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News Since the Most Recent Newsletter:


On this page:


  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.


  The inimitable Baxter Black weaves a tale in irresistible rollicking rhyme in the popular cowboy poet and philosopher's new Christmas book, Reindeer Flu.

A dizzying cast of animal characters replace Santa's stricken reindeer, including an ostrich, a walrus, an albatross, a bull moose, an elk, a rubber duck, and more. They are gathered, and:

Were harnessed in line
but the last volunteer
was a Blue Heeler dog
with only one ear.

The cowboy elves
gave a push to to the sled
as Santy rared back,
cracked his whip, then he said....

And the adventure has just begun. Only Baxter Black could dream up such an artful tale. There's no one too old or too young to enjoy it.  

Reindeer Flu follows last year's popular book, Rudolph's Night Off. The author comments, "Reindeer Flu is another misaligned story poem that can be memorized by the young at heart and read or recited on festive occasions. You see, poems are meant to be read out loud, or at least, move your lips! So take this poem and please use it wisely. Don't waste happiness."

Bill Patterson's expressive illustrations channel the wild, fun story. As a bonus, there are 16 coloring pages included, all related to, but different than the book's pages.

The beautifully designed book (by Becky Harvey) is a keeper for many Christmases forward.

Find more about about Baxter Black in our feature here.

Reindeer Flu is available from, where there are special offers for it and other books and recordings.

Posted 12/12

  If you listen to Brenn Hill's lively Western-tinged "Frosty the Snowman" on his new North Pole Rodeo album and don't catch the Christmas spirit, seek help. The great mix of original songs and traditional and standard tunes with fresh arrangements are a guaranteed to spark the warmth of the season.

His original "Quinney's Riggin'" is a standout ("And thank God for cowboys and wise men and friends/long as I live I will never forget/the tears from his mama's eyes/the leather in his hand/the night that Quinney gave his riggin' to Sam"). The moving story embraces the deep meaning of gifts and Christmas. Like so many of Brenn Hill's compositions, it has a disarming complexity; it's cinematic, easy to imagine with much to ponder. Repeated listening only deepens the experience.

Other real cowboy Christmas songs include a fine version of Steve Weisberg's "Christmas for Cowboys" and the title song, a toe-tapping flat-out-fun ride written by Brenn Hill, "North Pole Rodeo" ("You ain't never seen a bareback ride/'Til you seen an elf on a polar bear's back side/Or try to toss a loop round a slick wet seal/Or hog tie a narwhal, man that's a slippery deal").

In addition to "Frosty the Snowman," there are rocking arrangements of "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer," and  "Santa Claus is Comin' to Town."

Sensitive and reverent renditions of traditional songs such as "Away in a Manger," "What Child is This," and "Silent Night" reflect Brenn Hill's sincere deep faith, which he addresses in the liner notes.

A poet as well as  songwriter, he includes a recitation of his poem, "Cottonwood," a serene expression of gratitude and a graceful portrait of the season.

Brenn Hill has an intensity in writing and in singing that never fails to deliver, and that holds true with this sparkling Christmas album that has much for everyone.

Find the track list and more about Brenn Hill in our feature here.

North Pole Rodeo is available for $18 from  and downloads are available at
iTunes. Find track samples at iTunes and  here at Brenn Hill's site.

Posted 12/11

  A grand musical celebration of Wylie Gustafson's native state, Wylie & the Wild West's Sky Tones—Songs of Montana offers a breadth of styles in its collection of inspired tunes. There are lullabies, waltzes, ballads, a polka, and, of course, some incomparable yodeling from the master.

Wylie Gustafson comments, "For me, there is no better inspiration to celebrate the wide open spaces than by being a songwriter from Montana. To sing about another place seems almost unfaithful."

He describes the CD, "Sky Tones is a compilation album of our Montana-themed songs that I have composed and/or recorded over the years. In March of 2012 we went to Nashville and re-recorded 'Ridin’ the Hi-Line,' 'Montana Moon,' 'Goodbye Old Paint,' 'The Yodeling Fool,' 'Big Sky Lullaby,' and 'My Home’s In Montana.' It is the perfect soundtrack for any kind of Montana journey you plan on taking: physical or metaphysical, car or horseback, whether you are counting on loneliness or casting for love!"

A group of top-notch musicians back up this spirited release, including Dennis Crouch, Hoot Hester, John McTique, Erik Gustafson, Mark Thornton, Larry Marrs, and Robby Turner. The stunning cover art is from a painting by Tim Cox, designed by George Garfio.

See our feature here about Wylie & the Wild West.

Sky Tones—Songs of Montana is available for $15 postpaid from Wylie Gustafson's Find sample tracks for the entire album at

Posted 12/7

  Fifth-generation rancher Deanna Dickinson McCall's long-awaited collection of stories and poems, Mustang Spring, is published by The Frontier Project. From their announcement:

Deanna McCall has cows, horses and a love of the land bred into her, coming from a family that began ranching in Texas in the 1840s. She has ranched in several western states, including 25 years spent raising her family on a remote Nevada ranch without phones or electricity. Riding on her own ranches, riding for day wages, receiving cattle at sale yards, and selling feed and vet supplies have given her fodder for her been-there, done-that stories and poetry. She and her husband and son ranch in the Sacramento Mountains of southern New Mexico.

The cover is by award-winning artist Teal Blake.

See more here at The Frontier Project site.

A popular performer at Western events, Deanna McCall's poetry and stories have been published in magazines and anthologies. She recites her poetry on