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Scroll down for information, photos, and links showcasing several of your favorite cowboy music artists.

Hadn't heard from our friend Will Dudley for a couple of years...he called today.  Back on the music road...listen to him and order his CDs on his site www.willdudley.com!  A great song writer.

Western Music
Ian Tyson

Ian Tyson – The Legend Sings On - 2013

Ian Tyson, the Legend Sings OnIan Tyson is one of the great cowboy singers and songwriters in Canada and the United States. He is one of a kind — authentic and durable. He writes and sings about a group of people few others write or sing about. Many of his songs are about cattle, horses and authentic cowboys and buckaroos.

Ian has had two distinctly brilliant carriers, spanning several decades. His first started with his part in the legendary folk duo of Ian & Silvia in the 1960s. Since the early 1990s, he has enjoyed great success at western song writing and singing.

During recent years, Ian has endured voice problems and reinvented himself with his new “raven” voice.  Now once again, he is creating a new voice after having surgery on his vocal cords to remove polyps.  After not speaking for six weeks to protect his voice, he started taking voice lessons in Calgary, Alberta.  The outcome is he now has a strong voice and is back singing in concerts around the west.  This man is tougher than a Nevada mountain mahogany tree.

Vickie Mullen, Ian’s US CD and book distributer and owner of Hitching Post Supply, says, “He sounds wonderful on the phone. His voice sounds strong and he is excited to get back on the road. Seemed a little tired of fighting ice, snow and cold at home in Alberta. Thanks to everyone who has supported him through all of the ‘new voices.’ We are coming up on number three! Here is a current list of future 2013 venues. Make sure you get tickets early. You don't want to miss him.”

Online Tickets

March 3 Lethbridge, AB Yates Theatre http://www.iantyson.com/

Article by
Mike Laughlin
mikelaughlin@hotmail.com

 Photos by Lee Raine



The Master's single: Ian Tyson - Saddle Bronc Girl

Look for Ian's new book The Long Trail, his CDs, his new EP "Songs From The Stone House" and other items available from Vickie Mullen at http://hitchingpostsupply.com/

Ian Tyson – The Legend

Ian Tyson is one of the great cowboy singers and songwriters in Canada and the United States.  He is one of a kind — authentic and durable.  He writes and sings about a group of people few others write or sing about.  Many of his songs are about cattle, horses and authentic cowboys and buckaroos. 

Ian has had two distinctly brilliant carriers, spanning three decades. His first started with his part in the legendary folk duo of Ian & Silvia in the 1960s.  Since the early 1990s, he has enjoyed great success at western song writing and singing.

We caught up with Ian after one of his concerts at the famed Hamley’s Slick Fork Saloon in Pendleton Oregon, during the 2008 Pendleton PRCA Rodeo Roundup.

Ian said, “I always wanted to be a cowboy, not a song writer or a singer, a cowboy. I just got lucky in the music business.” We asked how long Ian has been singing real cowboy songs and he explained, “When I was a kid growing up in British Columbia, Canada, we used to listen to Wilf Carter, sometimes called ‘Montana Slim,’ on the radio.  Wilf was a big deal in Canadian western music in those days. At that time, I did not know how to play a guitar nor did I understand that those songs we listened to were western folk songs.  When I was 19 years old, I caught the “rodeo fever” and tried my hand at riding bareback horses.  I acquired an old “Dixon” bareback rigging and cracked out in the Canadian rodeo circuit.  Going down the rodeo road several months later, a bareback horse threw me off and stepped on my ankle, shattering the anklebone.  I spent some time in the hospital recovering from the accident.  While in the hospital, I borrowed a guitar from a kid who was in the room a couple of beds away from me and I started trying to learn to play.”

Ian believes real cowboys and buckaroos are interesting to write songs about because they are members of a different mysterious culture.  They are furiously independent and live a different life style. They live in a closed horseback society.  This has always fascinated him.

Around 1981, Ian met photographer and writer Kurt Markus and they became friends.  Ian had cowboyed some in Canada but where Kurt took him, in the Great Basin, into Oregon and Nevada ranches, cowboying was a whole different deal.  This country was huge with few people and the buckaroos camped with their horses and cattle, out on the range. They ate at a chuck wagon and slept in tepee tents.  They packed pistols and trotted out each morning 15 to 20 miles to work cattle.  This experience just blew him away.

When Ian was invited to the Elko Poetry Gathering, which started in 1984, he met some of the first authentic cowboys there that were singing and reciting cowboy poetry.  It was a natural progression.  Ian thought, “I can write that way.” and he put out his album “Cowboyography,” his first seamless view of modern contemporary cowboy life.  This album went gold in Canada and is closing in on platinum.  This is an astonishing feat for an album that is really only understood by perhaps no more than 1,000 “real” working cowboys throughout Canada and the United States.  This points out how important the cowboy image is to us and how many people wish to identify with the cowboy even if, as Ian says, “they do not know which end of the cow gets up first.”

Ian explained why real cowboys and buckaroos related to his music.  He says, “They respected where I’d been and knew, I’d ‘been there.’  These working cowboys and buckaroos can spot a ‘wanna be’ a long way off. I understood their way of life.  I had fed cattle in a blizzard and doctored sick calves in the spring on the feed ground.”  He wanted to be the voice for the working cowboy because they couldn’t relate to the Nashville “urban cowboys.”  Soon his music had a huge cult following in the ranching world.

Perhaps William Matthews, noted Western Artist, summed up best what Ian means to the ranching community and cowboys and buckaroos in Canada and the United States. Matthews said at the 2008 Elko Poetry Gathering, “What all of us in this room, who have come from all over the country, have in common is that we all have Ian Tyson CDs in our pickups, feed trucks, and horse trailers.  His songs are part of our daily life.”

Ian says,  “The reason that I write western music is that I live in the country.  There is very little difference between working cowboys in Arizona or Canada. The international border does not matter.  Sure there is different horse gear used in different parts of the country but they are all cowboys at heart.  This whole cowboy deal is all about the horse. Horses came to the new world from Spain 600 years ago, and cowboys have been riding them ever since. Without the horse, cowboying would be just tractor driving.”

Ian’s music succeeded because it also was sophisticated.  He had to be able to play to a non-western audience in Canada and the United States, and entertain them as well, even though they didn’t know what he was singing about.  They could feel the spiritual connection with the earth and sky and the horse you’re riding.  The music holds an appealing melancholy sadness that reflects the aspect of the cowboy culture that is slowly fading in our modern world.

Life-time achievement award saddle from Hamleys & Co.  photo courtesy of Parley PearceIan still does a number of concerts throughout Canada and the United States.  When asked how long he planned to keep doing concerts, he replied, “I tour because I can.  A lot of musicians would like to tour, but they can’t fill those concert seats.  If the people stop coming to my concerts I’ll hang it up.”

Ian has recently cut a new album that was available by fall 2008.  Ian says, “The title of my new album will be ‘Yellowhead to Yellowstone and Other Love Stories.’  Watch for it.  Beyond that, I don’t have a clue.  We will just see what tomorrow brings.”

The traveling “bedroll cowboy” may be slowly disappearing from the western landscape but Ian’s songs will live forever.

For more information and appearance-dates, visit Ian Tyson’s official Web site www.iantyson.com.
For information on the Elko Poetry Gathering contact:

The Western Folklife Center www.westernfolklife.org

Story by Mike Laughlin, Photos by Lee Raine

Western Music
Mike Beck, clinician and song writerMike Beck  www.mikebeck.com
Mike Beck is internationally known; doing horse clinics and concerts in the United States and Norway, Sweden, Finland, and England. Mike has a confident and patient approach with a horse that teaches a lifetime of horsemanship skills. Riders of all levels can benefit from Mike's expertise.  His music speaks of the years he spent on the ranches of the west, including the great Spanish Ranch in Nevada and Bill Dorrance's Mt. Toro Ranch. 
One of the high points of the Elko Poetry Gathering week each year is Mike and his group's appearances at the Stray Dog Saloon. 
Listen to a few:  Download Mike Beck Songs Here
Western Music

Clay Dustin

Clay DustinClay Dustin Productions The official site of Clay Dustin, featuring his popular new album and video "The Good Lord Loves You".  Listen to songs, download ringtones, buy the albums.

As of Sept 1 2009, Clay's Single "The Good Lord Loves You" is currently #12 on the main Country Charts and #3 on the Indie Chart.
Clay's video is currently playing on the GAC and Gospel music channels

"The CD is now available in Best Buy and  soon Wal-Mart, etc.  Clay promotes ranching and the cowboy way of life. In fact, Monday we ran a little behind with his music as he had cattle to brand.  He likes true Country music and that is his style.  He has been featured in many magazines, radio and recently co-hosted a TV show in Dallas.  Clay Dustin is up and coming and likes 'his roots.'"
Western Music
The Trail Less Traveled by Mary Ann Kennedy
Maybe this ain't country, but if you like a great voice, a great guitar, and love your horse, this is for you.  The title song The trail Less Traveled was used to open the award ceremony at the Ray Hunt Appreciation Banquet April 2, 2005 in Fort Worth, Texas.

MaryAnn Kennedy says,

"i am a passionate western horseman, and have been all my life. couple that with the country music biz and my ranch here outside of Nashville and we could have a viable story. i have been seriously studying Ray and the like since '99,and it has SO changed my life.  I am now sharing the good news with others here in Nashville, trying to help share the 'better way' for the horses and humans here."
Happy Trails, Mary Ann
www.MaryAnnKennedy.com
Western Music
Dave Stamey, Cowboy Entertainer

Classic & Contemporary Western Folk Music.  www.davestamey.com

Dave Stamey's music reflects the fact that he has "been there and done that."  He evokes the flavor of the real cowboy west in many of his original songs.

Dave has been awarded the Male Performer of the Year by the Western Music Association, is a three time nominee for Songwriter of the Year, and is rapidly becoming one of the most popular Western entertainers working today.

Western Music
Ken Overcast
popular Montana cowboy poet, songwriter, radio host, and recording artist.
Ken Overcast, The Cowboy ShowKen Overcast, The Cowboy Show
K
en Overcast is the real deal.
Ken strives very diligently to just be himself. His music, writing, and public performances are characterized by a down home connection that is indeed rare. He’s a third generation Montanan, and is truly making a mark on America’s entertainment. Both Ken’s recording and writing have been very prolific. “The Cowboy Show” with Ken Overcast, features both contemporary cowboy music and interviews, and a look back into the past with memories from a few old time cowboys.
K en has been teamed with Nashville Producer, Russ Ragsdale for many years, and together they have seven CD recordings under their belts. National recognition was just a matter of time. Besides a host of nominations, Ken was crowned the Western Music Association “Yodeler of the Year”, and was awarded the coveted “Will Rogers Award” by the Academy of Western Artists.
Western Music


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