MP3 Dennis Gaines - Son-Of-A-Gun Stew: A Texas Cowboy´s Gather
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10 MP3 Songs
SPOKEN WORD: With Music, SPOKEN WORD: Comedy
REVIEW BY MARGO METEGRANO, EDITOR OF https://www.tradebit.com
In one of his poems addressed to Ty Murray, Dennis Gaines writes "...I'll tip my hat to you. Congratulations, pardner, you are the very best at what you do." And that's exactly what you'll feel like saying to Gaines himself after listening to his new CD, Son-of-a-Gun-Stew: A Texas Cowboy's Gather. Nobody does it better.
A natural-born storyteller and audience charmer, his complex and entertaining long rhymed poems and convoluted stories get you in his grasp from the start and leave you thinking that you were there, taking part in or at least observing the many hilarious and outrageous situations he creates.
In "The Spandex Cowboy," where the action takes place at Colonel Potter's Big Top Tent and Wrestling Rodeo, you'll have no problem visualizing the giants, midgets, dancing girls, and the "wrasslin' phenomenon" and "fearsome female specimen" Attila ("her mammoth girth stretched 'round the earth") who takes on cowboy Gaines. The completely satisfying listening experience makes you wonder how much of what seems physical in his stage performances is really owed to his acrobatic wordsmithing.
Gaines creates an electricity with his sizzling rhymes and zany ideas. Texas A&M "aggies" are targeted more than once in this collection, and never better than in "New and Improved," which comes up with innovative ideas for genetic engineering for "customizin' critters." "We'll do away with brandin' fires, just mark the chromosomes/ that brand will show up on her hide no matter where she roams." "The steers will weigh six thousand pounds and thrive on cedar trees/ with testicles that grow in pods, just snap 'em out like peas."
There is no safety net, no clown, no protective headgear, and there's never any telling what Gaines has in store around the next corner of his verse. "Showdown in Matador" is an uproarious windy without a roadmap. It follows the exploits of an escaped steer as he weaves a riotous path of destruction through town, chased enthusiastically by hapless cowboys who thrill to the perfect combination of "a loose steer, a license to rope, and an audience."
Those poems, along with other side-splitting selections such as "Buck, the Musical Mule" and "Bungee Buckaroo" have you wondering if Gaines should really be allowed to run loose.
Gaines has heart as well. His beautiful tribute, "A Life Well Lived," honors his mother who understood his cowboying ways: "It's a blessin' and a curse to always be the restless one/ Never knowin' where to bed down with the setting of the sun...A cowhand is a lonesome critter, born and bred to roam,/ Though a cowboy with a loving mother always has a home." This poem and its back-up music, which never resort to a single sentimental cliché, will pull the heartstrings of the crustiest cowboy. Likewise, the final "Bueno Suerte" track shows his sensitive and serious side, impressive for its sincerity.
Carefully chosen music complements many tracks, and Gaines shows off his a cappella talents (his liner notes claim "I am generally acknowledged as the finest 'Acapulco' singer in the world."). The non "Acapulco" musical parts of the CD include Danny Hubbard on acoustic guitar; Milo Deering on fiddle, mandolin, and jew's harp; Tim Harris on harmonica; and Ron Dilulio on banjo.
Now here's a real cowboy who can spin stories, write humorous and serious poetry, sing (pretty well), honors his parents, loves his wife....maybe Texas A&M has been looking at the wrong genetic engineering subjects. On the other hand, the world may not be big enough for more than one talent the size of Dennis Gaines'.
Fans have been waiting for a new recording ever since the release of Gaines' celebrated Hapless Trails to You video. Son-of-a-Gun-Stew: A Texas Cowboy's Gather will certainly satisfy them, and also leave them waiting eagerly for the next offering from this master storyteller.
Review by Margo Metegrano, Editor of https://www.tradebit.com, the world's largest website dedicated to cowboy literature, poetry and music.
e-mail: [email protected]://www.tradebit.com
He's a former working ranch cowboy, an authentic, grub-line ridin', travelin' tall Texan wearing knee-high "thirsty boots", and he's logged almost as many miles in the saddle as he has in an ambulance. Little kids and dogs love him and women want him. Bankers, lawyers, chuck wagon cooks and emergency room surgeons fear him, and neither the Lord nor the Devil wants to take the blame for him. Call him outrageous, hysterical, or just plain good-lookin', but don't ever call him late for dinner. He's Dennis Gaines, 7th grade spelling bee champion, 2-time winner of the Rio Medina Ice Cream Crank-Off, member of the Texas Commission on the Arts, and the Academy of Western Artists' Cowboy Storyteller and Humorist of the Year. Cinch up your saddle and ride on over to watch him ride the wild trails and tales of the cowboy. He's the genuine article, pards, and he'll do to ride the river with.
I hope you'll accept the familiarity. I consider everyone a friend until proven otherwise; a philosophy that would go a long way toward solving the world's ills if everyone thought likewise.
Now that I've wiggled my way in like a dogie calf huntin' an extra faucet, allow me to tell you more about myself than you're likely wantin' to know. Cowboys might be bashful, but we ain't subtle.
My name is Dennis Gaines, although I've been called worse. Drew a paycheck as a workin' cowpuncher for a long time; then some folks with more kindly compassion than good judgment told me I ought to be in the entertainment business. Now I find myself throwin' a big loop around this writin' and recitin' business.
This won't be my first cattle drive, pardner. I published a book entitled New Tradition: Western Verse in 1990 and went on the road to get it sold and pay off the bank. Did so well that I was encouraged to produce an audiotape entitled "Live From Hotel Turkey". Yes, such a place does exist. Through all of it I kept punchin' cows and gatherin' stories, and in August of 1999, my long-planned videocassette tape, "Hapless Trails To You", came to fruition.
I made a few notable stops along the way. My live performances would be too numerous to mention, but among the highlights are appearances at the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko, Nevada, the biggest of them all. I was a Texas State Representative Poet in Elko in 1990, and returned in 1991 and 1992. A partial list of other events and shows:
NATIONAL COWBOY SYMPOSIUM AND CELEBRATION - LUBBOCK, TEXAS 1989-1992 & 1996
NATIONAL COWBOY HALL OF FAME - OKLAHOMA CITY, OK
TEXAS COWBOY REUNION - STAMFORD, TEXAS
XIT RANCH REUNION - DALHART, TEXAS
WESTERN HERITAGE CLASSIC - ABILENE, TEXAS
RED STEAGALL'S COWBOY GATHERING - FORT WORTH, TEXAS
TEXAS FOLKLIFE FESTIVAL - SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS
COWBOY APPRECIATION BALL (honoring world champion rodeo cowboys) - STEPHENVILLE, TEXAS
I was featured on the "Texas Country Reporter" television show, a segment that generated one of the highest viewer response rates in the show's history, as well as "Americana Digest" and in Southern Living and American Cowboy magazines. A couple of rare honors came my way when I was invited to be a guest lecturer/entertainer at Texas A&M and (then) West Texas State University. I am a member of the Academy of Western Artists, and have been a multiple nominee in the categories of Best Storyteller, Best Poet, and Best Cowboy Poetry Album. The Academy was gracious enough to present me with the "Skinny Rowland" Memorial Award, acknowledging my work as the best Cowboy Storyteller and Humorist of the Year 2000. In addition, I am a member in good standing of both the Artists in Education program and the Touring Artists roster under the aegis of the Texas Commission on the Arts. My videotape, "Hapless Trails To You", was nominated in the Top 5 for Videotape of the Year in 2000 by the Academy of Western Artists, and my current CD, entitled "Son-Of-A-Gun Stew: A Texas Cowboy's Gather", is the winner in the category of Best Cowboy Poetry CD of 2004 by the AWA.
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