Saturday, May 31, 2008


One of the Bobs to be covered in this Blog is, of course, Bob Dylan. Anyone who knows me even slightly knows that I have been crazy about the music of Bob Dylan for over 40 years. Just a few verses of Tangled Up In Blue can always bring a tear to my eye (and not because I'm thinking about Bob's chicken scratch lead guitar). Highway 61. 66 Tour. Basement Tapes. John Wesley Harding. That's what I'm talking about.

 The week after Bob's 67th birthday seems like an appropriate time to turn my attention to his music. At 67 years old with the Never Ending Tour on the road, Bob is still going strong. From all reports, this band is playing well and Bob's singing is......not getting any worse. Hope he plays somewhere this summer where I can catch a show.

 For me, the best part of his music has always been the lyrics. If you compare song lyrics before and after Mr Tambourine Man, you see the impact Bob had on the song writing process. With that song and others like it, he opened up a whole new world of possibilities when it came to song writing.

 Remember listening to Kingston Trio records (Tom Dooley)? Bobby Darin (Splish Splash)? That's what songs were like before Bob's influence kicked in. Can you imagine the scope of the lyrics of the Byrds, the Band, Townes Van Zandt, or Robert Earl Keen without the influence of Dylan? Don't think I can. Even the music of the Beatles (Norwegian Wood) started changing when John Lennon  heard what Bob was writing.

That said, Bob also could always craft simple songs that speak about very enduring subjects. On this list, I think Forever Young is very near the top. 

          May you build a ladder to the stars
           And climb on every rung
          May you stay forever young

               May your heart always be joyful
               May your song always be song
               May you stay forever young

Nice stuff. Do your ears a favor, put some Bob on your playlist.

 Also, thanks to certain singer-songwriter for the encouragement about the Blog. Glad to know someone is listening.

Friday, May 30, 2008


James McMurtry has released a new CD called Just Us Kids. For those of you who are not familiar with James or his music, he is the son of novelist Larry McMurtry. Since his 1989 debut album, Too Long in the Wasteland, he has recorded several CDs that are worth owning. 

Known for his dark humor, sometimes perverted lyrics and interesting point of view on modern life, he writes songs populated with memorable characters and situations. Choctaw Bingo, from his 2002 effort St Mary of the Woods, is probably his finest moment as a song writer. In over 8 minutes, he covers about as much ground as possible in a song. Listen carefully to the lyrics and you will be impressed ("Sister Twister" indeed).  Bob Dylan would have a hard time keeping up with this song. His song writing is the quality of Townes Van Zandt, Guy Clark or Robert Earl Keen.

 Speaking of Robert Keen, he has covered two McMurtry compositions: Out Here in the Middle ( Farm Fresh Onions) and Levelland (Picnic) with success. Worth checking out as well. 

Just Us Kids has solid playing as well as his usual good song writing. I recommend you pick it up. If you are new to his music or haven't heard it, St Mary of the Woods is another one you need to have in your collection.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


Kathleen Edwards is a Canadian singer-songwriter, who has recorded three very fine CDs. She has a new one  called  Asking for Flowers which was released in the last few weeks. Her previous CDs are  Failer (2003) and Back to Me (2005). I have just started listening to Asking for Flowers, which sounds pretty damn good. The first two are very tasty and worth picking up. She has a sound like Lucinda Williams, but with a slightly younger Alt-Country feel. If you like Lucinda, I think you will really like her sound.

After watching the ACM awards the other night, I wanted to puke on my boots and kill myself. I'm sure Hank Sr is rolling around in the ground listening to what passes for country music these days. "She's a Hottie", nice work Toby Keith, that's a real memorable country song. Taylor got to be kidding me! This is all crap.

Give Kathleen a listen. You will not be disappointed.

Friday, May 9, 2008


After 7 month with out a drop of rain, we finally got lucky in Hebbronville this week. A big weather system pushed over from Laredo and some parts of the ranch got over 3 inches. We also had half an inch on April 27.   

This had a immediate effect on the quail which had still been in coveys. Within a day, we were seeing pairs of birds and it appears that the 2008 breeding season has been kicked off. This is a little late, but it could work out if we continue to get more rain.

This was a very timely rain, but we sure need a lot more. Keep your fingers crossed and stay tuned.