(Read all about The Tractors after the video)
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", and the band contains a largely undefined cast of unofficial contributors.
The Tractors were formed in 1988 by Steve Ripley. 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). All five members had previously been backing musicians for other notable artists, including Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, Bonnie Raitt, Linda Ronstadt, and Leonard Cohen. Oldaker had also worked with Bob Seger and Eric Clapton.
By 1990 the group was signed to Arista Records, a newly formed record label based in Nashville, Tennessee. 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.
The Tractors were nominated for two Grammy Awards 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. 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. 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.