Our heroes and villains roam the borderlands, and tequila and gunpowder figure prominently in our lyrical tales. When we employ horns, they’re usually echoing some Sonoran sound, and many a lead guitar hook sounds like it fell out of a Sergio Leone Spaghetti Western.
A book that would make a good song is The Monkeywrench Gang by Edward Abbey. It is high adventure, high drama, high romance, and our heroes are doing their able-best to save our desert.
A cowboy singer I like today is Andy Hersey, denizen of Sonoita, Arizona. Andy is a true Southwestern cowboy bard. When I listen to his music, I feel as if I am there, whether it be in the saddle, behind a pistol, crying into a bottle or pounding horseshoes. “Between God and Country,” for example, sounds native, elemental. His music makes you a witness.
My memories of my father’s ranch are sacred to me. I find myself there, still, often in dreams. I remember the first time I was old and able enough to ride in a cattle roundup. I was woken early, allowed to have coffee, saddle my own horse and ride with the cowboys (and girls). I remember how excited I was to ride next to my dad. It was odd to me how quiet everyone was whilst we rode out in the grey of pre-dawn. I wanted to talk about how cool it was, but no one spoke. The only sounds were the creak of leather, breathing of horses, clop and pop of hooves on the stony trail and bird songs as the high desert woke with the coming of the sun.
Writing the twangy King of the Hill TV theme song happened because of happy, dumb, cowboy luck.
Playing at a honkytonk is like singing the Truth.
So far, the 2008 Turbo Ocho tour has been a labor of love. We’ve seen a lot of old friends and met new ones too. I’m meeting a lot more people in their teens and early 20s as well as a lot more in their 60s and even 70s. Whether or not Turbo Ocho is actually the reason, I’m honored to be singing to such a diverse group of people.
I’d take my leaky little boat to the marine mechanic, but he’d just tell me that we all have leaky little boats. While I’m still afloat, however, I’ll go anywhere there’s adventure or where I can lend a hand.
Deep down I never wanted to grow up because I could find no adult profession which would allow me to have water balloon fights, steal cookie dough, test hammocks, stir margaritas and be a cowboy-Indian-bandito-pirate-beach bum.
Preserving the American West requires falling in love with it and the understanding that we are the land.
What history has taught me is that humans ought to dream kinder.
Best Album to Try If You Haven’t Heard Them Yet: Honky Tonk Union. Album In My CD Changer: Live at Billy Bob’s Texas. Songs to Buy Online: “The Ballad of Lupe Montosa,” “Buffalo,” “Love, Come Lighten My Load” and “Wake Up Call.” Fan Fave: “Leaky Little Boat.”
Roger Clyne, Singer for Roger Clyne & the Peacemakers
Clyne and his band mate from the Refreshments, P.H. Naffah, formed Roger Clyne & the Peacemakers in 1998. The Arizona-based band is bassist Nick Scropos, drummer P.H. Naffah, singer Roger Clyne and lead guitarist Steve Larson. The Peacemakers are the only independent band to debut in the Top 10 of Billboard’s Internet Sales chart with six consecutive albums, including two No. 1 entries. The band released its latest album, Turbo Ocho, this year.