The Tractors

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The Tractors
Origin Oklahoma, United States
Genres Country
Years active 1988-present
Labels Arista Nashville, Audium, Boy Rocking
Associated acts Bonnie Raitt
Website http://thetractors.com
Members Steve Ripley
Past members Ron Getman
Jamie Oldaker
Walt Richmond
Casey van Beek

The Tractors are an American country rock band composed of a loosely associated group of musicians, headed by guitarist Steve Ripley. Under the band's original lineup, The Tractors was signed to Arista Records in 1994, releasing their self-titled debut album that year; the album only produced one Top 40 hit on the Billboard country charts. To date, the band has followed up with five more albums.

Since their foundation, most of the band's original members have moved on to separate projects, although they often collaborate with frontman Ripley on The Tractors' more recent recordings. Ripley is the only official member of the group; he has stated that The Tractors is more of a "state of mind",[1] and the band contains a largely undefined cast of unofficial contributors.

Biography[edit]

The Tractors were formed in 1988.[2] The original lineup comprised Ron Getman (electric guitar and slide guitar); Jamie Oldaker (drums); Walt Richmond (bass vocals, keyboards); Steve Ripley (guitar, lead vocals); and Casey van Beek (bass guitar, baritone vocals).[3] All five members had previously been backing musicians for other notable artists, including Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, Bonnie Raitt, Linda Ronstadt, and Leonard Cohen.[2] Oldaker had also worked with Bob Seger and Eric Clapton.[4]

By 1990 the group was signed to Arista Records, a newly-formed record label based in Nashville, Tennessee.[2] In 1994 they released their self-titled debut album, which produced the single Baby Likes to Rock It and soon became the fastest-selling debut album from a country group to go platinum. A Christmas album called Have Yourself a Tractors Christmas soon followed.[3]

The Tractors were nominated for two Grammy Awards[5][6] and won the Country Weekly 1995 Golden Pick Award for Favorite New Group.

Their true followup, Farmers in a Changing World, was released in 1998.[7] The band's members, except for Ripley, soon departed for other projects, although they and Ripley remained close friends and made cameo appearances on subsequent albums.[8] Ripley released the next Tractors album, Fast Girl, with several other musicians on Audium Entertainment in 2001. After Fast Girl, the Tractors left Audium and formed their own label, Boy Rocking Records. In 2009 "Trade Union" was released on E1.

Sound[edit]

The Tractors achieved their distinctive sound in several ways, most notably from the use of only one microphone, or recording a song in only one take.[9] Ripley often constructs guitars and cords for use in the band.

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

Title Album details Peak chart positions Certifications
(sales thresholds)
US Country
[10]
US
[11]
CAN Country CAN
The Tractors 2 19 1 36
  • US: 2× Platinum
  • CAN: 2× Platinum
Have Yourself a Tractors Christmas[A]
  • Release date: October 10, 1995
  • Label: Arista Nashville
12 68
Farmers in a Changing World
  • Release date: November 3, 1998
  • Label: Arista Nashville
39 17
Fast Girl
  • Release date: April 24, 2001
  • Label: Boy Rocking Records
65
Big Night
  • Release date: October 8, 2002
  • Label: Boy Rocking Records
The Kids Record
  • Release date: November 8, 2005
  • Label: Boy Rocking Records
Trade Union
"—" denotes releases that did not chart
Notes
  • A ^ Have Yourself a Tractors Christmas was re-released in 2002 as Tractors Christmas

Singles[edit]

Year Single Peak chart
positions
Album
US Country
[12]
CAN Country
[13]
1994 "Baby Likes to Rock It" 11 8 The Tractors
1995 "Tryin' to Get to New Orleans" 50 28
"Badly Bent" 80
1998 "Shortenin' Bread" 57 61 Farmers in a Changing World
"I Wouldn't Tell You No Lie" 72
2001 "Can't Get Nowhere" Fast Girl
"The Big Night"
"Fast Girl"
2002 "Ready to Cry"
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

Other charted songs[edit]

Year Single Peak chart
positions
Album
US Country US
1995 "The Santa Claus Boogie" 41 91 Have Yourself a Tractors Christmas
"Santa Claus Is Comin'
(In a Boogie Woogie Choo-Choo Train)"
43
1996 "The Santa Claus Boogie" (re-entry) 63
1997 "The Last Time" 75 Stone Country: Country Artists Perform
the Songs of the Rolling Stones
1998 "Santa Claus Is Comin'
(In a Boogie Woogie Choo-Choo Train)" (re-entry)
65 Have Yourself a Tractors Christmas
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

Music videos[edit]

Year Video Director
1994 "Baby Likes to Rock It" Michael Salomon
"The Santa Claus Boogie" Michael McNamara
1995 "Tryin' to Get to New Orleans"[14] Michael Oblowitz
"Badly Bent"
"Santa Claus Is Comin'
(In a Boogie Woogie Choo-Choo Train)"
1997 "The Last Time"
1998 "Shortenin' Bread" Michael Oblowitz
2001 "Can't Get Nowhere"

References[edit]

External links[edit]