Songs and Stories, 2007

I want to send a special thanks to my friend Jo Bannister, of Tombstone, Arizona Territory. Jo is a first-class photographer and her shop is called Sadie Jo’s, on Third Street in Tombstone. A lot of the new photos that you see on these pages were shot by Jo. When you’re out in Tombstone, go by her shop and get some “vintage” photos made. Oh, and her web site is

Memorial weekend, 2006, Jim Jones and I were invited to perform at the Kerrville Folk Festival, especially for the Allen Wayne Damron memorial. That was the same weekend that Guy Clark, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, and Steve Fromholz , were booked to play. Needless to say, we had a memorable time. Well, what we remember of it was fun.
I had never met Guy Clark before and I have to tell you that he’s a really nice guy. Later on, in the summer, we had a little party over at Marfa. Guy showed up, along with Joe Ely, Terry Allen, Robert Earl Keene, and David Burne, but I wouldn’t want to drop any names. Anyway, Guy’s got a new album out and it’s a good one but, for my money, his best album in a long time is The Dark. Get a copy and see if you don’t agree.

Jim Jones and I have kind of started a tradition, without actually meaning to. And that is our October Raid & Pillage through Arizona. This last fall we played shows for Wes & Nancy Ruybal, and the John Gambles, in the Phoenix area. Then we hit Wickenburg and pestered Audrey Hankins, as well as playing at the local coffee shop. And a huge house concert at the home of Jim & Georgene Lockwood, in Prescott, wrapped it up.
We had so much fun that we’re going to do it again, in the fall of 2007. So watch our tour schedules for the dates and locations.

April 20-22, 2007, we will be in Dallas for the Dallas Guitar Show, put on by my good friend Mark Pollock. Mark used to own Charlie’s Guitar Shop, in Dallas, before he got smart and moved to the Big Bend. He still goes back every year, however, to put on the Dallas Guitar Show, one of the biggest in the country.
This year, they will have an area where celebrity guitars will be displayed. Probably the most famous guitar on display will be Eric Clapton’s old Fender that he called “Blackie.” And, of course, rumor has it that Mr. Clapton will also be hanging out at the guitar show. We’ll see.
While we’re in the Dallas area, we’ll play a house concert at my son’s house in Lewisville. Ryan’s buddies have turned into to some pretty loyal supporters of my music and they generally always show up when we’re at Poor David’s Pub, or elsewhere in the area. So, I’m looking forward to an all-around great weekend.

November will be a big month for me. Nov. 2-4, 2007, is the Tomstone Western Music Festival, in Tombstone, Arizona Territory. This is absolutely one of my favorite shows to attend each year. I love that part of the country and I really enjoy hanging out with Rich & Esther Dollarhide, Big Ed, and Jo Bannister, just to name a few.

If you haven’t been to Tombstone, you need to come attend the western music festival. Just for all the details.

And, of course, the second big event in November is the Western Music Association festival & membership meeting Nov. 15-18, held in Albuquerque, New Mexico. I think we’ll be at a new hotel this year, as there was a scheduling conflict with the old one. Anyway, you can and get all the details on that one. By the way they will also tell you how to go about joining the WMA. Whether you are a performer or a fan, you should be supporting western music. Just send ’em your money. It’s pert near painless.

Finally, on a sad note, former WMA President Mickey Dawes recently lost his fight with cancer. Western music lost a strong advocate and I lost a good friend.
I first went on the WMA board of directors the year that Steve Rhodes was the president–whatever year that was. Steve just served the one year and then Mickey was elected to the board and the board elected him president. Mickey’s long-running goal was to convert the WMA from a Sons-of-the-Pioneers fan club to a professional music organization. We moved the festival out of Tucson because the city of Tucson simply wasn’t supporting our event. After some false starts, we ended up holding the annual festival in Albuquerque, where it continues to be. The city of Albuquerque seems to really enjoy having us in town and they aren’t afraid to jump in and help promote our event.

Our board, under Mickey’s leadership, made some mistakes, too. But the truth is that they were mistakes made by people that were trying to improve things. If it weren’t for Mickey Dawes the WMA would still be sitting around in a Tucson motel singing Tumbling Tumbleweeds to each other–one more time. What Mickey Dawes started with the WMA, Steve Taylor and his board have built on and the WMA continues to grow.
So that’s it from this part of the Chihuahuan Desert. Come out and catch the show when I’m in your area, or drop me an e-mail. I’d love to hear from you.

See ya down the road.

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