FEATURING: Andy Hedges, Waddie Mitchell, Michael Martin Murphey.
You know of the Ol' Chisholm Trail, but do you know of the younger, longer, parallel trail that was the backdrop for the epic "Lonesome Dove?" At the tailend of the cattle drive era, herds drove up The "Great" Western Trail from Texas to railyards in Kansas and Nebraska and north to Canada. Joining trodden soil to steel tracks, drovers along The Western Trail faced red dirt, infrequent saloons, grazing tolls and risk of stampeding. Traveling The Trail meant plenty of time to croon to the cows. These three present-day trail bosses will croon to you instead.Nevada poet Waddie Mitchell and Texas songsters Michael Martin Murphey and Andy Hedges drive a herd of trail songs and poems honoring The Trail.
From the 35th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering.
"Geronimo's Cadillac" - Michael Martin Murphey
"The Old Night Hawk" - Waddie Mitchell (poem by Bruce Kiskaddon)
"The Ogallaly Song" - Andy Hedges (traditional)
"Colorado Trail" - Michael Martin Murphey (traditional)
"Sierry Petes" ("Tyin' Knots in the Devil's Tail") - Waddie Mitchell (poem by Gail I. Gardner
"Git Along Little Dogies" - Andy Hedges (traditional)
"Texas Rangers" - Michael Martin Murphey - (traditional)
"When They've Finished Shipping Cattle in the Fall" - Waddie Mitchell (poem by Bruce Kiskaddon)
"When the Work's All Done This Fall" - Michael Martin Murphey (words + music by D.J. O'Malley)
"I'm Going to Leave Old Texas Now" - Andy Hedges (traditional)
"Long Johns On" - Andy Hedges (words by Waddie Mitchell + music by Andy Hedges + Alyssa Hedges
"Home on the Range" - Michael Martin Murphey (words + music by Dr. Brewster M. Higley)
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Andy Hedges is a songster, reciter, storyteller, guitarist, and collector of cowboy songs and poems. The son of an Italian schoolteacher and a rodeo-cowboy-turned-preacher, Andy grew up in the small community of Tokio,Texas, where his family paid rent on an old farmhouse by looking after a few head of cattle. It was there that Andy fell in love with traditional music by listening to his father’s cassettes of cowboy songs. Andy’s vast and varied repertoire includes classic cowboy poetry recitations, obscure cowboy songs, Dust Bowl ballads, and blues. His podcast, Cowboy Crossroads, features in-depth interviews with fellow musicians and poets. Andy has performed many times with folk legend Ramblin’ Jack Elliott and the duo’s performance at the 60th Newport Folk Festival was named one of the “10 Best Things We Saw” by Rolling Stone.
Twin Bridges, NV
Waddie Mitchell was immersed in the cowboy way of entertaining as a boy on the Nevada ranches where his father worked. The art of spinning tales in rhyme and meter about a rich lifestyle of pushing cows and living off the land came to be called cowboy poetry. Waddie recites the older classics as well as his own works, eloquently expressing moments grand and common, humorous and tragic. In 1985, Waddie helped organize Elko’s first Cowboy Poetry Gathering. Waddie has been inducted into the Nevada Writers Hall of Fame and has received the Nevada Heritage Award from the Nevada Arts Council. In 2017, he released Cohorts & Collaborators, an album featuring nine top western artists who have co-written songs with Waddie. He keeps busy writing, publishing, and recording.
Michael Martin Murphey
For more than 40 years, Michael Martin Murphey has left an indelible mark on the American music landscape by topping the pop, country, bluegrass, and western charts with hits like “Wildfire,” “Carolina in the Pines,” “Geronimo’s Cadillac,” “Boy From the Country,” “Long Line of Love,” “What’s Forever For,” “Cowboy Logic,” “Cherokee Fiddle,” and more. His songs have been recorded by the likes of Kenny Rogers, John Denver, The Monkees, Roger Miller, and Cher, among others. Murph is a member of the Western Music Hall of Fame and has also been honored by such notable organizations as the Academy of Country Music, the Grammy Awards, the Country Music Association, and the Texas Music Awards. He is a recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Cowboy Hall of Fame and serves on the Western Folklife Center’s National Advisory Council.
Filmed in front of a live audience at the Elko Convention Center’s Laurena Moren Theater on Feb. 2, 2019.
Brought to you by the Western Folklife Center, using story and cultural expression to connect the American West to the world.