| WORLD RIDER (SILVER STALLION) |
Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
Michael Martin Murphey
A HORSE WITH NO NAME
PULLIN' BACK THE REINS
k.d. lang & The Reclines
RIDER IN THE RAIN
THAT BUCKIN' SONG
Robert Earl Keen
"Through his mane and tail the high wind sings, fanning the hairs, who wave like feather'd wings." -
On the surface, what you have here is a collection of songs about horses. As you read on, you will discover that these songs were written and interpreted by some of the most eclectic and adventuresome artists who ever crossed a recording studio threshold. Spanning four decades, these twelve songs inspire that freedom that only comes from being in tune with one's surroundings. This music embraces all the feelings evoked by jumping into the saddle and leaving your immediate past in the dust.
SILVER STALLION has been recorded by a number of artists including Bonnie Koloc, The Highwaymen, and Lee Clayton, who wrote it. However, the song has never been interpreted as well as this version by John Grenell. We found it on an album from New Zealand on Manu Records called "Windstar-Aotearoa", released in 1991.
Clearly an artist that defies categorization is Linda Ronstadt. Starting out in the sixties in a county rock vein, she then moved comfortably into rock and roll in the seventies and eighties. Linda has since released albums of pop standards with lush productions, albums of Mariachi music, as well as starred in "The Pirates of Penzance" operetta. OLD PAINT is from her hugely successful Asylum album, "Simple Dreams", released in 1977.
Nitty Gritty Dirt Band:
With over twenty Top 40 hits on the Pop and Country charts, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band have been playing music together for 35 years, and have just released a new album as of this writing. HIGH HORSE climbed to the number two position on Billboard's Country chart, where it stayed a couple of weeks. It's from the album "Plain Dirt Fashion", released by Warner Bros.
Michael Martin Murphey:
No stranger to the pop and country charts, Michael Martin Murphey has amassed some twenty-three hits. Without a doubt, WILDFIRE is one of his biggest. The original hit was on Epic Records in 1975. This version is from his Warner Western album, "The Horse Legends", released in 1997.
America (Dewey Bunnell, Gerry Beckley, and Dan Peek) started their career off with A HORSE WITH NO NAME , which went to the top of the pop charts for them in 1972. The Warner Bros. single sold well over a million copies and helped garner the group a Grammy that year for Best New Artist.
k.d. lang & The Reclines:
Written by k.d. lang and long-time Reclines collaborator Ben Mink, PULLIN' BACK THE REINS successfully manages to express the emotions of love by using the motion of horseback riding as a metaphor, and it is delivered by one of the all-time top female vocalists. The song was recorded for inclusion on the album, "Absolute Torch and Twang", released by Sire Records in 1989.
Sometimes sad, often hilarious, always poignant, Randy Newman has emerged as one of our country's great contemporary songwriters. His beautiful compositions for the screen have spawned an additional career. He's penned hits for The Fleetwoods, Three Dog Night, Manfred Mann, Nilsson, and others, but it's his songs that aren't hits that are the true jewels. It is always a delightful experience to sit down and just listen to one of his albums. RIDER IN THE RAIN is from his "Little Criminals" album, released by Warner Bros. in 1977. That's Eagles' Glenn Frey and Don Henley with J. D. Souther singing background vocals.
Robert Earl Keen:
Following in the tradition of Guy Clark, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, and Townes Van Zandt (all fellow-Texas songwriters), Robert Earl Keen has released seven albums of music that bridge folk, country, and rock; music that defies being categorized other than being great American music. THAT BUCKIN' SONG is from his latest album, "Walking Distance" on Arista, released in 1998. Lyle Lovett contributes backing vocals.
Without a doubt, The Byrds were one of the biggest influences on the sound of the rock era, and have also had a huge influence on modern country music. The band went through many line-ups of musicians between their foramation in 1965, and 1973 when they disbanded. The only constant during that duration was Roger McGuinn, but a veritable "who's who" of Rock graced the group at one time or another including David Crosby, Chris Hillman, and Graham Parsons. CHESTNUT MARE, one of the most imaginative songs ever written about a horse, is from their tenth album for Columbia, "Untitled", released in 1970.
Though Paul Siebel never had a hit by singing his songs, Linda Ronstadt, Jerry Jeff Walker, Bonnie Raitt, Emmylou Harris and Waylon Jennings did. Making a name for himself in the coffeehouses of New York in the sixties, he recorded two stellar albums for Elektra, which have been recently collected on a reissue CD by Philo Records. PINTO PONY was originally recorded for his album "Jack-Knife Gypsy" in 1970.
An extraordinary guitar player based out of Austin, Texas, David Halley also happens to write extraordinary songs. Jerry Jeff Walker, Joe Ely, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, and Keith Whitley are among the artists who have covered his songs. FURTHER is from his first solo album called "Stray Dog Talk", released on the now defunct DOS label in 1990.
Last, but certainly not least, is the beautiful and haunting WILD HORSE , written and perforamed by Eliza Gilkyson . Eliza has recorded a number of albums for a number of record companies, including her just released effort, "Misfits". This track is from her self-produced effort on her own Revelizations label, released in 1994. Having gone on a number of trail rides with her at Skyline Ranch in Telluride, Colorado, we know that Eliza is an accomplished horse rider, to boot.