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CD103 -


Waggoner One-Step
Ways of the World
Coyote Howl, The
Amarillo Waltz
Belle of Lexington
Bull At the Wagon
Camp Chase
Coyote Howl, The
Cruel Willie
Eck Robertson Medley
Green Valley Waltz
Just a Song of Old Kentucky
Moonlight Waltz
Moonshiner's Dream
Old Melinda
Panhandle Rag
Railroading On the Great Divide
Scum, the Saddle Bum
Trail to Mexico
Utah Carroll
Waggoner One-Step
Ways of the World
Wyoming Round-Up Cook, The

Continuing his exploration of authentic western songs and tunes, Skip gives us a program of unusual cowboy material played and sung with authority and verve. You haven't earned your saddle sores till you've heard this cassette.


The colorful history of the American cowboy covers a surprisingly brief span of time (only a couple of decades, in fact), but it has left its myth-making imprint on the American psyche as has no other segment of our past. Our national image, cherished here at home and romantically preserved by our friends abroad, has been shaped, to a large extent, by the dusty, wind-blown, rough-and-tumble crews that drove the herds to the Kansas railheads in the latter part of the 19th century. I was once introduced by a famous Scottish ballad singer to her nieces and nephews as "a real cowboy from Chicago," which instantly won for me the youngsters' unqualified admiration and respect. So much for the accuracy of geographical perception; so much for the myth.

The music of that time and place, however, is very real, and possesses all of the vigor, the unpretentious charm, and the rustic poetry of those freedom-loving individualists whose way of life did so much to form the very personality of our nation. Some of this music drifted to the west from the older southern states with post-Civil War refugees from reconstruction; some of it was brought direct from the Ould Sod by Irish immigrants who helped to build the railroads and then moved off to the cow-camps for want of any other employment (none being available to them in the crowded cities where they first landed on America's golden shores). Many of our cowboys were black Americans who sought a fresh landscape to match the glory of their newly-won freedom. Each of these groups contributed its musical influence to the songs and tunes we now associate with our western heritage hoedowns and rags, one-steps and waltzes ballads, satirical songs, love songs, comical ditties, whoops, hollers and shouts and the resultant blend lives on as pure Americana.

With this, his second recording of western material for Folk-Legacy, Skip Gorman brings us an unusual and exciting collection, performed with remarkable virtuosity on a variety of instruments, and sung with unadorned authenticity and respect for his various sources. We are sure that you will enjoy it as much as we do.
Sandy Paton Sharon, Connecticut May, 1987

Skip Gorman

Side 1, Band 1.

I learned "Waggoner One-Step" from the fiddling of Earl Collins, originally from Shawnee, Oklahoma. "Panhandle Rag" is a Texas-sounding hybrid to which I gave a title. There are many others in the key of C that sound similar; "Nobody Loves Me," recorded by Herschel Brown and his Washboard Band in the 1920's, is the most obvious comparison. Bob Flesher adds the claw-hammer banjo on this cut.


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