Friday, February 29, 2008

Yahoo Groups discussion about Western vs Country

There has been an interesting discussion at the Western Music Association Yahoo Group this week about the differences between Western and Country music.

Not long ago, Dallas Mcchord was talkiing about this subject and he was pretty much on the mark. Most of us play and perform several styles of music, depending on our venue. But people generally come to Cowboy Entertainer style events to hear Western music; not country, classic rock or rap. Save that for the jam sessions or other venues.

I believe that the Marshall Tucker Band song; "Fire on the Mountain" fits the general definition of Western music. But, I don't perform it at a Cowboy Poetry Gathering!

However, Jamie Parker-Frank and John Westbrook are also correct in that we are here to entertain the fans. If someone requests "Fire on the Mountain" from me, I'll do it!

Like Jamie, I perform at guest ranches and rodeos all over my area. I would agree that my audiences rarely place a high priority on whether "Mr. Bojangles" or my own "Cash on the Light" are country, Western or folk music. They just like good music.

"Cash on the Light" isn't, in my opinion, a Western song. But, it's the title song to my new CD so I can guarantee that the audience here in Lewiston this weekend will be hearing it! Shoot me.

What this all boils down to is that this is an interesting discussion and I believe we are all learning and growing from it. In my mind, one of my goals out here is to "convert" some fans to our style of music. Like John Westbrook and others have said, most of our fans have no interest in the pigeion hole we pull our songs out of. They just want to be entertained. If I can get a couple of new people to begin coming to Western/Cowboy shows (and buying CDs!) by singing a "country" song, then I'll do it.

Let's have fun out here! See ya all on the road someplace.

Larry Gibson

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