MP3 Al Mehl - Cowboy Pottery
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14 MP3 Songs
SPOKEN WORD: Poetry, COUNTRY: Cowboy
(Click on a track to listen while you're reading: Track 2 is poignant, Track 3 is humorous, track 5 will make you think, and track 7 is soulful)
Donât let that title fool ya, folks. This CD is actually a collection of Al Mehlâs original cowboy poetry (not a cupboard full of COWBOY POTTERY). And itâs a darned good collection at that.
Now just what is cowboy poetry, you might ask? Well, most folks âround here say that it is âof the cowboy, by the cowboy, and for the cowboy.â
Well, not just âforâ the cowboy. Oh sure, over the last century and a half it was mostly recited around the campfire after a hard dayâs work tendinâ cattle. But now itâs for everyone who wants to relive just a little taste of that cowboy life. OK, itâs not just âbyâ the cowboy, either. Of course, livinâ and lovinâ the cowboy life helps to make the poetry authentic. But letâs face it, some of us have more cowboy in our genes than in our jeans. And though itâs mostly âofâ the cowboy, youâll also hear themes of life in the West, and of livinâ off the land, and of better days gone by, and of the cowboy spirit that wells up inside each and every one of us from time to time.
Oh yes, and there is one more thing: IT RHYMES! Sounds silly, but lots of poetry these days doesnât rhyme at all. When youâre relivinâ an oral history, though, and tellinâ a story by the fire, the rhyme is key to recitinâ the verses, holdinâ the listenerâs ear, and, most importantly, teachinâ the story to someone new, to be passed on through the ages.
So just slip Al a plate of beans and biscuits late at night by the campfire, and hereâs what he might tell ya about all these poems on COWBOY POTTERY, his debut poetry CD:
1. COWBOY POTTERY - In this age of new technology, even cowboy poets are learninâ to use computers. So when it was time to open a new file for some of my poems, my hunt-and-peck typing skills caused me to label the folder âCowboy Poteryâ instead of âCowboy Poetry.â The idea of writinâ a poem with the accidental title âCowboy Potteryâ followed. I premiered the poem at Old West Days in Valentine, Nebraska. Needless to say, the audience wasnât sure how to respond when I donned a potterâs apron and brought out a potterâs wheel with a big lump of clay on it, then thanked them all for invitin' me to the Cowboy Pottery Festival.
2. FENCE POSTS MADE OF STONE - As a child, every year or so, weâd pile into the family car to go visitinâ the grandparents in central Kansas. I spent many a warm summer day playinâ on the old stockyard fences from the great trail drive days gone by. But I didnât remember the stone fence posts until some 40 years later. When I saw those stone monuments from the car window, flyinâ down the interstate highway at 70 miles an hour, the memories came floodinâ back.
3. I AIN'T NO COWBOY - Arvada, Colorado, hosts one of the great festivals of cowboy poetry each year in January. I bought a ticket in 2002, and I surely did enjoy the show. Little did I know that the cowboy spirit had somehow seeped into my soul. About six months later, I woke up with the sun and, about an hour later, my very first cowboy poem was on paper.
4. THE GOOD OLD DAYS - Ever find yourself wishinâ you could wind the clock back to a simpler, better time? Me too. This poem recalls a truck stop where a cup of coffee still costs just a dime!
5. WATER - Settlinâ the West required strength, endurance, sweat, tears, persistence, grit. But mostly, it required water. Still does. This poem is a little bit about water, and a lot about my appreciation for those who help put the food on our tables.
6. HOUDINI - After I had written my first cowboy poem, it seems that more poems and songs just kept cominâ out. Iâm not sure why, but I figure my job is to just write âem down when it happens. Seems that âthereâs a cowboy stuck inside meâ¦â
7. THE GREAT DEPRESSION - Years ago when I asked dear olâ dad about life during the Great Depression, he said that he didnât remember much at all. Nothinâ much except this story, that is.
8. BAD NEWS TRAVELS FAST - Cowboy poet Yvonne Hollenbeck sat with me at breakfast in Valentine, Nebraska, one morning after the Cowboy Poetry Gathering, and made the mistake of encouraging me to keep writinâ cowboy poetry. A couple of years later, when her latest correspondence started out with the line, âI guess bad news travels fastâ¦â those words took on a life of their own.
9. THE RABBIT HUNT - Like all good cowboy poetry, this poem is based on a true story, just the way that grandpa told it to me. Itâs true, every word of it. Well, almost every word.
10. SILENT NIGHT - One Christmas Eve during the Great War, the allied troops and the opposing German soldiers lowered their guns and lowered their guard. Maybe, from their example, we might finally learn that war is almost always a bad answer, and it is almost never the only answer.
11. CANNING - Every fall when I was a child, my parents would bring home bushels of fruit and vegetables, and prepare it for canning. Never quite figured out why. Seemed to me that all of those foods could be purchased in a tin can at the local grocery store. So why go to all that fuss?
12. HAVE DOMINION OVER - Years ago, I heard poet Marty Blocker quote this bible verse from the book of Genesis in one of his performances. It sure got me to thinkinâ about our place on this planet.
13. THE COWBOY GENES - Iâm not sure thereâs a cure once you've been infected by the cowboy spirit. And if there were a cure, Iâm not sure Iâd sign up for it.
14. MY DADDY WENT TO COLLEGE - I done lived a half a lifetime before I discovered that thereâs cowboy inside of me. And for that, Iâve got daddy to blame.
Better order your copy of COWBOY POTTERY today, folks, âcause theyâre sellinâ like hot cakes! Youâre gonna love these 14 original poems, and weâre pretty sure you might just like Alâs original six-string guitar interludes, designed to give you a chance to quietly reflect on what youâve heard in between each of the poetry recitations, or maybe spit. And donât forget to check out Alâs debut music CD, titled ASPHALT COWBOY. Iâm thinkinâ youâre gonna need one of each!
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