The Happy Cowboys, actually just one happy cowboy by the name of Hans Westman, trades in languid guitar runs that flow over sunny sonic prairies. Singled Out is a collection of singles released this year.
For the most part, Westman’s guitar playing reminds me of Bill Frisell’s; the emphasis on touch and tone, the pointillist precision, the notes that glint like sun on water, the stuffing of jazz and Latin stylings into a rucksack and setting off with it down a country road. “El Roble,” (The Oak) brings a bit of saunter to the proceedings, with Westman briskly working through a chord progression and riff that sound like Mark Knopfler gone bossa nova, before easing into a swirling, effects-laden interlude. The result is tasteful, elegant, and imbued with a subtle sense of motion. “El Roble,” and the rest of Singled Out, will make any guitar fan into one happy cowboy.
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