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A lively buzz was going around at the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering: "Have you heard New West?"  "Don't miss New West!"  They entertained thousands of fans there, and they continue to light up the Western Music scene wherever they go.

Reviewers are full of praise for the band: "The carefully honed, energetic performances of this group, plus their solid, new material, have kept New West at the top of the western heap," Rope Burns;"...pure all-around entertainment," Cowboy Magazine; "Cowboy music just don't get any better than this!" Cascade Horseman.

That last comment was from a review of the band's first two recordings, written by Virginia Bennett. We're pleased to have Virginia Bennett's review of New West's most recent CD, Buckaroo Dream, below.

The band plays occasional gigs now. Visit New West's web site for more reviews and information.

Raul Reynoso, Michael Fleming, and David Jackson


More About New West

New West Recordings
Virginia Bennett's review
 of Buckaroo Dream

Michael Fleming Lyrics
Sometimes This Old Cowboy Gets the Blues
The Rodeo Nobody Knows
Fair Winds and Gentle Seas

Contact Information


More About New West


Raul Reynoso, Michael Fleming, and David Jackson

Winners of the Academy of Western Artists' Will Rogers Award for Best Western Group


Michael Fleming
Michael Fleming was raised at the foot of the Colorado Rockies. There he developed a profound love for the West and its people that has compelled him to create music celebrating its culture. He has been described by reviewers as "a creative and perceptive songwriter" whose work is "among the most innovative in Western Music." Mike writes most of the original material for NEW WEST and won the Academy of Western Artists (AWA) 1997 Will Rogers Award/Best Western Swing Song for his composition, Sometimes This Old Cowboy Gets the Blues, as well as the 1997 Western Music Association/Song of the Year and 1998 AWA Best Song with co-writer, Les Buffham, for Below the Kinney Rim


Raul Reynoso
Raul Reynoso's incredible instrumental and vocal talent has made him one of California's most sought after musicians and performers. Raul has played at the Grand Old Opry and recorded an LP with Larry McNeely titled "Power Play." He is a two time Western Regional flatpicking champion who has been nominated twice for best instrumentalist by the Western Music Association. For ten years he was the lead member of the "Thunder Mountain Boys" and "The Rhythm Brothers" at Disneyland. He is most noted for his expertise on acoustic guitar and mandolin with a mastery of styles ranging from bluegrass and western swing to 30's jazz in the tradition of the legendary Django Reinhardt.

David Jackson
David Jackson, bass player extraordinaire, is much in demand as a studio musician and voice-over artist. He is known for his infectious enthusiasm and humor and has wowed audiences across the country with his prowess and versatility on bass, piano and accordion. In 1996 Dave was honored by the California Country Music Association as Best Instrumentalist. He has played and sung with luminaries such as Kenny Rogers, Hoyt Axton, Cher, Jackson Browne and Dwight Yoakum, to name a few. His true love is music and poetry about the West. He brings abundant experience and heart to this sweet singin' trio.

New West Recordings


  Buckaroo Dream
The group's most recent recording includes: Buckaroo Dream / Cowboy Swing / Line Rider's Waltz / The Remember Song / The Vaquero Song / Vaquero / Jaquima to Freno / Headin' South for a Change / The Drover's Prayer / The Wire and the Rail / The Bells of Gran Boquilla / Chow's On / Roads to Colorado
  Read more about the CD on the New West web site.

Reviewed for CowboyPoetry.com by Virginia Bennett:


Review: Buckaroo Dream by New West

I hesitate to recommend Buckaroo Dream by the California-based Western trio, New West. Now, don't take that out of context, but I do hate to recommend it. Because when you get this recording and begin to play it, you are going to lose sleep. You'll want to be up dancing about your living room to this boisterous collection from one of the best groups within this genre. And during the day? Well, let's just say, unless you drive for a living and can listen as you're heading down the road, you aren't going to be getting much work done, either.

Seriously, one wonders how this group just gets better and better, when they started out 7 years ago already with the total package: outstanding musicianship, blended harmony vocals and an onstage presence that establishes their place in the top echelon of "cowboy singers."

Let's talk about the music in this collection. Well-chosen was the first (and title) cut, lead singer Mike Fleming's "Buckaroo Dream." The fast-paced mandolin chops and crooning harmonies lead you right into the song, and
hence to the entire CD, without hesitation. There's not much choice on whether you're along for the ride or not, because you are swept right along with the stampede of this tune.

One cannot be surprised at this selection of intro songs, or any other part of this professionally-arranged compilation, when it is noticed that the album was produced by Raul Reynoso. New West is a talented tripod of sorts with three equally skilled men serving as a solid foundation. Reynoso offers the band strong musicianship, with a mastery of guitar and mandolin and one suspects he greatly influences the complicated, yet stylistic and smooth arrangements within the music. An example of Reynoso's guitar expertise can be heard and admired in "Vaquero "(Mike Fleming), an instrumental featuring Raul's precise, lightning lead notes and bell tones. Any band member worth his salt must be versatile, and Reynoso ably contributes in harmony vocals, and the occasional lead, as in "Headin' South for a Change" (Danny Wheetman).

The beauty of this trio is that each member can  stand strongly as an individual artist within his own right, and that is equally true of Dave Jackson (acoustic bass and accordion), and his bass harmonies give the tunes
on Buckaroo Dream that flavor that sets it apart. His rendition of Steve Walters' "The Remember Song" brings the house down every time it's presented on stage, and could just possibly be the song that sells the most copies of
this album.

"Lookin' for my wallet and my car keys
They can't have gone too far
Just as soon as I find my glasses
I'm sure I'll see which way they are.
I'm supposed to meet someone for lunch today
But I can't remember where
Or who it is I am meeting
But it's in my organizer somewhere...."

So goes the whimsical lyrics of the song delivered by Jackson with so much sincerity that we can all immediately relate to similar bouts of short-term memory loss.

Jackson also ably gives his rendition (and this reviewer's favorite so far) of Ian Tyson and Blaine McIntyre's "Jaquima to Freno," spiced with the Mexican stylings of Reynoso's guitar, Jackson's accordion and Richard Chon's (Sons of the San Joaquin) fiddle.

"Hey, Mister Vaquero! Put a handle on my pony for me. Teach me the mystery."

Lead singer of the group is Mike Fleming, playing rhythm guitar, adding harmony vocals and a songwriting talent so well recognized that he was asked to give a workshop on the subject at the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in
Elko, NV last January. Fleming's experience with the cowboy life, and playing with the successful Lobo Rangers, have provided him with the background necessary to keep cranking out the best in original, contemporary
cowboy music. Fleming penned nine of the cuts on the album, two of which were co-written with cowboy poet Les Buffham ("The Bells of Gran Boquilla" and "Chow's On").

Hard to choose a favorite from these nine, but if pressed, I would have to select the sweet blending of men's voices in "The Drover's Prayer":

"Last night I dreamed I rode a trail of stardust
A trail that led me to a shining light
I pray that light will guide me as I travel
To join the others, my brothers of the trail.
Lord, give me strength and courage as I travel
To join the others, my brothers of the trail."

This CD, as with all other New West recordings, holds up well against any other commercially-produced, Nashville offering. Their lyrics concern things Westerners care about: horses, humor, history and honesty. Long after you
are tired of Music City's forced feedings of cowboy-hatted, weight liftin' guys whose songs are about as close to "country" as a cow is to a cougar, you'll be popping New West's CD into the player and singing along and
feeling good about it.

                                                                                                                  Virginia Bennett


Wild Places
New West's second recording includes:
Pretty Cowgirl / Stampede / Lonesome Canyon / Montana Skies / Amigo / Below the Kinney Rim / Vaquero / My Only Love / Hey Conductor / Sometimes This Old Cowboy Gets the Blues / Gypsy Cowboy Band / Wild Places  Read more about the CD on the New West web site

  Texas Blues
New West's debut recording includes: This Boy Can Ride / Texas Moon / Cowboy Lullaby / Texas Blues / Rodeo Hobo / My Window Faces the South / A Little Further in the Hole / The High Sonoita / Backin' to Birmingham / Time Changes Everything / The Rodeo Nobody Knows / Cowboy Blessing  Read more about the CD on the New West web site


You can read more CD descriptions and reviews, get more information about New West,
 and order these CDs on New West's web site.


Some Lyrics by Michael Fleming

Sometimes This Old Cowboy Gets the Blues

Late night movie playin'
Lights are turned down low
Pictures on the TV cast a lonesome glow
Watchin' all my heroes
Ride across the screen
Can't stop thinkin' how things might have been

Time was, my daddy told me…not so long ago
When a man could ride a hundred miles
And never see a soul
But the range is growin' smaller
The walls are closin' in
The freedom that my daddy knew
Is comin' to an end
Ain't no use complainin' bout the things I know are true
Just that sometimes this old cowboy gets the blues

High up on a mesa
Gazin' down below
Lights on the horizon from the city glow
I hear the wheels a whinin'
On some distant road
But I'm thinkin' back a hundred years or so

When drovers trailed the longhorn the West was wild and free
Just endless open prairies
As far as you could see
But the range is growin' smaller
The walls are closin' in
The freedom that my daddy knew
Is comin' to an end
Ain't no use complainin' bout the things I know are true
Just that sometimes this old cowboy gets the blues

© Michael Fleming/Segovia Music/ASCAP
This song is included on Wild Places. 
These lyrics may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.



The Rodeo Nobody Knows

Off the back roads of Utah near the San Rafael
An old rough stock rider strides to the corral
His body all battered from battles he's fought
All whalebone and rawhide with eyes like a hawk
He takes a deep seat on a mustang that waits
like a time bomb `tickin' away
A flash of the spur and the mad dance of hooves
and a bronc buster starts a new day

At the Rodeo Nobody Knows
No crowds cheerin' loud, no trophies of gold
Everyday there's a wild west show
At the Rodeo nobody knows

A young man on horseback in the West Texas brush
searchin' for strays left behind in the push
He senses some movement below in the draw
His cow pony tenses and waits for the call
Then out with a rush and down a ravine
A young maverick races away
And right there behind him and buildin' a loop
The hand closes in on his prey

From Texas to Canada, north, west and south
From the Gulf to the Great Basin too
The punchers, vaqueros and buckaroos ride
Cause it's what they were destined to do

© Michael Fleming/New West Music/ASCAP
This song is included on Texas Blues.
These lyrics may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.



Fair Winds and Gentle Seas

Young boy by the ocean
Castles in the sand
Boats upon the water
Bound for distant lands

Clouds on the horizon
White sails in the wind
He knows he'll go
When he becomes a man

Fair winds, my son
Sail on gentle seas
And know the truth
Will always set you free
Forgive and love
And live what you believe
Fair winds and gentle seas...

At times I played the father's role
With a heavy hand
I watched you draw into yourself
And hold your feelings in

But fathers only try to do their best
And what they can
And pray it all
Will work out in the end

Fair winds, my son
Sail on gentle seas
And know the truth
Will always set you free
Forgive and love
And live what you believe
Fair winds and gentle seas...

© Michael Fleming/New West Music/ASCAP
These lyrics may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.


Michael Fleming performed this song at the 2009 Colorado Cowboy Poetry Gathering.

He told us about its inspiration, "My son is a sailor. Specifically, he works the tall ships and has done so for the last twelve years. A few years ago when he was in port we spent some time together and he said 'You know dad, I don't consider what I'm doing a job. It's really my life.' I thought to myself...I've heard a lot of ranchers say the same thing. Since I don't see him but once or twice a year, I wrote this song. Sort of a musical letter from me to him. Here is a picture of the Westward, a boat he worked last winter."



Michael Fleming co-wrote "Below the Kinney Rim" with Les Buffham.
See our Before the Song article about the collaboration here.


Contact Information

Music...Big as the Western sky


P.O. Box 802495
Santa Clarita, CA 91380-2495
(661) 297-6904









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