Hal Cannon © 5/13

On the wings of a silver dove
On the wings of a prayer
It’s the hope of all people
For a life that is fair
Where women walk freely
And hold their heads high
And the rich man keeps only
Enough to get by


Where the leaders are judged
By how much they give
And government’s motto is
Live and let live
Where all God’s religions
Don’t shout so loud
And they all work together
Bringing love to the crowd


Just look in a child’s eyes
Then say there’s No hope
We must take that leap
And fix what is broke
On the wings of the dove
On the wings of a prayer
In the eyes of the children
We’ll find what is fair



Hal Cannon is best known as the founding director of the annual National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko, Nevada. He has been collecting songs and stories from the people of the American West for the past three decades.

This self-titled CD is his debut recording as a solo artist, and it is impressive. Cannon wrote all of the songs here, and most reflect the landscape of the West: “That’s How It Is On The Range,” “Desert Home,” “Love The Place You Live.” These pieces show his deep roots in and love for the people and places in this part of the world.

The highlight is “Alone Town,” with lyrics based on an encounter Cannon had with a longtime resident of a small town. It’s a lament for a place that is changing too rapidly for the singer: “The coffee shop is closed up / It’s now just level ground / The Starbucks is a going in / The pride of this small town.” Cannon’s vocals have the perfect emotional effect. Backup from banjo, harmonica, and drum are also just right. The final verse reflects a sadness for times now lost: “And now I’m in the graveyard / Walkin’ down the lane / And every stone that I pass by / They’re all familiar names.”

This is a welcome CD from a long-time chronicler of the American West, and it’s great to hear him at the front of the stage, sharing songs of the West spurred on from a lifetime shared with its people. - Greg Harness

Hal Cannon and Teresa Jordan
Wyoming TourSeptember 13 – 18, 2011

Outback: Songs and Stories 
from an Unsung West

Join Hal and Teresa for an intimate evening of music and tales from the Old West, the New West, and everything in between.

Wyoming Public Radio: Friday September 9, 2011
11 AM: Live broadcast, Morning Music with Grady Kirkpatrick

Basin, Wyoming: Tuesday, September 13, 2011
Basin City Arts Center, 117 S. 4th Street
Tickets: $10 adults, $8 Seniors, $5 children
5:30 PM: Meet the performers, with refreshments; 7:00 PM: Performance
For further information contact Mary Flitner, 765-2905; or Wendy Taylor, 568-2915

Buffalo, Wyoming: Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Buffalo Senior Center, 671 W. Fetterman Street
12:30 PM: Concert. Free and open to the public
Buffalo High School, 29891 Old Highway 87
7 PM: Concert. Free and open to the public
For more information, call Sheridan College, 307-684-2001

Gillette, Wyoming: Thursday, September 15
Presentation Theater, Gillette College
7 PM: Concert. Free and open to the public
For more information, call Jessi Maurer, 307-686-0254 ext. 1100

Cheyenne, Wyoming: Saturday, September 17
House Concert, 5419 Ridge Road
6:30: Doors open; 7:00: Concert. $15 suggested donation
Potluck snacks & drinks enthusiastically welcomed
Very limited seating; RSVP required
To RSVP and more information, Anne Hatch, hatchaf@hotmail.com or 307- 632-1034

Rawlins, Wyoming, Sunday, September 18

The Depot, 400 W Front Street

Afternoon concert, time TBA. Free and open to the public

For more information, Dave Throgmorton, dthrogmorton@cchec.org or 307-328-9204

Several interesting things happening this summer with Teresa, me and also my producing partner Taki Telonidis.  I hope you might find some interesting and if you are in the neighborhood stop by. Each live event will have some remote way to access it -- web, cd’s, telepathy….

Don’t hesitate to write me for more detailed information,

Happy Summer, Hal

June 10 – August 28 -
Expressing Montana Exhibit  – Missoula Art Museum (MAM) featuring the art of Kristi Hager, Monte Yellowbird, Bill Ohrmann, Kate Davis, Wally Badgett, Dave Boggess, Toni Seccomb and Ray Jacobs.  Note: Taki and I curated this show of Montana artists who make social, political, environmental, spiritual statements through their art under the auspices of the Western Folklife Center.

Friday June 17 – Hal and Teresa perform western stories and songs at the Camas County Library in Fairfield, Idaho, 7 p.m. $15

Saturday, June 18 – Hal presents workshop and concert in Boise, ID. Workshop: “The Joys of Place-Based Music” 2-4 $25, Concert 7PM at home of Blain and Kathy Green in Boise, $15. Call 208-562-1966 for further information. Gary Eller will join the concert.

Sunday, June 19-25 – Wieser, Idaho Old Time Fiddle Contest and gigantic music session. A great place to hang around and hear wonderful music 24 hours a day. Many great players are already camping and playing and leave when the contest starts on the weekend. Participation triumphs.

Sunday, June 26, 2011, 4:30-5:00 p.m.
 Teresa at the Utah Arts Festival, Stories on the Big Mouth Stage
(SW corner of City & County Bldg.)
Library & Washington Squares
200 E 400 S, Salt Lake City, Utah

June 27– 7:30 PM -  
Expressing Montana, 1-hour radio special airs on Montana Public Radio, featuring Michael Beers, Martha Scanlan, Ray and Shirley Jacobs, Sandy James, Kristi Hager, Kier Atherton and Jessica Kilroy, Wally McRae, Paul Zarzyski, Henry Real Bird, Dave Boggess and Christian Parrish Takes the Gun (Supaman)

End of June –
www.westernfolklife.org features profiles, photos, an interview excerpt, and in some cases video from all 27 Montanans who were interviewed for Expressing Montana

July 6 – 7 PM -
Expressing Montana, 1 hour radio special airs on Yellowstone Public Radio

July 7 –
Expressing Montana - Opening Celebration –  MAM – free and open to public with open bar in lobby. 5-6 PM - Gallery Talk – Hal and Taki speak about the project. Also, all artists in the exhibit are invited to say a few words about their work.  6- 7:30 – Concert - Frost Gallery – 2nd Floor – 75 seats, free to the public featuring: Henry Real Bird, Crow Agency - poet, Ray Jacobs, Eureka - original old time country songs, Sandy James, Dillon, satirical ranching songs, and Martha Scanlan, Birney, Tongue River Stories (original songs)

Monday, August 15 – Red Rock Rondo performs at Salt Lake Cultural Center outdoor concert series.

Saturday, August 20 – Red Rock Rondo previews, 
A Secret Gift Song Cycle in a house concert at Hal & Teresa’s just before going into the recording studio to make a CD. We have been arranging and rehearsing these songs for a year. The music is incredible. More information to come.

This is a group from the Bay area who ask the same 12 questions of a whole bunch of people. Today they published my answers to the questions. Click here to read. 
Last year about this time I drove south of Salt Lake City to visit a woman in a rest home who I'd never met before. Her name was Ella Gant McBride. Today I'm thinking of her and all the others who have gone on. I wrote about this meeting on the Western Folklife Center blog. If you'd like to read it click here

On Wednesday nights Tom Carter, Leonard Coulson and I get together to play a few old-time tunes. When it came up that I was about to be honored with the Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Utah’s College of Humanities, Leonard  gave me a level look and asked sarcastically, “Distinguished for what?”  At that moment there wasn’t a thing in the world that came to mind. In the pause, Tom remembered a story I told him from my graduation at the University of Utah forty years ago. I had forgotten the incident but it all came back clearly. I was part of a sea of black gowns at the University Stadium. I remember feeling like a fly among a thousand other black flies scurrying across the stage to receive a diploma. As I walked past the president of the University, I overheard his whispered exclamation to his wife when he spied me: “That’s a big one!” 

At that moment I wondered if I would ever distinguish myself for more than being a super sized human.  Would I be able to find meaningful work and still make a living? Would I ever find love in my life? These were the questions that burned in my mind. So, these many years later I do feel distinguished in that I have found both in my life, Love and meaningful work.