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Dubious Ranger

Found Recordings From The Panda Valley Mining Company c.1931

(Self-released; US: 22 Oct 2011; UK: Import)

With a title like this and the mustache Alexander Eccles wears on the front cover, you can’t expect to take this too seriously. It’s a meeting of the avant-garde and the Americana-minded that’s not entirely satisfying. Classically trained pianist Eccles is at his best when he’s not moving too far into uncharted territory. “1999” is a fine piece of pop but the opening “Sarsaparilla” is a joke that wears thinner than a hermit’s underwear within a few measures. Eccles and his co-conspirators don’t seem to know the material from which they borrow well enough to do it with conviction. Neither can they can convince us that this more than a lark.


Jedd Beaudoin is an award-winning writer and broadcaster. He holds an MFA in creative writing (fiction) from Wichita State University and hosts Strange Currency six nights week for Wichita Public Radio. His writing has appeared in No Depression and The Crab Orchard Review as well as at websites such as and

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