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With a voice pure as a prairie wind, Patty Clayton delivers the truth in her straightforward performances of wonderfully written Western music. Her Folk roots are strong, and thankfully very apparent in her distinctive singing and playing style, and her characteristic perfect pitch and gentle touch keep even the most discriminating listener’s rapt attention. She’s a treasure!
Juni Fisher

photo by Eric Weber

Western Music Association
Female Performer of the the Year

Academy of Western Artists'
Female Vocalist of the Year

About Patty Clayton

Selected Lyrics


More ...

Patty Clayton's Web Site and Contact Information


 About Patty Clayton
    official biography; photo by Eric Weber

Patty Clayton is a performing songwriter whose original ballads and “borrowed” songs celebrate the present and yesteryears of the West. She knows her subject well; she was raised in the West, in a family rich with ranching history in the Pacific Northwest.

Patty’s pure vocals have delighted Western and Folk audiences in a career that has spanned several decades, both as a solo artist, and with her band “Cimarron Wind.” She has been eagerly sought to share her wonderful sense of harmony for groups such as Jill Jones and the Lone Star Chorale, duet Liz Masterson and Sean Blackburn, and solo performers such as Dave Stamey, Gary McMahan and Juni Fisher.

The Sunset Network Information Services Western Music Number 1 rating for her release, Astraddle A Saddle, proves that Patty’s recordings perform as well as she does.

Patty has garnered four nominations for Western Female Vocalist of the Year by the Academy of Western Artists, as well a 2003 Album of the Year nomination for her release, Just A Little Bit Cowgirl.  The Academy of Western Artists named Patty the 2007 Western Female Vocalist of the Year presenting her with the Will Rogers Award. The Western Music Association also named her 2004 Female Performer of the Year, assuring her a spotlight amongst the West’s finest. 



Selected Lyrics 


The Vaquero and Me

Ben and Ole's Land

Pa'u Riders



The Vaquero and Me 

My name is Kua ko’olani 
I live surrounded by a warm blue sea 
My family’s lived here for eternity
On this land that we love…

Our life is simple and so very plain
Amid the taro patches and the cane
Makua’s work has lately all been in vain
As they labor in the fields…

Lately it seems as if there is no end
To the destruction once it all began
As wild bullocks run and trample our land
We cannot keep them at bay…

Once my papa had to run for his life
These bullocks’ longhorns slice one like a knife
He’s turned bewildered and now every night
He hangs his head and feels disgrace.

My name is Rosa Deseñeros
I live in Spanish Californio
I love a handsome brave vaquero
And I can see that he loves me… 

His blood is strong with long nobility
He was raised with highest dignity
His family taught him all that he would need
He fills their hearts with beaming pride… 

He rides with skill a wild young Spanish Dun
He works the cattle in the desert sun
His rope he handles unlike anyone
He’s earned the honor of respect… 

But now he’s sailing for some foreign land
I started crying when he kissed my hand
I fear I’ll never ever see him again
He took his saddle now he’s gone


I can see it in his eyes
He truly loves this cowboy life
On the back of any horse he rides he’s free
If I could only make him stay
We’d be happy everyday
We’d be wed, the Vaquero and me

Word came our way today from our young king
Some help from far away he would bring
A ship of men would land here in the spring
To teach our men to rope and ride...

Now summer’s come and I have seen these men
One rides with ease
the Li'o in the wind
His rope he makes by hand of leathered skin
His colored scarves he wears so grand...

At night I hear his music in the air
I hide and watch him closely as I dare
My heart is thrilled as he sings so fair
In a foreign melody

Now summer’s gone and he’s restored our pride
Makua’s fields now lay in their prime
I can’t help wonder when it comes the time
If he will stay and be with me


But I can see it in his eyes
He truly loves this cowboy life
On the back of any horse he rides he’s free
If I could only make him stay
We’d be happy everyday
We’d be wed, the Vaquero and me

© 2006, Patty Clayton Cimarron Wind Music BMI  
These words may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

This song, sung as a duet with Juni Fisher, is on Patty Clayton's Astraddle A Saddle CD.


Ben and Ole's Land

On the side of a mountain in Northern Idaho
In a pasture of grass sits a barn and a home
With a view of the valley where the Salmon River runs
This land has weathered endless years of harsh wind and sun

The old barn made of wood has set a hundred years and more
With a roof made of tin that's all tattered and torn
The wind whistles thru the timbers with a haunting mournful sound
Now what used to shelter livestock slowly topples to the ground

The old house still sits solid on foundation made of stone
The old porch still has a swinging wooden door
For two pioneers this was the place they made their home
You can almost hear their footsteps walking 'or the hardwood floor

A cowboy tall and handsome they called Oregon Ben
Met the daughter of a judge and soon they were wed
His bride he called Ole was pretty and real smart
He loved that young girl with all of his heart

Though the years lay long between them they worked hard side by side
Tending cattle and the horses from morning till night
They were later blessed with children who filled their home with love
And every night they bowed their heads and thanked the lord above

Now the old coal forge still sits out in the smith house
And the horseshoes still lie scattered all around
Though the old corral's long empty of the livestock it once held
Their spirits still remain where I walk upon this ground

I have seen it with my eyes; I have touched it with my hands
I have walked upon the ground of this place that is grand
Their voices whisper in the wind as they welcome me in
I have stood upon the ground of Ben and Ole's land

These are the treasures I have found on Ben and Ole's land

© 2004, Patty Clayton, Cimarron Wind Music, BMI
These lyrics poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.


This song is on Patty Clayton's Astraddle A Saddle CD.

The song was inspired by her great grandparents' life. Read more about its inspiration below and in our Picture the West feature



Pa'u Riders

The sun is a rising over the sea,
at daybreak we’ll ride my pony and me
with the hoa aloha wahine so free
we’ll ride down the pali into old Waikiki
We’ll run fast thru forests so fragrant and green
where perfumes from blossoms will hang in our breeze
we’ll ride into town where we’ll race down the streets
our skirts sail behind us a thrill bound to please

They call us Pa’u Riders, Pa’u Riders.

We ride bold and fearless as fast as we dare
our voices and laughter will ring thru the air
in our worn leather saddles we sit proud and square
and leis of ilima grace the necks of our mares
Our long skirts abundant bright colors we wear
that stream out behind us in glorious flair
a flower sits tight in our long dark hair
We bring rapt attention and make people stare

They call us Pa’u Riders, Pa’u Riders.

While riding the streets on our ponies one day
I saw him the man, who had come from far away
That handsome Vaquero, Ramone was his name
whose skills as a cowboy had brought him great fame
Now he’s here on this island where I’ve come to stay
I gave him a smile as I tossed him my lei
now we ride side by side in our festive parades
My long flowing pa’u bringing wide spread acclaim.

They call us Pa’u Riders, Pa’u Riders
They call us Pa’u Riders, Pa’u Riders

© 2011, Patty Clayton, Cimarron Wind Music BMI

This song is on Patty Clayton's Dancin' in Denver CD.

Read about its inspiration below and in our Picture the West feature.



Dancin' in Denver

Dancin' in Denver...however, it's not all about dancing! The inspirations for this CD are as wide spread as the locations in which these songs were either written or learned, ranging from the dairy lands of Idaho to the culture of the Paniolo and Pa'u riders of Hawaii, the magic of desert nights in Arizona to a wild mustang on the plains, a legendary cowgirl in Colorado to a yearning cowboy in Montana, a traditional song of lament over a lost pinto pal, and a little bit about dancin'...in Denver. This project includes a co-write with award winning poet Les Buffham about one of his family members that resulted in a tribute to a true living legend, Wanda Walker of Maybell, Colorado. Adorned with a herd of great pickers and grinners from around Colorado, Washington, Texas, and Hawaii, adding that special something that really sets each song apart from the others.

[Read about Wanda Walker in a September, 2011 article here.]


Let's Dance
Black Hay
Arizona Moonlight
Dancin' In Denver
Your Saddle is Empty Old Pal
Pa'u Riders
Looking Glass
Wanda Walker
Cowboy Hula
Montana Cowboy
My Heart Beats for the Boogie

Visit Patty Clayton's web site for track samples, schedule, and more.

Listen to the entire title track at Patty Clayton's web site.

Find samples of each track and order information at CDBaby.


Cimarron Wind Music
POB 140772
Edgewater, CO 80214





Astraddle a Saddle


This is Patty's third solo CD and contains 7 originals and a collection of obscure Western and Western Swing songs by other artists well known in the genre of Western Music. This newest release takes you on a journey through the West from the mountains of Colorado to the wind swept range of Wyoming, up to the northern reaches of the continent, and down to the far southwest surrounded by the warm tropical Pacific...and encompasses the rich history of her ancestors to horse thieves, wild women, barn dwellers and hard lived but romantic days and nights on the plains. This recording includes a duet with the multi award winning vocalist and songwriter Juni Fisher, and also features stellar instrumentation by Rich O'Brien.


4 Rode By
Ben and Ole's Land
Astraddle a Saddle
I Didn't Know the Gun Was Loaded
Dakota Sunset
Red Buffalo
When the Campfire Is Low
Abby Kane
Wyoming Wind
The Vaquero and Me
Let's Dance Under Prairie Skies
He Was No Hero
 Happy Trails to You


Order info:

Visit Patty Clayton's web site for track samples, schedule, and more.

Find this CD and track samples at CDBaby.

Cimarron Wind Music
POB 140772
Edgewater, CO 80214





Just a Little Bit Cowgirl

Original Buckaroo Ballads and obscure Western and Western Swing. Patty's second solo CD.


Just a Little Bit Cowgirl
The Legacy
Colorado Full Moon
  Someplace Far Away
  Goodbye Little Pinto
Worship in the Prairie Wind
 This is My Land
Ginger (the Wonder Horse)/Spotted Pony
Leaves of Summer
  Freedom in the Wind
Even Cowgirls Get the Blues

Order info:

Visit Patty Clayton's web site for track samples, schedule, and more.

Find this CD and track samples at CDBaby.

Cimarron Wind Music
POB 140772
Edgewater, CO 80214





A Matter of Time


Original Buckaroo Ballads and obscure Western and Western Swing. Patty's first solo CD.

A Matter of Time
Montana's Yesterday
Her Pride
Prairie in the Sky
Mother's Day
One Horse Stands Alone
Yellow Moon Keep Shining
An El Niño Story
  Gallop to Kansas
Pale Horse, Pale Rider
Across the Wide Missouri / Great Pioneer


Order info:

Visit Patty Clayton's web site for track samples, schedule, and more.

Find this CD and track samples at CDBaby.

Cimarron Wind Music
POB 140772
Edgewater, CO 80214





photo by Kevin Martini-Fuller, 2008, National Cowboy Poetry Gathering


"The Pa'u Riders," a bit of a sequel to my earlier composition entitled "The Vaquero and Me," is the continuing story of the wahine Kua Ko’olani, where she has become a Pa’u Rider. In the 1800s, women in Hawaii quickly became accomplished riders, utilizing the pa’u for practical purposes.

Originally crafted as a means of protection for Hawaiian women's clothing while riding horseback, the pa'u is a long split skirt made with some 9 to 12 yards of brightly colored material that is wrapped around the waist and fashioned to hang down each leg over the stirrups. The pa'u kept the dust and rain from ruining the formal attire of these impetuous ladies as they rode recklessly determined to arrive at their social gatherings in a most dramatic entrance and it also enabled them to ride Western style in the saddle.

I took this photo at the Aloha Festival parade in Waikiki on October 1, 2011:


The historic photo of the Pa'u Riders was bought at a fair... it is a vintage photo from sometime around the early 1900s.

See a great vintage video of Pa'u Riders here on YouTube.

These photos are also in Picture the West.


Copyright 2003, Edwin Kayton "Upcountry Rodeo"  www.kayton-art.com
[Image: © 2003,
Edwin Kayton "Upcountry Rodeo" www.kayton-art.com]

Patty Clayton lives in Colorado and Hawaii. She shared the following information about Hawaii's 2008 Year of the Paniolo:

In my travels and performances at various Cowboy Poetry and Music Gatherings throughout the West this year, I will be making an effort to include mention of the fact that 2008 has been declared the Year of the Paniolo in the state of Hawaii. The culture of the Hawaiian cowboy has only recently gained interest in the history of the West, and while it may seem insignificant to some, it bears mentioning at any event I'll be involved in as it honors the feats of 3 Hawaiian cowboys who 100 years ago this July, did the unimaginable.

In 1908 a rancher from the big island of Hawaii named Eben "Rawhide Ben" Low sold a portion of his land to obtain enough money to take two of his cowboys and himself to  'Waiomina'….Wyoming…to enter into the one and only Frontier Days in Cheyenne.  It was a rainy but historical day when Eben Low, handicapped with only one hand from a previous bull roping accident and his half brother, Archie Ka'aua, and Ikua Purdy walked away with the top awards at this prestigious rodeo event.

Ikua Purdy walked away with the World Championship, roping his steer in a record breaking 56 seconds.…first time ever awarded to an out of state competitor. Much to the surprise of the western cowboys, this Paniolo had become the world rodeo steer-roping champion on a borrowed horse. Ikua was born in 1873 to the grand daughter of John Palmer Parker I,  and the grandson of Jack Purdy. He was practically born on a horse and was riding before he could walk.  Before he hit his teenage years, Ikua was roping wild steers on the range, and tying them in a fashion that left his onlookers with unrivaled respect. Upon arriving in Cheyenne with his own peculiar Hawaiian saddle, in his colorful hat band and brightly colored clothing, he and the other two Paniolo, who only spoke their native tongue, became an instant curiosity and were not favored to set any records.  When all three arrived back home, these cowboys were celebrated as the finest cowboys in the entire world with a big parade through downtown Honolulu.  

In 1999, Ikua was inducted posthumously into the National Rodeo Cowboy Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City and he also became the first inductee of the Paniolo Preservation Societies Hall of Fame.

These three Paniolo will be honored with celebrations in both Wyoming and Hawaii during their respective rodeo events during the year 2008 and each states Rodeo Museums will be featuring artifacts and photographs from this historic event.

In early 2008, we reported about the Year of the Paniolo. In part:

Hawaii Governor Linda Lingle has proclaimed 2008 the Year of the Paniolo.

Five longhorn cattle arrived in Hawaii in the 1790s, a gift of British Captain Vancouver to King Kamehameha I, and in decades, their population increased to thousands. In the 1830s, Hawaii's King Kamehameha III sent for California's Spanish-Mexican vaqueros to help Hawaiians manage the wild cattle. The Hawaiian cowboys came to be called paniolo, a named derived from "Spanish" (espanol).

The 2008 Year of the Paniolo proclamation cites "the important role the Hawaiian cowboy has played in the maintenance and restoration of native Hawaiian traditions and culture....The organization spearheading the centennial fete is the Paniolo Preservation Society, a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the paniolo tradition as an integral part of the history of Hawaii and the American West..."

The image above, of the painting, "Upcountry Rodeo," is used courtesy of the artist, Edwin Kayton, a Big Island artist who has been prolific in the mediums of oils, drawing and sculpture for over 25 years, portraying the cultures of Hawaii, Italy (where he lives in the summer) and the western genre. His work is collected internationally. Ed Kayton is related to Yvonne Hollenbeck. Visit his web site, www.kayton-art.com, for his paniolo paintings, which include a portrait of cowboy, horseman, and poet Joel Nelson, who worked at the Parker Ranch.



  Patty Clayton is a fourth-generation descendant of an Oregon Trail emigrant and pioneer. She comments that as a young man, her great grandfather "...emigrated with his parents and siblings by covered wagon in 1867. He eventually settled in central Idaho in 1886, where he engaged himself in cattle, horse and sheep ranching...."

Patty shared photos and information about her great grandparents in our Picture the West feature, February 12, 2007. Theirs is the story behind her song, "Ben and Ole's Land." See more photos and read more here in Picture the West.



  Patty Clayton's film, Ben and Ole's Land, a result of her "quest to find the family's original homestead" is a part of the 2008  Deep West Videos from the Western Folklife Center. Patty narrates her story, and performs her music. Vintage and contemporary photos illustrate her ancestors' compelling stories and her own determined effort, doing "what ever it took," to uncover those stories and visit the sites of the Idaho ranches that had been owned by her great grandparents. 

You can watch the entire film here at the Western Folklife Center web site.

Deep West Videos DVDs are produced by the Western Folklife Center's Taki Telonidis and Founding Director Hal Cannon. The official description tells that they feature "... first hand stories rooted in the values of life on the land in first-hand stories of the people of the rural West, living their daily lives on the land. With the tools of digital communication in hand, our filmmakers make simple productions that are relevant, everyday stories of rural life and its values." The collections of short video pieces on the DVDs are accompanied by descriptive notes. 


Patty Clayton's Web Site and Contact Information


photo by Eric Weber


Visit Patty Clayton's web site for more about her and her music, track samples, schedule, and more.

Find her CDs and track samples at CD Baby.


Cimarron Wind Music
POB 140772
Edgewater, CO 80214









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