And make no mistake, in the real sense, as evidenced in film producer Linda Lou Crosby's excellent DVD portrait of Gypsy Cowman and cowboy poet Owen Badgett, that description is not too much to apply. His code is him. And strict adherence to the five key points in it are all that's needed to become the true person, the persistent person and the rounded person others can rely upon. Knowing you can count on each other out on the tough eastern Montana plains is a major part of this story, wonderfully photographed and told.
It's a loveably cantankerous cowboy we meet here, who loves riding his horse "Sinatra," although he'll buck at any excuse! By definition, the "Gypsy Cowman" is a fellow who runs cattle he owns on the lands of others and in turn helps on that ranch and others.
It's done by agreement The economy of production, and by that I mean not belaboring any aspect, makes this DVD flow so nicely. It has momentum, it's fun, it's illustrative and you get a very clear feeling of the man, the people and the moment thanks to the storytelling and editing ability of its creator. She grew up with a love of Western values and she certainly recognized a good story in her much respected friend Owen Badgett.
In reporting it she has brought her news background to the task. In reviewing, I have a "code" I use as well, actually learned in Theatre. The material featured here is drawn from across the course of a full season of Western music performers, cowboy poets and storytellers at the popular Red Mule Ranch dinner shows in Fiddletown, California. Scofield's Cowboy Campfire shows have been a treasured destination for more than a decade, and this DVD tour of performances will give you a very good idea why.
Put together by Nashville West Studios, the style of presentation is more "quick-cut" than you may have seen done before in our genre. Interspersed in the style of music videos are lots of cutaways to other Western images as a song or poem proceeds, but never locking down too long.
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Also, interview clips and poems are actually arranged into the songs themselves, which may raise a hackle or three on the necks of some purists, but hey! Their hackles need exercise too! This technique of editing is aimed at "today's folks" with their proven computer-shaped attention spans. It's almost certain to be the best way to grab whatever power of concentration they have left. Pick it up! You'll get a strong sense of what some of "the best Western has to offer" is offering. Westerners Nevada Slim and Cimarron Sue. They're back with that mix of originals and classics their fans have come to expect.
Sue's rangy cowgirl character and Slim's light opera effect make for a different kind of blend, but it's one they have developed over time and they're obviously comfortable with it. A couple of the original picks are "I Ride The Range The Modern Way " a novelty on the changed way of doing it and "Cowboy's Farewell" lost love and what might have been.
A curious novelty version of "Don't Fence Me In" casts Sue in the lead as a female Wildcat Kelly, adding a verse about Wildcat's fella trying unsuccessfully to settle her down! One of the founders of the Western Music Association is back, and proves he actually never left! Ed Stabler has brought along a new associate, too. Kelly Henson provides backup vocals with acoustic bass support and she's a welcome addition.
Ed Stabler has always been the proof in performance that a genuine cowboy or Western rustic approach can still be musical. James Infirmary!! Stabler is known for his intense integrity and devotion to things truly Western and his work in putting melodies to great poems of Badger Clark and Henry Herbert Knibbs among others, and introducing them to new audiences. If perhaps elapsed time has caused you not know him, please let this serve as your introduction.
Listeners and CD buyers? I'd like you to meet Ed Clean Outta Luck Mary Kaye. As a singer Mary Crawford Knaphus a. She boasts a wider than usual vocal range from soprano to near bass , a very tight vibrato and dead-on accurate pitch across wide note spreads. They give her plenty of tools with which to express her music and she's obviously in control of all of them. This CD, with its solid acoustic guitar accompaniment and interesting content, provides a terrific showcase for Mary Kaye's sweet to sassy performances.
As a songwriter she is apparently equally at home with writing ballads, novelties or saga songs. Nine of the CD's twelve songs are originals. No tray card came with the demo CD furnished for review, so I can't credit the fine guitar work on it.
Just know it is fine. Also I have not been able to discover how to purchase the CD. Just get it if you see it! Bittersweet Cowboy Reflections Benjamin Dehart.
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Here's a Florida cowboy singer who brings with him his heritage of the Cow Hunters or, as he calls them in his cover letter, "Florida's cracker cow culture! Benjamin Dehart's superior vocal control is exhibited in songs like his "Ranch Rodeo Sweetheart," with perfect execution of a deceptively tricky slow yodel that moves dangerously close above and below the break in his voice.
I wonder how many yodelers would even attempt it! And there are saga songs like "Incident At Ocean Pond a. Dehart cites "lyrics by Harry Stephens c. Regardless, this is an extraordinary album in content and performance. Oh yes Counting the Cost Liz Adair. He is Heck Benham, a striking handsome young cowboy with barely more than his saddle and his Levis to his name. She is Ruth Reynolds, a lovely and free-spirited woman, caught in an abusive loveless marriage with the "bean counter" hired by Heck's respected rancher boss.
Maybe the passion that builds between them was never meant to be, but certainly it was never allowed to be in the straight-laced, southern New Mexico ranching society of the s depicted in Liz Adair's Western romance novel, Counting The Cost.
Will they decide to throw caution to the whistling Western wind? And could they weather the consequences Westerner Liz Adair is the best-selling author of the Spider Latham mystery series. Mostly the inevitable is played out against the leisurely, but with the staccato points of a lightening strike, a bucking horse or a fist to the face.
You nearly feel the remote silence, the single bird off in a field, or a distant slamming door. Moreover, Adair displays an intimate knowledge of the cowboys' work, gear and lives. It's revealed in the details. For instance, there's a description of Heck and the hands working the remuda by forming a living corral with their ropes stretched between them that I don't recall ever before seeing in print or alluded to in song.
Adair writes in her book's Acknowledgements and Dedication that it was inspired by family gossip of an uncle who got himself into such a situation, and the story just delivered itself to her. You might like it delivered to you! No pretense.
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Just songs that have powerfully affected listeners, songs with poems that dovetail together, proven audience favorites and requests. In other words, stuff that works. Fans of the quartet get a horn o' plenty here.
Twenty tracks total. One crediting issue needs to be cleared up. Hampton, not "unknown. Emails: vcrdd comcast. Horsegirl Poe t Aspen Black. Horsegirl Poet is an unusual title for a rather unusual performer.
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Black wrote the 19 tracks and, with the exception of three studio-recorded songs, she recorded and mastered the CD, played all the instruments acoustic and string guitar, acoustic bass, fiddle, mandolin, and percussion , shot her own album photos, and executed the graphics for the CD jacket! She writes that she wanted to see if she could do all of the aspects of the album herself. Quite an accomplishment.