be The One' was the other single, again, another slow burn ballad with barroom piano, with Dennis sounding unnervingly like Dave Meniketti. 'Down' is probably the next best ballad (after 'Been Your Fool') and features an orchestral backdrop with great vocals and lots of acoustic guitar. The other tracks dabble with the southern rock genre, lots of slide guitar, Jack Daniels flavoured attitude etc, you get the drift.

In Summary
If Tattoo Rodeo had delivered songs that were more melodic rock and less of the cowboy influences, then this might have sold a lot more. As it is, the band didn't move heaven and earth during 1991, and were kinda forgotten about by many. Atlantic dropped the band, though TR did reappear with a new album in 1995 called 'Skin' but not many people were listening or taking interest. In a popular move, the band returned to their former glory as White Sister, have reformed with keyboardist/vocalist Gary (Garri) Brandon, though losing drummer Richard Wright to cancer a few years ago. WS have even played Firefest during 2008 with a rejigged lineup.. great news for all us Sister fans! If you feel inclined to pull 'Rode Hard Put Away Wet' for a nostalgic listen, please do so, if not to listen to the excellent tracks 'Been Your Fool' and 'One Way Love'.

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#1 | jefflynnefan on June 08 2010 04:43:45
Yep, good review! This isn't bad at all for what it is, southern rock. The ballads are the best or my faves on it. Specifically "Been Your Fool" and "Let Me Be The One". You can't beat Dennis' voice when he gets going with it! That's why it's a crying shame he doesn't have anything new out! WTH! Interesting the White Sister song "Fashion by Passion" is credited to Tattoo Rodeo in the film "Stella". I don't think it's a different later version- anybody know the story?
#2 | reyno-roxx on June 08 2010 16:10:31
A good few of these songs were originally demo-ed by the band as White Sister, then given a slightly bluesier twist when the album was recorded.
It was disappointing compared to what had come before, but still p****d all over quite a few other albums out there at the time.
#3 | Carlos Ramirez on September 06 2014 01:42:51
"Been Your Fool" could be a hit today if a country artist like Keith Urban or Tim McGraw covered it.
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