Borders Bravo Wins Prestigious Western Music Award
On Nov. 15, 2003 at the Western Music Association Awards Show, Jim Wilson’s album, Border Bravo, was given the award for Traditional Album Of The Year. Wilson was on hand at the event, in Wichita, Kansas, to receive the award andperform on the show. Wilson said, “What a pleasure it is to receive this award. The people who love and perform western music are my extended family. I am fortunate enough to be playing the music that I love and I am so happy that you all appreciate it, too.”
The border country of the American Southwest is still a part of the frontier. It is a land of proud walking women and slow talking men. It is a land where things change, but never really do change. It is the West of our past and the West of our future. This collection of border ballads and cowboy songs reflects the lives and adventures of some of the characters of the Southwest. They are my neighbors, ranch hands, border lawmen, saloon girls and ranch women.
A border bravo is a hombre that’s always ready for a fight or a frolic, as long as there is a little bit of adventure involved. Along the border they say, mis raieces son aqui, my roots are here. That is the way it is for the border country and me. That’s the way it is with these songs.
The Southwestern frontier isn’t disappearing; it is only changing a little bit. And the American cowboy isn’t dying. In fact, he’s not even feeling sick (except for a headache, sometimes, on Sunday morning and he isn’t very proud of that).
The idea of putting together an album of songs that celebrate the border life of the American Southwest was mine. The fellow that helped me bring that idea to life was Andy Wilkinson, of Lubbock, Texas. Andy is a songwriter, western historian, and performer, in his own right. He put all those talents, and more, to work when he produced Border Bravo for me. I had an idea of the sound I wanted to hear, Andy translated that into this album.
Around Lubbock, and over at Levelland, Texas, there is an exceptional group of acoustic musicians. Many of them teach at the South Plains College, at Levelland. Andy tapped into this source of music, for me, and drafted many of these folks to work on Border Bravo. Working on Border Bravo were: Cary Banks, guitars; Joe Carr, mandolin, vocal harmony; Tina Carraway, fiddle, vocal harmony; Rusty Hudelson, accordion; Brian Maines, percussion; Kenny Maines, bass, harmonica,
vocal harmony; Wally Moyers, Jr., dobro; Alan Munde, banjo; Jean Prescott, vocal harmony; Doug Smith, piano. And, yes, for you eagle-eyed readers, Kenny Maines has a niece, Natalie, who is making quite a career for herself as lead singer for the Dixie Chicks.
While I’m not opposed to albums, and songs, with a serious theme, Border Bravo isn’t that type of project. It is designed to give you a look at a little slice of life along the Southwestern border. Border people are independent as Hell. They may fight with their neighbors, but you’d better not. They trust strangers about as much as they do professional politicians. But, if you go down there with a smile on your face and your manners in good shape, you’ll do pretty well. But, they’ll talk about you when you’re gone… count on it.
Come along with me, wont you, and take a trip through Border Bravo. I’ve kicked out the fire, there’s a smell of rain in the air, and I’ve got a good horse saddled for you. I’d enjoy your company.
Border Bravo: Tracks List
1. Mountain Home
2. Seven Days From Musquiz
3. The Pistol
4. Come To The Bower
5. Agua Verde Crossing
6. Heartaches Come Stealing
7. Across The Great Divide
8. Blue Mountains Of Mexico
9. The Road To Sonora
12. Old Borunda Cafe