SONS OF THE PIONEERS – “Tumbling Tumbleweeds”(MP3)
Best known if known at all for providing the credits theme to The Big Lebowski, “Tumblin’ Tumbleweeds” manages in two-and-a-half minutes to achieve the kind of big-souled serenity Zen monks could spend multiple lifetimes looking for. Sons Of The Pioneers (“65 years of continuous entertainment!”) may not have been trying for anything so sublime, but a look at their discography suggests that they knew gold when they struck it, since “Tumbleweeds” crops up again and again. The lounge-country string arrangement rocks like a chair, and the massed-voice effect beckons you to just lie back and drown in the song, and its clip-clop rhythm and its sweetly fatalist lyrics. Maybe all country music was this good-natured once, back in the 50s when it didn’t have all those jumped-up upstart musics to resent, when it wasn’t so worried about being real. Or maybe the Sons were just schmalzy old showbiz pros who didn’t know their authenticity from their elbow: in any case their world is a wonderful place to visit.