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Skip Gorman

A Cowboys's Wild Song To His Herd – 1999 (Rounder)

Reviewed by Dan MacIntosh

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CDs by Skip Gorman

To many, the singing cowboy is nothing more than a few fondly remembered black & white Saturday morning images. But this recording provide evidence that a remnant of the tradition still remains. Still, the recent deaths of both Roy Rogers and Gene Autry mark the singing cowboy as an endangered specie.

Skip Gorman's perspective on the West is more of an introspective one, as his album focuses on ballads and fiddle tunes. Like the storyteller he is, Gorman includes a lengthy explanation of each song. It's an album that alternates between sprightly fiddle playing and his high lonesome singing.

Whereas Rex Allen lived the cowboy lifestyle on Hollywood screens and concert stages, Gorman acts more like a professor/historian, as he both sings and explains his chosen songs. Song selection ranges from "A Cowboy's Wild Song To His Heard," written by A.P. Carter to "Rocky Road to Dublin," presenting the all-important link between the old world of the Scottish and Irish and emerging sounds of the West.

Singing cowboys like Allen may only number a few these days, but as long as Gorman is around to sing songs about the cowboy way, this great Western tradition will always live on.