Rob Price
Gutbrain Records
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2023 April 17 • Monday

Once again we dipped into this collection of soundtracks from Paramount westerns. For the 774th Soundtrack of the Week we listened to Johnny Douglas's score for Kid Rodelo.

The main title starts with acoustic guitar and a tiny bit of percussion. Then accordion comes in with the melody, hands it over to the guitar and takes it back again. It ends with open strums and percussion it started with.

Harp starts the “Kid Rodelo Theme” and then backs up the acoustic guitar until accordion and a few strings join them.

Deep, long tones on celli set a sombre atmosphere for “Escape”, which builds tension slowly, leaving lots of space for percussion and other instruments. Then the whole orchestra bursts in with intense action music, sustaining moods of movement and menace until the end.

“Link’s Death” starts with a sting and heavily bowed strings, establishing right away that something seriously unpleasant is happening. The strings keep bowing while bass clarinet plays quietly, leading to a brass fanfare and a very interesting electric guitar sound.

Harp, vibes and cymbal start “Real Gold” and generate a mood that would be appropriate for The Twilight Zone or any of a number of offbeat shows and movies from the ‘50s and ‘60s.

Stings and sustains shape “Cholla”, another dangerous sounding cue that has intense bursts of activity coming out of more subdued passages.

Tom Glazer contributes “Love Is Trouble”, a lovely and delicate guitar ballad that reappears in the next track, “Riding/Buzzards & Coyotes”, which has a spaghetti western feel in parts. It pretty much continues into the next cue, “Kid & Indian” as well, though the latter ends on a high-energy and dramatic note that features bass and flute.

Bowed bass starts off “Keep Moving/Transportation”, joined quickly by accordion and then flutes and strings for subtly layered textures. The electric guitar is also used sparingly and has a lovely tone.

Urgent tension develops into emergency situation for the fight cue “Indian Attack” and then we get another eerie harp and percussion opening for the “Finale”, which turns out to be a reprise of “Love Is Trouble”.