Cowboy culture is a thing unto itself. Not to be confused with “high culture” associated with high society and such. In fact, the two worlds are, for all practical purposes, in different orbits altogether and seldom cross paths.
But, every now and then, something happens that makes you realize they’re not really all that far apart after all.
It happened to me recently.
Being big fans of cowboy singer Dave Stamey, my wife and I wandered down into central Utah for a concert not long ago. Which is not unusual, given that we’ve sat in the audience at a lot of his performances.
But what was unusual this time was that the artist—usually a solo performer—had a backup band: the Snow College symphony orchestra.
So, as Dave picked his guitar and crooned his cowboy tunes, he was accompanied by a string section, woodwinds, brass, and percussion instruments, all harmonizing in beautiful arrangements of songs written by Dave, along with a few Western standards.
It was a sight to behold (or should I say “be heard”?). The power of Dave’s music intensified with the orchestration, leading to a new appreciation of his songwriting, singing, and strumming skills.
It was a night to remember. And I didn’t even have to wear a tie.
Cowboy songwriter and singer Dave Stamey