I have loved the deserts and mountains of the West since before I could tuck in my shirt-tail, and having lived in Arizona almost all my life and coming from a pioneer Arizona family, I have naturally loved the poems and songs inspired by the strange raw beauty of “My” west and its effect on the lives of cattle and horse people. All my life I've been singing and playing guitar, telling the old tales and inventing some fanciful new ones all over the world, as part of the legendary Gateway Singers, with the highly successful folk duo of Bud and Travis, and by myself.
I considered myself really lucky when, several years ago, Bill (Monroe, who appears as the narrator on the album with Travis--Ed.) and I met on a ranch outside of Tucson and I sort of plinked along while he spun some of the wild and wonderful “windies” that are preserved here. We've been meaning to cut a record for a long time, but days are long and nights are cool and time goes slow in the desert, so we just recently got around to it. For those of you who love the West, we hope this will help kindle the memory of wide-flung valleys, blue mountains, mesquite-smoke, firm handshakes, good horses, tough ranges, and cowboys who loved it all “before we was pups.”
So sit back on your bedroll, I'll tune up my guitar And we'll weave a spell of the West That Was Before the morning star . . .
“. . . For the West wind was a true wind
And the western land was clean.
And it raised a special kind of folks
Who were seldom small or mean.
From the blue Canadian Rockies
To Sonora's silent sand
There's beauty enough for the frail and the tough
And a challenge for every man.
Some faced it hard and flinty
Some grinned and just went on
For the gold that gilded the sunset
And the silver that streaks the dawn
Myself, I'd take a story, or a poem when day was through
And we hunkered by the chuck box
With the other buckaroos.
When the campfire was a comfort
And the coyote sang his song
From the talk you'd thought that Hell itself
Couldn't stop us boys for long . . .
Now I miss the clink of the spur-shod boot
And the cowboy talk so free;
They're parts of the past.
Old Pard, we're the last
Of the West that used to be . . . “
-- Travis Edmonson
with narration by Billy Moore
This blend of cowboy songs and narration was a project Travis Edmonson and Billy Moore had been dreaming about and discussing for years before it became a reality in 1975.
To the sparkling diversity of Travis Edmonson's repertoire was added a new glint, this one reflecting a further facet of his Arizona background.
The Liar’s Hour
The Dude Wrangler
High Cin Bob or The Glory Trail
Hell In texas
La Vaquilla Colorada (The Red Heifer)
Bronco With Wings
The Cowboy and the Shepherd
Little Joe, The Wrangler
Ghost Canyon Trail or The Phantom Trooper
Real Cowboy Life
Ridge Runnin’ Roan
The Old Nighthawk
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