Trying out the saddle for the last time, before heading off into the sunset is the final volume in the album series Rhythm & Western. This being the tenth and last album focusing on a genre of music that is more often associated with white artists, The “Mojo” Man gives coverage to black artists who either tried their hands at country, or produced records that were deemed novelty or rhythm and blues but with country associations, the breakthrough, however, has often been in the minority. Providing some background of black musicians and country music, Rhythm & Western Vol.10: Nine Pound Hammer gets to work via a selection of songs beginning with King Curtis and ‘Beatnik Showdown’ with the “showdown” part no doubt being the country & western reference, to others including Washboard Sam and much used ‘Bucket’s Got A Hole In It’, and a few heartbreakers (often a staple of country) with examples including Pearl Galloway ‘Think It Over Baby’, Beulah Swan ‘Don’t Steal My Heart’, and Gloria Gunter ‘Move On Out’. Slim Gaillard produces ‘The Hip Cowboy’ and it’s a fascinating listen with some yodelling and Bob Wills’ “ah-haa” calls, then Johnny ‘Guitar’ Watson chips in with Hank Williams’ classic ‘Cold Cold Heart’. With crossovers including names as The Mississippi Sheiks conjuring up ‘Still I’m Travelling On’, Lloyd Price uniting rhythm and blues with strands of country during ‘Tennessee Waltz’, and Lou Rawls dropping the ‘Nine Pound Hammer’ in a spoken word/singing style and a country & western sound that is evident of its 60s period. An altogether different presentation (What else did you expect?!) is given by Screamin’ Jay Hawkins with ‘You Made Me Love You’; a big band, rhythm and blues track with flitting charismatic vocalisms blowing the roof off this particular shack otherwise known as Rhythm & Western Vol.10: Nine Pound Hammer.