This weekend, NPR's Weekend Edition Sunday will air our story on John Lomax and the influence of black cowboys on the original cowboy songs he collected a hundred years ago. It's an interesting feature that required extensive research and breaks new ground. I have listed details below. The next piece of news is that I have just completed my first album of original songs. I had the great privilege of working with Jim Rooney, who has produced such artists as Nanci Griffith, John Prine, Iris DeMent, Don Edwards and Paul Zarzyski. The fabulous musicians of Red Rock Rondo and a few other great friends and players joined in. Phillip Bimstein arranged several of the songs.
Now Jim Rooney is taking the recordings to Nashville to be mastered and Willy Matthews is designing the CD cover. The record will be out in time for two premieres, one on Wednesday, January 26 at the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko, and the second in Salt Lake City the weekend of February 11-12. I will keep you posted on specific details. We are having a heck of a time coming up with a title for the CD. I'd love a few ideas from my creative friends out there. Have a beautiful holiday,Hal CannonJohn Lomax and the Cowboy Blues On the 100th anniversary of John Lomax's famous book Cowboy Songs and Other Frontier Ballads,we explore the contribution of African Americans to cowboy life and music. The great trail drives of the 1870's came on the heels of the Civil War, and a significant number of the cowboys working those cattle were freed slaves who brought their musical traditions with them. Those traditions mingled with other music of the times as men from a variety of backgrounds converged on the trails to deliver beef to a hungry nation.
Out of their efforts was born the iconic cowboy...whose image and music came to define us as Americans. Yet, as the mythic cowboy grew in stature, the real cowboy in all his diversity was slowly cropped out of the picture...only to be rediscovered in recent years.
Our story airs this Sunday, December 5th, on NPR's Weekend Edition. It is slated to run near the end of the two-hour news show. The problem is, stations can run the show when they see fit, so check with your local station for air times. If you prefer, you can always go to our website the day after and hear it on the internet.