Below you'll find:
New in 2006: Cowboy Poetry books
Esteemed South Dakota poet Elizabeth Ebert's new book, Prairie Wife, includes 130 new poems. The book's endorsements by two other respected poets, friends, and ranch folk speak volumes about her and her work. Montana "poet, picker, and cowhand" DW Groethe comments:
Elizabeth Ebert, truly, is one of the few in the "cowboy poetry" world that has lived the life they write about. Her poems, from the humorous to the downright heartbreaking, have an intimacy that can only be found by having been there. When she speaks, words dance. You want to know what life out here is really all about? Read Elizabeth's poems. You will never regret it. She has taken our thoughts and given them say.
Award-winning poet Yvonne Hollenbeck, who ranches with her husband in South Dakota writes, in part:
...Known in the western entertainment world as "the grand dame of cowboy poetry," Elizabeth has an eloquent style of writing about a lifestyle that most everyone, especially those of us living on ranches, understands and identifies with. Her choice of words and perfect meter have set a standard for modern day cowboy poets...
Married 60 years, Elizabeth Ebert and her husband S. J. still live on their original place near Thunder Hawk, South Dakota. Read more about the book and see the contents list here in our feature about Elizabeth Ebert.
Prairie Wife, illustrated by Elizabeth Ebert's granddaughter Jodie Ebert, is available for $15, plus $3 postage for one or two copies, from Elizabeth Ebert, 10930 208th Ave., Lemmon, SD 57638.
Ken Whitecotton's second book of poetry, As Twisted as Bob Wire, published by Cowboy Miner, is now available. See the complete contents list here. The book has 104 poems and 3 stories, and 182 pages, and includes illustrations by Ken, his brother Terry Whitecotton, and Cliff Baser. The front cover illustration is by Ken.As Twisted as Bob Wire is available for $18 postpaid from Ken Whitecotton's web site: www.thelazyo.com (and both As Twisted as Bob Wire and his previous Tall Tails from the Lazy O are available together for $28 from the web site).
Baxter Black's book, Blazin' Bloats & Cows on Fire! or It's Hard to Blow Out a Holstein, a "collection of tall tales and poems about the real life of cowboys in the 21st century." From the inside flap: "Blazin' Bloats features tales of intrigue, adventure, collisions, cows, cowboys, dogs, chickens, alpacas, and even Lebkuchens. Here you will find answers to questions like: "How did that fella set his hat on fire?" "What is the penalty for cow dancing?" "Why does America need cowboys?" It is cowboy enlightenment with heavy bouts of laughter!" Visit Baxter's web site, www.BaxterBlack.com.
The long awaited Singin' Sam Agins - Ramblers Notebook, is now available from Cowboy Miner Productions. As the publisher describes, "Best known as a cowboy folksinger and poet, Singin' Sam Agins dedicated his life to the preservation of the songs, stories, humor, poetry, and crafts that define the cowboy and the American West." See our feature on Singin' Sam Agins here, and read more about the book at the Cowboy Miner Productions site and at the Singin' Sam Agins web site.
Popular British Columbia poet and rancher Mike Puhallo's sixth book, Rhymes and Damn Lies, is now available. Mike is a sort of poetic troubadour, roaming the contemporary Western landscape and turning his observations into verse: seasons, ranching challenges, cattle, fires, wildlife, city folks, holidays, friends, and the like. Many of those pieces find their way into his weekly "Meadow Muffins," which are carried by a number of newspapers and electronic outlets, and this book includes some of the best of those pieces. The poems in this book celebrate his gift: getting a story across in a few lines, usually with a fine balance of wit and wisdom.
Mike is firmly rooted in place, and the poems in this book also include diverse tributes to individuals and to his area's history, including legendary 1930's native hockey players of the Cariboo, rodeo greats (including a moving tribute in prose and poetry to Kenny McLean), famous poets, and regional pioneers. There are also pieces that comment on current events and politics, poking at both sides of the Medicine Line (Mike likes to quote Will Rogers, "I don’t make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts."). And no doubt, there are a few "damn lies" in those and other poems.
Mike is the President of the British Columbia Cowboy Heritage Society ( http://www.bcchs.com), sponsors of the Kamloops Cowboy Festival, held each March. Mike has a few rhymes about that event, as well as one about Elko. The last verses of that poem are typical of his writing:
Then twenty years ago some poets
gathered here to swap some lies,
And Elko started drawing crowds
like "you know what" draws flies.
Now the place is booming,
'though the mines are still shut down.
It's where cowboy poets walk like kings
because their BS saved the town!
See the book's entire contents list here.
This is Mike's fourth collaboration with top cartoonist Wendy Liddle. Rhymes and Damn Lies, (softcover) is available for $9.95 postpaid (US or Canada) from Mike's web site, www.twilightranch.com; by mail from Mike Puhallo, 8584 Westsyde Rd, Kamloops, BC, V2B 8S3, (250) 579-5667, email@example.com; and from the publisher, Hancock House, http://www.hancockhouse.com, 1-800-938-1114.
Bruce Satta has a new book, A Corner of Heaven, with a foreword by Jim Thompson. From the book's description: "From 1870's trail driver to modern ranch hand, the author has taken on many voices to create this collection of cowboy poetry. Though varied in form and covering a wide range of scenarios, the 44 poems all share characteristics of classic cowboy poetry: tight rhyme and meter." A Corner of Heaven is available for $9.99 plus shipping and handling (media mail, $2.48, priority, $5.76). You can see more about the book here and order the book, and you can also order directly from Bruce Satta, 2234 Olde Sawmill Blvd., Dublin, OH 43016
Glen Enloe has a new book of poetry, When Cowboys Rode Away, with foreword by Rod Nichols and and afterword by Hal Swift. From the back cover, "When Cowboys Rode Away brings the Old West vividly back to life, pays homage to old western movies and relates the trials of modern ranchers. In these poems you'll sense a cultural loss, a yearning for what has gone out of our lives, a loss of the very codes that once were the foundation of the West and America itself. When Cowboys Rode Away carries the hope that when cowboys do ride back into our lives, we will be ready to saddle up and ride off with them to greener ranges where everyone is free as earth's wild wind." When Cowboys Rode Away is available from www.bbotw.com and for $10 postpaid from Glen Enloe, 805 N. Tepee Drive, Independence, Missouri 64056.
Ken Whitecotton's book, Tall Tails from the Lazy O, published by Cowboy Miner, includes 60 stories and poems. See the complete contents list here. Tall Tails from the Lazy O is available for $20 postpaid from Ken Whitecotton's web site http://www.thelazyo.com/.
Strickland Johnson ("Buckshot Dot") has a new book, Arizona
Wild and Wonderful, that tells the stories—in
verse, and with her striking illustrations—of
Josie Earp, Big Nose Kate, Nellie Cashman,
The premiere presentation
of the book will be at the West
Arizona Women--Weird, Wild and Wonderful (softcover) is available for $22.45 postpaid, available from her website, www.buckshotdot.com; by mail from Dee Strickland Johnson, HC 3 Box 593-F, Payson, AZ 85541; and from the publisher, the respected Cowboy Miner Productions, www.cowboyminer.com.
South Dakota rancher, writer, and poet Robert "Jinglebob" Dennis has a new book, Ranchers, Rounders & Ropers. The book, with a foreword by Cowboy Magazine editor Darrell Arnold, is a collection of his mostly-humorous short stories about cowboys and ranchers, and includes some of his recent poems. Read more about the book here, including the "money-back guarantee." Ranchers, Rounders, & Ropers is available for $15 postage paid from: Robert Dennis, 17410 Indian Crk Rd, Red Owl, SD 57787 (605-985-5419).
"Doc" Barsaleau (Richard Barsaleau, D. V. M.) has a new collection of his humorous cowboy poetry, View From Riders' Rest. In his foreword to the book, popular poet Pat Richardson writes, "His natural way with rhythm and rhyme, combined with a wicked sense of humor--fed by comical things that all veterinarians are privy to--make for some of the most enjoyable poems and stories a guy would even want to read."
Doc Barsaleau put himself through veterinary school working cattle, putting up hay, and schooling horses. Once his practice was established, he became involved with fitness training for long-distance riding, and now serves on the Western States Trail Foundation Board of Directors. He's held judge's cards with the American Horse Shows Association, the American Quarter Horse Association, the Paint, Pinto, Appaloosa, Palomino, and Morgan Horse Associations, and has judged Hunters, Jumpers, English and Western Pleasure Driving as well as three Equitation Divisions. Doc writes, "I have been a student of the horse for 75 years and I am still learning."
Proceeds from the sale of View From Riders' Rest go to the Robie Foundation, directed to the maintenance and preservation of the Barsaleau Pavilion at Robie Equestrian Park (the start of the Tevis Cup Ride and a staging area for trail riding in the High Sierra).
View From Riders' Rest was printed by Auburn Printers and is available for $18.25 postpaid from the Robie Foundation, PO Box 6713, Auburn, CA 95604.
New in 2006: Cowboy Poetry recordings, CDs and DVDs
South Dakota rancher Ken Cook—invited to the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in January, 2007—has a new CD of with twelve of his original cowboy poems, I'm Gonna Be a Cowboy. See the entire track list here, and visit Ken's web site, where you can listen to selected tracks and order. Read some of his poetry here at the BAR-D and on his web site. I'm Gonna Be a Cowboy is available for $12 postpaid from Ken Cook, 23154 Teal Lane, Martin, SD 57551-6601; (605) 685-6749.
Montana's popular "Polish-hobo-rodeo poet" Paul Zarzyski has released two startlingly creative CDs of poetry and music, Collisions of Reckless Love and Rock 'n' Rowel.
Collisions of Reckless Love is described by the producers, "Within and throughout this keenly arranged and choreographed troupe, poetry integrates and interacts with music in fresh and engaging ways, as Paul demonstrates yet again that all poets—Cowboy" or otherwise—are, first and foremost, human being poets writing about living and dying on Planet Earth. (And sometimes beyond.)..." Of Rock 'n' Rowel, they say, "...Metaphorically put, Charles Badger Clark crosses trails with George Carlin and "Deadwood's" Calamity Jane. Go ahead—eavesdrop on the banter and antics of their colorful romp, to a backdrop of dancehall piano, rodeo organ, speak-easy saxophone and roadhouse cello and drums."
We're pleased to have selections from each and more of Paul's poetry in our feature about him here.
Collisions of Reckless Love and Rock 'n' Rowel
CDs, produced by Open
Path Music, are available
exclusively at The
for $15.99 each plus shipping and handling. CDs
can also be ordered online at www.westernfolklife.org
or phone 775-738-7508, ext 2.
See our feature
See our featurehere.
Created in 2005 from existing tapes, Sunny includes some of the best-loved recitations by Sunny Hancock (1931-2003) of his poems and those by Bruce Kiskaddon, Howard Parker, J. W. Beeson, and Wallace McRae (see the entire track list here). Sunny is available for $18 postpaid.
Also available: Alice Hancock's often-requested recitations, Rindercella and the Bugly Itches and Gir Salahad ($13 postpaid)
Order CDs from: Alice Hancock, 93509 Leehmann Lane, Lakeview, OR 97630.
Read more about both CDs and read about Sunny Hancock and some of his poetry in our feature here.
Yvonne Hollenbeck has released her first solo CD in several years, What Would Martha Do? and other poems. There are 14 original poems by Yvonne Hollenbeck, including the title track, which was named "the most popular cowboy poem of 2005" by Western Music Association (WMA) disk jockeys. Beginning with the first track, "A Plain Ol' Ranchwife," and throughout, she presents engaging poems that come from life she shares with her husband Glen--who she credits as "the cowboy behind the poetry"--on their South Dakota ranch.
Yvonne is one of today's top performers, featured at the top gatherings across the country, including the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering, and named the Academy of Western Artists' Top Female Poet in 2005. She's the only two-time winner of the Will Rogers Medallion Award (for her books, From My Window and Where Prairie Flowers Bloom).
Most of the poems include her signature humor, with a working ranch woman's realistic view of ranching life, including such poems as "Sorting Time" and "Dining Out." There are serious and touching poems as well, poems that honor the past and the women who came before her, such as "That Old Comfort Range," and poems about more serious life events, such as "Putting Down Old Red."
Throughout, the background music by Rich O'Brien, who also produced the CD, enhances each piece, and the quality reflects the entire package. Paulette S. Tcherkassky provided the graphics, and the CD design-- from the wide view of the Hollenbeck's ranch on the prairie with the poems' notes to the cover that spoofs Martha Stewart's style-- all adds to the enjoyment and professional presentation of the whole project.
The final cut, "Nature's Church," is an extraordinary, moving piece, accompanied by Texas singer and songwriter Jean Prescott's rendition of the perfectly-matched hymn, "In the Garden." The track gives the deepest insight into what it means to be "a plain ol' ranchwife." Its uplifting message goes to the core of what is valued by those who live the uncommon, challenging, and rewarding life of ranching.
View the track list and more about the CD here.
What Would Martha Do? and other poems is available for $18 postpaid from: Yvonne Hollenbeck - 30549 291st Street, Clearfield, South Dakota 57580 - 605/557-3559 email, www.YvonneHollenbeck.com.
Slim McNaught has a new CD, A Life of Rhyme, with 14 of his original poems. Slim describes the CD as, "For all of us old enough to remember how much fun we had pretending when we were kids...until that mythical time some people call Retirement." See the track list here. Visit Slim's site for more about his books, his poetry, and his custom leatherwork. Read some of his poetry here at the BAR-D. A Life of Rhyme is available for $15 postpaid directly from Slim's web site or by mail: Slim McNaught, P.O. Box 274, New Underwood, SD 57761.
Texas poet Monty Teel has a new CD of cowboy church poetry, Lord, You Are So Awesome. The CD includes Monty Teel's original poetry and poems by Lanny Joe Burnett and Teresa Burleson. Lord, You Are So Awesome is available for $20, postpaid. Read more about it at Monty Teel's web site, where you can also order the CD: www.MontyTeel.com.
Monty has also produced a book with his mother, Grace Teel, My Cowboy and Pioneer Heritage, with a focus on many generations of their Teel, Miller, Moncrief, Phillips, and Wilbanks ancestors. The book is described on his web site, "This 200 page hardcover book contains colored pictures where available and black and white pictures back to the 1880's...The book contains stories, poems, and pictures archiving the cowboys and pioneers in his heritage." My Cowboy and Pioneer Heritage is available for $50, postpaid. Read more about it at Monty Teel's web site, where you can also order the book: www.MontyTeel.com.
Diane Tribitt, just back from an impressive showing at the Cowboy Poetry Rodeo, where she won a silver buckle as top Poet in the Serious Poetry division, has a new CD, Trail Mix. The CD includes 7 original poems, including her award-winning poem, "Tribute to a Cowboy"; commentary; and a song by Will Dudley (see the entire track list here). Her book by the same name is due out this fall. Trail Mix is available for $15 postpaid by email Tribitt@brainerd.net, phone 888-410-7774, or by mail by check or money order to Diane Tribitt, 38034 193rd Street, Hillman, MN 56338
Mike Moutoux has a new CD, Headin' Home, which includes 15 original poems (see the track list here). Headin' Home is available for $15 postpaid from Mike Moutoux, P.O. Box 53114, Pinos Altos, NM 88053.
Colorado rancher Peggy Godfrey's new CD, Peggy Godfrey Live: Write 'Em Cowboy, includes over two dozen tracks of her poetry (see the entire track list here). Read more about Peggy Godfrey and some of her poetry in our feature here. Peggy Godfrey Live: Write 'Em Cowboy is available for $17 postpaid from Peggy Godfrey, 19157 County Road 60, Moffat, CO 81143-9708.
The new Cowboy Poetry: A Woman Ranching in the Rockies DVD is a warm and insightful portrait of poet and rancher Peggy Godfrey by award-winning filmmaker Kent Gunnufson.
The included biographical film, The Miracle of Peggy Godfrey, tells the story of her hard-fought ranching career, through striking images and her own voice, in stories and poetry. It is further told through commentary from local rancher Skip Crowe, who hires her on, reluctantly at first; by a client of her Ewe-Mow Lawn Service ("not a baaaad deal"); by retired clergyman Thomas Ehrhardt; and by a friend who receives a special gift, a certain miracle. The film delves deeply into "the miracle" of the impressive and irrepressible Peggy Godfrey. Her courage, faith, devotion to principle, and endless energy are brought out in surprising and moving ways. The film is accompanied by music and voiceovers by Jon Chandler.
Other features on the DVD include additional separate sections with Peggy's recitations of twelve of her poems, more from rancher Skip Crowe, and an interesting collection of outtakes. (See our feature here.)
The DVD's regular price is $23.95, but it is available for a limited time for $13.95 postpaid to CowboyPoetry.com visitors. Visit the Mountain Magazine web site for more, including on-line ordering information (include the word "Molly" in the ordering instructions to be eligible for the discount). The DVD is also available by mail from: Kent Gunnufson, 8826 E. Florida Ave., G-6, Denver, CO 80347.
Oklahoma cowboy humorist, storyteller, poet, rancher, photographer, and renowned chuckwagon cook Kent Rollins has a new CD, Kent Rollins Live in Branson. The recording has nine stories, including his classic "Ben Hur," and three poems, including his poem about his father, "Horseshoes and Heaven." Kent dedicates the CD to his mother, and says in part, "She taught me if you can't laugh at life as you go through it, you might not make it."
Kent's photo, "Ridin' Out," was the 2005 Cowboy Poetry Week poster and the subject for an Art Spur project.
Read more about Kent here. Kent Rollins Live in Branson is available for $17 postpaid from Kent Rollins, Rt. 1 Box 318, Hollis, OK 73550 www.KentRollins.com.
has a new CD, Those Droving Days, with
8 of his original poems about life on the Australian Outback, his droving
experiences, and his coal mining work. See the track
list and read some of his poetry here
at the BAR-D and at his web site.
Those Droving Days is available for $17 postpaid. Send U. S.
orders c/o Sam Dawson
PO Box 387, Valley View, TX 76272. There's additional order information at Jack Sammon's web site.
Neal Torrey has two new poetry CDs, Oh, Bury Me Not, which he describes, "features the Legend of Elmer McCurdy, the outlaw whose career went on 66 years after he was shot and killed by a Sheriff's posse in 1911. The rest of the poems on that CD are true happenings of the Old West, or at least they were told to me as being true, and I believed them," and Pounding Leather, which he says, "...has some of my cowboy poems that I created from scratch. These are cowboy tales, some true, some that might be true, some that if they are not true, ought to be, and others not to be believed under any circumstances. These cowboy poems have some music and sound effects with them, and are a little out of the ordinary for cowboy poetry."
Both CDs were recorded at Eli Barsi's Rockin' BAR C Studios, and she performs on a track on each of the CDs. See the track lists and more here. Each CD is available for $15 plus $2 postage (or both for $25) from: Neal R. Torrey, 665 N. Lemmon Ave., Bolivar, MO 65613.
Michael Whitaker has a new CD, The Long Gravel Road, which includes 17 original poems and a piece by Skip Gorman. See the complete track list here and read one of the poems, and read more at Michael Whitaker's web site. The Long Gravel Road is available for $12 postpaid from Mike Whitaker, 12757 Pioneer Way E, Buckley, WA 98321; firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ken Cook's poetry comes from his South Dakota ranch life. His new CD. "Dad, we'll rope today" includes 12 original poems, stories about his work and his family. The sincere poems are often humorous, and it is obvious that Ken means it when he comments on the CD cover, "Hope you enjoy the CD as much as I enjoyed living what's on it." See the track list, read the title poem, and more about Ken Cook here. "Dad, we'll rope today" is available for $12.00 postpaid from Ken Cook, 23154 Teal Lane, Martin, SD 57551-6601; (605) 685-6749; www.kencookcowboypoet.com.
Jane Morton's new CD, Turning to Face the Wind, includes 19 tracks of her original poetry, tales that chronicle her family's Colorado ranching roots. The poems are from her book, Cowboy Poetry: Turning to Face the Wind, recipient of the Will Rogers Medallion Award, the Fred Olds Poetry Award from Westerners International, and a Willa Literary Award finalist. Poems are accompanied by music composed and played by Wayne Richardson (www.waynerichardson.com).
Jane Morton's poem "Yoo-hoo," which is included on her new CD, is a part of The BAR-D Roundup. See the complete track list for Turning to Face the Wind here, where you can also read some of the included poems.
Turning to Face the Wind is available from Jane Morton for $18 postpaid. For orders, contact Jane Morton by email.
Colorado poet and musician Al Mehl has a new CD of his original poetry, Cowboy Pottery, which includes 14 poems and original guitar interludes between each. Al also has a CD of his original music, The Asphalt Cowboy. Each CD is $18 postpaid; you can purchase both for $30; buy five and get one free. Order from: Al Mehl, 5656 Cascade Place, Boulder, Colorado 80303. Read more about Al, read one of his poems, and find more about his CDs and ordering details here.
Academy of Western Artists' (AWA)
Best Cowboy Poetry Recording
Read our review of past Lariat Laureate Jay Snider's recent CD, Of Horses and Men.
Previously, we wrote:
Past Lariat Laureate Jay Snider has a new CD, Of Horses and Men, with 15 tracks of his original poetry. Jay has earned praise from all quarters, including top poet Pat Richardson, who says, "Jay Snider is the real deal. He seems to have it all: the ability to write good poems, he knows what cowboying is all about, and can recite it with the best of them. If you find a cowboy better at any of those three, I'd like to meet him.” Jay, who has appeared at gatherings across the country, was a top winner at the Cowboy Poetry Rodeo for two years running, and has been invited to the 2006 National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko (January 28-February 4, 2006). The CD is available for $19 postpaid from Jay Snider, Route 1, Box 167, Cyril, Oklahoma 73029.
Read more about Jay and some of his poetry here and at his web site. Read our review here.
Award-winning reciter Dick Morton 's new CD, Cowboy Classics, includes his recitations of poems by S. Omar Barker, Bruce Kiskaddon, E. A. Brininstool, Henry Herbert Knibbs, and Charles Badger Clark, and others. Noted musicians and music historians Mark L. Gardner and Rex Rideout (collaborators on the new Jack Thorp's Songs of the Cowboys book and recording) back up the 15 tracks in a fine marriage of music and poetry. Dick Morton, who has performed at gatherings across the West, took home the championship buckle as the top serious reciter at the 2005 Cowboy Poetry Rodeo. See the entire Cowboy Classics track list here.
Cowboy Classics is available for $15 postpaid. Order via e-mail to email@example.com or by mail to: Dick Morton, 7961 E. Natal Ave., Mesa, AZ 85209 (Oct.-April) -- 12710 Abert Way, Colorado Springs, CO 80908 (April-October). Dick says, "Include your name, mailing address, phone number, check or money order. Orders will be filled 'post haste.'"
J. D. Seibert's new CD, Rangeland Rhymes & Prairie Poems, includes 10 of his original poems. The CD is available for $15 postpaid from: J. D. Seibert, 28079 Croco Place, Canyon Country, CA 91387, (661) 251-9514, firstname.lastname@example.org
Oregon poet Van Criddle's new CD, Sixteen Horses, is now available. The CD includes 14 tracks of original poetry (see the track list here). Sixteen Horses is available for $12 postpaid (check or money order) to Van Criddle, Rafter C Productions, 2034 Laurelhurst Dr., Eugene, OR 97402.
A compilation recording of cowboy poetry, The BAR-D Roundup, is released each year during Cowboy Poetry Week. The CDs are offered to rural libraries, along with the Cowboy Poetry Week poster, in the Center's important outreach program, the Rural Library Project, an important part of our mission to promote and preserve our Western heritage and to serve rural populations; offered to Center supporters; and are sold to help support the Center's programs.
The BAR-D Roundup (2006) is a compilation of contemporary recordings of some of today's best classic and contemporary cowboy poetry. It includes Texas Poet Laureate Red Steagall's "Born to this Land"; Buck Ramsey’s first recording of "Anthem"; “What’s Become of the Punchers?” by Jack Thorp, America’s first collector of cowboy music and poetry, recited by Mark L. Gardner; "The Greatest Sport," by the well-loved octogenarian poet and working cowboy, Cowgirl Hall of Fame inductee Georgie Sicking; "What Would Martha Do?," by Yvonne Hollenbeck, named "the most popular cowboy poem of 2005"; treasures from two masters, lost recently, and too soon: "Johnny Clare," by Larry McWhorter and "Change on the Range," by Sunny Hancock, recited by Chris Isaacs; and many other selections from contemporary poets reciting their own works and the classics.
Read more and find order information here.
New in 2006: Mixed Cowboy Poetry and Music Recordings
Academy of Western Artists' (AWA)
Best Western Music Recording
Cellist Christine Hanson has an extraordinary new CD, The Cremation of Sam McGee, on which she and a 9-piece ensemble bring Robert Service's famous poem alive in an expressive, captivating performance. The original live performance in Glasgow, Scotland, in 2005 was praised by Rob Adams of the Glasgow Herald, "A brilliantly atmospheric travelogue in music, words and pictures, Christine Hanson's Sam McGee presentation celebrates both the Scottish birthplace of Yukon poet Robert W. Service and his greatest creation, the irascible, ill-fated and fascinating Sam McGee."
Singer and songwriter Michael Marra narrates the poem throughout the first part of the 70-minute CD, which also includes an additional all-instrumental presentation of the music. Other musicians include fiddlers Bruce MacGregor and Sidan O'Rourke, Kevin Murphy on guitar and mandolin, Rick Taylor on trombone, Kevin McGuire on bass, Brian McAlpine on piano and accordion, and James Mackintosh on percussion.
Originally from Alberta, Hanson moved to the British Isles several years ago. A commission from the New Voices project of the Celtic Connections Festival in Glasgow (she was the first non-Scot to receive a commission) gave her the opportunity to create The Cremation of Sam McGee. Read a June, 2006 Edmonton Journal article, "Cellist wins praise for adaptation of Service poem" by Roger Levesque for more about Christine Hanson and her work. (See our feature on Robert Service here, including the poem, The Cremation of Sam McGee).
Christine Hanson's The Creation of Sam McGee is available for $21.99 US postpaid, from Christine Hanson's web site: www.christinehanson.com; email@example.com. Visit Christine Hanson's MySpace site: www.myspace.com/christineantoinette.
Jim John and Charlie MacCoy have a new CD, On the Trail, with 8 songs and two original poems by Jim John. There are eight songs and two poems including the old standards "Red River Valley" and "Streets of Laredo"' songs by Jim and Charlie, including "The Spirit of the Cowboy," "A Long Way to Go," "Dancin' in Delano," "There's Church and There's Church"; a song by Charlie, "Thank You, Jesus"; and a special song from a poem by Linda Rowe with music by Charlie called "Huntsville Lament." The CD is rounded out with two poems by Jim, "The Horse," and "A Wanderin' Man" (featuring music and accompaniment by Charlie). See the contents list here. On the Trail is available for $13.00 postpaid from Jim John, 7603 E. Morris, Wichita, KS 67207. For each CD sold, $1.00 is contributed to Episcopal Social Services at Venture House - www.esswichita.org.
Jim Cardwell's new CD, A Son of California, includes his original work: fifteen poems and two songs. See the complete track list here and read some of the included poems. A Son of California is available for $15 postpaid from Froggie Lane Productions, PO Box 5282, Oroville, CA 95966 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
New in 2006: Western Music recordings
Texas poet Laureate and popular singer and songwriter Red Steagall brings back his greatest hits from the 70s and 80s, in his most recent release, Here We Go Again, with 13 tracks that include guest artists artists Toby Keith, Reba McEntire, Charley Pride, Ray Benson, Neal McCoy, Larry Gatlin, and Charlie Daniels. The official description states, "With a career spanning over 50 years, Red Steagall has had his share of great hits and memorable releases. This new CD takes us on a journey through some of the best music now re-recorded as duets with industry friends, plus a few new songs to sweeten the mix."
See the track list in our feature here, and visit www.RedStegall.com for more.
Here We Go Again is available for $16.95 plus postage from Cowboy Favorites (Red's mercantile at www.RedStegall.com) and also by phone: 800-457-7966.
Marvin O'Dell, host of the Around the Campfire radio show on the internet's Classic Heartland, is also a singer, songwriter and musician. His new CD, Letter to Molly, includes 12 tracks, with ten songs written by Marvin O'Dell, and two co-writes. He is joined by a number of musicians and backup vocalists, and popular Western singer Kip Calahan is a guest vocalist on the song, "With a .44 Gun in My Hand."
See the complete track list here, in our feature about Around the Campfire.
Letter to Molly is available for $15 postpaid from Marvin O'Dell, 1652 S. 173rd Dr., Goodyear, AZ 85338, or call Marvin at 623-374-2778.
Singer and songwriter Bethany
Zill, whose award-winning All
About Cowboys For Kids videos and CD are featured here
at the BAR-D, has a new album,
Where Roots Run Deep.
The official media release states, "The album carries themes of
community, the values of a farm/ranch heritage and the importance of preserving
the native prairie." Zill is quoted, "I was inspired by my own
childhood growing up on a five-generation farm/ranch in North Dakota.
"Through my music, I want to remind people of the good things in life, much
of which is rooted in our past."
Zill wrote five of the 12 songs featured on the album including one cut that features her gift for yodeling. She has recorded with top names in country and bluegrass music, including multi-Grammy award winners Stuart Duncan and Gene Libbea. She says, "When people ask what kind of music I write and perform, I call it 'Americana,'" explains Zill. "Every project I choose to work on is steeped in good old-fashioned American values and history."
See the track list, the title track's lyrics track, and read more about Bethany Zill in our feature here and at her web site, www.BethanyZill.com. Where Roots Run Deep is available for $17 postpaid from: Bethany Zill, 1062 Banock Drive, Laramie, WY 82072. Visit Bethany Zill's web site: www.BethanyZill.com for audio samples and more.
The newest CD from Colorado's O'Brien Family Band (Dan; Janette; Maura, 12; and Kyle, 14) is as entertaining on the inside as it is on the outside, with its award-winning innovative fold-out packaging. The O'Brien Family Band Official CD and Board Game showcases the popular band's special blend of "fiddle tunes, bluegrass, old-time country, gospel, Western, and original music." They describe the new release:
...This is a one of a kind. It not only features six of Dan's original award-winning songs, but also captures four of Kyle and Maura's champion yodeling songs. We are proud to include three cuts that feature Tasha Taylor, our special guest from our Fox Television's Trading Spouses episode. John McEuen put banjo licks behind three songs, and Laura Joplin sings back-up vocals on "They're Burning The Canneries Down." You can hear Timothy P. Irvin joining us on the background vocals in several songs, and Liz Masterson singing harmonies with Maura on Chime Bells. Bob Littel belts out his soulful harmonica chops, and all together we have a fine collection of great foot-tapping tunes.
But that's not all folks, we are fortunate to have had Greg Carr design a fabulous cover for this CD. He made it into an actual fold-out board game with pop-out markers and a real spinner. This game takes you from our
Evergreen home through many of our experiences on the road as a family band, and all the way to the Grand Ole Opry. You have to see it to believe it. We can hardly believe it ourselves.
Read more about the The O'Brien Family Band Official CD and Board Game and listen to tracks here at the O'Brien Family Band web site, where the CD is available for $15 postpaid.
Arizona singer, songwriter, and poet Dean Cook has a new CD filled with acoustic cowboy music and original songs, Woodsmoke at Sundown. Dean has an understated delivery, which perfectly underscores his humorous pieces, such as "The New Cowboy's Lament," "Feather Duster Cowboy," and "Rimrock Reverie." The wide range of songs includes ballads, historical pieces, an inventive "Talking Hard Rock Miner Blues," a sweet waltz, and a number of playful tunes.
Last year Dean Cook was named as an Arizona Culturekeeper, recognized for "keeping alive the music, poetry, and tall tales of Arizona and the West."
Woodsmoke at Sundown includes 14 of Dean's original songs. See the track list here in our feature that includes some of Dean's lyrics and poetry. The CD is available for $17 postpaid from: AZMINSTREL MUSIC, P.O. Box 6137, Glendale, AZ 85312-6137.
Wylie & the Wild West have a new CD, Bucking Horse Moon, which features original songs by Wylie Gustafson and others written by Johnny Cash, DW Groethe, Paul Zarzyski, Ian Tyson, Tom Russell, and others, along with harmony vocals by Juni Fisher. From the official media release:
Yodeling cowboy troubadour Wylie Gustafson is busting the wraps off a brand-new CD. Bucking Horse Moon, the twelfth release for Wylie & the Wild West, gives a nod to the Western way of life and rodeo’s place in cowboydom.
Riding high on the Nashville scene, John Carter Cash orchestrated the project which was recorded at Cash Cabin Studios, Hendersonville, Tenn. A Grammy-award winning singer, songwriter and producer, Cash is the son of Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash.
"There was a lot of cowboy karma goin’ on there in the Cash cabin," Gustafson confided. "Working with John Carter Cash was a great experience. I found him to be a man with a talent as big as Johnny’s. He came to the project with fresh eyes and brought new instrumentation to the party. He added a bit of the old-time Carter Family sound to our uniquely Western cowboy band."
The Wild West’s audience encompasses demographics as broad as Montana’s Big Sky Country where Gustafson was raised. "We highlight the romance of the West," he said. "We connect with the hearty, National Finals Rodeo fans as well as the trendy, National Public Radio crowd. Cowboys live what I sing. Big-city listeners appreciate the lifestyle...."
Read the rest of the media release here (sent to us by Jeri Dobrowski, recently tapped as Wylie's assistant) and see the entire track list here in our feature about Wylie & the Wild West.
The band just received the Western Music Association Award for Best Western Swing Album of the Year for their previous release, Live at the Tractor.
Visit the band's web site for track samples, to order, and more.
Jim Jones' (www.jimjonesmusic.com) new CD, The West: Then...Now...Next!, is now available. Musical collaborator Rick Huff writes, "The songs concern themselves with different eras of, events from and hopes for our great West. But within each song lies its own movement...from point launched to point reached, point raised to point made. Originally a concept album stemming from Jim's orientation toward "reporting" on things Western, our writing took its own course and other songs magically appeared that fit right in. Jim Jones draws inspiration from many sources, including his desire to provide life lessons and his ingrained respect for doing things the Cowboy Way. However, it's Jim's creativity in crafting his songs and his ability to deliver them that makes his a unique voice in contemporary Western Music..." Read more and order The West: Then...Now...Next! from Jim Jones' web site and at CDBaby.
Fred Hargrove's new Cowpoke Folk CD includes 14
original songs and a bonus Christmas song, called, "A Colorado
Christmas." Fred has been performing on stage since 1992 and
currently travels with Michael Martin Murphey, on their "Lone
Cowboy Campfire Tour."
Cowpoke Folk is available for $15.00, plus shipping, from Fred Hargrove, PO Box 730, Monte Vista, CO 81144, email@example.com
Texas singer and songwriter Jean Prescott breaks new ground with her Sweethearts in Carhartts recording that celebrates ranching women of the West, and we're pleased to have a feature about the recording. Jean has written:
For many years, I have dreamed of doing an album that provides folks with a glimpse into the hectic yet rewarding lives of ranch wives. They are women with strong convictions and strong backs. If you've ever seen a painting of a cowboy riding through a snow storm with a newborn calf over his saddle horn, you can bet he's taking it home to his wife's kitchen to be warmed and fed and nurtured by his willing partner. Words cannot express the respect I have for these women ...
But, words do. The CD is brimming with outstanding collaborations with poets and other writers, and with today's top musical talents, both vocal and instrumental. Most of the songs are co-written with top female poets, including Carole Jarvis, Yvonne Hollenbeck, and Doris Daley. The title comes from a song by poet, singer, and songwriter DW Groethe ("The Carhartt Song"). In addition to other pieces, one poem is inspired by poet Audrey Hankins' poem, "Hollyhocks"; 85-year old rancher and Cowgirl Hall of Fame inductee Georgie Sicking recites one of her poems; and one song, "The Boots Her Daddy Wore," is co-written by top singer and songwriter Kip Calahan, from a story told by Andrea McWhorter Waitley, widow of Larry McWhorter, about their daughter, Abigail.
Popular singer, songwriter and Texas Poet Laureate Red Steagall comments, "I have often said that women were the cement that held the West together...Jean has done a tremendous job of expressing the emotions and dedication of ranch women. Her co-writers have a vast experience in the ranching lifestyle and have contributed their thoughts lyrically and musically in a masterful way."
We're pleased to have selections of poems and lyrics from Sweethearts in Carhartts in a feature here.
Sweethearts in Carhartts is available for $17 postpaid in the US (add $5 shipping for international orders) from Prescott Music, P. O. Box 194, Ovalo, TX 79541, 325-583-2551, www.jeanprescott.com, allow 3-4 weeks for shipping.
Harold Roy Miller sent us this news:
I wanted to let you know I have had two poems made into songs and they are on the Hearts Of Iron CD with Lacy J. Dalton, Willis Lamm, and Tawny Lee singing...The CD is about Western ranching and wild horses. It is available at my email address firstname.lastname@example.org for $15 dollars.
Read more about the CD at: http://www.kickinbackpublishing.com/
Kip Calahan (www.kipcalahan.com) has a new CD, You're Lookin' at Country, "A special tribute to the woman of Country," including Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynn, Tammy Wynette, and Dolly Parton. You're Lookin' at Country is available for $17.00 postpaid from Kip Calahan, P.O. Box 83, Animas, NM 88020 and from www.cdbaby.com.
Kip adds, "Check out my new, improved web site by Lori Faith Merritt at www.kipcalahan.com."
Doc Stovall has a new CD, Passing it Down, filled with traditional "songs of the West and Westward expansion." It includes traditional old favorites such as "Red River Valley" and "A Cowboy's Dream," along with others such as "If They Only Knew a Cowboy" by Dan Roberts, "Tumbling Tumbleweeds" by Bob Nolan, and more (see the entire track list here). Doc, who is associated with the Booth Western Art Museum, where he also produces the Georgia Cowboy Poetry Gathering and other cowboy poetry and Western music festivals, notes the CD was created in response to requests from parents and teachers who wanted the music that is performed for school groups during visits to the museum. Read more about Doc, and some of his music and poetry here. Passing it Down is available for $17 from Doc Stovall, PO Box 3070, Cartersville, GA 30120.
Merv Webster has a new CD, From Bard to Balladeer. Read his description of the CD here, along with some of his poems and Lyrics. The CD is available from his web site.
The Sisters of the Silver Sage (www.sistersofthesilversage.com), Academy of Western Artists' 2004 "Western Group of the Year," have a new CD, Swingin' & Trail Dreamin'. You can listen to samples and read reviews at their web site. The CD is available for $15 postpaid, from their web site.
Les Buffham's new CD, Writes & Co-Writes, showcases his wide songwriting talents. The CD is compiled of cuts from the recordings of many of the top artists who have written and co-written songs with Les Buffham and who have performed his songs. Included are Dave Stamey, Mike Fleming and New West, Belinda Gail, Jean Prescott, Kip Calahan, Riders of the Purple Sage, George Dickey, Paul Hendel, and the Buckaroo Balladeers. See the entire track list here, and read more about Les Buffham and some of his poems and lyrics here. Writes & Co-Writes is available for $17 postpaid, from Les Buffham, 28278 Alaminos Dr., Saugus CA 91350.
The top duo of Belinda Gail and Curly Musgrave have a grand new CD, Red Rock Moon. From the opening, with Curly's fancy picking on "Ghost Riders in Sky" through to a final, sincere tribute to veterans with their rendition of "America the Beautiful," their harmonizing and perfectly woven parts make for an exciting release. In addition to giving a new sound to classics and familiar tunes, thereare six songs they co-wrote, including the irresistible "You Can't Put a Brand on Me"; Virginia Bennett's "El Fuego," adapted and set to music by Curly; Ian Tyson's "Somewhere in the Rubies"; John Denver's "Wild Montana Skies," with some fancy yodeling; and more. The joy they find in making music together comes through, and it is contagious for the listener. The CD is a great mix of styles; an impressive showcase of their talents.
Read more here, including a review by Marvin O'Dell of Around the Campfire. The review is also posted here in our collection of reviews, where we welcome reviews of books of CDs.
Red Rock Moon is available for $17 postpaid from Curly J. Productions, PO Box 512, Lake Arrowhead, CA 92352.
Don Edwards has a new CD, Moonlight and Skies, with a great assortment of old songs ("St. Louis Blues," "My Blue Heaven"), obscure songs ("The Dying Cowboy of Rimrock Ranch"), and some of Don's most requested songs ("Coyotes," "That's How the Yodel Was Born"). Accompanying him on the 13 tracks are Rich O'Brien, Nancy Blake, Norman Blake, Cindy Cashdollar, Mark Abbott, Jon Chandler, Bob Boatright, Joey McKenzie, and others. Don writes in the liner notes, "I hope you folks will enjoy this record as much as we enjoyed making it. No message, no agenda, no nothin' - just playing music with some friends who just happen to be great players as well as great people whom I love and admire." See the track list here. The CD is available directly from Don Edwards' web site, Western Jubilee, Amazon, and other outlets.
Ken Overcast has a new CD, Montana in My Soul, with his original songs and a few written by Richard Elloyan, Cindy Walker, and others. There's a duet with Joni Harms and there are background vocals by Juni Fisher. Ken says, "The inspiration was a lifetime on the saddle under Montana's Big Sky. You're gonna love it." He's right. See the track list and read more here, and listen to tracks and more at Ken's web site.
California musician, singer, and songwriter George Dickey's CD, Keepin' the Dream Alive, is now available. The recording includes his original songs; a collaboration with Les Buffham, "San Joaquin Love Song"; "Below the Kinney Rim" by Les Buffham and Michael Flemming; and the traditional "Whoopee Ti-Yi-Yo." One of the included original songs, "They Call Me Vaquero," was voted number two of the top ten best western songs of 2005 at Classic Heartland. Marvin O'Dell of Around the Campfire has written, "If George Dickey's dream is to make a long lasting impact on western music, then he has taken great strides in Keepin' the Dream Alive, his latest recorded project. The songs on this album are those of which great albums are made. Some of these songs are destined to become classics."
Keepin' the Dream Alive is available for $17 postpaid from George Dickey, HC 4 Box 674, California Hot Springs, CA 93207, (661) 548-6228, email.
New in 2006: Books and Recordings of Western interest and beyond
Western writer and poet Carol Lavelle has a well-received Western novel, The Search for Hezekiah's Gold. From the publisher:
Was Hezekiah a ghost? And if he wasn't, where did he come from when he appeared at the saloon in Lost Chance that cold, December night? Where did he go when he left? Had he really discovered a fortune in gold? And if he did, why did he distribute clues to its whereabouts? Why didn't he just wait until spring and go back for the gold himself?
These were the questions that plagued Patrick McLaughlin and the others as they took off across the mountains of Colorado Territory in search of Hezekiah's gold.
"This was an enjoyable read. The characters are rounded and interesting. Carol Lavelle has crafted a fine story that clearly respects the reader's intelligence, allowing room for his or her participation in the conclusion." A. H. Holt, editor WesternFictionReview.
The Search for Hezekiah's Gold is available for $14.95 from Amazon and other outlets.
Texas cowboy singer and songwriter Fletcher Jowers has a new CD of inspirational music, Trails to Heaven. Fletcher describes the CD: "Trails To Heaven has been in the making for some three years... It is a collection of songs Terry [Winsett] and I have arranged in a way that we pray will be a blessing to you as you listen. I recall Terry visiting me in the hospital at Dallas in January of 2004 after I had been in a near fatal vehicle accident. God had mercifully spared my life. I shared with Terry that I believe God has plans for us to do some great music to encourage folks on their life's journey."
Read more and see the track list here, and visit www.FletcherJowers.com to listen to sample tracks and order on-line.
Trails to Heaven is $14.95 postpaid from Fletcher Jowers, 150 Alesha Rd, Red Oak, TX 75154
A new DVD, Bullrider, is garnering a lot of interest and positive reviews. From the producers:
In BULLRIDER, danger is the name of the game, but the gentle heart of the cowboy athlete that plays the game comes as a complete surprise. Their tolerance for pain, their camaraderie, their courage, their Christian cowboy life-style, their desire to excel and conquer from within, their acceptance of the possibility of death and their ability to "cowboy-up" is like no other athlete. We tried to capture it all in our feature, BULLRIDER, as we traveled with them through the highly-charged PBR season.
It is available now on DVD at www.bullridermovie.com
Read Jeri Dobrowski's review in a special edition of her Cowboy Jam Session column.
Mike Puhallo has a review of the new children's book, Roundup At The Palace, by Kathleen Cook Waldron. Mike describes the book as a "classic urban and cowboy legend, beautifully illustrated and well written." Read the entire review here. The book is illustrated by Alan and Lea Daniel, published by Northern Lights Books For Children, Red Deer Press (ISBN 0-88995-319-8). Roundup At The Palace is available from Amazon and other booksellers. Read Mike Puhallo's review here.
Eugene C. Vories' latest novel, Return to Piñon Mesa, is now available. A sequel to his Piñon Mesa, the book's jacket describes, "Alan Stuart, cowman and now successful sheepman, has been secretly in love with another man's wife for over six years ...There are newcomers, new ideas and industries as well as the old enemies, low livestock and wool prices..." Read about the earlier Piñon Mesa in an article by Eugene Vories here at Writers West.
Return to Piñon Mesa is available for $19 postpaid from Eugene C. Vories, PO Box 214, La Veta, CO 81055
Vernon Schmid (www.vernonschmid.us), syndicated columnist (his "Horse Sense" column appears in the National Foundation Quarter Horse Journal and area newspapers), poet, and novelist has a new book, Cherokee Myth and Legend: An Interpretation, available at Amazon.com and other outlets.
Russell J. Milne, Jr. sent information about his book Orphan Boy, his book about his father:
Dad was born 1904 in Monon, Indiana. He lived with his grandma near Knox on a small sand farm for two years (ages 5 to 7), until she died. Russell was then shuffled between relatives—often strangers—to work for his room and board. At age eleven (1915) dad was put on a train from Indiana to Poplar, Montana. By seventeen, he was a full-fledged ranch and farmhand. He could do any part of the roundups, even castration. Dad harvested fields encompassing Poplar, Montana, throughout Kansas and into Canada.
comments by Russell J. Milne, Sr. here.)
Orphan Boy by R. J. Milne, Jr. is available online at Amazon ($9.95), Barnes & Noble ($9.95) and at Authorhouse ($7.50).
Few people have influenced as many contemporary poets and reciters as Mason Coggin (1938-2000), co-founder, with his wife Janice Coggin, of the respected Cowboy Miner Productions. The company's books of classic cowboy poetry, affordable volumes with well-chosen poems and biographical material are, for many, their only source for the classic poetry of poets such as Bruce Kiskaddon, S. Omar Barker, and Henry Herbert Knibbs.
Mason Coggin was also a mining expert and historian. His expertise, along with a lifelong appreciation for poetry, led him to become an expert, also, on mining poetry and classic cowboy poetry. Those passions were the catalyst for Cowboy Miner Productions. Mason Coggin was a writer, poet, and reciter who was a familiar figure on many Western stages. Mason Coggin was a friend to many, and he encouraged many young poets and reciters, among them Andy Hedges and Jerry "Brooksie" Brooks.
Cowboy Miner has just released a second edition of Rhymes of the Mines; Life in the Underground, an expanded version of an earlier book that was edited by Mason Coggin. The new edition contains additional poems and illustrations. Among the many works included are respected classics from Robert Service, Arthur Chapman, Bruce Kiskaddon, and Badger Clark; poems from contemporary poets, including Jim Cook, Dean Cook, Kent Rollins, Ken Graydon, and Nona Kelley Carver; well-known anonymous, traditional poems; Mason Coggin's own poetry; and an award-winning poem by Janice Coggin, who carries on the work of Cowboy Miner Productions.
A companion CD features Mason Coggin reciting "The Prospector" and "The Cremation of Sam McGee" by Robert Service; "My Sweetheart's a Mule in the Mine," "Sully's Bucket," "The Other Shift," and other well-known pieces
Read more about the Rhymes of the Mines book and CD at CowboyMiner.com, where the book and CD are available separately and as a set (for just $20).
Cowboy Miner Productions has released Phoenix-area author Grace Helsel Kaiser's Growing up Farm, a memoir of farm life in the 1920s and 1930s. The publisher describes, "Inside this soft-cover book of 336 pages, readers will enjoy pictures of farm life, recipes from the Helsel kitchen, and descriptions of trips to nearby towns and cities in vintage touring cars." Read more at the Cowboy Miner Productions' web site, where the book is available for $19.95.
British Columbia historian and writer Peter Grauer has recently published Interred with Their Bones, Bill Miner in Canada, 1903 to 1907, "the true story of a notorious American train robber and the time he spent in British Columbia, Canada." From the publisher:
In Interred with Their Bones, Bill Miner in Canada, 1903 to 1907, Grauer traces the story of bandit Bill Miner as found in primary sources in Canada. Restricted BC Provincial Police files and documents rescued from destruction at the closing of the BC Penitentiary in 1980 form the foundation of this detailed history of a time when the frontier was dying, but a career stage coach and train robber still clung to the old ways. In investigating the background of one of the three captured train robbers, expatriate American "Shorty Dunn," original poetry in the style of Robert Service was found composed by Dunn in the latter part of the 19th century and also while he was incarcerated in the penitentiary in British Columbia. As well, one of the pursuing police constables, William Fernie of Kamloops, left behind a poignant poem upon leaving the historic Cariboo country, and it is also included in this volume. The book contains a wealth of original detail confirmed by individual primary sources, including an historic gunfight all but forgotten until discovered by the author.
Profusely illustrated, the 640-page book is $35.00 Canadian, ($31.68 American) and shipping costs will be confirmed when the writer is contacted at email@example.com. More information on this volume can be found at the author's web site at www.billminer.ca.
Dave P. Fisher has a new book, Bronc Buster - Short Stories of the American West, published by Double Diamond Books. Dave points out the the photo on the cover is of his grandfather in Montana, 1920. From the book's back cover:
Bronc Buster - Short Stories of the American West is Dave P. Fisher's first short story collection. Sample some of his most popular stories, including several that have been chosen by readers like you for special recognition and awards.
Stories of men like Blake Martin whose buried past won't stay buried, and bounty hunter Jeremiah Barnett who only wants to live quietly in peace but is forced to come forward to rescue a kidnapped child. Meet lawmen Deputy Matt Darby who takes a stand against a corrupt and murderous sheriff, and U.S. Marshal Nate Walker who returns to his home town to right a wrong done 15 years before. Ride with cattleman Mort Seever to recover his stolen herd, bronc buster Jack Fontaine, and ranch boss Bill Young. Feel your neck chill at Sandy Jefferson's story, or that of Sonny Benson's mysterious visitor. And more.
Written as if you are sitting across from Dave and listening first-hand to the action and adventures of a by-gone era, there are no Hollywood spins or typical Western formulas here. Dave draws from the high deserts, tall timber, and rolling hills of the West that he has worked so long, and knows so well. So, pour a cup of coffee, sit back, and feel the West come alive.
The book is available for $15.95 postpaid from www.davepfisher.com and www.fishersgeneralstore.com. Read some of Dave's poetry and about his other books here at the BAR-D.
Colorado historian and musician Mark L. Gardner has recently published The Southwestern Journals of Zebulon Pike, 1806-1807. Based on a 1933 version of the explorer's journals, the carefully edited new volume is receiving attention for its readability. In an article in the Colorado Springs, Colorado Gazette.com, "Paper Trail," by Dave Philipps, Mark Gardner comments, “I wanted people to have something affordable and accessible that puts them in his shoes."
The article tells that "Gardner got interested in Pike’s journals because the young captain was the first to suggest the potential of a trade route between St. Louis and Santa Fe, noting that some goods, such as cloth, could bring almost 100 times as much in New Spain as they could in Missouri." Gardner points out that, “The significance of this information at the time is hard to over-emphasize. It led to the creation of the Santa Fe Trail..."
The Gazette.com site also includes stories, photos and a slide show about Zebulon Pike and the Pikes Peak bicentennial, here.
The Southwestern Journals of Zebulon Pike, 1806-1807 is available from the publisher, University of New Mexico Press, Amazon, and other booksellers.
Mark Gardner has written three books on the Santa Fe Trail and the Mexican-American War. He's also the recent editor of Jack Thorp's Songs of the Cowboys, and his recitation of Thorp's "What's Become of the Punchers" is the lead track of our CD, The BAR-D Roundup.
Read more about Mark Gardner in our feature about the Thorp book and recording here and at his Songs of the West web site.
Making a Hand, Growing up Cowboy in New Mexico, with photographs by Gene Peach, text by Max Evans, and a foreword by Elmer Kelton is now available from the Museum of New Mexico Press. The publisher describes the book, "Ranching families reflect a deeply rooted agricultural tradition the day-to-day workings of which have changed little over generations. This book is a tribute to the newest generation of ranchers growing up in New Mexico." Read more at the Museum of New Mexico Press web site and call 800-249-7737 for order information.
See Gene Peach's web site for more, and examples of his outstanding photography.
Our thanks to Mark L. Gardner for information about this book; the Museum of New Mexico Press is also the publisher of Mark's recent landmark book, Jack Thorp's Songs of the Cowboys.
Author Ted Risberg wrote to us about his new book:
Sammy Sunshine and the Sinister Sheik is a tale of high adventure set in the foothill country of Colorado's Rocky Mountains. The reader is introduced to a refreshing cast of All-American heroes. Sammy is joined by his horsetrading grandfather, Ted Talltalk; Don Prettyhawk an Apache wrangler; and Prince Albert the talking magpie. During a horseback trip to ancient cliff dwellings, Sammy and his grandpa encounter a group of terrorist villains, led by the Sinister Sheik Iahm Alooza. Our heroes are held captive but come up with a brilliant plan, and the tables are turned. In the end, Sammy Sunshine, Prince Albert, and Prettyhawk save the day.
The book is in full color, and very well illustrated by the talented Colorado artist, Matt Cambell.
The book is available from Amazon.
Storyteller and poet Scott Bumgardner has a new CD of stories, The Funkie Bunkie Gators. As described at his Texas Legacies web site (where you can listen to clips), "These are imaginative and often preposterous tales that are fun for kids or adults. Includes 9 stories beginning with Scott's move to Louisiana, the Funky Bunkie Gator Fest, and introducing Snappy The Amazing Pet Gator with several of his and Scott's adventures." Scott told us that a variation of one of the stories won the 2005 Louisiana Storytelling Association's Liar's Contest. He added, "But I must qualify that and admit that no high profile politicians were there, and everyone knows that Texans are the biggest liars around." The Funkie Bunkie Gators, which includes illustrations by Scott, is available for $15 postpaid through www.texaslegacies.com or by check or money order from Scott H. Bumgardner, P.O. Box 710770, Houston, Texas 77271-0770.
Larry D. Thomas' new collection of poetry, Stark Beauty, was
published by Timberline Press
in October 2005. Larry told us, "All of the poems in the
collection are set in far West Texas where I was born and reared.
It is a handset letterpress edition (also hand-stitched and hand-bound)
printed on linen paper with four original woodcut illustrations.
"...I was deeply honored to learn that Stark Beauty was selected by the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum as First Runner-Up in the 2006 Western Heritage Wrangler Award competition."
Stark Beauty also has been named as a Spur Award Finalist by the Western Writers of America.
Larry Thomas' book-length collection of poems, Amazing Grace, published by Texas Review Press, received the 2003 Western Heritage Award.
Stark Beauty is available directly from the publisher at $15.00 per copy, plus a $2.00 handling/shipping charge: Timberline Press, 6281 Red Bud, Fulton, Missouri 65251.
Read some of Larry D. Thomas' poetry here at the BAR-D.
Poet Alf Bilton introduced us to Robbie Benoit and his CD of "Yukon poetry," Tall Yukon Tales. Some of the poems set you to thinking about what would happen if Robert Service met Baxter Black, but it's not easy (or fair) to compare Benoit to others: his poetry has a great quirky originality, and it offers an intriguing look at life way up north. You can hear tracks and read more at CD Baby. Tall Yukon Tales is available for $12.97 plus postage from CD Baby.
Cowboy Slim, a children's book by Colorado teacher and writer Julie Danneberg, is the story of a boy "who wants to be a rough-and-tumble cowboy but who has the heart of a poet." Though his roping and riding don't measure up, he eventually makes a hand, thanks to his poetic talents. The illustrations by Margot Apple are engaging; even cattle faces have amusing, individual expressions. A glossary of "buckaroo banter" is included in the book, which is written for ages 4-7. Read more about the book here at the publisher's site. Cowboy Slim (ISBN 1-58089-045-8) is available from the publisher, Charlesbridge Publishing, for $15.95 plus postage and wherever books are sold, including Amazon.
Catherine Lilbit Devine's first children's book, Cactus Faeries, has been released. She writes: "Have you ever wondered what magic painted the colors into the desert blossoms or why you hear laughter on the breeze at first light? Come join in the magical dance of the Cactus Faeries as they lead you from the desert floor to the Superstition Mountains." Read more about the author and read a selection from the book here at the BAR-D. The book is available for $16.95 plus posted from her website.
Tales From Cowboy Country: Stories from COWBOY MAGAZINE, edited by Darrell Arnold with a foreword by Red Steagall, is the second collection in a series, following the popular collection of humorous stories, Good Medicine, edited by Arnold with an introduction by Baxter Black.
Tales from Cowboy Country is filled with the stories from the magazine, whose mission, according to editor and publisher Arnold, is to "tell the world about the cowboy, not the movie cowboy who is largely a mythological figure, but the working cowboy the man on horseback who works cattle on the western ranches."
The 34 stories and 4 poems include contributions from Darrell Arnold, Lori Babler, Barb Baker, Barbara Bockelman, H.W. Boozer, Margie Bradley, Jimbo Brewer, Tom Bryant, Red Cloud, W. O, "Dub" Covington, Chuck Cusimano, J. Cusimano, Robert Dennis, John Duncklee, Hank Elling, James Fisher, David Frazier, Don Hambrick, Jack Hanks, Oly Hermitt, A.V. Hudson, Don Jones, Frank Jordan, Billy Krieg, Landon Lamb, Walt LaRue, Mike Logan, Bill Lowman, Slim McNaught, Robert M. Miller D.V.M., Robin Morris, Raymond Price, Daryl Reed, Joe Ribary, Kenneth Romriell, Bonnie Shields, Viv Spencer, Red Steagall, Bob Strand, Colen Sweeten, Eugene C. Vories, Justin Wells and Stephen Zimmer. The softcover book is available for $15 postpaid from COWBOY MAGAZINE, P.O. Box 126, La Veta CO 81055, 719-742-5250. Read more about it at the COWBOY MAGAZINE web site.
The 2006 Western Horseman calendar features outstanding photography and art, and the poetry of Carole Jarvis ("A Style All Their Own") and Waddie Mitchell ("A Cowboy's Crowning Glory")-- both about cowboy hats. There are drawings by our Cowboy Poetry Week poster artist, the late Joelle Smith and by eal Blake, Sheri Greves-Nielson, Ron Bonge, and others. The stunning photographs including the cover by Mary Steinbacher, and many others images, including those by Guy de Galard, John Brasseaux, Robert Dawson, Heather Hafleigh, and Bob Moorhouse. The calendar, published by Western Horseman magazine, is available for $12.95 plus postage by calling 800-874-6774.
Elsewhere at the BAR-D:
A selection of some standards in Cowboy Poetry and Western Music
New in 2009
New in 2008
New in 2007
New in 2005
New in 2004
Christmas books and music
Rick Huff's Best of the West Reviews
Jeri Dobrowski's Cowboy Jam Session
Your news and additions are always welcome. Email us.
Always more news to come...
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