Twenty years ago I had the pleasure of seeing The Sons of the Pioneers perform in Tucson, AZ with my Dad at an evening outdoor concert. I will never forget the feeling that "Cool Water,"Tumbling Tumbleweeds," and other classics gave me, while the desert sun set in a sky painted red, orange, and yellow.
This last weekend, I had the repeat pleasure of seeing The Sons of the Pioneers weave their magic at the Western Music Association in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The Sons of the Pioneers music group began in 1933 and over the years have replaced their members as needed and are best known for the high quality of their vocal performances, musicianship, and songwriting.
This was my first year attending the Western Music Association and I was thrilled with the high standard of vocal performances, musicianship and songwriting; I am already planning to attend next year! I learned that "Western Music" is very different than "Country Music." I found the vocal harmonies inspiring and soothing at the same time; the musicianship articulate, and the song lyrics and storytelling easily heard. I was so inspired by the music and cowboy poetry that I plan to attend next year and intend to record a new CD this year in the Western Music genre. I realize that many songs I've written in the past fit the genre, as they are songs about the West, the land, events and people.
Talking about songwriting! We have the winner and runners-up for The Greatest Song Idea Contest. We've had many wonderful submissions! An advisory group of songwriters/musicians/artists have selected a Winner and four Runners-up.
I’ve been thinking a lot about walls lately. Fifty years ago the Berlin wall went up. (Thankfully, it came down in ’89.) Walls between neighbors, and of course, the passion out there to continue building walls at the border of Beautiful Mexico. I’m remembering President Reagan’s words, “If we have to have walls, let’s make sure there are doors in them for people to walk through.”
His second book, "Shadow Of The Wind" arrived in the mail a few days ago and I was about half way through it when I noticed it was laying on the table where I was eating. I thought I should put it up before I spilled something on it. As I picked it up I read the title again and I was hit by a shock wave of inspiration just from that unique title. I researched it some and found it was an old Indian quotation from one of their stories. The quotation was, "Nothing lasts forever but the mountains and the sky. The rest of us go through life making no more impression on the world around us than the shadow of the wind does on the valley floor."
From these humble words I wrote my version of "Shadow of the Wind" in lyrical form. Mac really liked it so I sent it to his publisher thinking he might be able to use the song to promote the book in some way. He liked it and suggested that I write a song for the first book, "The last Buckaroo" I did that and tried to keep the lyrics in keeping with the subject matter of the stories as much as I could.
Magic in the strings-like voices in the wind-each distinct, blending to create amazing sounds, always different but always creating. All else dissipates into blended beauty! Freedom!!
The poem about the old man driving his car, with the old black and white 5x7 propped on the dash, might be an interesting, if somewhat sad, song
You're singing at a club. You see a cowgirl walk in. She doesn't look for a bar stool, doesn't look for a table. All she's there for is to find someone to do the two-step with. She doesn't drink, she's just there to have fun and maybe find a little romance.
I want to wish each of you a warm holiday season full of abundance: an abundance of the food of love, growth, creativity, and blessings,