Lee Hazlewood & Ann-Margret The Cowboy & The Lady

Smells Like continues on its promise to deliver a steady diet of Hazlewood with another piece of whacked-out genius. Those thrown for a loop by the recent reissue of 13 are now drawn back somewhat as The Cowboy & The Lady draws elements from all of Lee Hazlewood's portfolio. A collection of duets with actress Ann-Margret (Tommy, Carnal Knowledge), The Cowboy & The Lady is what Kenny & Dolly should have been, had they been drinking Chivas Regal instead of tea. Ann-Margret breaks out on "Only Mama That'll Walk the Line," huffing a pile o' wind like a small tornado and later turning it up with the honky tonkin' "Sweet Thing." Hazlewood takes the cake on "No Regrets" and "Greyhound Bus Depot," both miserable and lonesome, delivered as only the Cowboy can - weary, bleak and whiskeyed. Things get even more interesting with four bonus tracks from out-of-print singles of the same era. Three Hazlewood originals turn up here, among them "Chico," a Morricone-like track with Hazlewood playing Johnny Cash to Ann-Margret's boisterous emotive vocal. Ann-Margret's best performance turns up on another Hazlewood-penned track, the psychedelic "You Turned My Head Around," where co-arranger Charlie McCoy rips out a great harmonica line in his classic style. No Hazlewood recording can surprise me now. (Smells Like)