Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Cowboy Songs On Folkways
Genres: Country, Blues, Folk, Pop
Fifteen performers sing, boast, tell stories, holler, and recite poetry on 26 tracks that portray the life and times of honest, hard-working cowboys. Features performers from many backgrounds with a wide variety of musical... more »
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Fifteen performers sing, boast, tell stories, holler, and recite poetry on 26 tracks that portray the life and times of honest, hard-working cowboys. Features performers from many backgrounds with a wide variety of musical styles. Includes Pete Seeger's Home on the Range, Cisco Houston's Little Joe and the Wrangler, Woody Guthrie's Get Along Little Dogies, several old tales from the range, including Chisholm Tale and Jesse James, and Rosalie Sorrells's version of Gene Autry's 1943 hit There's an Empty Cot in the Bunkhouse. "Abundant evidence of the rich legacy...of real cowboys provided by their music and poetry." - Dirty Linen
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Some nice performances, some I'd never have picked...
William E. Adams | Midland, Texas USA | 06/10/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Compilation CD's are difficult to review because we customers never know the rules that produced the disc: What definition of "Cowboy Songs" was used? Was every track that fit that definition in the Folkways archive actually available for this product? Did scholar Guy Logsdon, whom I respect greatly, have the only say? If you are going to issue a CD of "cowboy" songs, do any songs about Indians fit? How about Peter LaFarge's songs from the viewpoint of Indians? I would answer "no" and it seems that Dr. Logsdon felt the same. But do songs about outlaws fit the term "cowboy?" He uses Woody Guthrie's version of a song about Jesse James created by Leadbelly, but I think that is not only a bit of a stretch, but is far from the best "western" recording by Woody on the label, and far from the best Leadbelly creation too. For my tastes, the tracks by Cisco Houston are the clear winners here, and there are too few of them. Cisco did a bunch of "cowboy" tunes for the label, and many more were worthy of inclusion. Pete LaFarge's version of "Trail to Mexico" is a good choice, one of his best vocals (and in his cowboy albums for Folkways, there are many weak vocals, unfortunately. Pete's pro-Indian songs were his finest legacy.) As for Harry Jackson, the Tex-I-An Boys, Harry McClintock, Peter Hurd (the well-known N.M. artist sings in Spanish)and some of the other unaccompanied singers, or rough-hewn traditional stylists, their offerings are not so interesting. Pete Seeger is OK on "Home on the Range" but cowboy songs were not his strength, either. A pleasant surprise was the young Rosalie Sorrels singing "Empty Cot in the Bunkhouse." I have heard a lot of her late-life work, and her voice has not held up well. The choice of Leadbelly to sing "Springtime in the Rockies" seems an odd one. I am glad "The Devil Made Texas" made it on to the record, although I prefer the title "Hell in Texas" and the versions made by singers other than Hermes Nye, none of which may have been available to Dr. Logsdon. I have loved cowboy songs since I was six years old, and I like this disc more than most folk customers will, but I believe, just knowing the Folkways brand as an outsider, that had I been asked to listen to a hundred or more tracks and choose a fourth of them, I would have made many different decisions. I find it hard to believe that I am the first to review this, since it came out many years ago, but Amazon claims this to be true. So there."