CowboyPoetry.com    Cowboy Poetry and Music and More at the BAR-D Ranch


photograph by Lori Faith Merritt (www.photographybyfaith.com)

Curly Musgrave died December 13, 2009

Find a tribute page here.

Visit www.CurlyMusgrave.com.


 

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Guess you 'n me's been down this road, Lord
An' saddle pals so long
That when it's time to hang my spurs up
I hope you'll hire me on
Room 'n board's enough fer wages
'N with a Stetson fer a crown
If heaven's like Montana, I'd be glad to settle down

from Thanks (The Old Cowboy's Prayer)

 

Curly Musgrave has "performed for royals, prime ministers, presidents, potentates, paints and pool tables, for grandkids on his knee or just friends in need of a song."  His wide repertoire is impressive in its inclusion of contemporary songs, original works, Spanish ballads, and those from the Celtic/British tradition that is "in his heart."  An accomplished poet and songwriter who often collaborates with other top poets and songwriters, Curly Musgrave is one of today's most popular performers, preserving and promoting Western heritage to a wide, always-enthusiastic audience.

About Curly Jim Musgrave

Selected Lyrics and Poetry

Recordings

Contact Information

In November, 2005 Curly Musgrave and Belinda Gail were named
Traditional Duo/Group of the Year by the
Western Music Association

Photograph by Lori Faith Merritt, Photography by Faith


About Curly Jim Musgrave 

Official biography

Through the years folks have given Jim the moniker "Gentleman Jim" or "Sonny Jim" 'cause he is a polite sort of fella and WAS young once.  But now, if it looks like he's gonna tip his hat, better grab your sunglasses.  "Curly" Jim has pushed a passel of scalp through his hair and looks like something grazed the rest plumb down to ground level!  So, we all say "Curly with a bit of a grin and tongue-in-cheek as we shake his hand.

Curly comes from English and Celtic stock but blew into Calgary, Alberta in the winter of '49.  As nearby ranches would push cattle through to the stockyards, the cowboy soul within him was stirred and would never be stilled.  Fate took him from Alberta's wild rose country to California where he came to enjoy a career as a performer and writer.  The Celt and Californio are reflected in his unique brand of Western music, which has earned popular and critical acclaim in the recent years he's performed at festivals and gatherings throughout the US and Canada.  In 2002 he even brought Hollywood's who's who to their feet in a star-studded tribute to Cole Porter following a search for a real cowboy to sing "Don't Fence Me In."  Curly got the call!

Curly's writing, picking, and singing talents impress and touch the hearts of everyone who loves the land and life in the West.  It's not unusual to see folks chuckling with the whimsical one moment and drying a tear the next.  Critics and colleagues have dubbed him, "one of the best voices to come down the trail in a long, long time," "...find of the year...," "one of the most innovative and influential singer/songwriters in Western music today and whose star is rising..."  In a recent interview, former Sons of the Pioneers member, Rusty Richards, referred to Curly as "...one of the finest Western songwriters since Bob Nolan."

The Academy of Western Artists (AWA) nominated him for its Rising Star award in 2000.  Then, 2001 brought six top-ten AWA nominations in five categories including Rising Star, Best Male Vocalist, Best Album (Cowboy True) and three Best Song Nominations. In 2003, he won the AWA's Entertainer of the Year award and the Top Male Western Music award. He also garnered three Western Music Association (WMA) nominations for Best Song (El Gringo de Ramona Linda), Male Performer of the Year and Crescendo Award.  Curly earned the Western Music Association 2002 and 2003 Male Performer of the Year and Songwriter of the Year awards, and the 2004 Songwriter of the Year award.  Curly has shared the stage with the top performers in Western music and headlined at the 2002 Olympic festival in Utah.  The Westerns Channel has just signed a three-year agreement with Curly and filmed him in a video of Cowboy True for use in their special promotions.

For a spell, Curly was managed by the late and legendary Cliffie Stone, who said there ain't an audience that Jim (Curly) won't like or win over with his pickin', singing' and down-to-earth way of goin'.  But with all of the musical success, relationships are what life's about for Curly.  Relationships with Kathleen, his wife of 37 years, with his boys and family, with the cowboy life and its music.  That intimate relationship is created with audiences as he connects each one one of us meaningfully to our own life experiences.  You'll still find the cowboy in the saddle, riding the back ranges of the San Bernardino mountains where he lives or on the ranchlands helping friends with cattle operations who need a good day-hand and a song by the fire.

Curly's first CD, Born to be a Cowboy, still is played throughout Canada, the US, Europe and Australia. Cowboy True  immediately achieved top-ten status on Western charts, featuring three top-ten songs.  A third solo album, The Heritage, plus a duo CD with Belinda Gail, When Trails Meet, were released in 2003.  See more about his recordings below.

Curly's work was featured on What's in a Song, on National Public Radio's Weekend Edition Sunday on January 23, 2004. (Shows are archived here on the NPR site).  The official media release explained,

The Western Folklife Center's "What's in a Song" series on National Public Radio will run this Sunday, January 23, on Weekend Edition, the morning news show. On the eve of the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering, the featured song is "Adios Escalante," a cowboy song by Curly Musgrave.

Some of the greatest cowboy songs of all time are melancholy. To many Americans the cowboy is frozen in time with songs like, "Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie" and "Streets of Laredo." But songs of regret are still be written by cowboys today about the regrets of the modern world. "Adios Escalante," tells the story of the demise of grazing country in the newly created Grand Staircase National Monument. Curly Musgrave talks about the way this land was appropriated and the sadness of the ranching community in southern Utah.

Curly often gets standing ovations when performing "Adios Escalante" in his Utah appearances, where it has achieved a near anthem status. The song is on his Heritage CD. There are particularly appreciative audiences at the annual Western Legends Roundup, where Curly is often a featured performer. 

In November, 2005
Curly Musgrave and Belinda Gail were named

Traditional Duo/Group of the Year

by the
Western Music Association

Photo by Lori Faith Merritt, photography by Faith

Curly Musgrave has been named

 2009 WMA
Musician of the Year
 2003 WMA Male Performer of the Year and Songwriter of the Year
2003
AWA Entertainer of the Year and Top Male Western Musician 
2002 WMA Male Performer of the Year and Songwriter of the Year

 

Selected Lyrics and Poetry

 

The General Store

(Big Enough to Wear) My Daddy's Hat

Thanks (The Old Cowboy's Prayer)

The Heritage

Cowboy in a Hardhat

Curly's Song

Father to Father

Prairie Silent Night (separate page)

 

The General Store

There's a feed and tack in Dillon
Where old cowboys go to play
With checkers and with whitlin' knives
To jaw and pass the day

They've been there since I remember
And I used to stop and hear
Of the cattle drives and ponies
That make old cowboy souvenirs

Them ol' boys roll in 'bout mid mornin'
When the grandkids come to town
They pull out the snoose and mem'ries
As the young'uns gather 'round

Then all at once the story's brighter
As they watch young eyes grow wide
With the tales of wild and wooly days
Along the great divide

When them great Montana ranchos
Would hire on any man
Who could earn a fair day's wages
Doin' what few men can

Endure the devil's winters
Then withstand the hellish heat
With 'skeeters big as buzzards
With a taste for cowboy meat

Then there's dealin' with the cattle
Mostly smelly, rank 'n dumb
Long summers in the line shacks
Where the nights can freeze ya some

Where high and lonesome's the byword
Ridin' night guard 'neath the moon
As the wind sings through the sweetgrass
'N them coyotes sing in tune

Or the dreadful nights of terror
When a sudden lightnin' strike
Would set that herd a'runnin'
'N stampedein' through the night

And a night horse driven hell bent
To turn that herd around
Could stumble with the cowboy
Who'd be trampled in the ground

And to hear them ol' boys tell it
They've lived it everyone
From bunkin' down with rattlesnakes
To facin' rustler's guns

So each day outside that feed 'n tack
They're just passing along the pride
That come from bein' cowboy
Along the great divide

1998, Curly Jim Musgrave, All rights reserved
These words may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

 

 

(Big Enough to Wear) My Daddy's Hat

The big folks laughed and hollered as I rode into the room
On my broomstick horse 'n sixgun at my side
What really had 'em hootin' at this two year old galoot
Was his Daddy's hat he wore down o'er his eyes

Spurred on by the laughter, blinded at dead run
That tabletop sure knocked me cold and flat
I heard my Mommy whisper as she stroked my spinnin' head
Dear, you ain't big enough to wear your Daddy's hat

There's a faint and friendly trace of him
That I remember yet
Up in that satin liner
Stained by Brilliantine and sweat

And every night I'd say my prayers
Thank God for this and that 'n say
Lord just make me big enough
To wear my Daddy's hat

My Daddy was a hero in this little cowboy's eyes
A king and that Montana peak his crown
'N when he'd come in from his chores he let me put it on
And wear it till the hour they'd bed me down

Daddy's long been gone now but memories come anew
My lady asks me what I'm grinnin' at
I pull my Daddy's hat down tight as thoughts of him shine through
'N say, You're big enough to wear your Daddy's hat

There's a faint and friendly trace of him
That I remember yet
Up in that satin liner
Stained by Brilliantine and sweat

And every night I'd say my prayers
Thank God for this and that 'n say
Lord just make me big enough
To wear my Daddy's hat

And every night I say my prayers
Thank God for this and that 'n say
Lord, let me stay big enough
To wear my Daddy's hat

It bent and buried both my ears, was weathered and was worn
Yet somehow met the measure of my Dad
I prayed each day I'd do as much, as he put it on my head
'N grow big enough to wear my Daddy's hat

There's a faint and friendly trace of him
That I remember yet
Up in that satin liner
Stained by Brilliantine and sweat

And every night I'd say my prayers
Thank God for this and that 'n say
Lord just make me big enough
To wear my Daddy's hat

'Cause my Daddy lived a lesson I never could ignore
That quality was in a man and not in the hat he wore

Many years have come and gone now
since that table knocked my cold
My wife and I got young 'uns of our own
And life's had knocks a' plenty for the rancher truth be told
But that's how the boy into the man has grown

Daddy's long been gone now
But the memories come anew
As my lady asks me what I'm grinnin' at
I pull my daddy's hat down tight
As thoughts of him shine through, he says
"You're big enough to wear your daddy's hat!"

There's a faint and friendly trace of him
That I remember yet
Up in that satin liner
Stained by Brilliantine and sweat

And every night I'd say my prayers
Thank God for this and that 'n say
Lord just make me big enough
To wear my Daddy's hat

1999, Curly Jim Musgrave (BMI) All rights reserved
These words may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

This song is on Born to be a Cowboy

 

 

Thanks (The Old Cowboy's Prayer)

Tonight I walked by the bunkhouse
An' in the dim light by his bed
That ol' cowboy who still calls me son
Took off his hat and bowed his head

He said, I know it's been awhile Lord
Since I checked in on my knees
But I often hear your counsel
As I ride out on the breeze

But tonight that sunset you gave me
In the west Montana sky
Was the best I can remember
And so I'm comin' by    t' just say

Thanks...For lettin' this ol' cowboy live another day
An' thanks for that Montana sky tonight 'n by the way
If I never see another, Lord
I'll die a happy man
For all the things your give me
I give my love and thanks

An' whilst I'm down here prayin',   I'll give you thanks because
Of all the rodeos where I come out better than I was
For loops thrown true and fer givin' me eight
On broncs and bulls so rank
Then fer comin' out with all my brains and bones
Again my thanks

I know I ain't see church Lord since Christmas o' sixty-three
But when I'm ridin' herd 'near them Northern lights
I can feel you touchin' me
And I see you on each lonely trail where me 'n ol Pony run
When I catch that coyote on the moon
Or an eagle agin' the sun

An' I hear your voice in the thunder that fills the prairie skies
Or in the whinny of a newborn colt
Or when a sleepin' baby sighs
An' when the Chinook blows warm across the plains
'N new life fills the land...I don't need a steeple over me
To see your wondrous hand.

Guess you 'n me's been down this road, Lord
An' saddle pals so long
That when it's time to hang my spurs up
I hope you'll hire me on
Room 'n board's enough fer wages
'N with a Stetson fer a crown
If heaven's like Montana,  I'd be glad to settle down

Maybe you an' me'll go fishin'
Or ride a trail along the banks
But till you send that final sunset
I'll just say,   Amen...'n thanks

1999, Curly Jim Musgrave (BMI) All rights reserved
These words may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

This song is on Born to be a Cowboy

 

In November 2003, areas of Southern California were devastated by wildfires.  Curly and his neighbors were evacuated, and there was much damage to the area where he lives. He told us "I was watching an interview with a fire captain during the fires and the inferno was behind him and he'd worked about three days, non-stop at that point without sleep or food, saying he was just 'doin' my job'.  I thought 'that fella sounds like a cowboy!' and I pulled on that for the poem..." 

 

COWBOY IN A HARDHAT

THERE'S A FIRE ON THE MOUNTAIN
THERE'S A FIRE IN THE TOWN
THERE'S FLAMES ACROSS THE PRAIRIE
SEEMS THE WHOLE WORLD'S BURNIN' DOWN

THERE'S TERROR IN MY HORSE'S EYE
AN' MINE ARE WIDE AND WHITE
'CAUSE THE DEVIL'S SLINGIN' FIREBALLS
AN' IT FEELS LIKE HELL TONIGHT

AN' WE'RE CRYIN' FOR THE CAVALRY
WE'RE PRAYIN' FOR THE RAIN
'CAUSE THIS PLACE IS DRY AS TINDER
LIKE AS NOT WE'LL BUILD AGAIN

BUT I TURNED LOOSE ALL THE CRITTERS
WIFE AN' KIDS ARE IN THE TRUCK
SEEMS WE BEEN RUN OUT OF  DODGE
AN' WE SURE RUN  OUT OF LUCK

THEN THROUGH THE WILD INFERNO
THERE RIDES A HERO BAND
ON THEIR BIG RED FIRE WAGONS
AN' LORD, THEY'VE COME TO MAKE A STAND

THEY LOOK THE DEVIL IN THE EYE
BOYS, IT'S DO OR DIE TONIGHT
SAYS A COWBOY IN A HARDHAT
COME TO SET THINGS RIGHT

THE COWBOY IN THE HARDHAT
SHAKES OUT A LOOP OF HOSE
HE MAY BE SPITTIN' IN THE WIND
BUT SEEMS THIS COWBOY KNOWS

THE ODDS ARE STACKED AGIN' HIM
AN' ALL THAT'S IN THE PATH
BUT IT'S SOMETHING THAT HE'S BORN TO
TO TAKE ON NATURE'S WRATH


2.

THEN THE FLAMES TAKE ON A HUNGER
AND IT SEEMS HE'LL BE CONSUMED
BUT SINGED AND SOOTY HE FIGHTS ON
NO THOUGHT OF DEATH OR DOOM

AS THE CONFLAGRATION DARTS AND EBBS
THEN COMES IN WAVES AGAIN
BUT THE COWBOY IN THE HARDHAT
IS NOT LIKE OTHER MEN

WHO MERELY DO THE POSSIBLE
TO HOLD WHAT'S IN THEIR GRASP
HE REACHES DEEP WITHIN HIMSELF
AND FINDS THE STRENGTH TO LAST

BEYOND THE THRESHOLDS MORTALS KEEP
WITHIN THE LINES AND ODDS
HE'LL STOP THE DEVIL IN HIS DANCE
UPHELD BY GREATER GODS

THEN THROUGH THE SOOT AND CINDER
THE ASHES AND THE STEAM
MY HOME STANDS FIRMLY FOUNDED
'MID THE SMOKE AS IN A DREAM

THEN THE HEROES MOUNT THEIR WAGONS
AN' PULL THEIR HARD HATS DOWN
NO TIME FOR PRAISE OR GRATITUDE
FOR THE FIRE STILL BURNS IN TOWN

BUT WE'LL REMEMBER WHEN IT'S O'ER
AND TAKE THE TIME TO TELL
OF THE COWBOY IN THE HARDHAT
WHO QUENCHED THE FIRES OF HELL


2003, Curly J Productions All Rights Reserved
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.


This poem is recorded on Range and Romance

(To know Curly is to love him.  When we heard this song on Range and Romance, we asked if we might share it.  It's a must-hear for all of the fun of it.)


Curly Musgrave and Belinda Gail, Kanab, 2003

 

Curly's Song

LORD I NEVER BEEN MUCH OF A LOOKER
AN' I SURE AIN'T GOT BETTER WITH TIME
AN' LORD WHERE WAS I WHEN YOU HANDED OUT HANDSOME
I DIDN'T EVEN KNOW THERE WAS A  LINE

SO YOU DEALT ME A FAIR HAND OF HOMELY
AN' MADE ME A MITE BOWED OF LEG
AN' I MUST'VE STOOD WAY BACK WHEN YOU GIVE OUT THE SIX-PACK
'CAUSE HOW'D I END UP WITH A KEG

CHORUS:  AN' YA GIVE ALL MY HAIR TO TOM SELLECK
              THERE AIN'T A CURL ON MY HEAD TO BE FOUND
              SO COULD I TRADE IN SOME GUT FOR A CUTE WRANGLER BUTT
              2ND. CHORUS (FOR RW'S BUTT)
              'LEAST THE SHORT GALS MIGHT CHASE ME AROUND                  
              2ND CHORUS: AN' THERE'S A BLESSING IN AGIN'
              MY WIFE'S EYES KEEP ON FADIN'
              SO SHE KEEPS CHASIN' THIS OL' BUTT AROUND

BUT YOU LET ME SIT TALL IN THE SADDLE
AN' MY BOWED LEGS FIT MY HORSE JUST FINE
AN' AT LEAST ONE-IN-TEN LADIES LOVE COWMEN
LORD YA JUST HAD TO  MAKE 'EM HALF BLIND

SO WHERE I'M SHORT ON GOOD LOOKS I GOT WISDOM
AN' SOMEHOW THAT GOT ME THROUGH LIFE
IF I JUST RODE BY THE LASSES WITH REALLY THICK GLASSES
LIKE AS NOT  I'D END UP WITH A WIFE

2003, Curly J Productions
Words and Music Curly Musgrave, BMI All Rights Reserved
These words may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.


 

 

Father to Father

FATHER TO FATHER  NOW THIS DAY IS DONE
THANKS FOR THIS CIRCLE I COULD RIDE WITH MY SON
I'M A TOO PROUD OL' COWBOY LORD YOU'VE A SON TOO
AN' I GUESS YOU'RE PROUD OF HIM FOR DOIN' WHAT HE HAD TO DO

SO FATHER TO FATHER I'VE COME FOR A CHAT
'CAUSE HOW COULD A FATHER DO SOMETHING LIKE THAT
SEE HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN NAILED TO A TREE
AND SACRIFICE THAT BOY 'SPECIALLY FOR SOMEONE LIKE ME

CHORUS: 'CAUSE IF IT WAS ME HAD TO RIDE WITH THAT PLAN
             I'D SAY CUT LOOSE MY BOY THE WHOLE WORLD BE DAMNED
             SO HUMBLED AND GRATEFUL LORD I'M THANKIN' YOU
             FATHER TO FATHER
             FOR DOIN' WHAT I COULDN'T DO

FATHER TO FATHER MY LIFE'S TRAIL'S NEAR RODE
BUT YOUR BOY'S HERE BESIDE ME TO CARRY MY LOAD
'CAUSE ALONE I'M NOT WORTHY TO MAKE CAMP WITH YOU
SO THANKS FOR THE GRACE LORD AND FOR DOIN' WHAT I COULDN'T DO

CHORUS: 'CAUSE IF IT WAS ME HAD TO RIDE WITH THAT PLAN
             I'D SAY CUT LOOSE MY BOY THE WHOLE WORLD BE DAMNED
             SO HUMBLED AND GRATEFUL LORD I'M THANKIN' YOU
             FATHER TO FATHER
             FOR DOIN' WHAT I COULDN'T DO
             FOR DOIN' WHAT I COULDN'T DO

2004, Curly J Productions
Words and Music Curly Musgrave, BMI All Rights Reserved
These words may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

In the liner notes to his Range & Romance CD, Curly writes about this song: "I have two sons in their thirties (hard to believe, I know). Jim and Jon mean the world to me and I couldn't imagine ever giving them up for anything or anybody.  Jon and I moved some cattle one day and as he rode up beside me, the thought came again about God sacrificing His son for the world.  Good thing for mankind I wasn't asked to do that.  Lots of dads have told me they heard this song and began to think differently about their boys and what God might have gone through."

This song is included in our collection of 
poems about Cowboy Dads and Granddads

 

 

Read 

Only a Cowboy Knows, by Curly Musgrave and Belinda Gail

from the Academy of Western Artists 1st Annual Cowboy Poetry/Songwriting Team Roping Challenge

 

 

 

 


Some of Curly Jim Musgrave's Recordings

 

Forever West

Includes:

I'll Twine 'Midst the Ringlets/For Lovin' Me, Maude Irving/J.P. Webster (Traditional), Gordon Lightfoot
The Old Waxed Jacket, Diane Tribitt, Curly Musgrave
Roly Poly, Frank Rose
I Gave My Love a Cherry (The Riddle Song), Traditional / The Twelfth of Never, J. Livingston/P. Webster
Zinnia Pawley, Belinda Gail/Curly Musgrave
Silver Spurs, Ray Kraft/Jack Hannah
Last Thing on My Mind, Tom Paxton
La Fille de Valeton (Maid of Valeton), Curly Musgrave
Mule Ears in the Sand, Belinda Gail/Curly Musgrave
Wheels, Dave Stamey
This Cowboy's Missing You, Curly Musgrave
My Horse's Heart, Belinda Gail/Curly Musgrave
Only a River, Lee Domann
Texas Plains, C. Stuart Hamblen

$17 postpaid from:

Curly J. Productions
PO Box 512
Lake Arrowhead, CA 92352

 Rick Huff's review:

Obviously a new CD from (arguably) the best known duo in Western Music is going to be well done!  But another aspect of this newest release from the multi-award winners is impressive in its own right.  More than ever before, I was struck with the feeling it's not just a display of performing prowess.  There are specific and appropriate reasons for the intricacies to be used...which means, even as good as they are, Belinda & Curly still have more they will show us! 

New visions and perspectives abound in this one.  There are strong cowboy images in "The Old Waxed Jacket," (Diane Tribitt's moving poem given melody and set to music), Ray Kraft & Jack Hannah's contemporary classic "Silver Spurs" and there are acknowledged classics like "Texas Plains" and "Roly Poly" here.  And they've "claimed" yet another song for the Western side (Tom Paxton's "Last Thing On My Mind").  But some nicely startling medley work (1859's "I'll Twine 'Midst The Ringlets"...basis for "Wildwood Flower"...hooked to Gordon Lightfoot's "For Lovin' Me" and "I Gave My Love A Cherry" dating from the 18th century teamed with "Twelfth Of Never!") will keep you on your toes.  And if they don't, try "Mule Ears In The Sand," or the portrait of Silkville and Kansas/French immigrant "silk ranching" called "La Fille de Valeton!!" 

There's much more in this CD to recommend than we have space for, which is a huge reason you should snap this one up! 

CD:  $17 ppd from Curly J Productions, P.O. Box 512, Lake Arrowhead, CA 92352 and also available through www.cdbaby.com.

2008, Rick Huff


 

Red Rock Moon

Includes:

Ghost Riders in the Sky by Stan Jones
Somewhere in the Rubies by Ian Tyson
You Can't Put a Brand on Me by Curly Musgrave, Belinda Gail
Three Quarter Time by Curly Musgrave, Belinda Gail
Dance Cowboy Dance by Curly Musgrave, Belinda Gail
Creakin' of the Leather by Curly Musgrave, Belinda Gail
The Remember Song by Steve Walters
Streets of Laredo Traditional adapted by Musgrave/Belinda Gail
Red Rock Moon by Curly Musgrave, Belinda Gail
El Fuego by Virginia Bennett, Curly Musgrave
Wind Beneath My Wings by L. Henley/J. Silbar
Wild Montana Skies by John Denver (Cherry Mountain Music)
Bonus track: Veterans' Dedication

Rich Callaci: Keyboards, Percussion, Bass, String Arrangements
Rich Dixon: Electric Guitar, Acoustic Lead Guitar, Mandolin, Dobro
Ryan Shupe: Fiddle (except tracks 7,8,10) Mandolin
Aaron Ashton: Fiddle (tracks 7,8,10)
Steve Alred: Pedal Steel Guitar
Belinda Gail: Rhythm Guitar, Vocal Arrangements, Lead and Harmony Vocals
Curly Musgrave: Rhythm and Lead Guitar, Arrangements, Lead and Harmony Vocals

Cover by Don Dane, Olathe, Kansas www.dondanestudio.com

$17 postpaid from:

Curly J. Productions
PO Box 512
Lake Arrowhead, CA 92352

  Marvin O'Dell's Review:

Two artists (select any musical genre) don't just step into a recording studio and quickly knock out a recording project, expecting it to sound professional. In fact, not even a solo artist can be afforded that luxury. It takes some time to hone one's craft. And when you begin talking about working with another artist, you're also talking about reworking your style, stepping out of your comfort zone, and accommodating a second artist whose phrasing and dynamics will probably not be perfectly aligned with your own. I said all that to say this:

If two wonderful musicians can achieve a synthesis that holds up through an entire recording project -- well, that's almost a miracle. That's why I've never been a great fan of duet albums recorded by quality artists. They generally necessitate way too much give-and-take for the finished project to be satisfactory. It's like trying to put two superstar basketball players on the same court. Both players end up with a lesser performance because they must give up part of their ability to accommodate the other. And the fan goes home dissatisfied because he has not had the opportunity to see either star shine.

Now, if you'll take one listen to "Red Rock Moon," the latest duet CD from Belinda Gail and
Curly Jim Musgrave, you'll quickly discover that things that are true in some cases are not true in all. These two western singers have succeeded in one of music's great challenges: recording a completely satisfying duet album. Of course, they didn't just drop into a studio and say, "Let's give it a try." These two have been working together for several years, singing and playing on each other's solo releases. This has been sharpening time. This has been the weaving of the fabric that has now musically turned them into one. After listening to this new CD, you realize it's not Belinda Gail and Curly Musgrave any more. It's Belinda & Curly, Curly & Belinda. You know, as in Phil & Don, Porter & Dolly, Fred & Ginger, Roy & Dale.

Where this duos' first CD, When Trails Meet," spotlighted the talents of each singer individually, Red Rock Moon showcases their ability to work as a team. Where before it was the excellent tight rope walker followed by the wonderful man on the flying trapeze, now it's the two trapeze artists relying on one another as they weave their musical magic. One flies and one is there to catch. And when you've finished listening to Red Rock Moon, you realize you've been holding your breath frequently -- fearing that someone might fall from such a high-peak performance.

But this performance comes off flawlessly. It's all here: the beauty of Ian Tyson's "Somewhere in the Rubies"; the light-heartedness of "You Can't Put a Brand on Me" and "The Remember Song"; the creativity of "(Ghost) Riders in the Sky,"; the emotion of "Veteran's Dedication"; the romance of "Red Rock Moon," one of 6 songs co-written by Curly & Belinda. You won't recall having heard a better version of "Wind Beneath My Wings" -- a song done so eloquently while remaining a true western tune.

You'll sit transfixed listening to the reworked "Streets of Laredo." When the song ended, I thought, "That song is now complete. Belinda & Curly have actually messed with a classic -- and made it better" -- a daring feat rarely accomplished.

There's no question that this will be an award-winning CD. While listening to it, just sit back and soar with Curly & Belinda. They'll take you to the mountains, down the streets of western towns, to the dance floor, and back up into wild western skies. Synergy simply bursts from this CD with every song. If it weren't for trademark infringements, this CD could have been aptly titled, "The Greatest Show on Earth."

2006, Marvin O'Dell, host of Around the Campfire on Classic Heartland
Reprinted with permission


Range and Romance

Includes:

Wild in the West
Return to the Fifty
Range & Romance (By This Fire)
Mail Order Bride by Belinda Gail and Curly Musgrave
Cowboy in a Hard Hat (The Firefighter's Poem)
Curly's Song
The Irish Drover
Lonely Lady Blue
Carolina by Richard Elloyan
The Men Who Ride No More by Joel Nelson and Curly Musgrave
Just One Moment
Father to Father
Same Kind of Horses by Rob Dinwoodie

words and music by Curly Musgrave except where noted

foreword by Jack Hannah of the Sons of the San Joaquin

lead vocals: Curly Musgrave
special appearance by Belinda Gail (Mail Order Bride & The Drover)
keyboards, bass, percussion:  Rich Callaci
lead guitar, mandolin, dobro, baritone:  Rich Dixon
fiddle, mandolin: Ryan Shupe
acoutic guitar:  Curly Musgrave
background vocals: Belinda Gail & Curly Musgrave

$17 postpaid from:

Curly J. Productions
PO Box 512
Lake Arrowhead, CA 92352


The Heritage

 

Includes:

Wheels by Dave Stamey
The Ol' Fifty Mile
The Heritage
Stewards of the Range (duet with Belinda Gail)
Escalante Adios
Thanks (The Old Cowboy's Prayer) (duet with Rusty Richards)
No Cowboy Rides Alone
Roundup in the Spring by Pat Richardson and Curly Musgrave
The Line
Father and Son (duet with Brenn Hill)
Annie Laurie by William Douglas & Lady John Scott
That Bright Texas Star
Tho' I am a Grango (Aunque Sea Gringo) (duet with Belinda Gail)
Make My Heaven Colorado
Satan Stallion by Ellie Corrigan and Curly Musgrave

The Heritage, described by Curly, "holds the theme of struggling to balance the reality of the modern 'global economy' and the sanctity of our heritage upon the land." Our Honored Guest Pat Richardson's Roundup in the Spring, now a song by Curly, is on the album and titled "Boys It's Roundup Time." Our Honored Guest Ellie Corrigan's Satan Stallion is also now a song by Curly on this album. The album includes poetry ( "The Line," a poem of lineage and priorities, and The Heritage) and a great collection of songs, mostly by Curly but also by those poets mentioned and Dave Stamey  There are duets with Brenn Hill, Rusty Richards, and several with Belinda Gail.

The Heritage

I ride each morn out on this land
Then reach on back through time
To those who came before me
With hearts more brave than mine
Their essence yet within this sod
Commands me, push aside
Fickle, furied hands of those
Who'd grab then sub-divide

No question there for me I know
That I will stay the course
And ride each morn out on this land
Upon some worthy horse
Untill my own bones seek the sod
Then, with those who came before
I'll exhort posterity to hold on evermore
..to THE HERITAGE

2002, Curly Jim Musgrave, All rights reserved
These words may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

$17 postpaid from:

Curly J. Productions
PO Box 512
Lake Arrowhead, CA 92352


 

When Trails Meet

Belinda Gail and Curly Musgrave

includes:

Gallivantin' Galveston Gal by Nelson/Wise/Leeds
High Sonoita by Michael Fleming
Prairie Gal by Jack Hannah
Yodel Blues by Robert Emmet Dolan
Texas Moon by Michael Fleming
Now that I Found You by Jeff Gore
Ol' Nevada Moon by Patsy Montana & Lee Penny
Montana Lullaby by Les Buffham
Cowboy/Cowgirl Blues by Jean & Gary Prescott
Eight Second Ride by Gary James
Place Where I Worship by Tarr/Forrester, Goodheart
Wild Sierras by Dave Stamey
Singing on the Trail by Fleming/Allen

From the inside cover notes:  Our trails met a little over three years ago.  As they crossed musically on repeated occasions, we found a true enjoyment in the blend of voices & performance.  So, we decided to work up a show and see how it might be received by our audiences.....

"I love to hear Belinda Gail sing!  I love to hear Curly Musgrave sing!  Here's a great chance to hear both of these award winning WMA performers on one great CD.  Belinda is the Western Music Association Female Vocalist of the Year and Curly is the Male Vocalist of the Year...Listen closely to the songs on this CD and you will see why Belinda and Curly as so deserving of everything that is coming their way!" Johnny Western

$17 postpaid from:

Curly J. Productions
PO Box 512
Lake Arrowhead, CA 92352

 

Our First Noel

  

Our First Noel, with Belinda Gail, Curly Musgrave, Kip Calahan, and R.W. Hampton, a compilation of Christmas songs CD includes 14 tracks:

Two Step Round the Christmas Tree   / Belinda Gail/Curly Musgrave
This Year My Christmas Wish is Mexico / Kip Calahan
Long Canyon Christmas / RW Hampton
Mary Did You Know / Belinda Gail
Christmas Cookies / Curly Musgrave
The Meaning of Christmas  / Kip Calahan
 Mary's Little Boy Child  / RW Hampton
 Till The Season Comes Round Again / Curly Musgrave
 Cowboy Christmas Eve / Kip Calahan
 Wrapped In Glory   / Curly Musgrave/Belinda Gail
 When My Heart Finds Christmas / RW Hampton
 What Child is This / Belinda Gail
 Once Upon a Christmas / Kip Calahan, Belinda Gail, RW Hampton, Curly Musgrave
Traditional Christmas Medley / Kip Calahan, Belinda Gail, RW Hampton, Curly Musgrave

Order from Belinda Gail's web site

 

Belinda Gail - Curly Musgrave

Belinda Gail and Curly Musgrave define synergy.  The combination of their individual talents and careers has brought a powerful performance dynamic to Western music that has drawn the attention and raves of critics and fans alike.

No small wonder.  Belinda Gail, through her breathtaking performances, has earned the Western Music Association's award for "Female Performer Of The Year" for an unprecedented four consecutive years, 1999 through 2002.  Other awards and nominations confirm her energy and appeal as a performer.   She is a giving and inspirational entertainer whose show is captivating, compelling and unforgettable in the best sense of the word.  She truly is "America's Western Sweetheart."

Curly Musgrave has been dubbed "one of the finest voices to come down the trail in a long, long time" and "one of the most innovative and influential singer/songwriters in Western music today".  He is also regarded as one of the most accomplished guitarists in the Western genre. Curly has been nominated for many awards as singer, writer, performer and producer. He is the Western Music Association's "Male Performer Of The Year" and
"Songwriter Of The Year" for 2002.

Belinda and Curly infuse electricity, energy and enthusiasm into their performance reflected in dynamic arrangements of original and traditional Western songs and audiences truly enjoy their refreshing and humorous banter on stage.  Both are skillful and articulate yodelers and routinely bring audiences to their feet with harmony yodeling, and songs that raise a gamut of emotions from tears to hilarity.

 


 

Cowboy True

Includes:

Cowboy True*
Montana Songbird by Michael Fleming/Curly Musgrave
Prairie Silent Night*
Becky O  by Sam Jackson/Curly Musgrave
Montana Lullaby by Les Buffam
Good Ol' Dr. Jones*
Boys of the Ol' Rockin' R*
Symphony in Sage*
Ode to Tofu by Elizabeth Ebert/Curly Musgrave
In the Heartland*
Rodeo Crazy*
El Gringo de Ramona Linda*

(*Words and music by Curly Musgrave)

$17 postpaid from:

Curly J. Productions
PO Box 512
Lake Arrowhead, CA 92352


Born to be a Cowboy 

Including:

My Daddy's Hat
Born to be a Cowboy
Bluebell Blue (Love Story)*
Harry Play Your Mouth Harp
Coyote Choir
The Master's Hand
Thanks (Old Cowboy's Prayer)
One Last Trail
The Ornery Camp Cooky's Stew
Billy Tucker's Stew/Poem
Wild Rose of the West (Alberta Homecoming)
Waltzing on Saturday Night
Cherokee Sun
Wild in the West

*All songs written by Curly Jim Musgrave except Bluebell Blue, which is 
Elizabeth Ebert's beautiful poem, 'Love Story,' from her book, Crazy Quilt.

$17 postpaid from:

Curly J. Productions
PO Box 512
Lake Arrowhead, CA 92352

 

Contact Information

Curly J. Productions
PO Box 512
Lake Arrowhead, CA 92352
email

Visit www.CurlyMusgrave.com.

 

 

 

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