Roundin’ Up the Music


National Festival of the West, March 15-18


The 17th annual festival has moved around, and this year it’s at a recreated western town near Phoenix, AZ. With five stages, music (artists being booked at press time), cowboy poetry, chuck wagons, a western film fest, mountain man rendezvous, square dancing, Buffalo Soldiers, and more, it’s very affordable, at $12/day. Info at

Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival, April 25-29

This local festival has become one of the nation’s best annual western events. It delivers many of the stars of western and cowboy music, performing everything from traditional 19th century cowboy folk music to Bob Wills-flavored prairie swing and wonderful new songs. You’ll hear AWA and WMA award winners for top vocalists, best artists, best original songs and best groups among today’s top western singer-songwriters and bands, along with national award-winning cowboy and cowgirl poets.

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March-April 2007

Gig for a Musical Statesman

By Audrey Coleman

One month after a terrorist bomb ripped open the United Nations Headquarters in Bagdhad, killing 22 U.N. workers and injuring over 100 people, U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan invoked the healing power of music to help colleagues and families of the fallen recover from the horror and loss. At a memorial service held in the Great Hall of the U.N. General Assembly on September 19, 2003, Annan introduced a musician who, he explained, “… can do justice to all the complex feelings we are experiencing today. Someone who can lift us all out of our sorrow. I can think of no one better suited to do this than Gilberto Gil, an artist with a conscience, an artist with a gift. Gilberto has given the world a kind of music that seeks to empower people as much as to move them.”

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March-April 2007

A Legacy of Sagebrush and Song

By Larry Wines

ThereAutry Group are Cowboy Junkies, a Cowboy Nation, Cowboy Celtic, even Kahuna Cowboys, and all are bands on today’s music scene. There are the enduring images of frontier primogeniture, Sons of the Pioneers and Sons of the San Joaquin. There are Riders in the Sky and Riders of the Purple Sage, all riding decades before, and still in the saddle decades beyond, the life span of the rock-era’s New Riders of the Purple Sage. And there are all those rangers, including the Lost Canyon Rangers, the Steep Canyon Rangers, and the Americana band with the Celtic name of Kaedmon, and their song, Still the Lone Ranger.

All these and countless more conjure western images, and to varying degrees, perpetuate the legacy of western music.

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March-April 2007

Back By Spring: The Return Of Wendy Waldman

By Rex Butters

From 1973’s Love Has Got Me to 1978’s Strange Company, Wendy Waldman proved Photo of Wendy Waldman By Mark Donikianher talent justified her inclusion in the legendary Warners/Reprise brain trust, which included Bonnie Raitt, Van Morrison, Maria Muldaur, Captain Beefheart, Van Dyke Parks, Randy Newman, Ry Cooder, Miriam Makeba, Arlo Guthrie, John Hartford, Jesse Colin Young, and John Sebastian. In addition to her own performances, Waldman became a widely covered songwriter, with versions by Muldaur, Linda Ronstadt, Kim Carnes, Judy Collins, Melissa Manchester, Rita Coolidge, and Bette Midler released simultaneously with Wendy’s. By decade’s end, nearly all these legendary artists were dropped or forced to find greener pastures due to management changes and the arrival of punk rock.

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