Dave StameyThe problem with most people today is they are not connected in any real way with their geography. They don’t appreciate where they live; they don’t look up to see the mountains around them, or the plains, or desert.  They have been consumed by the great stripmalling of America.

My Indian name is Dances With Difficulty.

Nobody can touch Western writer Jack Schaefer for the weightier stuff, especially his short stories. As far as genre Westerns go, nobody has ever touched Elmore Leonard.  Valdez is Coming is probably his best.

I’m working on at least three or four things at any given time. Right now, I’m focused on my new studio album for next year; a songbook; and a Western Folk Opera about the ghost town of Bodie, California.

For my money the best Western ever is Monte Walsh by Jack Schaefer.

My daddy always told me, “Nobody likes a whiner.  You want something, work for it.”

History has taught me times and technology may change, but human nature does not.

Tequila is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.

Most people get tripped up on success. They forget that paradise is often found on the road to paradise. Enjoy the trip.

The best music audiences are small and made up of ranch and farm families who appreciate someone who will come and sing their own stories to them.

My biggest influence has been a pulp writer from the 1940s and ’50s named John Henry Reese. He wrote some 40 books and hundreds of short stories. I met him in 1974, and he taught me that if you want to be a writer, you have to put your butt in the chair and words on paper—every day.

Nobody told me that time moves so damn fast. Or maybe they did, and I just wasn’t listening….

The best time to create is 5:00 a.m., with a pot of coffee in front of my Olympia typewriter.

My only regret is I took so long to figure out what I was meant to do.

The best part of being on the road is the incredibly good people who are out there in rural America, still doing the work, still living the quiet lives, raising their families on and with the land. They have been ridiculed, marginalized and ignored by the mainstream media, but they are the best part of this wonderful country.

I can’t imagine living anywhere but the West. I need some open space around me. I need to be able to get to a desert or a mountain when necessary.

The secret to a happy marriage is communication.  Hey, fellas, being a good listener helps, but you have to be willing to chime in now and then.


Dave Stamey is a big star in the Western music world. He just received the “Entertainer of the Year” award from the Western Music Association for the sixth time. He has been voted “Male Performer of the Year” six times and “Songwriter of the Year” four times. “This and five dollars will get you a fancy coffee drink at Starbucks,” he jokes with True West. This magazine has honored him as the “Best Living Western Solo Musician.” All well deserved accolades for the cowboy, mule packer and dude wrangler.

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