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News Since the Most Recent Newsletter:
 

 

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  New Cowboy and Western Poetry/Western Music Releases  and New Releases' News

 

See a list of the contents for  all pages on Page 1 of News Since the Last Newsletter



New Cowboy and Western Poetry/Western Music Releases and New Releases' News

      Find other books and recordings of Western interest here.

      Find Rick Huff's numerous Best of the West reviews here and Jeri Dobrowski's Cowboy Jam Session reviews here.

      Poets and musicians: Find resources in our feature So you have a new book or recording...

      The items below are linked from our front-page news menu, here.

 


 

   Popular poet and reciter, Oklahoma rancher Jay Snider has a grand new CD, The Old Tried and True, which showcases his fine reciting. Like some poetry time traveler, he delivers poems by Bruce Kiskaddon, Henry Herbert Knibbs, Will Ogilvie, Sunny Hancock, and others, to carry you back to time when, to quote Kiskaddon, "cattle were plenty and people were few."

Find the track list and more about Jay and his poetry in our feature here and visit jaysnider.net.

The Old Tried and True is available for $18 postpaid from Jay Snider, 22112 State Highway 19, Cyril, OK 73029-5606; jay@jaysnider.net.

Posted 6/30

 


 

  Wyoming's Andy Nelson is a second-generation farrier, cowboy poet, emcee, humorist, rodeo announcer, and co-host (with his brother Jim) of the popular syndicated Clear Out West (C.O.W.) radio show.

His latest CD, I Won, features a wide range of poetic moods, from nonsense to reverence, that show the breadth of Andy Nelson's talents. Andy can make you tear up one minute and double over with laughter the next. He is accompanied by friend and top songwriter Brenn Hill, who produced the album, on several tracks. The beautifully designed package sports a cover by noted cowboy cartoonist Ben Crane.

Find some of Andy Nelson's poetry, including "Cowboys on Facebook" from I Won, in our feature here.

I Won is available is available for $20 postpaid from Andy Nelson, PO Box 1547, Pinedale, WY 82941. Find more at CowpokePoet.com

Posted 4/23

 


 

 

  The Western Folklife Center has released a collection of Badger Clark poems and songs recited and sung by National Cowboy Poetry Gathering participants over the gathering's three-decade history. From their announcement:

The Western Folklife Center is pleased to offer a special CD commemorating the 100th anniversary of the publication of Charles Badger Clark's Sun and Saddle Leather, a humble book of western verse published in 1915 that quickly became a classic, and has since helped define the genre of American cowboy poetry. The songs and recitations on the CD were all recorded at the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering.

Badger Clark may be best known (nowadays) for writing "A Cowboy's Prayer," a work that became so popular and widespread that Clark's authorship was largely forgotten—the poem was often credited to "Anonymous." Since the first Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko in 1985, scores of poets and musicians from all over the west have recited Badger Clark's poems and put them to music in creative, heartfelt and beautiful ways.

The CD features 22 tracks (over 74 minutes) of Clark's best loved works. A 24-page booklet with the CD contains an essay about Badger Clark written by folklorist Elaine Thatcher, as well as words to all the poems as published by Badger Clark between 1915-1922. The CD is being released in conjunction with the 2016 National Cowboy Poetry Gathering's celebration of life in the Northern Plains.

Included are the voices of Owen Johnson, Jerry Brooks, Don Edwards & Waddie Mitchell, Cain Eaton, Rod McQueary, Connie Dover & Skip Gorman, Denise Withnell-Cowboy Celtic, Joe Hertz & David Wilkie, Gail Steiger, Joel Nelson, Lorraine Rawls & Crystal Reeves, Tom Pearlman, Gary McMahan & DW Groethe, Randy Rieman, Jill Jones & Lone Star Chorale, Linda M. Hasselstrom, Carl Sharp, and Jim Ross.

The CD includes a 24-page booklet that contains an essay about Charles Badger Clark written by Elaine Thatcher, as well as words to all the poems as published by Clark between 1915 and 1922.

Find more at the Western Folklife Center Gift Shop.

See our features about Badger Clark here.

Posted 1/14


 


 

   Top cowboy poet Doris Daley's latest book is Poems from the Million Dollar Resort. From the publisher:

Poems from the Million Star Resort, released Jan. 1, 2016, is Doris Daley's new book of contemporary western poetry. With 44 poems (including "Let it Be," "Back in Seattle Again," all the poems from the 100 Years of Thunder album, and of course the poem that lends its name to the book). As an added bonus, sprinkled throughout the book are cameo appearances from many of today's top western writers who reflect on the impact of poetry—and the tribe of cowboy poetsin today's world. Poems from the Million Star Resort is $25 postpaid. Email Doris at ddaley@telus.net.

Find more about Doris Daley here at CowboyPoetry.com and visit www.dorisdaley.com.

Posted 1/8

 


 

 

  Nola Kirby makes a valuable contribution to the preservation of Western music history and creates a lasting tribute to her father in The Black Ace—Yodellin' Hitch Hiker. She explains that her father, Allan M. Kirby (1914-1972) "... began his career in the 1930s, travelling throughout Western Canada, with his guitar, harmonica, mouth harp, and autoharp—singing and playing at rodeos, theatres, the Great Canadian Barn Dance, western events, and at the Calgary Stampede...On May 26th, 1939 "The Black Ace" had the honour of performing for the King and Queen of England [King George VI and Queen Elizabeth] during their royal tour visit to the Calgary Stampede."

The CD is the result of years of research. Nola Kirby has produced a collection of her father's works, presented in his voice in vintage recordings and by contemporary artists reading or singing the lyrics from the songbooks of Allan M. Kirby. The result does justice to her efforts and to her father's talents.

Find a feature about The Black Ace with photos, lyrics, and more here at CowboyPoetry.com.

The Black Ace—Yodellin' Hitch Hiker CD is available for $25 ppd (money order or certified check only) payable to Marie Kirby, Box 368, Magrath, Alberta, CA T0K 1J0 theblackace@shaw.ca.

 


 

  Popular award-winning poet, singer, and entertainer Susie Knight brings all of her signature emotive stage presence to her latest CD, Fillin' Tanks, drawing listeners to her stories in an immediate way.

Filled with warmth, humor, and reflection, and engaging storytelling, the project is a collection of her newest western-themed poems. Two poems at the heart of the album are devoted to her South Dakota ranching family ("Bud and Doris" and "A Mother's Eyes"). She includes poems about people she knows and admires ("Cliff," ; "Cookie LockhartQueen of Auctioneers"); draws on her rodeo experience ("Dreams"); includes poems inspired by Western art from Art Spur and the Durango Cowboy Poetry Gathering; offers a heartwarming bonus holiday track, "The Christmas Spider"; and more.

She comments, "I have been striving for excellence in my rhyme and meter while writing from a new and fresh perspective, hopefully keeping the stories (whether fictional or fact) interesting for the listeners."

Find a track list and more about Susie Knight here at CowboyPoetry.com and visit www.SusieKnight.com, where you'll find videos and more.

Fillin' Tanks is available for $15 postpaid from Susie Knight, PO Box 76, Conifer, CO 80433. You can also listen to samples at CD Baby, where you can also purchase the CD and individual tracks.

Posted 12/10

 


 

  Almeda Bradshaw’s focus and passion show through in all of her projects. Add in her songwriting, vocal, and musical talents, and her albums stand far above the ordinary. Her latest effort, Lovers, Wives & Mothers: A Western Woman’s Voice takes a deep look into Western life, and it shines. It encompasses a broad selection of works: original songs; covers of songs by top songwriters Tom Russell, Dave Stamey, and Ian Tyson; a poem by Colen Sweeten set to music; backstories of women, famous and not; and more.

Painstaking production care is evident throughout. Additional musicians and Native American singers offer quality and authenticity. The work of photographers Todd Klassy and Anita Crane tie together the attractive package.

Love, hurt, history, and truth are represented in this fine collection, which, she writes, “... is dedicated to victims of sex trafficking. All profit from this album is pledged to charitable organizations that work to restore the lives of women and children rescued from this horrible scourge.”

Find a track list and more about Almeda Bradshaw here at CowboyPoetry.com.

Listen to samples and find more at www.AlmedaM2Bmusic.com, where Lovers, Wives & Mothers: A Western Woman’s Voice is available for $15 plus postage.

Posted 12/9

 


 

  Jane Morton is one of our most dedicated recorders of ranching and rural life. Her latest CD, Jane Morton Records Her Poems of the Old West and the New, comprises stories of her family, their ranch, and friends, from the time of her homesteading grandfather to today. In her stories with their observations of connection, hardships, and friendships she preserves stories that are personal and unique and, at the same time, universal. Among the highlights on this project are the poignant and candid story of the family ranch being sold, "What Would I Have Done"; "Connected," a look at her complex father and his fierce attachment to his ranch; and the final track, "Memories," with its urgent message of the importance of recording family histories, which ends with her wise counsel, "This window of time—/twilight until dark/closes down quickly,/commit, leave your mark." But, every track is worth a listen.

Find a track list and find more about Jane Morton here at CowboyPoetry.com.

Jane Morton Records Her Poems of the Old West and the New is available for $13 postpaid from Jane Morton, 12710 Abert Way, Colorado Springs, CO 80908, 719-495-9304, janemortonpoet@gmail.com.

Posted 12/8

 


 

  Dick Morton offers a stellar collection of classic cowboy poetry recitations in his two latest collections, Cowboy Classics II and Cowboy Classics III. Poems of Charles Badger Clark, S. Omar Barker, Bruce Kiskaddon, and others are in good hands. Some tracks have brief introductions that help set the scene. Dick Morton admirably handles both humor and serious poems. Those with a certain longing have a special resonance, such as Kiskaddon's "The Creak of the Leather," Charles Badger Clark's "Border Affair," and Sharlot Hall's "Drouth Time." The equally enjoyable humorous pieces are delivered with twinkling delight.

The selections are thoughtful and include both well-known poems and other lesser-known but worthy offerings. The collection also includes a recitation of the late Rod Nichols "modern classic," the audience-pleaser "Yep."
Classics III ends with Dick Morton's own poem, "City Kid," a tale of how he came to be a part of a ranching family. Tasteful, unobtrusive music backgrounds by Rex Rideout and Mark Gardner complement the performances, a model for accompaniment. These releases are a fine companion to his 2007 Cowboy Classics, which Western Horseman called a "must have for fans of the cowboy poetry genre." Dick Morton has a way of enchanting the listener. You can imagine wanting to get a bit closer to his campfire and asking for "just one more."

Find track lists and find more about Dick Morton here at CowboyPoetry.com.

Cowboy Classics II and Cowboy Classics III are available for $13 postpaid from Dick Morton, 12710 Abert Way, Colorado Springs, CO 80908.

Posted 12/8

 


 

  (Review submitted by Darrell Arnold, publisher of COWBOY MAGAZINE, first posted on Facebook.)

When I mentioned Tom Hiatt’s new CD, Goodnight From Texas, a few weeks back, it wasn’t my intention to hype it a lot, because Tom took one of my poems and made a song out of it and included it on this album, and I didn’t want to seem like a braggart. But I’ve listened to this entire CD nine or ten times, now, and I can’t get enough of it. This is an excellent cowboy CD that needs to be heard and recognized.

Three of these songs are a tribute to Nevada buckaroo Mackey Hedges, a man who has written two excellent cowboy novels, The Last Buckaroo, and Shadow of the Wind. Les Buffham teamed up with Californian Dave Stamey to write a song called “Shadow of the Wind,” and he and Hiatt wrote “Last Buckaroo.” Hiatt set my poem “Cow Work is all that I Know” (which I wrote a couple years ago after hearing Mackey’s life story) to music and renamed it “Cow Work.”

Hiatt co-wrote the accurately detailed “Monte, the Night Calver” with Wayne Nelson. “Cowboy Up” is Hiatt’s upbeat, humorous, rodeo-style tribute to rodeoing and cowboying in general. I believe the title cut, “Goodnight From Texas,” is going to be a signature song for Tom Hiatt. It is a cleverly written, poignant, waltz-tempo tribute to Texas legend Charles Goodnight. It is easy to memorize, sing along with, and dance to, and I predict that every cowboy dance band in Texas will eventually add this one to their repertoire. It really can’t miss. Move over “Waltz Across Texas.” You’ve got company.

In addition, Hiatt has recorded additional outstanding songs, including Luke Reed’s “Every Horse I Ever Rode,” Bob Morrison’s “Dodge City,” Fred Koller’s “Pretty Painted Ladies,” and “Below the Kinney Rim,” a wild-horse-chasing song written by Les Buffham and Mike Fleming. Fleming joins in with Tom to sing the song on this CD.

Go to www.tomhiatt.net to learn how to order one or write to Tom Hiatt, 15361 Toya Lane, El Cajon, CA 92021.

Posted 11/13
 

 



 

 

  In creating The LaVonne Houlton Compendium: Ponies, Poetry and Prose, Janet Gingold delved deeply into research and into friendship to bring forth an outstanding book about award-winning California poet, writer and noted Morgan Horse breeder and historian LaVonne Houlton (1925-2009). The book is of a quality and depth that would please LaVonne, the epitome of both values in her work and her life.

LaVonne Houlton was a poet since childhood, and she raised and showed registered Morgan Horses for 35 years. She wrote articles for many magazines and wrote a regular column for
Piggin’ String magazine, which sometimes included her cartoons.

Her ranching relatives in the Dakotas helped develop her love of horses, cattle, and the characters of the West. Her biography here at CowboyPoetry.com, where she was a valued contributor, tells that during her teenage years, “There were Herefords and horses, dreams to dream, and many trails to follow. And in the evenings there were the stacks of
Western Livestock Journals, with poems by Bruce Kiskaddon and ‘Cowpoke Cartoons’ by Ace Reid with which to while away a few hours.” The reader finds all of those influences in her writing.

Gingold worked with Houlton to collect her writings and continued with the project after Houlton’s death. The book’s acknowledgments and bibliography show the great breadth of research on which the book stands. The lavishly illustrated volume, years in the making, is an impressive tribute to a woman and a way of life.

As noted in its subtitle, the book is divided into three sections: “Ponies: Historic Horse Articles”; “Poetry: Cowboy Poetry”; and “Prose: A Heritage in Prose.” The historical horse articles collect a history of the Western Working Morgan Horse in Houlton’s engaging pieces that span decades. The prose section focuses on her writing about family and friends. In many ways, it is the heart of the book, a look into the places and people who greatly influenced her. LaVonne Houlton’s words always draw the reader into her worlds and you find yourself walking and riding alongside her. These first and last rich sections are generously illustrated with over 75 photographs. Those photographs are also included on an accompanying CD.

The poetry—some sensitive, some humorous, all thoughtful
comes with its own indelible images of people, dogs, horses, time, and place. As in her prose, she offers a universe of experiences to her fortunate readers.

Janet Gingold has done an impressive job of preservation, created in the generous spirit of her subject.

Find some of LaVonne Houlton's poetry here.
Visit the book’s Facebook page, facebook.com/lavonnehoultoncompendium.

The LaVonne Houlton Compendium (and accompanying CD of archival Morgan Horse photos) is available for $33 postpaid via PayPal from jgingold46@gmail.com.

Posted 9/21


 


 

 

  Oklahoman George Rhoades' After the Chisholm Trail "contains poems, some humorous, some more though-provoking, about cattle and farm country after the Chisholm Trail ended, about cowboys, cowgirls and farmers and other reflections and observations."

His previous book, Along the Chisholm Trail and Other Poems, received the Will Rogers Medallion Award.

Rhoades was born on a farm in Cotton County, Oklahoma and grew up working cattle in Southern Oklahoma. He has been a rancher, reporter/editor, and college journalism professor. He is retired and recently owned a hay farm.

Find some of his poetry and more about him here.

After the Chisholm Trail  is available for $9.95 plus postage and can be ordered from the publisher, Outskirts Press, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble.

Posted 8/29

 



 

 

  Western Music Association Western Wordsmiths chapter president Dale Page has a new collection of his poetry, Brush Poppers. He describes it:

This is a sampling of 30 original poems dating from my first poem in 1976, “Meat’s Not Meat ‘Til It’s in the Pan,” to the last one, “Grandpa’s Last Ride.” The latter was written in the old adobe in New Mexico where Paula and I spent this last winter. It was performed there for the first time with several of my good friends present during a February snowstorm.

The book contains all the poems which were recited in my 2008 Best Performer win at Oklahoma State and those which won a buckle for me at the 2010 National Cowboy Poetry Rodeo. Some were inspired by my own experiences and some by tales told by friends. There’s at least some truth in all of them. I believe you’ll find one or two that hit home with you.

Tom Browning, an award winning member of the Cowboy Artists of America, graciously allowed me to use his fine painting for the cover. "Brush Poppers" was also the Durango Cowboy Poetry Gathering's poster art and spur for 2010.

Retail price is $11.95 plus $3 S&H. As a special introductory offer, I’ll send you both the book and my CD, “Once We Were Kings,” for $25, including S&H. The CD is $14.95 plus $3 S&H if ordered separately. Personal checks or PayPal only, please: Dale Page, P.O. Box 268, Monrovia, IN 46157;
okiecowboypoet@gmail.com; dalepage.com.
 

Find some of Dale Page's poetry here and visit his web site, dalepage.com.

Posted 6/22

 


 

 

  Washington poet Del Gustafson's Bulls, Broncs and Barrooms is described as "A book of cowboy poetry, some humorous some reflective. Most of the poems are drawn from the authors personal experiences though he is not guaranteeing that he has not improved on the truth in some cases. There may be gems and there may be stones, you be the judge. I hope you find it entertaining."

Find some of Del Gustafson's poetry here.

Signed copies of Bulls, Broncs and Barrooms are available for $18 from: Del Gustafson 30504 NE Big Rock Road, Duvall, WA 98019. The book is also available from Amazon and other booksellers.

Posted 6/9

 


 

  In his new CD, A Remnant Gather, Kansas cowboy and ranch manager Jack "Trey" Allen offers cowboy truth, heart, and much entertainment.

A Remnant Gather includes 16 tracks, most original poems, along with a collaboration with cowboy, ranch manager, and National Cowboy Poetry Rodeo organizer Geff Dawson; Chuck Cusimano's "We Were Cowboys," performed with Trey's daughter, the impressively talented singer Shandee Allen; one poem featuring all three of his daughters; and a Robert Service poem.

Rick Huff's enthusiastic review comments,"...I found the performances and writing of this predominantly cowboy poetry CD to be first rate. Pithy entries like 'Lost & Never Found' and 'A Story With Several Morals' keep you alert and guessing while fresh takes on old cowboy themes like those found in 'As Close As You Can Get' or 'Roughstock Toast' keep it authentic..."

The CD's cover is from a painting by Don Dane; the same painting was selected as the 2015 Cowboy Poetry Week poster.

Find the track list for A Remnant Gather here, along with more about Trey Allen and more of his poetry. Visit his web site, www.trey-allen-amigos.com, and find him on Facebook, www.facebook.com/pages/Treys-Amigos/359878580850737.

A Remnant Gather is available for $18 postpaid from: Trey Allen, 10660 Lwr McDowell Crk Rd., Junction City, KS 66441; treyallen44@gmail.com; www.trey-allen-amigos.com. As he does with all of his CDs, Trey Allen donates a portion of each CD sale to the Leukemia Lymphoma Society and Be the Match.

Posted 6/5

 


 

 

  Jarle Kvale, North Dakota horseman, radio broadcaster, and host of the cowboy poetry and Western music Back at the Ranch radio show has a new CD, Custom Made. It includes 14 original poems, well wrought—often wryverse, delivered in his understated and engaging style.

The CD's cover photo by Cindy Quiqley of CMQ Photograph, and inside is a stunning photo of the poet's horses.

Find the track list for Custom Made here, where you'll also find more of Jarle Kvale's poetry and more about him. You can follow "Back at the Ranch" on Facebook, facebook.com/ranchradioshow and can tune into the current and past shows at keyaranch.podomatic.com.

Custom Made is available for $18 postpaid from Jarle Kvale, Box 488, Dunseith, ND 58329; jpkvale@srt.com.

Posted 6/4

 

 


 

 

  Top singer and songwriter Brenn Hill's Spirit Rider, billed as a faith-based collection of songs and hymns, shines with reverent passion and energy. Brenn's words never preach; they don't need to. His songs let the light in, and the listener is rewarded with tales of grace and enduring faith.

There are other original ballads about ranchers, cowboys, and families; songs by Red Steagall and Andy Wilkinson; and moving renditions of "The Old Rugged Cross," "Nearer My God to Thee, "How Great Thou Art," and other hymns. As his releases always are, the production is flawless, with top instrumentalists and background vocalists.

Find more about Spirit Rider at brennhill.com/?wp_artists=spirit-rider. Find more about Brenn Hill in our feature here; at brennhill.com; and on Facebook, facebook.com/brennhillmusic.

Spirit Rider is available at www.brennhill.com and there are downloads at iTunes.

Posted 5/8
 

 


 

 

  T Scot Wilburn and his Shut Up-n-Playboys enliven tradition and take it to a new level with their bluesy-honky-tonk-and-more music in Café del Norte. Along with Wilburn, other top musicians Rick Bryceson, Eugene Jablonsky, and Duane Becker bring a sparkling range of tunes to life. Scot Wilburn’s voice and his complex and charged songwriting take you to places of longing and heartache—with trains, truck stops and cafes featuring mountain gals, Montana, some cowboy philosophy, and plenty of bourbon. You’ll find yourself listening over and over.

From the official description: 

Café Del Norte, the new 10-song CD from T. Scot Wilburn & the Shut Up-n-Playboys, is a compilation of original tunes, all penned by Wilburn. The songs come from places like truck stops, smoky barrooms, railroad yards, ranches and broken romances.

The CD includes ballads, Western swing, a touch of the long-lost traditional country sound and classic Americana music associated with the West.

Listen to the title track here and find more at shutupandplayboys.com.

Café Del Norte is $17 postpaid. Order by email to tscotwilburnmusic@gmail.com.

Posted 5/7

 


 

  Working cowboy Daron Little offers a standout collection of songs in his new release, Dos Amigos.

Six original songs include the multi-talened Butch Hause on bass and background vocals. A maverick songwriter and impressive picker, Daron Little's passionate pieces all speak of the real working West. No one listens just one time through.

Daron Little lives and cowboys fulltime at the headquarters division of the Silver Spur Ranch in Encampment, Wyoming. Find more about him here at CowboyPoetry.com, on Facebook, and at his web site, ranchcowboymusic.com, where you'll find a recording of one of the selections, "The Outside Circle," and order information. You can also hear "The Outside Circle" at ReverbNation.

Dos Amigos is available for $10 for the CD, and there are downloads at www.ranchcowboymusic.com.

Posted 2/19

 


 

  Fourth-generation cowboy, songwriter, and filmmaker Gail Steiger presents a tour de force concert captured live on CD in A Matter of Believin'.  Invited to speak at the Phippen Museum of Western Art on 100 years of ranching history in Yavapai County, Arizona, he captivates his audience with tales, songs, poems and philosophy. Along with his own works and those of his iconic grandfather, Gail I. Gardner, there are poems and songs by Kris Kristofferson, Lyle Lovett, Mary Oliver, Wendell Berry, and Joe Robertson.

His commentaries on ranching and agriculture are so pointed that the album carries a disclaimer. A second disc includes only the songs and poems. The album is a keeper, an important view of the real working West.

The album design and cover photo is by Steve Atkinson (steveatkinsondesign.com; facebook.com/steve.atkinson.902), who has designed other albums and books for Western writers and songwriters, including Amy Hale Auker and Belinda Gail. His work appears on the 2015 Arizona Cowboy Poets Gathering poster.

Find the track list for A Matter of Believin' here, along with poetry, lyrics, and more about Gail Steiger.

A Matter of Believin' is available for $20 postpaid from GailSteigerMusic.com.

Posted 2/11


 

   A book and a CD, both named Rhyming the Range, collect popular poet, ranch wife, and quilt champion Yvonne Hollenbeck's original poems about her life on the ranch.

Red Steagall comments, "No one puts the image, heart and soul of these people into verse in a more professional manner or with more emotion than does Yvonne Hollenbeck...No poet in America has a better feel for and understanding of the folks in our agricultural society. She shows us the struggles, the sadness, and the humor of folks who feed us..."

The book includes the most requested poems from her two out-of-print books and all of her newest poetry. The CD has 21 of her original poems and incidental music by Butch Hause. It is designed by Jeri Dobrowski ("Cowboy Jam Session"). 

Find poems and more about Yvonne Hollenbeck in our feature here.

Visit www.YvonneHollenbeck.com and find her on Facebook, www.facebook.com/YKHollenbeck.

The Rhyming the Range book is $25; the CD is $15; order both for $35, all prices postpaid. Order from Yvonne Hollenbeck, 30549 291 St., Clearfield, SD 57580-6205; 605-557-3559; geetwo@gwtc.net.

 


 

  Marleen Bussma's Scrapin' By CD has received early praise. From an announcement:

Utah resident Marleen Bussma announces the release of Scrapin’ By, her debut CD of cowboy poetry. She has fourteen original poems inspired by her years growing up on a farm in ND and her love of true stories from the old west.

Reviewer Rick Huff writes:

Historical happenings are the poetic goldmine of Utah poet Marleen Bussma. A North Dakota native, Bussma’s title track deals with the wild and wooly life of Poker Alice. Bussma’s delivery is what I would consider to be the spot-on mix of reciting and interpretive acting.

In literate and wonderfully descriptive verse, Bussma tells of “The Outlaw,” a legendary 1900s saddle bronc (“the rodeo grew claws and snatched my carefree life away”). From “The Phantom’s Lure,” about a mustang now penned, we get “teasing thoughts of freedom flicker, fade and fall behind.” From “Slow Burn” she shows a damaged pen and its contents with “like the hull of the Titanic wood has sprung a gaping hole…movement heads in that direction as bulls think about parole!”

Give this one a try. You won’t be disappointed. Fourteen tracks.

The track list includes: Ill Tempered Roan, Cowboy Etiquette, Scrapin’ By, The Fence Bustin’ Ride, She Was Reckless, Dirty Dishes, The Outlaw, Little Shadow, Mustache Maude, The Three-Minute Bride, The Phantom’s Lure, The Apron, Slow Burn, and The Bakken Bovine Beauty Spa.

Scrapin’ By is $14 postpaid, available from Marleen Bussma at 1094 Homestead Dr. E., Dammeron Valley, UT 84783; 435-574-2314; mbussma@beyondbb.com

Find some of Marleen Bussma's poetry and more about her here at the BAR-D.

Posted 2/11


 

  Kansas cowboy, ranch manager, poet and reciter Trey Allen has just re-released his two early CDs of classic and original cowboy poetry, Cowpoke and Lowly Cowboy. Among the classics are selections written by Bruce Kiskaddon, Robert Service, and A.B. "Banjo" Paterson. Long out of print, both showcase his considerable writing and reciting talents.

Find more about the CDs and the interesting stories behind the vintage cowboy photographs on the covers here.

Cowpoke and Lowly Cowboy are available for $15 postpaid each, with $1 from each sale going to the Leukemia Lymphoma Society and Be the Match, from: Trey Allen, 10660 Lwr McDowell Crk Rd, Junction City, KS 66441, treyallen44@gmail.com.

Posted 1/22 


 

  Working ranch woman and award-winning essayist, novelist, and poet Amy Hale Auker's second novel, The Story is the Thing," is set in the ranching West, a captivating tale of people who are inexorably tied to the land and to each other. There is suffering, struggle, loss, loneliness and danger mixed with love, beauty, nature, and unshakable bonds. For some, there is wisdom earned and even redemption. But like life, nothing is simple, and the story is the thing. Through graceful prose and occasional poetry her complex characters' compelling stories stay with the reader long after the book is closed.

Asked about the inspiration for the book, she told us, "The inspiration for this book was very simple. This old man named Bill Morgan started talking to me and I wrote as fast as I could to get his words down on paper. Yes, on yellow legal pad. I love writing in an old man's voice and I learned a lot from Uncle Bill. My favorite thing that he says is, 'I never wanted to be perfect. Just happy.'"

Top photographer, screenwriter, and director Kurt Markus (kurtmarkus.com) comments, "This is a challenging work by a very gutsy, gifted writer with large ambitions. One gets the sense that Amy Auker is poised to reach beyond that which is so intimately familiar to her—the cowboy West—and break free of all genre labeling. Watch out, here she comes."

The careful writing is complemented by the thoughtful design of the book. Steve Atkinson (steveatkinsondesign.com and steveatkinsonstudio.com) created the cover and the book's inside drawings. A respected painter and designer, he has also done other design projects for Western writers and musicians. His work has been featured on posters for the Arizona Cowboy Poets Gathering, and was selected again this year for the gathering's 2015 poster. Read Amy Hale Auker's blog post about her book's cover here.

Amy Hale Auker's 2011 book of essays,
Rightful Place, published by Texas Tech University Press, received multiple awards, including the Women Writing the West Willa Award. She is currently at work on additional non-fiction.

Visit her web site at amyhaleauker.com for her books and more. Find some of her poetry in our feature here.

The Story is the Thing is available from Amy Hale Auker and from PEN-L Publishing. All of her books are available from Amazon.

Posted 1/12
 


 

  It doesn't get any better for Waddie Mitchell fans. On the heels of his outstanding Sweat Equity CD, America's top cowboy poet has released an equally outstanding collection, 100 Poems. Both are produced by the estimable Western Jubilee Recording Company (www.westernjubilee.com) .

And what great companion offerings they are. Where the CD offers a breadth of humor and thoughtfulness, the book offers an ever greater depth of both.

"A Poet with Something to Say" is the book's first poem, and its nimble lines well describe the author himself, in their description of a "timeless story rustler" who "...sets the mind and heart a'bustle/ Cuts the fat and leaves the muscle/ While inviting to examine if its true/ Then he leaves its resolution up to you."

Waddie Mitchell likes to give advice, honestly rooted in his own unshakeable cowboy values. It is the kind of counsel that goes down easily, as in "Harsh Words": "Bonds won't break by disagreement/ But sharp tongues will cut them clean" and in "No Second Chance, "Yea, if we could just but re-live time/ our lives could be enhances/ But, best try to do things first time 'round/ cuz, there ain't no second chance."

He has strong feelings about the dangers the West faces, as expressed in the "Once upon a time" of the poem "Sentence," "...where miles outnumbered people/ and self-reliance prevailed..." "We the People" asserts, "This ain't about which party, they're both dirty beyond bath/ It's about the mav'rick snowball on the roll/ That's grown big enough to devastate whatever's in its path/ and officially is now beyond control." In "For Promises Due," he writes of a Shoshone rancher's plight, "So like rustlers of old with no order from the court/ And against what all stock law allows/ The BLM stole Raymond's means of support/ And unlawfully auctioned his cows." His own Vietnam War experience informs poems such as "Invisible Wounds" and "The Bristlecone Pine."

Then for a lot of flat-out fun, there are all sorts of cowboy characters, peg-legged pigs, goats, dogs, horses, bulls, cows, cat-astrophes, privies, booze, women, windies, and wrecks. As in "Infraction Distraction," the poet "knows guys that stories wanna happen to."

There's so much more on many other topics. That includes a whole lot of heart and something larger. There's an emphasis on action, with a kind of urgency that only age knows. As gracefully as it begins, with "A Poet with Something to Say," the book ends with "Another Day" in which "His life is spent on a highway bent/on taking him away/ The rented rooms and greasy spoons are staples of his day..." And this time the advice may be as much to the poet as to the reader, "Go seize the day. Go, make the hay/ the sun won't always shine/ And nothing takes forever/ 'specially running out of time."

Waddie Mitchell brings years of experience to bear in these poems, and there is a sure maturity of effort in many of them. But, also, something interesting and rare about him rises to the top. You can listen to an early recording, read an early poem, compare them to new offerings, have a conversation with him, and what stands out is that deep down, nothing has changed the man himself, despite his rise to the top of the cowboy poetry world. He's real. His emotions are true. His humble cowboy beginnings are what shape him and his poetry. He and his work remain approachable in every sense.

These "100 poems" offer plenty of laughs, much philosophy, and abundant food for thought. Like a reliable friend, it's the sort of companion you'll be happy to keep nearby. You can open it up at just about any page and be the better for having taken it in.

Another dazzling portrait by respected Western Artist William Matthews adorns the cover of the handsome book.

Find more about Waddie Mitchell at Western Jubilee, www.westernjubilee.com and in our feature here. Find order information for
100 Poems
at www.westernjubilee.com/onehundredpoems.htm.

Posted 11/22

 


 



  Top cowboy poet
Waddie Mitchell offers an abundance of fine poetry and performance in his latest CD, Sweat Equity, from Western Jubilee Recording Company. At turns thoughtful, inspirational, reflective, and humorous, all but two of the poems are his original works, a mix of old and new.

The album's title is inspired. Waddie Mitchell's years of "sweat equity" pay off in ever-more complex and meaningful works. So many of the included poems could only be written from hard-earned experience. He and his writing express the esssence and ethos of cowboy life.

There's wisdom, often tinged with nostalgia, all through. It is there, for example, in the story of a good horse, "Ol'Blue"; in "Trade Off," about a couple of old buckaroos; in "Experience of Life," written for his son; and in the standout "The Rawhide Braider." Two poems that speak eloquently to veterans' experiences cut particularly close to the bone, "Invisible Worlds" and "Bristlecone Pine." ("Bristlecone Pine" and The Rawhide Braider" have been put to music by Brenn Hill.)

There are plenty of laughs as well, from "Bet at the Bar" to "Elmer" to the recitations of two other poets' modern humorous classics: Sunny Hancock's "Horse Trade" and Bill Hirschi's "The Bra." Whether being humorous or serious, the storytelling is always exceptional.

Throughout, the music of the Gillette Brothers weaves together the well-chosen selections. Noted Western artist William Matthews' impressive cover art tells its own vivid story.

There are few better examples of poetry, delivery, packaging, and production (which includes the fine hand of Butch Hause). Find more about the CD at Western Jubilee, westernjubilee.com/SweatEquityWadie%20Mitchell.htm, where there are sample tracks.

"The Rawhide Braider" is included on
The BAR-D Roundup: Volume Nine, CowboyPoetry.com's annual compilation of the best in classic and contemporary cowboy poetry, to be released in late October, 2014. And, there's great news for Waddie Mitchell's fans: a new book of his poetry is forthcoming.

Find more about Waddie Mitchell at Western Jubilee, somagency.com/waddiemitchell, and in our feature here.

Posted 10/3
 


  There are few Western writers as versatile as Rod Miller, who excels as an essayist, journalist, novelist, short-story writer, poet, and more. His articles about writing and reciting cowboy poetry are valuable for their acuity, practicality, and depth of knowledge of classic and contemporary writers and techniques.

Readers once again can see that he "walks the walk" in his new, second, poetry collection,
Goodnight Goes Riding and Other Poems from PEN-L publishing. The book is described, "From thoughtful to frivolous, the poetry in Goodnight Goes Riding and Other Poems covers the range like a herd of hungry horses. In verse inspired by the ranch and rodeo arena, trail drive and dance hall and more, Miller provides variety in both subject and style." Ranch & Reata editor A.J. Mangum offers an engaging foreword.

The award-winning poet, never predictable, is also known for his humility. The introductory poem, "An Apology to Readers, Sort Of, But More Like and Explanation or Maybe an Excuse," reinforces that. The "Author's Note" will send readers to dip in immediately for humor, history, musings, and thought-provoking pieces. Fearless in facing traditionalists, he writes haiku and free verse as well as impeccably rhymed and metered poetry. His own cowboying and rodeoing experiences and a solid grounding in the art and methods of poetry give him the freedom to do it all and do it well.

PEN-L is making its mark in Western publishing. They published Amy Hale Auker's novel,
Winter of Beauty and will publish forthcoming novels from Auker and from Janice Gilbertson. Find more about PEN-L at Pen-L.com.

Find more about Rod Miller in our feature here and visit his web site writerrodmiller.com and his blog, writerrodmiller.blogspot.com.

Order
Goodnight Goes Riding and Other Poems from PEN-L, pen-l.com/GoodnightGoesRiding.html.

Posted 10/3
 



 
Dale Page's CD, Once We Were Kings, includes recitations of his original poetry.

He describes the CD, "My new CD is a compilation of my best poems of the last ten years. There are ten poems, some based on my experiences or those of friends, and one that's based on the diary of my great-aunt. She and her husband homesteaded in eastern Montana in 1913. I wrote the first verse of 'Lodgepole Lullaby' while standing on the highest point of the homestead, listening to the wind in the lodgepoles. The title poem, 'Once We Were Kings,' was inspired by my return to the place where I had my first job a-horseback. It was one of 8 Seconds in the Lariat Laureate Contest in 2008."

 Find some of Dale's poetry on his page here and visit his web site, dalepage.com.

Once We Were Kings is available at CD Baby, where there are track samples, and also for $19.99 postpaid from dalepage.com.

Posted 8/4
 



 

  An outstanding new book from the Western Folklife Center, The Anthology: Celebrating 30 Years of Wrangling Words, collects the works of some of the contemporary cowboy poets and songwriters who have appeared on its National Cowboy Poetry Gathering stage in its thirty-year history.

In the book's introduction, top poet
Baxter Black writes about "...the comet's tail of fireworks that for thirty years has blossomed from its flame...[poetry] has been the key that let Elko beget the phenomenon. The word drives a wooden stake through the heart of every editor, publisher, producer, or director with reason, and yet ... thirty years ago, when an innocent group of people in Nevada had the brass monkeys to connect the word 'cowboy' with the word 'poetry,' it was like mixing uranium-235 with strontium-90. Cowboy Poetry became a magic phrase ..."

There are examples of the finest serious poetry as well as the most popular humorous poetry (for example, Pat Richardson's "The Donner Party" and Yvonne Hollenbeck's "What Would Martha Do?").

The book collects poems and lyrics from 
J.B. Allen, Carlos Ashley, Amy Hale Auker, Sally Harper Bates, Virginia Bennett, Everett Brisendine, Ed Brown, Laurie Wagner Buyer, Walt "Bimbo" Cheney, Ken Cook, Doris Daley, Stephanie Davis, John Dofflemyer, Carolyn Dufurrena, Elizabeth Ebert, Rolf Flake, Leon Flick, Dick Gibford, Frank Gleeson, Peggy Godfrey, DW Groethe, Sunny Hancock, Linda Hasselstrom, Yvonne Hollenbeck, Jess Howard, Linda Hussa, Chris Isaacs, Teresa Jordan, Echo Ray Klaproth, Ray Lashley, Bill Lowman, Rod McQueary, Wallace McRae, Larry McWhorter, Lynn Messersmith, Waddie Mitchell, Joel Nelson, Rodney Nelson, Kay Kelley Nowell, Howard Norskog, Mike Puhallo, Vess Quinlan, Buck Ramsey, Henry Real Bird, Pat Richardson, Sandy Seaton Sallee, Bob Schild, Georgie Sicking, Jesse Smith, Jay Snider, Gail Steiger, Kent Stockton, Colen H. Sweeten Jr., Andy Wilkinson, and Paul Zarzyski.

Informative sidebars on a variety of themes ("Women and Cowboy Poetry," A Renaissance of Gear Making," "Cowboy Poetry and Song," "Cowboy Poetry Around the World," and pieces on "classic" poets Badger Clark and S. Omar Barker) complement the poetry. There are illustrations throughout by Pat Richardson, Walt LaRue, and Glenn Ohrlin. Longtime gathering photographer Kevin Martini-Fuller provides photographs for each of the contributors.

The 264-page softcover book,
The Anthology: Celebrating 30 Years of Wrangling Words, is available here at the Western Folklife Center and from other booksellers.

Posted 4/3


  Multi-talented thirteen-year-old Brigid Reedy has a dazzling new EP (a five-song album), Brigid Reedy.

You can hear one of the songs from the EP, co-written by her father John Reedy, "When the Snow Flies," in an impressive video presentation here: http://vimeo.com/83872619.

Brigid Reedy has been a featured performer at the Western Folklife Center's National Cowboy Poetry Gathering, the Monterey Cowboy Poetry & Music Festival, Songs of the Cowboys, and other events. Her bio tells that, "She learned to yodel at the age of two and began playing the fiddle a few years later."

Find more about Brigid Reedy in our feature here and at her web site, www.BrigidReedy.com.

You can order the CD ($6 postpaid) at www.BrigidReedy.com.

Posted 3/27


  Popular singer and songwriter Jean Prescott offers a broad range of songs that address love of the land, family, work, love, and faith in her latest release, Traditions. Jean Prescott appreciates poets and poetry and among the co-writers of the included songs are poets Yvonne Hollenbeck, Gary McMahan, Debra Coppinger Hill, Doris Daley, Leon Autrey, and Pat Richardson. There is also a song adapted from the late S. Omar Barker's poem, "Ranch Mother," and there are co-writes with talented California singer and songwriter Joyce Woodson.

Jean Prescott writes, "It is my hope that the content of this project will bring to mind your own family traditions and give a greater desire to preserve and pass them down to future generations."

Top cowboy poet, songwriter, and entertainer Red Steagall comments on Jean Prescott and the CD, "...She belongs to the land and its people and upholds the heritage, traditions, and values of the western lifestyle." Noted photographer David Stoecklein comments, "Her songs bring the West alive..."

Find more about Jean Prescott in our feature here and at www.jeanprescott.com.

Listen to samples from Traditions at CD Baby.

Traditions is available from Jean Prescott for $18.00 postpaid: Prescott Music, P. O. Box 194, Dept. CP, Ovalo, TX 79541; www.jeanprescott.com.

Posted 3/26 


 Ten-year-old Thatch Elmer, "Cowboy Thatch the Bear River Buckaroo," has a new CD, The First Go Round.

It is described, "A collection of cowboy poetry including six original poems, some classic cowboy poetry by S. Omar Barker and Bruce Kiskaddon, along with a couple of favorites from Baxter Black and heartfelt writings from Bill 'Three Feathers' Bunting."

Find more about Thatch Elmer here at CowboyPoetry.com and at his web site, cowboythatch.com.

The First Go Round is $20 postpaid from cowboythatch.com

Posted 1/22


  Oregon horseman and poet Tom Swearingen's new CD is Horses and Happiness. From the producers:

Tom Swearingen, of Tualatin, Oregon, winner of the National Finals Rodeo 2013 Cowboy Poetry week contest, has released his debut CD, Horses and Happiness. Professionally recorded during a live performance, this collection of eleven original poems plus welcome track gives evidence why he is a popular presenter at cowboy gatherings and western events, as well as with general audiences.

Often inspired by his own time in the saddle, Tom writes poetry ranging from the humorous to serious and reflective. Horses and Happiness covers that spectrum with "I Don't Call Myself a Cowboy," "Blessed to be Western," "Bombproof Pinto Mare," "Cowgirl From Nantucket," "Winter Pleasure Ride," "Thurman the Beer Mule's Dad Takes a Spill," "Oregon's Outlaw Henry Vaughn," "When a Horse Hoof
Hits the Ground," "Replanted Roots," "Nightwind. Gentle Spirit, Noble Soul," and the title poem.

Tom's poems have been featured by Cowboys & Indians Magazine and recognized by such organizations as the National Cowgirl Hall of Fame in Ft. Worth, Texas, and South Dakota's Heritage of the American West. Several of his poems have been published, but this is Tom's first recording. "Cowboy poetry is a folk tradition, meant to be heard, not just read on a page, so I'm real pleased
to have this CD out", says Tom. "Now, I just hope all the people who have come up to me after my performances asking to buy a CD will ask again now that I have one!," he says with a smile.

Horses and Happiness is available for $15 plus postage from oregoncowboypoet.com and from CD Baby, iTunes and other outlets. And, of course, direct from Tom at his performances. See
www.oregoncowboypoet.com for Tom's appearance schedule and more information.

Find some of Tom's poetry and more about him here at CowboyPoetry.com, and visit his web site, oregoncowboypoet.com.

Posted 1/21



Gary McMahan, singer, songwriter, poet, and self-described "general nuisance" puts his popular poem to paper in a new book, Sometimes the Best Cowboys Ain't Always Human, illustrated by Vel Miller. Gary describes the spirited tale about an unusual sidekick, "This is a heartfelt homegrown poem for kids of all ages. Plus it's true. I actually knew this guy and talked to folks who actually saw it."

Top songwriter Dave Stamey has praised the book as "one of the finest bits of writing in a cowboy poem I've ever seen."

Find the poem here in our feature about Gary. You can listen to a version of the poem in this video.

Find more about Gary in our feature here and at his web site, www.singingcowboy.com, where there are full-length songs and poems and more.

Sometimes the Best Cowboys Ain't Always Human is available for $20 postpaid rom Gary McMahan, PO Box 90, Bellvue, CO 80512.

Posted 12/19


  Popular poet, songwriter, and artist Jo Lynne Kirkwood has a fine Christmas gift for her fans: A Cedar Ridge Christmas, a collection of twelve original Christmas poems.

Her deep love of family and place is celebrated with reverence and wonder, nostalgia, a touch of humor at times, and always, her lyrical style. That style is illustrated in "Bringin' Home Christmas":

Some years the full moon bathes the world in bright light,
A clear iridescent white glow
Sometimes Christmas Eve’s an indigo night,
Deep and velvet, like a lamp turned down low.
...

It's a special gift—Jo Lynne Kirkwood's poetry and the recording.

Find the entire track list, some of her poetry and more about her in a feature here at the BAR-D, and visit her web site, www.jokirkwood.com.

"A Cedar Ridge Christmas" is available for $12 postpaid from Jo Lynne Kirkwood, PO Box 570207, Sigurd, UT 84657; jokirkwood@icloud.com.

Posted 12/13



  Much-loved poet, songwriter, and artist "Buckshot Dot" (Dee Strickland Johnson) has collected a treasury of Christmas, Thanksgiving, and New Year's poetry and lyrics in her new book, Western Winter Lights. A great source of light herself, the cover is from her drawing and depicts her son, Tim. She tells, "Tim posed for that scratch board picture of the campfire cowboy. I had him standing there with his back to me for quite some time-took a while to get those rivets on the Levi's."

(A version of the cover image was a Christmas Art Spur in 2007. Read more about it and see some of the poems it inspired here.)

With sections including "Winter," "Thanksgiving," "'Specially for Kids," "Christmas is A'Comin'," "Christmas," "Songs of Christmas," "Christmas Festivities," and "After Christmas," the 87 pieces in "Western Winter Lights" include works by James Barton Adams, Lon Austin, S. Omar Barker, Sally Bates, Virginia Bennett, Les Buffham, Jack Burdette, Robert Burns, Nona Kelley Carver, Larry Chittenden, Badger Clark, Dean Cook, Kit McLean Cramer, Captain Jack Crawford, Elizabeth Ebert, Rolf Flake, Igor Glenn, Ken Graydon, Julia Blanche Hanson, Royce Hodge, Yvonne Hollenbeck, Andy Hurlbut, Anne James, Bruce Kiskaddon, Henry W. Longfellow, Peggy Malone, Tony Matheny, Jane Ambrose Morton, Ted Newman, Tony Norris, Ray Owens, Ted Ramirez, Michael H. Ronstadt, Bud Strom, and Beverley Triplett.

Find more about Buckshot Dot and some of her poetry in our feature here and visit her web site, www.buckshotdot.com.

Order Western Winter Lights directly from Buckshot Dot for just $10 postpaid: 7852 N. Toya Vista Drive, Payson, AZ 85541; (928) 474-8305.

Posted 12/13


  Cowboy, packer, and popular poet and humorist Chris Isaacs collects poems, stories, drawings, and photos in his new book, From the War Bag. He writes in the introduction, "There wasn't enough of any one thing to make a meal out of, but all together they might make a decent stew."

That stew is generously seasoned throughout with one of the most important ingredients in his life: friends. Those friends are often the inspiration for the book's mostly hilarious tales that range from cowboy pranks to spectacular wrecks. Need it be said: political correctness be damned, throughout.

Fellow cowboys who are also poets figure into the yarns: Larry McWhorter, Waddie Mitchell, Jesse Smith, Sunny Hancock, Ross Knox, Rolf Flake, and others. Parodies take on Wally McRae ("Plagiarism" begins, "What is this thing called Plagiarism?"), Gail I. Gardner ("If Will Shakespeare Had Written "Sierry Petes"), and Banjo Paterson.

A section titled "Empty Saddles" pays particular tribute to friends who have passed on. Even those pieces are salted with humor and underlying them all is his rough-and-tumble and sincere affection. Top singer and songwriter Dave Stamey, in the book's foreword, comments, "...when you become Chris Isaacs' friend, you become a part of his family. That's how deep it goes."

Not surprisingly, praise for the book and the man is plentiful. Jay Snider, Jim Jones, Amy Hale Auker, and Kent Rollins lend back-cover blurbs. Waddie Mitchell has written:

In this little book, a person can get lost in the wild beauty, tickled by crazy, educated by an expert and thoroughly entertained for hours. Chris is a natural born storyteller and observer of life. No one I know can pick the good and funny out of small moments like him. I've been lucky to spend a considerable amount of time around Chris over the years and am always anxious to get more. This book is like spending comfortable time, feet up, listening to one of the best.

Get the full serving of warm, wacky, and wild poems, stories, drawings, and photos in From the War Bag from Chris Isaacs, 502 N Harless, Eagar, AZ 85925, for $20 postpaid. Or order via PayPal (tubi6@yahoo.com).

Find more about Chris Isaacs in our feature here and at his site, www.chrisisaacs.com.

Posted 12/10



  An inspired new anthology, Brushstrokes & Balladeers: Painters and Poets of the American West, from editor and publisher C.J. Hadley and RANGE magazine, celebrates the depth and breadth of both arts. Starting with Charlie Russell’s “Self-Portrait” and ending with Red Steagall’s “Hats Off to the Cowboy,” many dozens of classic and modern works are offered in the impressive, high quality large-format hardcover book. The volume engages on many levels; the thought-provoking words and pictures include the familiar and obscure, humorous and serious, spirited and serene, irreverent and inspirational.

C.J. Hadley explains, “How did we choose the poets? From twenty-nine years attending the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko, Nevada. From a collection of dozens of cowboy poetry books, hundreds of tracks on CDs, and from suggestions from the first wordsmiths we picked. And for love of language and art, awe for horses, and an appreciation for cowboys, cowgirls, and ranch life.”

There are the words of beloved cowboy poets, lost to us in our time:
Buck Ramsey, Larry McWhorter, Sunny Hancock, Rod McQueary, J. B. Allen, Leon Flick, and E.J. Kirchoff. Contemporary poets include Wally McRae, Baxter Black, Waddie Mitchell, Red Steagall, Vess Quinlan, Joel Nelson, John Dofflemyer, Linda Hussa, Henry Real Bird, Georgie Sicking, Rod Miller, Linda Hasselstrom, Virginia Bennett, Randy Rieman, Bill Jones, Jesse Smith, Carolyn Dufurrena, Jack Walther, Sue Wallis, Shadd Piehl, Gwen Petersen, Laurie Wagner Buyer, Katie Andraski, Patty Barnhart, William E. Black Jr., John L. Moore, and Trish O'Malley.

Classic Western and cowboy poets are represented by S. Omar Barker, Bruce Kiskaddon, Will Ogilvie, Henry Herbert Knibbs, Badger Clark, Curley Fletcher, Jack Thorp, Mary Austin, Allen McCandless, Banjo Paterson, Joaquin Miller, Margot Liberty, and Everett Ruess. Additionally, fitting words are lent by Irish novelist and poet James Joyce; lawyer and U.S. Representative Eleutheros Cooke (1787-1864); and the Navajo Nation’s first Poet Laureate, Luci Tapahanso.

Complementing the poems are paintings, drawings, and illustrations from more than two dozen artists: Roger Archibald, John Bardwell, Buckeye Blake, Teal Blake, James Boren, Nancy Boren, Tom Browning, Mary Ross Buchholz, Tim Cox, Mollie Erkenback, Patty Fox, Don Gill, David Graham, Ann Hanson, Dave Holl, Teresa Jordan, William Matthews, Vel Miller, Karen G. Myers, Bill Owen, John Phelps, Thomas Quinn, Frederic Remington, Jason Rich, C.M. Russell, Steven Saylor, Craig Sheppard, Sophie Sheppard, and J. N. Swanson.

Biographies of all the poets and artists are included.

This lasting volume is an essential addition to the complete cowboy arts bookshelf.

Brushstrokes and Balladeers is available at a special discount, $29 plus postage. Find more at www.rangemagazine.com, with order information here on the site.

Posted 12/4


Oklahoman George Rhoades' book, Along the Chisholm Trail and Other Poems, is the recipient of a 2013 Will Rogers Medallion Award (willrogersmedallionaward.org) and other honors. The book "contains poems about the Chisholm Trail, cowboys, tall tales, farm life, and other reflections and observations."

George Rhoades' bio tells, "George Rhoades, born on a farm in Cotton County, Oklahoma, has been a soldier, printer, rancher, reporter/editor and college journalism professor. He is retired and owns a hay farm in Stephens County, Oklahoma."

Along the Chisholm Trail and Other Poems is available for $9.95 plus postage. Find ordering information, including an instant e-book download ($5.00) at the publisher's site, Outskirts Press. The book is available from Amazon  and Barnes & Noble.

Posted 11/12


  New Mexico poet Stuart Hooker has an attractive new collection of his poetry, A Cowboy Spirit. From the publisher's description:

A Cowboy Spirit is a collection of some of Hooker's cowboy poems that are new and fresh. They range from true events from his life, to inspirational poems, traditional poems, a romantic type poem, an outlaw poem, team roping poems, a few humorous poems, and a few that are a little "different," but nevertheless, enjoyable to read. These poems are about many subjects that arise in a cowboy's life. Stuart Hooker reveals how his heart and soul are driven by his passion for ranching and the cowboy way of life.

Find some of Stuart Hooker's poetry here at CowboyPoetry.com.

A Cowboy Spirit is available in softcover, hardback, and Ebook at Xlibris call 888-795-4274 ext. 7879, order online (and see some content) at Xlibris, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other booksellers.

Posted 10/2


  Henry Real Bird, Montana rancher, Crow elder, and past Montana Poet Laureate, has a new collection, Wolf Teeth, which brims with luminous poems. The reader is transportedoften on good horsesto worlds of uncommon light, rare spirituality, and the unexpected. There are horses, cowboys, rodeo stories, observations of Nature and the Spirit, and messages to unnamed objects of love in these clear and honest poems. 

One standout, "Cowboy," employs many generous stanzas with the life of Charles Russell woven through, in a poem that is full of sight and sound and layered images, often breathtaking, sometimes galloping—an impressive dissertation on cowboys and history:

...
He must have heard
the sun rising,
night hawk on herd.
This must have been the sixth sense
ground step, harmony with nature dispense.
...

Poet M.L. Smoke, Director of Indian Education for Montana comments on Wolf Teeth, "The inner heart commotion of Henry Real Bird is poised in a physical and metaphysical terrain marked by the history, culture, language and identity of his Apsaalooke nation. At the same time, no one else contemplates broncs, Chinook winds, the Wolf Teeth Mountains and forgotten creek beds in the way that Real Bird does—his is a careful, astute eye that reminds us again and again of our own interrelation, of our responsibility to all beings, all places that make up our world and beyond."

Find "Cowboy" and another poem, along with the table of contents for Wolf Teeth in our feature here.

The book is beautifully produced and designed by Lost Horse Press, from the cover painting by Chuck deHaan, to Henry Real Bird's own illustrations inside the book, to the back cover, which displays Jeri Dobrowski's popular image of the poet, taken at the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering.

Wolf Teeth is available for $16.95 plus postage from Lost Horse Press, www.losthorsepress.org and other booksellers.

Posted 9/25


  Though Don Edwards is arguably the greatest modern American cowboy balladeer, he's a man of quiet humility. His new recording, Just Me and My Guitar, doesn't come with any slick media releases or hype. Even the title is humble. The packaging is spare, only a track list and credits. After all, it's what's inside, a deeply rich treasury of impressive picking, singing and composition that is important to the audience, and, obviously, to him.

Steeped in music history, he is the master interpreter of traditional songs, and among the album's selections are "Jack O' Diamonds," "When I Was a Cowboy," "Poor Lonesome Cowboy," and "Cowboy's Lament." More recent standards are given the same respectful yet fresh presentation as well, such as Tex Owens' "Cattle Call"; Stan Jones' "Riders in the Sky," and Bob Nolan's "Cool Water."

Much of the project is suffused with an appealing, certain bluesy melancholy. Hank Williams' "Weary Blues" and three songs by Jimmie Rodgers, including "Waiting for a Train" and "Cowhand's Last Ride," complement Don Edwards' own blues pieces ("Cowtown Blues" and "Cyclone Blues")—all are among the most outstanding, complex tracks.

There's also Don Edwards' popular tribute to Tom Mix, "West of Yesterday"; the powerful "How Great Thou Art"; and more, 17 total tracks.

It all makes for great listening.

Don Edwards has been an ambassador of cowboy music to the wide world; his work is an enduring legacy. Known for his generosity as well as his humility, he has nurtured the talents of other deserving artists who will carry on the traditions. To be able to listen to "just him and his guitar" with such sincere performances is his most recent generous gift to us all.

See our feature here about Don Edwards.

Just Me and My Guitar is available for $15 plus postage from www.DonEdwardsMusic.com and from Amazon, CDBaby, iTunes, and other outlets.

Posted 9/20


  Finally. The "desert island" book for cowboy poetry fans: the master, Baxter Black, has compiled his Poems Worth Saving in a new, hardcover book. He notes that the title leaves room for a sequel, Poems Not Worth Saving.

Readers will find old favorites, gems they may have missed, a lot of humor, a few serious pieces, and some of Baxter's best columns and commentary. The pieces are sorted into chapters. The first is "Cowboy Mentality," which includes Baxter classics such as "Cowboy Time" and "The Oyster."

Chapter Two covers "Cow, Calf, Ranching." He introduces it as stories that are mostly "one cowboy versus one cow" and comments, "I would suggest God put them in his plan when He was seeking to add some humor to the vast universe." Poems such as "Prolapse from the Black Lagoon" are penned there. Other chapters are titled "Feedlot, Market, Bankers, and Sheep"; "Horses, Rodeo, Veterinarians," with a few serious pieces such as "Legacy of a Rodeo Man" and "The Buckskin Mare"; "Farming, The Weather"; and "Christmas, Holidays," which includes the popular "Reindeer Flu."

He writes that the final chapter, "Assorted Strays," is "where I got off the beaten path and let my mind wander." Baxter ever having been on a "beaten path" is worth pondering, and so are the pieces in the chapter, especially "Just Words."

And for delicious frosting on the already tasty cake, the book is generously sprinkled with a great selection of illustrations by Bob Black, Don Gill, Dave Holl, Charlie Marsh, A-10 (Etienne Etcheverry), and Bill Patterson; Baxter's infectious humor comes through in their antic illustrations. He appreciates them, and in a section that includes their bios and photos, he writes, "My plastic sleeve is off to you ..."

Baxter makes it look easy, but as you savor his work you see that the madness underneath is fine indeed. He's brilliant, informed, possibly certifiable, and, as
Hank the Cowdog author John Erickson observes about his use of words, "He gives them an order we never dreamed was there."

Whether you are headed for that desert island or just want to put your feet up and be entertained,
Poems Worth Saving will be good company.

See our feature about Baxter Black here.

Poems Worth Saving is available for $24.95 from BaxterBlack.com; 800-654-2550.

Posted 9/19


  Andy Hedges' music goes beyond any simple categorization. Is it "cowboy?" Mostly. Is it relevant? Always. He makes the old new with his inventive, thoughtful renderings of traditional folk music, creations that come to inhabit their own timeless place among the best roots music. While he seems to channel the spirits of the old ballads and blues, he reinvents them with his singular picking, singing, and interpretations. Throughout his latest release, Cowboy Songster, his delivery expresses the irony, humor, longing, and pain encompassed in his selections; the songs are reborn as uniquely his.

A serious musician and collector and scholar of traditional works from a young age, Andy Hedges now has eight albums, a Wrangler Award, and many acclaimed performances to stand on. Perhaps there is no better endorsement of his work than that of great American cowboy troubadour Don Edwards, who calls Andy Hedges' music "undeniably real," and states, "Andy could very well carry on the traditions when all us old guys are gone. I'd feel assured in knowing the music of our great American West was in good hands."

Cowboy Songster includes a satisfying range of traditional songs—among them, "Diamond Joe," "Old Chisholm Trail," Chuck-Wagon Blues," "The Bronc That Wouldn't Bust," "The Brazos River Song"all arranged by Andy Hedges, along with Curley Fletcher's "Wild Buckaroo," and "Down South on the Rio Grande," a traditional piece with original music. "Boll Weevil" and  "James Alley Blues" are particular standouts. Liner notes list his father's rebuilt guitar as one of the instruments used in the recording, along with "one of Ramblin' Jack's old guitar picks."

Cowboy Songster honors tradition, and like the historic works he brings to life, Andy Hedges offers important music that will endure.

Find a video preview of Cowboy Songster here at YouTube.

See our feature here about Andy Hedges with the Cowboy Songster track list and visit www.AndyHedges.com where there are videos and audio files.

Cowboy Songster is available for $17 plus postage from Yellowhouse Music, CD Baby, with downloads at iTunes.

Posted 9/18


  Utah cowboy Paul Bliss has a long-awaited CD of his poetry and, a fine addition, his music. Paul Bliss can move effortlessly and naturally from humor to lyric poetry to entertaining music, and he delivers it all with an engaging voice of experience. From the producers of Pure Bliss:

Fans of this well known, respected cowboy and poet from Salem, Utah will be delighted with this collection of some old favorites that Paul has performed at numerous poetry gatherings—but the big news and pleasant surprise is the new material that Paul has written and performed with music and song for the very first time!

Paul Bliss has a unique talent for describing the everyday life of this Western-bred rancher, rodeo performer, wrangler and Trail Boss. When he composes poetry, and now music, he truly is speaking from experience from years of living the ranch life and dealing with cattle, horses and people on a daily basis. You can’t go wrong listening to this latest offering from a past WMA Utah Poet of the Year. He’s admittedly more comfortable on the range than in town. Paul considers himself “just a cowboy,” a little hard to catch up with maybe, but when you do …. it’s Pure Bliss.

Find a track list here and find some of Paul's poetry and more about him on that same page at the BAR-D.

Pure Bliss is available for $15 plus postage from www.paulfbliss.blogspot.com.

Posted 9/17


  Texas poet Teresa Burleson, named Cowgirl Poet of the Year in 2010 by the Academy of Western Artists, has a new CD, The Legend Remains.

From the description:

There are 11 poems that were inspired by her life and her heritage and one track that took her out of her comfort zone as she sings "I Reckon I’m a Texan." The material on this CD reflects Teresa’s sense of humor, her love of history and her roots that are planted in the agricultural and cowboy way of life.

Find the track list and more about the CD along with a poem by Teresa Burleson here at CowboyPoetry.com.

The Legend Remains is available for $17 postpaid from www.teresaburlesoncowgirlpoet.com; or contact Teresa Burleson at texascowgirlpoet@yahoo.com.

Posted 7/31


  Top singer and songwriter and respected horseman Mike Beck's new project, Tribute, gives 100% of its proceeds to The Joyful Horse Project and the Healing with Horses pilot program, where recent military veterans are working with rescue horses.

He tells about about the new album here on his web site:

The Tribute album is primarily a collection of horse songs, but it also includes two songs that were recorded in honor of U.S veterans and a poem by Jeremiah Watt.

I wanted to make this record as a tribute to horses. and, I wanted the proceeds to support a worthy cause—one that helps both horses and people come together in true partnership.

I spent two months in Austin Texas recording this album while working on a pilot program with The Joyful Horse Project (a 501c3 charity). On the weekends U.S. Veterans came out to work with horses that were being rehabilitated from abuse and neglect.

I was there to help the veterans get to where they could catch the horses and work with them safely. Working with the veterans helps give the horses a sense of purpose and gets them in a
better frame of mind for placement into new homes. It's a perfect blend really and it's amazing to see the changes in the both the veterans and the horses.

...Watch the video about this project on my YouTube Channel: www.youtube.com/watch?v=5cpJxdQIjtM&feature=youtu.be

Beth Rand of The Joyful Horse Project comments on the album contents:

Mike Beck has a passion for sharing the cowboy lifestyle through his music - writing songs about the West. and on occasion, from the horse's perspective.

Beck's new song "20 Bucks a Gallon" that debuts on the Tribute CD is a great example of humor and honky tonk. but the record showcases his wide range of songwriting talent from upbeat American folk ballads to the bluesy "100 Dollar Horse." Beck's signature B-Bender electric guitar and vocals are featured in "Amanda Come Home" and "Don't Hurt My Heart" and he closes out the collection with a unique remake of Canned Heat's "Work Together." ...

Find the track list and read more about Tribute here in our feature about Mike Beck.

Learn more about Tribute and The Joyful Horse Project here and on Facebook.com/TheJoyfulHorseProject.

Find more about Mike Beck and more of his lyrics in our feature here, and visit www.MikeBeck.com.

Tribute is $20 postpaid. Order here from The Joyful Horse Project.

Posted 7/25


  Johnny Kendrick, popular Missouri songwriter, poet, and interpreter of cowboy songs, has another impressive release, Tales of the Perilous Trail. It is described:

Johnny Kendrick’s Tales of the Perilous Trail is a collection of authentic and traditional songs and stories about the American Cowboys. As the title suggests, all have a common theme of moving along, and the trials, troubles and joy that can bring. A couple of cowboy songs from the Carter Family, a Hank Williams classic that didn't sell, and a discovered gem recorded by Tex Owens on a Kansas City radio show in 1936 are just a few of the highlights of this trail to revelation. Others are a fresh take on Huddie Ledbetter's cowboy, Peter LaFarge’s classic Native American ballad, and a new song by the Turnpike Troubadours interpreted with an old perspective. Subtle work with guitar, tenor guitar, piccolo banjo and an understated fiddle help tell the stories. Accompanists on this true-to-the-spirit collection are Kendrick's sons Jackson and Samuel.

See track list here along with some of Johnny Kendrick's poems and lyrics. Find the liner notes here at www.JohnnyKendrick.com and listen to samples at cdbaby.com/johnnykendrick.

Tales of the Perilous Trail is $14 postpaid from www.johnnykendrick.com, or downloads are available at cdbaby.com/johnnykendrick.

Posted 7/9


Jared Rogerson's Dirt is a perfect road trip soundtrack. It has a generous helping of memorable good songs in the hands of talented musicians and the honest, authentic, and dynamic voice of Rogerson. Rodeo, horses, loveeven the title's dirtinspires these songs. The energy works like a transfusion. You want to roll down the windows, turn up the volume, and go.

Jared Rogerson comments that the album, "... just as the name implies, paints a portrait of modern day life closely associated with that most basic component of the American West."

The album's media release tells more about the talented singer and songwriter, "Raised in the mighty Rocky Mountain West, Jared Rogerson is the product of a generation learning to thrive in midst of ever-changing surroundings. His songwriting draws from 17 years of bronc' riding in rodeos and countless miles traversing the rugged backcountry on horseback. Then throw earning a Master's degree in biology into the repertoire of his
life's experiences and back it with an array of musical influences from Chris LeDoux to the Grateful Dead. The end result is a modern cowboy-flavored vibe lyrically embellished with character and an honest edge, and deepened by the unmistakable tone of genuine experience. Jared calls his unique sonic blend of contemporary authenticity, 'Western Country.' It's Authentic Country Music from the New West!

See a promo video, "Where Dirt Comes From" here, which includes some rodeo footage of Jared Rogerson.

His third album, Dirt is a solid offering that deserves a wide listening audience. Like the previous Peace, Love, and Horses, Dirt was co-produced with award-winning singer/songwriter Brenn Hill and Ryan Tilby.

See our feature on Jared Rogerson here.

Dirt is available for $20 postpaid from jaredrogerson.com, where there are audio samples and lyrics.

Posted 5/8


  The main title of Juni Fisher's latest recording, Listen, is deceptively spare. Even before you listen to the dazzling music, the engaging liner notes draw you into into her world and the unique experience of the project; you're listening before a note is played. You follow her journey and learn how she came to listen to her own heart in a greatly healing way. What results are songs—from blues to ballads that are deep, moving, exhilarating, and complex—with a singular passion: the horse.

Along with her own outstanding compositions, there are collaborations with poets Waddie Mitchell and Diane Tribitt; a cover of Mike Beck's iconic "Patrick"; and the traditional "Stewball."

A "warning" on CD states, "The true horsemen and women who listen to this album may be inspired to laugh, cry, and share the word. Those who do not fully understand may seek to learn more, and for that, the horses of the world are celebrating..." In short: everyone should listen.

Produced by Dave Martin, the music is flawless. Carolyn Martin joins in on Harmonies in the title track. Jeri Dobrowski of Lamesteer Publishing & Graphics designed the attractive package, which includes a photograph by California's Cindy Stout Quigley.

Find the lyrics for the standout "Fly Without Leaving the Ground," a song filled with hard-earned wisdom in our feature about Juni Fisher here. She comments that it is inspired by how she changed the way she felt about riding, and writes, "It is a gift, now, just riding for the sheer joy of riding."

Listen (to the horse) is available at www.JuniFisher.com.

Posted 4/23


  Eastern Montana ranch hand, poet, and picker DW Groethe calls Prairie Song: A Meander of Memory, a collection of "new and used poems." It includes over three dozen new poems and selections from previous books and chapbooks. There's praise for the book:

DW Groethe's poetry brings intimacy and grace to a wide, wild West. Drawing on a generous life as a ranch hand, DW's writing beautifully evokes the poignant moments and timeless stories of a true citizen of the shortgrass prairie. Meg Glaser, Artistic Director, Western Folklife Center

There aren't a lot of poets whose work consistently impresses me-who pen poem after poem that, in Emily Dickinson's words, make me "feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off." But DW Groethe's poetry does that kind of thing to me. While reading his words I've felt my brain do backflips, my knees weaken, my hands quiver, and my belly button come undone. And that's not counting the times he makes me laugh. You'll have to ride long and hard to round up another poet who writes about cowboys and the West with the skill, talent, and artistry that DW does. So snug up your cinches, screw your hat down tight, and enjoy this long-awaited collection of poems. Rod Miller, Spur Award-winning poet and author

Cover photos are by Jessica Brandi Lifland.

As his bio tells, he has "... been invited to perform his eclectic assortment of poems and tunes at the Western Folklife Center’s National Cowboy Poetry Gathering, two National Folk Festivals, the Library of Congress, The Kennedy Center…and a whole lot of grand places all over the West. His poems have appeared in American Cowboy, Cowboy Magazine, RATTLE, The Cowboy Way, Rope Burns; at CowboyPoetry.com; and on the Western Folklife Center and National Public Radio’s What’s in a Song, Ranch Rhymes: Cowboy Poetry and Music from the Western Folklife Center, and The BAR-D Roundup from the Center for Western and Cowboy Poetry."

Find some of DW Groethe's poems and lyrics in our feature here.

Prairie Song is available for $18 postpaid from DW Groethe, PO Box 144, Bainville, MT 59212; 406/769-7312 

Posted 3/18


  Master songwriter and musician Mike Beck's latest release, Pine Street Girl, brims with rich lyrics and outstanding performances. There are solo tracks as well as selections with his band, The Bohemian Saints,s a showcase of their individual and collective breadth and range. Even the original songs that have appeared on earlier releases shine here in fresh and fine renditions.

The eclectic mix flows with traditional tunes such as "Ol' Blue" and "The Cuckoo"; a standout interpretation of Robert Johnson's "Crossroads"; Ian Tyson's "Summer Wages"; Mike Beck's songs such as "Don't Hurt My Heart,"
"Oildale," and "John Steinbeck Drank in Here"; and the sparkling title track, with a style unique even to the complex writer Mike Beck (who says it was "fun to write"). Renate Lade adds graceful harmony vocals to that track.

Find the track list here and listen to samples here on CD Baby.

Mike Beck is also working on a forthcoming CD with The Joyful Horse Project, a collection of songs about horses. A respected horse trainer, Mike Beck has been working with the organization that pairs recent military veterans and rescue horses. The CD will be released in May, 2013, with all proceeds going toward the program. Read more here.

Find more about Mike Beck in our feature here and visit www.MikeBeck.com.

Posted 3/15  


  Colorado rancher Terry Nash announces the release of December Stragglers, his latest album of cowboy poetry:

Thirteen tracks make up this new collection, showcasing original poems by Nash and solid classics by poets such as Larry McWhorter, Badger Clark, Colen Sweeten, and a few others, providing a broad sample of the cowboy poetry Terry delivers at gatherings throughout the West.

The title poem, "December Stragglers", describes real-life happenings on the high country range where Terry runs his cattle.  "A Cowman's Lot" gives the listener unique insight into what a cowman sometimes deals with during calving in the late winter.
 
The CD was recorded by studio owner and producer Ken Dravis at AspenLeafRecording.com in Grand Junction, Colorado.  On several tracks, Dravis joins in with backing tracks of his original guitar work, making for some darn good listening.
Find the track list, some of Terry's poems and more about him here at CowboyPoetry.com.
 
December Stragglers is $16 postpaid, available from Terry Nash at 1278 N Road, Loma, CO 81524; 970-261-6037; tknzoo@acsol.net; www.terrynashcowboypoet.com.

Posted 3/15


 

  In This Place, Montana songwriter, poet, and photographer John Michael Reedy captures the extraordinary beauty of the ranch in a "gentle valley in southwest Montana" that he and his family call home. The impressive photography is accompanied by his poems and songs.

In an introductory piece, he tells that "this humble ground":

...has provided
a canvas,
a focal point,
for a creative life.
A place to look
outward, inward.
A place to find beauty
and stories
that come from knowing a place
deeply.

...

Find more about John Reedy and some of his poetry and lyrics here at CowboyPoetry.com and visit www.twistedcowboy.com.

See some of the book's photographs and an introduction in Picture the West.

This Place is available here from the publisher, where you can also view the entire book online.

Posted 2/25


Popular poet and working ranch woman Jessica Hedges, just back from a return appearance at the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering, has released her second recording, Buckaroo Woman Unconfined.

It is described as exploring "...the modern world of the working buckaroo and the women within it. The stories are further enhanced by music, taking you to the vast expanses of the Great Basin."

There are 18 tracks of her original poetry and a recitation of Bruce Kiskaddon's "Bronco Twister's Prayer." Find the title poem here, along with other poems, at CowboyPoetry.com and see the Buckaroo Woman Unconfined track list here.

Visit JessicaHedgescowboypoetry.com for much more, including her lively blog.

Find the Buckaroo Woman Unconfined CD and downloads (and her previous, award-winning History in The Barn recording) at her web site, here.

Posted 2/19
 


Colorado poet, songwriter, and musician Al "Doc" Mehl has countless poet and musicians friends, and some of themand experiences at various gatherings—are among the inspirations for poems in his most recent release, The Great Divide, as told in the colorful liner notes.

He describes the release:

Al "Doc" Mehl has released a new album of original cowboy poetry titled The Great Divide. This is Doc's second CD of original cowboy poetry, and he has previously released two albums of original contemporary western music as well. The Great Divide includes seventeen tracks of poetry (and, by golly, that adds up to over 400 rhyming couplets.), with tracks of brief original instrumental music woven in between the spoken-word recitations. Along with Doc's uniquely "west-clectic" spoken-word creations, hear Doc himself playing the guitar and western cello on the musical interludes, accompanied by Eric Christiansen on harmonica and Dawn Watson on mandolin.

Find the title poem here and more of his Doc Mehl's poetry here at the BAR-D.

See the entire track list here. The Great Divide is available for $18 postpaid from Doc Mehl; 9140 W. 107th Place; Westminster, CO 80021. Find more at www.docmehl.com.

Posted 2/19


  Utah poet Paul Kern's describes his new release, Saddle Songs of Idaho:

My third CD Saddle Songs of Idaho is deeply rooted in my Gem State heritage. Though each of the fourteen tracks is based on something that took place somewhere up north, they all contribute to describe the colorful mosaic that is the American West. It was during the 2011 awards ceremony of the Academy of Western Artists in Ft. Worth that I heard western and Texas swing performed live for the very first time. I came away thinking that somehow I needed to marry up “that music” with my recited poetry—seemingly an odd mix at the outset. Over the course of the following months I came in contact with musicians who were recording tracks of swing and other western musical styles that just might fit with what I had in mind. The resulting mix was somewhat magical. The product of this synthesis is Saddles Songs of Idahoa lively blend of swing and western music together with cadenced poetry.  From the opening number all wrapped up in steel guitar “Tell Me It Ain’t So” to the questioning “Why’d He Have to Steal My Boots?” to the mocking electrified style of “Children of the Mustang Range” to the penetrating bass line in “A Little South of Dixie” this passel of musical poetry is bound to be slightly addictive. You’ll want to listen again and again.

Paul Kern's CD, Rimrock, Where the Memories Rhyme, was named the top 2011 cowboy poetry CD by the Academy of Western Artists. He recites his poem, "At Coddings Place," on The BAR-D Roundup: Volume Three. Find some of his poetry and more about him here at CowboyPoetry.com.

Saddle Songs of Idaho is available for $10 from http://Kunaki.com/MSales.asp?PublisherId=113415

Posted 2/19


  Award-winning South Dakota poet and fine leather craftsman Slim McNaught's book, Between My Horse's Ears, includes 16 original poems. The attractive cover is by South Dakota poet and artist Bonnie Krogman.

Find a list of the book's contents here at the BAR-D, where you can also read about Slim McNaught and find some of his poetry.

Slim McNaught's CD, Reminiscin', was named Top Cowboy Poetry CD by the Academy of Western Artists in 2009. He is the official "Poet Lariat" of the Live! With Jim Thompson show. Find more about Slim McNaught at www.SlimsCustomLeather.com

Between My Horse's Ears is available for $10.50 postpaid from Slim McNaught, P.O. Box 274, New Underwood, SD 57761; 605-754-6103.

Posted 1/10
 

 

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