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Wylie Gustafson

photo: Ross Hecox, Western Horseman

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Yahooooooooo!!  Yep, that's Wylie Gustafson.  But it's just one of the many talents of this popular singer, songwriter, and great American yodeler. Wylie has a range of styles about as wide as he is tall. 

Read about Wylie below.

Visit the Wylie & the Wild West web site for information, tour dates, track samples, and more.

Some Lyrics
The Gather
Yodeling Fool
Room to Roam

21st Century Blues


About Wylie Gustafson 

Some Recordings from Wylie & the Wild West
and Wylie's How to Yodel Book

Contact Information




photo: Ross Hecox, Western Horseman

The August, 2008 issue of Western Horseman features Wylie in a photo-filled feature-length cover story, "Wylie's Wild West," by Senior Editor Ross Hecox.




Hear Wylie's 2006 performance on PBS' Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor

Watch Wylie & the Wild West's 2003 performance at The Kennedy Center

  Find more news and  links at Wylie's web site

Some Lyrics

Where Horses are Heroes
16 Hands
A Good One
The Gather
Yodeling Fool
Room to Roam

21st Century Blues

You can hear samples of each of these songs on Wylie's site.


Where Horses are Heroes

Send me away to the heart of the battle
Where truth can be found in the perch of a saddle
Where fate unfolds on pastures of green
Where horses are heroes and cowboys are kings

Take me away, up and away
Out on a cow camp cuttin' out strays
Where a good cow pony would make a fool of machines
Where horses are heroes and cowboys are kings

Where a man is content to be alone
With a house of sky to call his own
Where the Jack pine whispers and the Red Tail screams
Where Horses are heroes and cowboys are kings

Sing me away to the roll and the rattle
Of a thousand head of wanderin' cattle
Let the ancient song of the prairie ring
Where horses are heroes and cowboys are kings

© 2006, Wylie Gustafson, from Bucking Horse Moon
These lyrics may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.


16 Hands

Devil's on my trail but he can't catch me
Devil's on my trail but he can't catch me
I ride a roan mare, she was built for speed
I'm 16 hands closer to God

I worship in a church not made by man
I worship in a church not made by man
Her walls will never crumble and turn to sand
I'm 16 hands closer to God

I was a prisoner but now I am free
I was a prisoner but now I am free
My savior bled and died for me
Staked to the timber of an old pine tree
I'm 16 hands closer to God

© 2006, Wylie Gustafson, from Bucking Horse Moon
These lyrics may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

A Good One

There's nuthin like a good one between yer knees
Light to the rein and willin' to please
Together as one the day will be done
On a good one I'll find my way home

The world looks better from up on a throne
Strapped to the topside of muscle and bone
Below me, a friend, on whom I depend
On a good one I'll find my way home

        Where luck is fickle and the days are long
        Danger is quick and the cattle are strong
        Married in movement, purpose and song
        On a good one I'll find my way home

When at last the angels call my name
And the trail is ended on this earthly plane
Just send me away on a big honest bay
On a good one I'll find my way home

© 2001, Wylie Gustafson, from Hooves of the Horses
These lyrics may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.


On a summer day
under clear blue skies
my troubles flitter away like a little bird
I’m in paradise

Where the waters fall
and the mountains rise
far away from the rustle of the city
I’m in Paradise

    On my big brown bay I drift away
    Stirrups dangling down, they’re a-swingin’
    to the rhythm of the music that plays
    when the meadowlark sings
    And the cool wind whispers... rrride!

Where the cattle graze
along the green hillsides
No worries in the world today
I’m in paradise

© 2001, Wylie Gustafson, from Paradise
These lyrics may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.


The Gather

The sun is peekin' over the ridge
The air is crisp and the sky is big
Leaves are fallin', the cattle are bawlin'
Ridin' out on the gather

A cowdog is creepin' with his head slung low
Hooves are squeekin' on the fresh fallen snow
Morning is breakin' and my soul is awakened
Ridin out on the gather

 My pockets are empty but I don't care
 I know that I'm winning when I'm out there

Where the magpies are talkin' in the cottonwood trees
And the river is tickled by a cool northern breeze
I'm floatin' like a feather when I'm sittin on the leather
Ridin out on the gather

© 1999, Wylie Gustafson, from Ridin' the High Line 
These lyrics may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.



Yodeling Fool

Small town boy from Montana, he wore a red bandana
with a guitar always close at hand
led by his intuition, he had but one ambition
to become the greatest yodeler in the land
you could find him in the streets in the alleys and the bars
 correcting and perfecting his tune
the towns folk just laughed, turned their backs
he was the local yodeling fool

he practiced every day he practiced every night
his song seemed to be his only friend
one day he disappeared and the townsfolk cheered,
"hooray, we'll never have to hear him again"
no longer in the streets and the alleys and the bars could you hear his
lonesome tune
for the boy had gone and taken with him his song of the local yodeling fool

one day farmer Bill had his truck parked on the hill
with his radio blaring across the town
who should he hear coming in so loud and clear
it was that local yodeling clown
it was heard in the streets and the alleys and the bars
a voice that rang so true
they heard that shout and they new without a doubt
it was the local yodeling fool

© Wylie Gustafson from Total Yodel
These lyrics may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.



Room to Roam

Take me away to my ol prairie home
Give me a range to ride
and room to roam

Where the stars shine bright
that's where I belong
No fences to hold me
Just room to roam

Room to roam, I long to be lonesome
Room to roam, forever and then some

Under endless skies
That's where I belong
With miles and miles
Of room to roam

© Wylie Gustafson, from Get Wild
These lyrics may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.



In the soft low light up high
Out where love has always thrived
And will forever yearn for the colorful hover
A brush stroke of words out of the West
We still want free life
We still want fresh air

Out on the wild side
Where the hills don’t know my name
Nature’s people on the fly
Hear them sing their sweet refrain

And as the millennia meander by
Like birthdays to the earth
What thrill a saffron blade of grass, blue sage, scrub oak
Still brings us on our jaunt across the land
Our daily poem
Our prayer

Out on the wild side
Where the hills don’t know my name
Nature’s people on the fly
Hear them sing their sweet refrain

© Wylie Gustafson and Paul Zarzyski
These lyrics may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

21st Century Blues

I’m a relic of the past hangin’ hard and fast to the only life I know
Got my Manuel suit and handmade boots all dressed up with nowhere to go
Them radio DJs ain’t playin’ my song and no one’s ever heard of me
Just trying to make a livin as a cowboy singer in the 21st century

I’m rollin down the road in my beat up Ford
I got a 50 dollar gig to play
I pass a Prevost with some Nashville hero
Rollin the other way
I’m headed West, he’s headed East and ne'er the twain shall meet
I’m trying to make a livin as a cowboy singer in the 21st century

You wonder why do I yodel to the moon
He’s the only one who can understand this lonesome cowboy tune
They’re putting my name up in the Hall of Shame on the Wall of Obscurity
Just trying to make a livin as a cowboy singer in the 21st century


I’m a relic of the past hangin’ hard and fast to the only life I know
Got my Manuel suit and handmade boots all rigged out with nowhere to go
Them radio DJs ain’t playin’ my song and no one’s ever heard of me
Just trying to make a livin as a cowboy singer in the 21st century

© 2013, Wylie Gustafson, Two Medicine Music BMI, from Relic
These lyrics may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

About Wylie Gustafson 

In this era of prepackaged superstars, of pale imitations of country music being pushed onto the public by faceless media giants, the music of Wylie & The Wild West is a beacon of truth and honest beauty. As one critic says, “Wylie Gustafson is the coolest cowpoke around. Forget everything you hate about modern country, this guy is old-school cool without being a tired period piece.”

Five-thirty in the morning is not an hour generally claimed by musicians. While most singers and strummers are dozing on the bus or at the local Motel 6, there is one musician who is rising to face the day. Wylie Gustafson. Of course, there is a reason for his early waking. His horses aren’t going to feed themselves.

Despite his successful career as one of America’s most recognized and unique entertainers, Wylie still gets up everyday and tends to the livestock. It grounds him and is the backbone of his art. The secret of Wylie’s honest, soulful music isn’t in any musical formula or flashy gimmick. Its purity lies in Wylie’s character: earnest and hard-working, beaming with friendly vigor, topped off with a smile as warm as first sunlight rising over the prairie.

Wylie’s special cowboy blend of Americana music–served up with a helping of infectious energy–gets the crowd going every time. No less authority than Billboard Magazine declared, “When Wylie & The Wild West play, folks get up and dance!” It rings true from festivals to state fairs, bars to barn dances.

When asked to define his music, Wylie explains, “We are a good-time cowboy band that hates to be boring. I know that the young urban crowds in Seattle appreciate us as much as the working cowboys do. Our music is not limited to one type of listener.”

Making his home near Dusty, Washington for many years, Wylie’s influence spread around the world. International tours have taken the band to Australia, Europe, South America, and Japan. Stateside, they have performed at such prestigious venues as Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center, the National Folk Festival, MerleFest, the Bumbershoot Festival, and the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering. And, they have made more than 50 appearances on the Grand Ole Opry. Wylie also appeared on Late Night with Conan O’Brien and A Prairie Home Companion. A new symphony show is bringing his music to the classical set.

That is not the resume of a mediocre performer. Wylie’s dynamic stage presence keeps getting him invited back to venues year after year. As a seasoned singer/songwriter with over a dozen nationally distributed albums under his belt, Wylie has etched his presence onto the American music scene. His voice echoed in millions of homes as the prominent yodel in the successful Yahoo! advertising campaign.

All of Wylie’s music is dashed off with a hardy dose of trail dust. An accomplished cutting horse enthusiast who is once again calling Montana home, Wylie claimed the 2005 NCHA Western National Finals Championship, 2007 Non-Pro Reserve Championship, and was a 2006 and 2008 Open Finalist. Guitar in hand and standing in the saddle atop a horse, he appeared on the cover of Western Horseman magazine. That shiny belt buckle he wears wasn’t purchased on eBay.

For Wylie, his western lifestyle and the recording studio are inseparable. “The connection between my cowboy life and my music is extremely close,” he says. “I believe in creating a song that inspires the listener, either lyrically or rhythmically. It is also important that I offer something that takes traditional ideas and bends them in a new direction.”

“Obviously Wylie makes phenomenal music,” says Minnesota State Fair Director Chris Tahti. “But he’s not just a good recording artist, he’s a great performing artist. People plan to be here to see him. The best part of his performance is the reactions of people who don’t know who he is. They walk by, and he pulls them into the seats. He’s a magnet,” Tahti beams. “Not only does he draw a crowd, he keeps them there.”


Some Recordings and the How to Yodel book

Visit the Wylie and the Wild West web site and order directly from him at Hi-Line Records.  



  Sky Tones—Songs of Montana

A celebration of Wylie Gustafson's native state, 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!....

"The mysterious and awesome power of music is nothing new. King David piqued God’s interest by strumming a few righteous chords on a harp several thousand years ago. Good music always has found a way to into the hearts and souls of those who listen. 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. And although her depth and beauty are bottomless and complex, I will continue to sing about her until my voice is silent."

Read more here at the Wylie & the Wild West web site.


Wylie & the Wild West announce a rocking 17th CD, Rocketbuster. From their description:

What does Rocketbuster sound like? The new CD will most likely go down as Wylie & the Wild West's "get up and dance" album. There are 14 songs worth of hard core, upbeat, goodtime Wylie music on Rocketbuster (O.K., maybe a couple of slower songs were slipped into the mix!). The unique collection of mostly original material will keep you groovin' and movin' in the cowboy way. To add to the fun, Wylie's brother (and legendary Montana performer) Erik Fingers Ray was called in from the shadows of the Hi-line shelterbelts to lay down his vibrant and soulful guitar licks. It is apparent that the musical brothers had a good old fashioned country throwdown in the Nashville studio. For the track listing and liner notes go to: http://www.hilinerecords.com/shop/cd-dvd/rocketbuster.

You can also listen to the first track, "Buck Up and Huck It," and get a free song download at the record company here.

Respected studio musicians and new band members join Wylie Gustafson on the recording (Dennis Crouch, John Gardner, Erik Gustafson, Tony Harrell, Mark Thornton, Larry Marrs, and Robby Turner).

Find more about Rocketbuster here at the Wylie & the Wild West web site and find order information here at Hi-Line Records.



Baxter Black, who knows how to give a compliment, has said "Wylie & the Wild West changed the water level in the cowboy entertainment aquarium." With the band's recent releases, they have just about set off a tsunami in that body of water.

The band's latest release, Raven on the Wind, comes on the heels of their award-winning, groundbreaking Hang-n-Rattle!. Band leader, singer, and songwriter Wylie Gustafson delivers another collection that breaks down "traditional" cowboy music fences.

Wylie comments on
Raven on the Wind, "When I write songs, I really try to strike the balance between good old tradition and the West's innate trait of forging ahead into new territory...." He does that and more with his own skillful pieces, co-writes with master poet and songwriter Paul Zarzyski, and, get ready for it: the cover of a Mick Jagger and Keith Richards song.

The gritty portrait of "Punchy," who is "half horse, half cow, half Superman" opens the album with...a
punch. Wylie Gustafson himself is "half horse, half Shakespeare, half honky tonk." Few other writers can go from a steamy, intricate, and bewitching song ("The Maestro") to a "Hi-Line Polka" to an ethereal piece ("Wild Mustang") and do it all so masterfully: the writing, the music, the performance. You want to listen again and again, chew on it, think about it, live with it, and be a part of the truth of it.

Who is Wylie & the Wild West's audience for their revolutionary work? Everyone. Raven on the Wind will blare from run-down cars on the rodeo trail, play in the truck-stop cafe, spin in Boomers' CD decks, and be on iPods everywhere. The audience is people of all ages from all places who care about listening to good music that has something to say with intelligence and fierce style.

Wylie has a broad and certain vision of the West and its music. He comments in the liner notes, "I still hang out with some of the toughest ranahans in cowboydom. When I peek into their CD collections, I am always amazed...It's an ever-eclectic mix of sounds and soul. To me, that is what the West is all about. Out here, to be an individual is the highest calling....Our life is unpredictable. It's wild, it's laid back....it's Classical, it's a waltz, it's fast and furious, it's Rock n Roll, and everything in between."

Raven on the Wind is Wylie & The Wild West's 16th album. It is produced by notable Nashville musician and recording artist Dennis Crouch, and Wylie is backed up by an impressive stable of outstanding musicians throughout.

Relic is as cool on the inside as the cover photograph by Lars Strandberg. Wylie Gustafson tells about it:

It's been a long and magnificent ride playing in a little 4 piece cowboy band performing our unique style of western music that has so far lasted over 25 years. Our art has taken us to 45 of the 50 United States and all the way around the world. Along the way we have discovered a loyal following of music lovers who appreciate what we do. I can tell you that being a "yodeling cowboy" in the 21st century is not the easiest way of making living. but it has never failed to be rewarding. Like a coyote eking out a living on the remote American plains we have somehow survived against all odds. The golden era of country (1950s- 1960s) has always been a part of the solid foundation that supports our style. We revisit those classic sounds in our own unique way on Relic.

Find more about Relic at www.wyliewebsite.com and find order information here at Hi-Line Records.


Raven on the Wind includes:

Raven on the Wind
The Maestro
Horseback Cadillac
Hills of Almota
I Believe in Love
Rip This Joint
Hi-line Polka
Sweet Old Song
Wicked Kiss
Wild Mustang

Find more information and track samples for Raven on the Wind here at the Wylie & the Wild West web site.

Unwired is the latest release from Western Jubilee Recording Company. The album was recorded live and in concert in July, 2009 at the Western Jubilee Warehouse in Colorado Springs.

Western Jubilee describes the CD, "Wylie Gustafson along with Ray Doyle, Scot Wilburn and Rick Bryceson presented a stirring 60 minute concert in our old Warehouse. Wylie sings old classics and new originals—both solo and with full band. Soft and slow to rattle and roll..."

Wylie Gustafson comments that the album is, "A little jump and kick with a touch of mellow down easy. We made a point of including a good jag of our acoustic material so I thought Unwired would be an appropriate title. We always have these magical nights at the Warehouse so we thought we'd try to capture one on tape." 

Wylie & the Wild West's previous release, Hang-n-Rattle, received a top album award from the Western Music Association (see a list of all of the WMA awards here).

Unwired includes:

Good-bye Old Paint
Double Wild
Ridin' the Hi-Line
Equus Caballus
America the Beautiful
Rodeo to the Bone
Cattle Call
I Get High
To Ride!
Girl on the Billboard
Where Horses are Heroes
Ain't No life after Rodeo

Find more information and track samples for Unwired here at the Wylie & the Wild West web site.


It may be necessary to start calling them Wylie & the Wild Wild Wild West, with the release of the band's 14th album, Hang-n-Rattle!. One of today's most innovative Western songwriters, band leader Wylie Gustafson collaborated with "rodeo poet" Paul Zarzyski on a number of songs for this CD. What results is a collection of bold and dazzling breadth. The two have collaborated previously, with "Saddle Broncs and Sagebrush" on Wylie & the Wild West's Hooves of the Horses and with the unforgettable "Rodeo to the Bone" on Bucking Horse Moon.

The wild and provocative title track sets the bar high, and not one of the twelve songs that follow disappoint. "Ain't No Life after Rodeo" is electric, "Cryin' Hole Blues" gives what it promises, there is the intricate "Grace," and the exquisitely heart-breaking "A Pony Called Love." Wylie's solo songwriting and composing talents shine in "I Get High" and "Blue Mountain Serenade"—neither of which could have been written by anyone else. His brave and masterful "Lasca" captures the ache and essence of the great classic poem. The album is a listener's banquet.

Hang-n-Rattle! was produced by John Carter Cash and the outstanding backup musicians (Dennis Crouch, Mike Fried, Hoot Hester, John McTigue III, Jeff Taylor, and Mark Thornton) and Gretchen Peters' vocals (beautifully haunting on  "A Pony Called Love") make the album shine with the highest level of excellence. Paul Zarzyski even gets credit for vocals and "spur licks." Wylie has never been in better voice.

And, as they say on late-night TV: Wait, there's more! A hidden track at the album's end, Paul Zarzyski's "Bob Dylan Bronc Song" is sure to attract its own legion of fans. Paul says that he had been working on the piece for some time, inspired by having ridden the bronc, "Whiskey Talks," in the same arena where Bob Dylan had performed. When he saw a photo of Bob Dylan, signed to Johnny Cash, at the Cash Cabin studio, he said it was "A beautiful moment of synchronicity," making the poem a clear choice for the hidden track (see some photos from the recording sessions here at Paul Zarzyski's web site).

Hang-n-Rattle!'s vibrant and eclectic mix has something for everyone. A surprisingly strong integrity of the whole is maintained throughout, despite a group of such diverse tracks. Western Folklife Center Artistic Director Meg Glaser praises the release, "...I think it suits the times we live in: some love, some dance, some blues...It is fuel for a new generation of hope." Songwriter and poet John Reedy comments, "This is goin'-down-the-road music for a generation longing for LeDoux. Nostalgia and reminiscences have their place, but it seems to me that this album is about being in the moment. It's about youth and vitality and is sorely needed−not to just preserve Western culture, but invigorate it, to breathe life into it.”

A limited pre-release edition CD is available, created for the celebration of the Western Folklife Center's 25th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering. The CD is dedicated to the Western Folklife Center, "whose fine staff have rekindled the fire of cowboy poetry and music for the last 25 years."

Update October, 2009:  This pre-release edition is sold out, and a new edition, complete with a 20-page lyric booklet, is available (at the same price) $15 plus postage. Find audio samples for the full track list, order information, and more for Hang-n-Rattle! at the Wylie & the Wild West web site.

"Hang-n-Rattle" by Wylie Gustafson and Paul Zarzyski received the 2010 Western Writers of America Best Western Song Spur Award
Paul Zarzyski's "Bob Dylan Bronc Song" received the 2010
Western Writers of America Best Western Poem Spur Award


Hang-n-Rattle received the 2009 Western Music Association Best Western Swing Album Award

  Christmas for Cowboys

Christmas for Cowboys by Wylie Gustafson brims with singular spirit. The thoughtfully chosen traditional songs are delivered with inspired reverence, dazzling style, and, of course, a bit of yodeling. Wylie's masterful interpretations of familiar and lesser known songs shine with the true joy, grace, and meaning of the season. Listen to track samples and read more about Christmas for Cowboys at Wylie's web site.



1. Go Tell it on the Mountain 
2. Christmas for Cowboys 
3. In the Bleak Midwinter
4. Behold that Star 
5. I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day
6. Christmas Time’s a Coming 
7. Silent Night
8. The Gifts They Gave 
9.  O Little Town of Bethlehem
10. Beautiful Star of Bethlehem

Dennis Crouch- Acoustic Bass
Hoot Hester- Rhythm guitar, fiddle, mandolin, harmony vocals, whistling
John McTigue III- Drums
Jeff Taylor- Accordion, concertina
Mark Thornton- Electric guitar
Wylie Gustafson- Vocals, acoustic guitar 

Recorded at the Sidekick Sound Studios, Madison, TN
Produced by Wylie Galt Gustafson
Engineered by Mark Thornton
Mastered by Larry Marrs at Sidekick Sound Studios

*All songs above are traditional.  Arrangements by Wylie Gustafson/ Two Medicine Music, BMI. 

*Except Christmas for Cowboys written by Steve Weisberg/ Cherry Lane Music Publishing ASCAP, Christmas Time’s a Coming written by Tex Logan/ Unichappell Music BMI, and Beautiful Star of Bethlehem by A.L. Phipps/ Trio Music Co. Inc, Fort Knox Music/ BMI 



Wylie Gustafson's flat-out fun book and CD, How to Yodel; Lessons to Tickle Your Tonsils, may start an international yodel revolution. Described by the publisher, "World-famous Yahooer and yodeling guru Wylie Gustafson teaches fun and easy lessons in the high art of yodeling, with a  big dose of hilarity along the way...," it delivers on all fronts.

The fun starts right away, with the book's "Disclaimer," which reads, "I, nor the publishers of this book, will be responsible for the consequences resulting from techniques used in this book..." with a list including stampeding buffalo, avalanches, marital discourse, tectonic shifts, and "the swallows not returning to San Juan Capistrano." The practical lessons are peppered with amusing and entertaining trivia, fascinating history, wry asides (such as "Where Not to Yodel") and Wylie's answer to "Can Anyone Yodel?" A glossary and list of references are included. The accompanying CD offers step-by-step lessons with 21 tracks that lead from warm up and breathing exercises to music for advanced yodels.

Read an official media release below and read more about the book and CD at Wylie's web site.

How to Yodel; Lessons to Tickle Your Tonsils, with Robert Paul Payne's comical illustrations, retails for $9.95 and is available from Wylie's web site; the publisher, Gibbs-Smith, Amazon, and other outlets.

The publisher's official media release:

Learn How to Yodel with World-Famous Yahoo-er Wylie Gustafson


How to Yodel: Lessons to Tickle Your Tonsils


“Wylie’s ability to cut loose sets him apart from country’s self-conscious male stars.”

USA Today


Come one, come all! From musical rebels and melodic daredevils to adventurous amateurs and untamed crooners, How to Yodel: Lessons to Tickle Your Tonsils (Paperback with audio CD) by Wylie Gustafson, with illustrations by Robert Payne, offers everything you need to be the next Pavarotti of the Plains!


How to Yodel offers all the lessons, tips, techniques, and music you need to get that long-awaited degree in the high art of yodeling, while finally being able to bask in the attention of adoring fans and lovesick coyotes. In no time, you’ll be the next Vocal Virtuoso…Epiglottis Goddess…Yodeling Superstar!


Simple instructions, illustrations, and examples combined with the accompanying CD make it easy to learn the fine art of the yodel. Renowned country music artist and original Yahoo® yodeler Wylie Gustafson shares lessons, trivia, quotes, history, and other tidbits about yodeling, complete with hilarious sidebars. Once you understand the fundamentals, there’s nothing to quash the yodel-ay-eee-whooo in you!


Yodeler, songwriter, rancher, horseman, and world-famous “Yahooer,” Wylie Gustafson leads the musical outfit known as Wylie and the Wild West. The group has performed for the last fifteen years on stages including the Kennedy Center, the Grand Ole Opry, the National Folk Festival and the Lincoln Center. He has earned an international reputation not only through his recordings, but also from his appearances at Japan’s Country Gold Festival, three Australian tours, and a seven-week residency at Euro Disney. Gustafson’s famous voice has echoed in millions of homes as the prominent yodel in the Yahoo.com advertising campaign. Wylie still gets up everyday and tends to the livestock on his ranch near Dusty, Washington.

wwbuckinghorselg.jpg (24000 bytes)  Bucking Horse Moon

The official media release:

Yodeling cowboy troubadour Wylie Gustafson is busting the wraps off a brand-new CD. Bucking Horse Moon, the twelfth release for Wylie & the Wild West, gives a nod to the Western way of life and rodeo’s place in cowboydom.

Riding high on the Nashville scene, John Carter Cash (www.johncartercash.com) orchestrated the project which was recorded at Cash Cabin Studios, Hendersonville, Tenn. A Grammy-award winning singer, songwriter and producer, Cash is the son of Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash.

"There was a lot of cowboy karma goin’ on there in the Cash cabin," Gustafson confided. "Working with John Carter Cash was a great experience. I found him to be a man with a talent as big as Johnny’s. He came to the project with fresh eyes and brought new instrumentation to the party. He added a bit of the old-time Carter Family sound to our uniquely Western cowboy band."

The Wild West’s audience encompasses demographics as broad as Montana’s Big Sky Country where Gustafson was raised. "We highlight the romance of the West," he said. "We connect with the hearty, National Finals Rodeo fans as well as the trendy, National Public Radio crowd. Cowboys live what I sing. Big-city listeners appreciate the lifestyle."

Gustafson warbles his way through three Paul Zarzyski (www.paulzarzyski.com) compositions on Bucking Horse Moon. Montana’s Polish-hobo-rodeo poet, Zarzyski co-wrote the title track with Tom Russell and teamed up with Ian Tyson on "Whispering Hope." Gustafson and the barnstorming Zarzyski, a former Montana circuit bronc rider, conspired to write "Rodeo to the Bone"—recounting a "stapled-up and sewn, bronc-stompin’, honky-tonkin’ Indiana Jones."

The pencil-thin Gustafson said of Bucking Horse Moon: "Paul’s reputation as a poet and songwriter cannot be overlooked. We wanted a lot of depth on this project—it’s meant to grow on the listener. I like to take chances, to stretch the boundaries of Country music. It’s my goal to make great old-style music available to a contemporary audience. It’s for the listener who wants something different in their Americana."

The Wild West’s sound stretches into the land of bluegrass and folk and has made its way to satellite radio. Eddie Kilroy, host of Willie’s Place (XM Channel 13), penned the album’s introduction. XM Radio’s traditional country programming is satellite radio’s #1-rated music channel with more than two million listeners.

The CD is sung in tribute of the late Western artist and horsewoman, Joelle Smith. Her depiction of Gustafson and his champion cutting horse, Whiskey, was featured on the band’s previous CD, Hooves of the Horses. Marc Burckhardt (www.marcart.com) produced the cover artwork for Bucking Horse Moon. His work has been commissioned by Rolling Stone, TIME, Sony Records, The New York Times and Major League Baseball. The album is dedicated to Paul Zarzyski.

To order Bucking Horse Moon or any other Wylie & the Wild West title, go to www.wyliewebsite.com.



Whip Out a Yodel, Wylie Gustafson
Out West, Wylie Gustafson
16 Hands, Wylie Gustafson
Bucking Horse Moon, Tom Russell and Paul Zarzyski
Rodeo to the Bone, Paul Zarzyski and Wylie Gustafson

True Love Travels on a Gravel Road, Dallas Frazier and A. L. Owens
Don’t Take Your Guns to Town, Johnny Cash
Eltopia Yodel, Wylie Gustafson

Where Horses are Heroes, Wylie Gustafson
Jodell, Wylie Gustafson
Old Bull, Wylie Gustafson
The Carhartt Song, DW Groethe
Uber Yodel, Wylie Gustafson

Whispering Hope, Ian Tyson and Paul Zarzyski

  Rob Patterson's review  Bucking Horse Moon CD in the April, 2007 issue of Cowboys & Indians, comments that Wylie Gustafson "has established himself as the first giant of the new pantheon that will inherit, preserve, and enhance the Western music tradition..."

Rick Huff's review of Bucking Horse Moon appears in his March, 2007 "Rick's Roundup" column (see the entire column here).

Where Wylie’s previous release Live At The Tractor (award winner though it was) was a one-pass recording admittedly issued with warts intact, Bucking Horse Moon is tightly controlled and produced by John Carter Cash.  The CD opens with the novel kind of piece his fans would expect of him “Whip Out A Yodel,” but it goes on to present some of Wylie’s best work yet and more variety in style than ever.

Three of the songs are Paul Zarzyski collaborations (including the title track).  Riding with Wylie means staying in the saddle over changing terrain.  There’s plenty for traditionalists in songs like “Out West” and the terrific “Where Horses Are Heroes.”  A bit of the funk manifested years back in Wylie’s take on “Buffalo Gals” shows up again in “Rodeo To The Bone” and fuzz guitar boogie in “Jodell.”  He salutes some classics, “Don’t Take Your Guns To Town” for one, and his haunting instrumental “Eltopia Yodel” hit me in much the same way that my first hearing of “Ashokan Farewell” did!  Juni Fisher and Hoot Hester are just two of the top talents along for the ride on this CD.  To paraphrase Mr. Zarzyski…it’s a BEAUT’ !  ($15 plus s&h)  Available from Western Jubilee Recording, P.O. Box 9187, Colorado Springs, CO  80932   onthetrail@westernjubilee.com


   Yodel Boogie!  (2008)

From Wylie's web site:

In response to our fans' requests for an updated all-yodel album, we assembled 11 of Wylie's favorite yodel tracks and called it Yodel Boogie! (The title track is Wylie's best-selling i-Tunes download.)

There are several new recordings and fresh mixes of older songs recorded on previous Wylie & The Wild West albums.


wylietractorlivecdlg.jpg (19382 bytes)   LIVE! at the Tractor     Named 2006  Western Music Association (WMA) Best Western Swing Album

LIVE! at the Tractor CD is an evening of live music recorded from the band's October 8, 2004 performance at the Tractor Tavern in Seattle. The 16-song album contains many Wylie & the Wild West standards along with 4 previously unreleased songs including 40 Miles of Bad Road, The Little Red Hen, Miles and Miles of Texas, and more.

Released in tandem with the LIVE! at the Tractor DVD, which includes the 16-song set from the Tractor Tavern, band interviews, Wylie at the ranch, 10 music videos from the past... and more (2 hours, 15 minutes running time). Wylie says, "Our new DVD is guaranteed to be among the highlights of your Wylie & the Wild West collection!" (2005)


  Cowboy Ballads and Dance Songs

Wylie & the Wild West at their best, performing traditional favorites such as "Good-Bye Old Paint" (a duet with Cheryl White of The Whites), "The Strawberry Roan," "Streets of Laredo,"  "My Home's in Montana," and more.  Produced by Joe Wilson of the National Council for the Traditional Arts in Washington, DC. Visit the Wylie and the Wild West web site, where you can see the liner notes for the 13 classics, accompanied by much interesting commentary. Includes: Old Chisolm Trail, Ten Thousand Cattle, Sierry Peaksm, Cattle Call, Desert Blues, My Home's In Montana, Cannonball Yodel, The Strawberry Roan, Good-Bye Old Paint, The High Toned Dance, The Streets of Laredo, The Musket Came Down from the Door, and Goodnight, Irene (2005)


  Hooves of the Horses

New March 2004:  All of the lyrics from the 16 tracks of Hooves of the Horses are on line at the Wylie and the Wild West web site, and the songs include master Cowboy Poet Joel Nelson's "Equus Caballus"; two by Bob Nolan, founding member of the Sons of the Pioneers; Johnny Cash; Paul Zarzyski; Buddy Holly and Norm Petty; and of course, plenty by Wylie himself, who holds his own among songwriters and then some.  Whew...that list is just like listening to Wylie and the Wild West...wild and great.  Stop by Wylie's site where you can also listen to some tracks.



Includes: Saddle Burn, Swinging On A Star, Whoop-Up Trail, To Her (by Badger Clark), When I'm Ridin' I'm Right, Without You, Hooked On Honky Tonk, Paradise, Lonely Yukon Stars, The Gal Who Invented Kissin', The Girl From The North Country, and Yodel Boogie

Ridin' the High Line

Includes: Yodeling Cowhand, Ridin' the Hi-Line, Doggone Cowboy, Montana Moon, Yodeling My Blues Away, Down the Trail, Jitterbug Boogie, Ridin' Rockin' Rollin', He's a Cowboy, The Gather, The Dusty Cafe, Sage and Sand, Buffalo Gals, Odessa Yodel, and Ol' Coyote

  Total Yodel

Including: Ol' Montan, Rose Marie, When the Cactus Is in Bloom, Big Sky Lullaby, Lovesick Blues, Teardrops in My Heart, Blue Yodel, No. 1/T for Texas, Chime Bells, Waiting for a Train, Cowpoke, and Yodeling Fool

Way Out West

Includes: Hello Heartache; Jingle, Jangle, Jingle; Heaven; Rain, Rain; Sidewalks of L.A.; Girl on the Billboard; Give Me a Pinto Pal; I Remember You; I'm Your Man; Heartaches; Tears & Misery; Fill It Up; and I Still Get a Thrill

Visit the Wylie and the Wild West web site for tracks, to order, and more.  




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