Tying a Texas flag bandana on the fence at Charles Goodnight's grave.
Several Western artists have used the phrase "cowboy up" as titles for songs and albums. This is my interpretation. A bumper sticker on the rear of an 18 wheeler gave me the idea.
Yer ridin in the finals on a Saturday night
You’ve drawn a good bull and things are lookin right
You nod yer head, they open the gate
But it but it don't take long to know you won't make 8
He pile drives you down into the dirt
As he rips a sleeve right offa your shirt
Yer lookin straight up, he’s a comin straight down
And he’s won the points in this go round
CHORUS: Well yer broken, busted, purt near dead
Feelin’ like a bull is dancin on your head
You got better to do than lay there and bleed
A little encouragement is all ya need
So if your old as Methusala or just a young pup
Get back in yer saddle and COWBOY UP!
With your rope on a calf runnin left of a tree
Your horse is runnin right and you can plainly see
Tied hard and fast, ain’t much you can do
Yer worse nightmare is about to come true
The wreck that’s comin ain’t no surprise
As a tree limb hits ya right between the eyes
Face down in a patch of prickly pair
And a mad mama cow standin over you there
I dreamed last night I’d passed on
To that cowboy Heaven in the great beyond
Everything was peaceful, I was ridin old Blue
Til he seen them angels and he came unglued
I knew then and there I’d met my fate
When I crashed headfirst into a purly gate
As I slid to the bottom holdin my head
Saint Peter looked down and this is what he said
Copyright 2015 Tom Hiatt
This fantastic song was written by a good friend of mine, Les Buffham, in partnership with a great songwriter, Mike Fleming. Les wrote the words and Mike put the melody to it. It went on to win about every "Western Song of the Year" award that was around at the time and many artists have recorded it through the years. I got to doing some fact checking and find that Mike's group "New West" was the first to record it way back in 1995. They released it on their first album in 1996. So I'm calling this the "20th Anniversary" tribute to it. When Mike graciously agreed to join me on the recording I was thrilled.
The Kinney Rim is a tall escarpment in Wyoming where hundreds of wild mustangs used to roam. Some run there still. I asked Les to give me a little background on the subject matter of his lyrics. These are Les' words: "My uncle Kirk ran, roped and hobbled wild horses near the Kinney Rim in southwest Wyoming many years ago. Once in passing that place, in my mind I could see him and an imaginary partner hot on the trail of those wild ones, there in the blue shadows below that old Kinney Rim."
This song was written over a period of about a week in May of 2011 as I was driving from California to Indiana and back and took time to visit Charles Goodnight's grave. The Goodnight Cemetery is located on a rise overlooking the Texas prairie on the edge of the little community of Goodnight, Texas, Southeast of Amarillo. (Visit the" VIDEOS" page to watch me perform Ian Tyson's tune, "Charles Goodnight's Grave" in the historic restored Kiko Theater in Albuquerque, New Mexico for the Western Music Association's annual convention.)
Many people don't realize that Larry McMurtry based "Lonesome Dove" on Charles Goodnight and his close friendship with his partner Oliver Loving, having both served as Texas Rangers together in their younger days. They made the 1st cattle drive west out of Texas to open up the cattle lands of New Mexico and fulfill beef contracts there and in Colorado. On this first drive some say Goodnight put a kitchen cabinet on the back of a covered wagon and created the first "Chuck Wagon." Loving was wounded in an Indian attack and before dying from his wound made Goodnight promise to return his body to Texas.
Goodnight later helped found and manage the famous JA ranch in Palo Duro Canyon, a ranch that is still operating to this day. He later founded the little town of Goodnight and experimented with cross breeding cattle and Buffalo and became known as the "Father of the Texas Panhandle."
REVIEW by DARRELL ARNOLD:
When I mentioned Tom Hiatt’s new CD, Goodnight From Texas, a few weeks back, it wasn’t my intention to hype it a lot, because Tom took one of my poems and made a song out of it and included it on this album, and I didn’t want to seem like a braggart. But I’ve listened to this entire CD nine or ten times, now, and I can’t get enough of it. This is an excellent cowboy CD that needs to be heard and recognized. Three of these songs are a tribute to Nevada buckaroo Mackey Hedges, a man who has written two excellent cowboy novels, The Last Buckaroo, and Shadow of the Wind. Les Buffham teamed up with Californian Dave Stamey to write a song called “Shadow of the Wind,” and he and Hiatt wrote “Last Buckaroo.” Hiatt set my poem “Cow Work is all that I Know” (which I wrote a couple years ago after hearing Mackey’s life story) to music and renamed it “Cow Work.” Hiatt co-wrote the accurately detailed “Monte, the Night Calver” with Wayne Nelson. “Cowboy Up” is Hiatt’s upbeat, humorous, rodeo-style tribute to rodeoing and cowboying in general. I believe the title cut, “Goodnight From Texas” is going to be a signature song for Tom Hiatt. It is a cleverly written, poignant, waltz-tempo tribute to Texas legend Charles Goodnight. It is easy to memorize, sing along with, and dance to, and I predict that every cowboy dance band in Texas will eventually add this one to their repertoire. It really can’t miss. Move over “Waltz Across Texas.” You’ve got company. In addition, Hiatt has recorded additional outstanding songs, including Luke Reed’s “Every Horse I Ever Rode,” Bob Morrison’s “Dodge City,” Fred Koller’s “Pretty Painted Ladies,” and “Below the Kinney Rim,” a wild-horse-chasing song written by Les Buffham and Mike Fleming. Fleming joins in with Tom to sing the song on this CD.
DARRELL ARNOLD- Former publisher of Cowboy Magazine
A photo of the real deal. The original owner named it after his hometown of Long Branch, New Jersey. The classiest saloon in Dodge, a lot of historic characters bellied up to its bar. "Drank whiskey in the Long Branch, got in a poker game..."
A SPECIAL NOTE ABOUT DAVE BOURNE
I had always planned on having Dave play saloon piano on this song, as he did on the song "The Ballad of Wild Bill" on my "Appaloosa Moon" album. Unfortunately Dave passed away in January of 2015 before this was recorded. But I wasn't ready to give up on the plan of having my friend appear on this CD. So, through the magic of digital electronics we adapted his piano part from "The Ballad of Wild Bill" to fit "Dodge City." I'm sure thrilled that "the Ol' Professor" makes an appearance in Dodge.
When Les called me and said let's write a song about Mac Hedges I bought a copy of "Last Buckaroo" and read it straight through. And it's a thick book. It took us quite awhile to get this song to the point of completion but I'm really pleased with the way it's turned out. I feel we do justice to capturing in song what Mac was saying on paper.
Family ranchin’ today is a mighty rough road
It takes a mighty savvy man to carry that load
If he has to sell out it’s at a terrible cost
A good way of life will be over and lost
Comes a rider up the trail holdin on to the hope
Nothin will replace a good man, horse and rope
A man of truth who says what he means
A knight of honor in faded jeans
Ridin through the sage is a true buckaroo
In a slick fork saddle, at a long trot too
Lovin a life that could be over and through
Let’s pray to God he not the Last Buckaroo
Pray to God he’s not the Last Buckaroo
Some ranchers today are a different breed
They think a college education is all you need
Without book learnin you’ll be out of touch
And as a good cowman you won’t amount to much
But a lifetime of knowledge just can’t be bought
And some are willin to share what their lives have taught
So grateful for the time he’s had on this earth
And good ranches he’s known from the time of his birth
He’s had some good mounts and a bad wreck or two
Pardners and friends helped get him through
Salt of the earth born of this land
He’ll die in the saddle ridin for the brand
There’s more to be learned from men of his kind
Men of his kind are gettin so hard to find
Les Buffham /Tom Hiatt
Pam, Beth, and Lori
A great song that's a favorite of mine and a lot of other folks too. It was first recorded by Red Steagall and was written by Bob Morrison and Eric Emerson. The powers that be in Dodge tore down the older buildings on Front Street in the 70's to widen a highway and build a parking lot. Marvin O'Dell and I spent an hour or so late one night looking around then standing on the original site of the Long Branch. No one seemed too interested in parking there that night but us.
"BEST OF THE WEST" REVIEW:
This newest release from Tom Hiatt is in honor of the great Charlie Goodnight and those who similarly spend their time ahorse, and we see clearly that Hiatt remains one of Western Music’s very best balladeers and songwriters.
Hiatt’s writes and co-writes include the title track “Goodnight From Texas”; “ “Monte, The Night Calver” (you’ll never find a better cowboy portrait); a trilogy dedicated to Nevada buckaroo and author Mackey Hedges consisting of “Last Buckaroo,” “Shadow Of The Wind” and “Cow Work”; and finishing with the lighthearted boogie “Cowboy Up.” The intelligently selected covers to go with them include “Every Horse I Ever Rode,” “Dodge City,” “Pretty Painted Ladies,” and on “Below the Kinney Rim” the song’s co-writer Michael Fleming lends a harmony voice.
It’s superior stuff all ‘round, and definitely worth your investment of time and bucks.
RICK HUFF Copyright 12-15-15
I first heard this song at the Lewis and Clark Cowboy Poetry and Music Gathering in Lewiston, Idaho a few years back. It was written and sung by Wayne Nelson from American Falls, Idaho and was essentially a true story about a man he had known. I was stunned by the impact of the lyrics. I knew immediately I wanted to record it. I approached Wayne and he told me he was not happy with the song as it was in its then current form. I contacted him about a year later and asked him if he had ever gotten around to revising it. He hadn't but I could have a crack at it if I wanted to. I jumped at the chance. What you're hearing is the result. I sent Wayne a crude demo and he was thrilled with what he heard. We finished our recording of it about mid-June of this year. (2015) The final mixing was done in mid-August and I received the product September 3rd. I e-mailed Wayne for his address and received no reply for several days. You're probably wondering why I'm relaying all of these specific dates to you.
Marvin O'Dell called me to let me know he had received the CD and thought it was great. He then asked if the Wayne Nelson listed in the credits was the one from Idaho. I told him yes and asked why he wanted to know. Marvin told me Wayne had passed away August 17. It felt like someone had punched me. I immediately e-mailed Wayne's wife and offered my condolences.
Wayne was a wonderful singer-songwriter and he is definitely missed. I hope everyone enjoys "Monte, The Night Calver."
Monte, The Night Calver
He grew up in Montana, where he brushed out the coulees,
Snapped broncs on the Gallatin, then went to war.
He got lost in a bottle, woke up in Nevada
Two eyes lookin’ sad as youth walked out the door.
Most folks take the daylight to earn up their livin’,
They sweat in the sunlight, the dark takes their eyes,
But now and again, you’ll find someone yawnin’
While others are spawnin’ their plans nine to five.
And Monte, the night calver rolls in his blankets,
He’s been asleep since the rooster’s last crow,
His breakfast is supper, his supper’s just coffee
His sunshine is moonlight at twenty below.
He’s always been prone to layin’ awake nights,
He works best alone, cause at night he’s the boss,
He understands cows and gets bored with people
And the night drifts are deep that he busts with his hoss.
There’s always a heifer who’s bound to have trouble,
The first one’s the hardest, the second’s no fun,
Then the third one is easy the fourth one just falls out
And Monte gets called out when calvin’ time comes
He rides through the newborns, checkin’ for scours,
The first couple hours ‘fore darkness sets in,
Grafts shiverin’ orphans onto poor grievin’ mamas,
And walks ‘em to supper in a half brother’s skin,
Then it’s off to the shed with a pan of warm water,
Pile of gunny sacks, stout pullin’ cord,
Eighth grade education with the hands of a doctor
For minimum wages, and his room and board.
He takes a short breather and sees the stars fading
Rememberin’ maidens he loved in his youth,
Naw, he never got married. Had too little to offer,
The girls he longed for were too cruel with the truth
He’s got a loop ‘round its nose, and now a front foot out,
Her eyes they roll back in her head as she strains,
“It’s a bull”, Monte chuckles, his breath crystalizin’
Against the horizon of the Snake River Plains,
And Monte, the night calver crawls in his blankets,
His job short on thanks, as well as the pay,
But his slumber’s more peaceful than that of some others,
Cause he goes to sleep knowin’ all the trouble he saves.
Copyright 2015 Wayne Nelson / Tom Hiatt
This has never been recorded before and was written by Les and Dave Stamey. I believe Les wrote most of the words and Dave put the melody to it. The man in this tune is truly the epitome of the "driftin" cowboy.
According to Les, the term "shadow of the wind" originates with a Shoshone Indian tale. A young Shoshone brave while hunting shot a rabbit with his bow. As he approached the dying rabbit he said, “I'm sorry rabbit, but I have to feed my family.” The rabbit spoke back and said “I understand. After all, the only things that are forever are the mountains, the rivers and the forests. You and I are only like the SHADOW OF THE WIND on the valley floor."
Shadow of the Wind
The days are getting shorter, winter's round the bend
The air is getting sharper and your clothes are much too thin
Your pony’s growin hair and you need a warmer clime
You’d like to see your sweetheart but you ain’t saved a dime
The boss is getting cranky cause the days are getting slow
That’s when you start thinking ‘bout some other place to go
It’s time to saddle up time to find another range
Time to make a circle time to make a change
Adios to all you boys my time here’s at an end
From now on I’ll be ridin with the shadow of the wind
Somewhere south of the canyon's mouth, new ranges will begin
That’s where you’ll find me ridin' with the shadow of the wind
There’s a desert somewhere bloomin from them early winter rains
Fillaree is ankle deep and cattle are on the gain
An outfit's there I ain’t tried so I’ll stop and see
If maybe they might/have a job for my old horse and me
When the winter’s over I’ll wander back this way
You'll see my hat a bobbin as I cross the creek one day
I’ll ask the boss for my old job hope he’ll put me on
Knowing when the leaves have turned I’ll once again be gone.
Les Buffham / Dave Stamey
Goodnight From Texas
(A Texas Lullaby)
CHORUS: Goodnight from Texas, though your wild west days are gone
Goodnight from Texas, your Lone Star still shines on
Verse 1 Trailin’ Longhorns out of Texas, your legend’s just begun
Rollin’ across the prairie with chuckwagon number one
2 To a partner you once made a promise, his request so hard on you
But you took him back to Texas, just like you promised to
3 Your Rangers still ride in Texas, your Buffalo still roam
And the cowboys on the JA, still call Palo Duro home
4 When Yucca flowers are a-bloomin’, ‘neath the wide Panhandle sky
Then we’ll ride to see you and sing, this Texas lullaby
Copyright 2015 Tom Hiatt
This song was written by Luke Reed and Richard Allen Jones and I think it's really well written and states a great truth. I've performed it for several years now and it always gets a good reaction from the audience. I wanted to record this for the "Appaloosa Moon" CD but didn't get the chance. I'm glad it's on this one.
Still runnin' wild below the old Kinney Rim...
Teddy and me on a nice California fall day.
All Components on tomhiatt.net are Copyright 2015 Tom Hiatt
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This song was written by Fred Koller and has been recorded many times. I first heard it on a Bobby Bare album years ago and have always liked it. I feel it fits the theme of this CD just fine. To me, it feels like a natural companion song to "Dodge City."
Darrell Arnold originally wrote this as a poem. I ran across it on the web and tracked him down. We hadn't communicated in several years. Darrell worked at Western Horseman Magazine for awhile and then started his own publication, Cowboy Magazine. He promoted the Cowboy Poetry and Western Music genres with great enthusiasm as he reviewed our albums, did articles on us, and reported about the gatherings. I think we first met at an Ian Tyson songwriting seminar in Elko in the early 90's. He interviewed Mac for his magazine and then wrote these words. I asked him if I could record them as a song and received his OK to put a melody to them.
A snowflake is fallin, the wild goose is callin, the air's gettin frosty and cold
My old achin bone says that old Arizone is a place for a cowboy this old
For sixty five years I've looked past horses ears at great cowboyin country I've known
Rode 38 outfits in 9 western range states, not once on a place of my own
Chorus : It's time to make changes, new horses, new ranges
New bosses new cooks and new cows
To tie hard or dally in mountain or valley
It's freedom this lifestyle allows
No matter the changes they're all cattle ranges
Small ranches and big outfits too
A fact that I can't shirk, all of it's cow work
It's all that I know how to do
Learn new ways to work em, to rope em and jerk em, it's all at the bosses desire
Some 2-heel and drag em, some 2 ropes and shag em, each calf still ends up at the fire
Quick throws with short ropes, long throws with high hopes, brush poppers or bold buckaroos
They knew when I hired on that someday I'd ride on, I earned it I paid all my dues
Cinched double or single, my spurs always jingle, in sagebrush, in cedar or pine
It's leggins in Texas or chinks on Zxs, this life and this work are just fine
Rode green broncs or made ones, on long trots or wild runs, wide circles out under the sky
And someday who knows where, out yonder out somewhere, I'll ride til I fall off & die
Copyright 2015 Darrell Arnold / Tom Hiatt
Below the Kinney Rim
Say Sam do you remember, a long time ago
When we rode together, where the Wyomin winds blow
High on a ridge top just you and me
And watched the wild horses, runnin so free
It was jerky and coffee, bout half alkali
And a biscuit or two we downed on the fly
That old mustang fever sure ran in our veins
And it seemed like the devil was holdin the reins
Chorus: And I’m chasin old mem’ries though trails have grown dim
Through the Cedars and Pinions below the Kinney Rim
When it was just you and me and them mustangs there in
The blue shadows, below the old Kinney Rim
We’d rope them old broomies and hobble’em fast
Then back on the trail until the very last
When daylight had faded we’d bed on the ground
Then up before daybreak and go one more round
Now Sam them old ponies they’re just about gone
There’s a few left like us, that are still holdin on
One of these days, well, they’ll catch the last one
And I reckon by then, we’ll have finished our run
Copyright NEW WEST MUSIC LesBuffham / Michael Fleming