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News Since the Most Recent Newsletter:
 

 

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  Other Books, Recordings, and Publications of Western Interest

 

 

See a list of the contents for  all pages on Page 1 of News Since the Last Newsletter


 


Other Books, Recordings, Publications, and News of Western Interest

Find cowboy poetry and music releases here.

Find Rick Huff's numerous Best of the West reviews here and Jeri Dobrowski's Cowboy Jam Session reviews here.

Poets and musicians: Find resources in our feature So you have a new book or recording...

The items below are linked from our front-page news menu, here.

Port Yonder Books has collected 14 Western stories in Christmas Campfire Companion, a volume brimming with good reading for the holidays and beyond.

Editor Chila Woychik selected stories by top Western writers, including  L. J. Washburn, Troy D. Smith, Frank Roderus, Tim Champlin, Larry D. Sweazy, Robert Vaughan, Douglas Hirt, Dusty Richards, Kerry Newcomb, Matthew P. Mayo, Robert Randisi, James Reasoner, and Terry Burns. Also included is a moving story by award-winning poet and writer Rod Miller, titled "Silent Night."

Find a review here by Alicia Sondhi of ForeWord Reviews, who comments, "...re-reading this book could easily become a winter tradition."

Christmas Campfire Companion is available from Port Yonder Books and other booksellers.

Posted 12/18


  Susan Jensen and Paul Singer continue their impressive work with the release of the Texas Cowpuncher: Part Two DVD, the ninth in their Vaquero Series films. The series takes a deep and satisfying look at people, gear, culture, and history with generous footage from working ranches and other locations. The filmmakers elicit interesting and informative commentary from many working ranch men and women and craftsmen. Each film is rich in entertaining and edifying content; they are important documentaries.  

Complementing the compelling footage in Texas Cowpuncher: Part Two, former cowboy and top cowboy poet Waddie Mitchell and working cowboy and poet Ray Fitzgerald add to the commentary, as do artists Teal Blake, Mike Capron, and others. Noted Texas horseman, cowpuncher, and poet Buster McLaury and Waddie Mitchell add a lively and entertaining discussion about gear use and other differences between buckaroos and Texas cowpunchers. 

Texas Cowpuncher: Part Two features the music of Don Edwards, Gary Prescott, Dave Stamey, Wylie Gustafson of Wylie & the Wild West, Daron Little, Gino Delafose, Guy and Pipp Gillette of The Gillette Brothers, Craig Duncan, Cowboy Celtic, Fiddlin' Pete Watercott & Neil Gelvin, Allan Chapman, Steve Hartz, and Vincent Zorn.

From the filmmakers' description:

...It's an exciting journey through the depth and breadth of the Lone Star State with its vast variety of terrain and fascinating array of cowboying styles.

In east Texas, right next door to Louisiana, they borrow traditions from their Cajun cousins, and work their cattle with whips and Cur dogs, and seldom are seen swinging a rope. In the brush country of south Texas,
the cattle hide in thick mesquite thickets, feeling secure...until the Brush Country Vaqueros and their tough-as-nails horses plow right in and flush them out. In the Big Bend Country the landscape opens up to deep
canyons and vast herds of cattle roaming free, until the 06 Ranch crew with their 100-horse remuda descend on them to gather and head them to the branding pens. On the fringe of the Panhandle, Tom Moorhouse and his crew spend weeks out on the wagon, gathering and branding cattle in Texas, New Mexico and Montana.

These hearty men, Tom Moorhouse, Chris Lacy, Bill White and many others run these operations and know their stuff. They are the descendants of earlier ranchers who pioneered the cattle business in Texas.

Enjoy two hours of great cowboy entertainment accompanied by the music of real cowboy singers who have spent many hours in the saddle..."

Texas Cowpuncher: Part One covered the history of Texas cowboys and its big ranches.

Find the entire series—which started with the acclaimed Tapadero and its look at the Californio vaquero historyand more about each film, including video clips, at VaqueroSeries.com. Also find the Vaquero Series on Facebook.

Posted 12/3

Beautifully illustrated with vintage and modern images—see one of Cindy Stout Quigley's images from the book in the November 26, 2012 Picture the Westthe book offers fresh perspectives. From interesting and obscure historical photos to Royce Bair's dazzling "NightScapes" (including "Milky Way over Lake Jackson in the Grand Tetons, Wyoming" and "Meteor over Great Salt Lake, Utah") the images complement the incisive prose; both offer plenty for pondering. Among many other contemporary photographers are Larry Angier, Larry Turner, Linda Dufurrena, Linda Ellwein, Gary Butler, and C. J. Hadley (the book's editor and Range magazine's editor and publisher).

Throughout the book, well chosen quotes accompanying the prose and images heighten the themes of risks and reward. An 1845 emigrant tells, "We were lost in the mountains six weeks. The way was rough beyond description. The women and children walked most of the way." Pages later, a contemporary photo of a hardy working ranch woman offers sure testament to what was gained. Carolyn Dufurenna's 2001 book, Fifty Miles from Home, is quoted, "The children of ranchers know what their fathers do all day, because their fathers take them along..." Her words are superimposed over a photo of the rough country where her family ranches, along with her daughter-in-law's evocative picture of two generations of cowboys.  

The Western landscape and its people are well represented in this thoughtful and inspiring book. Its title is taken from words famously attributed to 19th century newspaperman Horace Greeley. Its spirit is perhaps best summed up by Western writer Wallace Stegner, who is also quoted by Rod Miller: "One cannot be pessimistic about the West. This is the native home of hope."

Go West: The Risk & The Reward is available for $32 plus postage from Range magazine.

Posted 11/26



Multi-award winning poet and writer Rod Miller takes readers through a panoramic history of the West in the book, Go West: The Risk & The Reward, from the Range Conservation Foundation and Range magazine. He introduces the volume with a satisfyingly focused look at the meaning of "the West." He invites the reader, "Go West to the ruins of ancient civilizations, to ghost towns of days gone by, to communities that cling to little but courage and optimism, and to cities that crowd the limits of nature."

  Journalist and photographer Mark Bedor profiles more than twenty Western guest ranches, illustrated with more than 200 photographs, in Great Ranches of Today's Wild West.

From the publisher's description:

A breathtaking adventure through the stirring landscape of the modern Wild West.

In this beautiful collection, veteran travel writer Mark Bedor takes readers on a journey through twenty of the great ranches of today’s Wild West. With over 200 stunning full-color photographs, reading
Great Ranches of Today’s Wild West is almost as good as being there. Take a horseback ride through the snowy woods at Vista Verde Ranch in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, or follow in the footsteps of Butch Cassidy on the Outlaw Trail at Utah’s Tavaputs Ranch—it’s all just another part of the American ranch experience.

The book's foreword is by William C. Reynolds, publisher of Ranch & Reata magazine.

Find excerpts and order information for Great Ranches of Today's Wild West at todayswildwest.com.

Posted 5/11


The Mystery of Little Nepo; an Arizona Story is billed as Dee Strickland Johnson ("Buckshot Dot")'s first book for young readers, and that is slightly misleading: it's a captivating tale that will appeal to readers of all ages.

The book, illustrated by Bridget Heeringa, is filled with charming, active characters and delightful language, peppered with inventive misnomers, puns, daffy dialect, and other such fun. Gentle lessons about "talking funny" and "being different" shine through. The author has taught history, drama, English, and art. How lucky her students have been.

The tale is set in the Sedona area of Arizona and the book's publication is well timed for the state's 2012 Centennial.

Find more of Buckshot Dot's poetry and more about her here at CowboyPoetry.com and at her web site, www.BuckshotDot.com.

The Mystery of Little Nepo; an Arizona Story is available for $8.95 plus $3.00 postage from: “Buckshot Dot”; 3033 E. Devonshire, #2023; Phoenix, AZ 85016. (Postage is for 1-3 books of any combination of this title or Along the Arizona Trail); www.buckshotdot.com.

Posted 1/30


 Doc Stovall, Georgia's Official Balladeer, veteran songwriter, radio host, poet, and Entertainment and Sponsorship Manager for the Booth Western Art Museum, displays his considerable talents in an inspirational  CD, The Place Where I Worship.

The CD includes his original songs (and one poem), covers, collaborations, and traditional spiritual poems. In the liner notes, Doc's performing partner Jerry Warren writes about how the CD came about, and it cannot be improved upon:

In the spring of 2010, Doc's annual visit to his local vet revealed that a tune-up was needed for his ticker. After ordering a cardio repair kit and hiring a bluegrass fiddler to oversee the installation, I was told that the hardest part of the procedure was removing the outer bark and a crust that was an inch thick. He said he had to remove a yard of ego, two feed buckets of bravado and just a hint of BS. Upon completion an entirely different Doc survived; his refurbished heart beats easier as he sings his softer side in this spiritual compilation...

There is plenty of  Western flavor in the 14 tracks (including "Cowboy Communion"; "From the Rim of the Canyon"; "Rockies From the Ground"; his "The Saddle Preacher" poem; Badger Clark's "A Cowboy's Prayer"; "Will There be Sagebrush in Heaven"; and "When the Roundup's Over" written with Jerry Warren). Find the entire track list here.

Find more about Doc Stovall in our feature here.

The Place Where I Worship is available for $17 postpaid from Doc Stovall at PO Box 3070,Cartersville, GA 30120
or PO Box 574; Lithia Springs, GA 30122.

Posted 1/26


  Susan Jensen and Paul Singer of J & S Productions have released their eighth DVD in the company's noteworthy video series about the cowboy tradition, Texas Cowpuncher, Part One. From their description:

Texas Cowpuncher was filmed across the vast reaches of the Lone Star State. In fact, the story is so big it will come in two parts. Part One reveals a complex history of the Cowpuncher with influences coming from Mexico, South Carolina and California.

It goes back in time to the roots of some of the most famous ranches, including the 06, Pitchfork, XIT and Matador, where once longhorns ruled until the Herefords and Angus made their way west.

They do things differently here...and it's crystallized when cowpuncher Buster McLaury and buckaroo Waddie Mitchell, each laud the virtues of their own style of cowboying. “Dally roping and taking as long as it takes is easier on your horse and cattle,” says Waddie. While Buster explains why his Daddy taught him the virtues of “tying on and getting ‘er done fast.”

It was here in Texas, where the first cowboy songs originated. Don Edwards and the singing duo Guy and Pipp Gillette provide a musical journey through this history.

Each video in the series features contemporary cowboy music from artists including Dave Stamey, Mike Beck, Ian Tyson, Cowboy Celtic, and others. Previous releases are Tapadero (Californios); The Remuda (Buckaroos); Holo Holo Paniolo (Hawaiian Cowboys); Houlihan (Northern Range Cowboys); Los Primeros (The First Vaqueros); Terra Encantado (New Mexico Cowboys), and Mula (The Old Spanish Trail).

Find more information about Texas Cowpuncher and the other DVDs at www.vaqueroseries.com and on Facebook.

Posted 12/15


  Theodore Roosevelt's rich life comes alive in A Free and Hardy Life; Theodore Roosevelt's Sojourn in the American West, edited by Clay S. Jenkinson, with a foreword by Douglas Brinkley (Oklahoma University Press). The sumptuous oversized book includes 70 stories, excerpts from Theodore Roosevelt's 1913 An Autobiography, and over 100 images.

North Dakotan Clay S. Jenkinson, a Bismarck Tribune columnist, is widely known for his portrayal of Thomas Jefferson. Among other positions, he serves as the Chief Consultant to The Theodore Roosevelt Center through Dickinson State University.

The title promises a focus is on Roosevelt's life in the West, and there is much satisfying reading about the land that was still wild in his day. In his meaty introduction, Jenkinson sets the scene for the transformation of Roosevelt from "a young, well-off reformer from New York of uncertain health" to "a man who shot grizzly bears at point blank range and punched out drunken gunslingers in saloons." He writes, "He lived only a small portion of his life in the Dakota badlands, but he returned to the larger West again and again for the rest of his life, and he took some deep, fundamental satisfaction in regarding himself as a man of the West....First the American West transformed Theodore Roosevelt. Then Roosevelt transformed the American West."

In the Preface, Douglas Brinkley adds interesting information about Mount Rushmore and Roosevelt's place there and his deep connection to the Dakotas. Brinkley's view of the "cowboy President" is filled with an enthusiasm equal to the spirited collection that follows.

Beautifully designed and written in an accessible and absorbing voice, readers will find a wealth of historical information beyond the Badlands and in addition to the fascinating life and character of Roosevelt. He lived, largely, in an exciting time of expansion and progress, conflict and change, and stories range from the Rough Riders in Cuba to his White House years and beyond. Many enticing chapters inspire quests for additional reading. Jenkinson also directs readers to the growing archive at the Theodore Roosevelt Center (www.theodorerooseveltcenter.org and www.medora.com) for more information. As cited in the useful footnotes, Roosevelt's An Autobiography is available in a recent reprint from the Library of America.

Find more about A Free and Hardy Life; Theodore Roosevelt's Sojourn in the American West at Oklahoma University Press.

Posted 12/8


Popular Canadian singer and songwriter Eli Barsi's latest CD, her twelfth album, is A Merry Prairie Christmas. It is described:

This festive album is a collection of well-crafted originals which lend a fresh new sound to Christmas, combined with several traditional favourites all delivered in a heartfelt acoustic simplicity. Eli's genres include Western Roots, Bluegrass, Folk and Country which are all richly displayed on this CD.

She features the talents of some of the finest musicians both sides of the border. Craig Young, from Terri Clark's band brings a Newfoundland sound to several tracks as he is featured on guitar and mandolin. Bruce Hoffman from Branson Missouri, who plays with Mel and Pam Tillis as well as Moe Bandy is a standout on fiddle and dobro. Silver Dollar Cities Bluegrass legend, David Bird from Arkansas breaks it down on a few tracks with his superb banjo licks. Jonathan Black who works with Barbara Fairchild in Branson adds a slight folk / jazz sound with piano and saxaphone. Bringing it back to Saskatchewan Eli herself plays acoustic guitar, autoharp and blow whistle synth. Eli's husband John Cunningham not only plays bass and harmonica but is featured vocally on two tracks, as well as engineers and co-produces the project.

The title cut, "A Merry Prairie Christmas," is one of Eli's four original songs on the album. This song focuses and pays tribute to her beloved Saskatchewan Prairies which she has returned to after 25 years of playing music across Canada and the USA:

The cold wind blows across the hills, winter time is here
Soon the sounds of sleighbells ring and wishes of good cheer
There’s no place I’d rather be than right here now with you
Let’s celebrate in Prairie style until the year is new. “

Find more at www.EliBarsi.com.

Posted 11/28


Popular Texas singer and songwriter Jean Prescott describes her new album, America—Home Sweet Home, as a "celebration of our freedom and liberty." The CD includes songs co-written with poets Darrell Arnold and Yvonne Hollenbeck, songs by Jeff Gore and Donny Blanz, traditional songs, and pieces by Jean Prescott. Find the track list here.

America—Home Sweet Home is dedicated to Jean Prescott's parents and her father-in-law. She writes, "I wrote the song 'Just Doing What Was Right' to honor the memory of my father and tell a bit of his World War II story. My mother was a Navy WAVE, helping to mend the lives and limbs of the young men who served so bravely. My father-in-law served bravely in many campaigns, including North Africa, Sicily, Italy, and France."

One of the songs co-written with Yvonne Hollenbeck honors the memory of Corporal Josiah Hollopeter, grandson of poet Willard Hollopeter. Josiah Hollopeter, age 27, was killed in Al Muqdidiyah, Iraq in June, 2007. See a 2008 Picture the West dedicated to Josiah Hollopeter here. Read Yvonne Hollenbeck's story of her inspiration for the poem that became "Song for Josiah" and find the words here.

Yvonne Hollenbeck and Jean Prescott perform together as "Sweethearts in Carhartts."

Find more about Jean Prescott in our feature here and at www.JeanPrescott.com.

America—Home Sweet Home can be ordered here at www.JeanPrescott.com and from CDBaby, iTunes, or by check or money order for $18.00 to Prescott Music, P. O. Box 194, Dept. CP, Ovalo, TX 79541.

Posted 11/10
 


  Popular ranch photographer Rene Heil's sixth book, Dust & Smoke: Top Hands and Pretty Loops is available. Sadly, Rene Heil died in July, 2011 (find our announcement here).

Dust & Smoke: Top Hands and Pretty Loops includes "... 30 ranches from Texas to North Dakota during Spring Roundup of 2009-2010. It is a full color coffee table book which includes personal memories of the men and women who tend the herd." The South Dakota ranch of Glen and Yvonne Hollenbeck is featured in the book.

For over 15 years, Rene Heil traveled from Mexico to Montana "photographing the working ranches and the working cowboys during their spring roundup." He posted daily photos at his web site.

Dust & Smoke: Top Hands and Pretty Loops is available for $39 plus shipping. Find order information and more about the book at Rene Heil's Ranch Photography site here.

Posted 10/12


  The acclaimed film,