Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Cosmic Country Cowboy #2

That’s Buck Wheat To You.

This golden AM gem sneaked inside my ear somewhere around 1973. And there it stayed, tucked away, forgotten, undetonated ordnance just waiting to explode. Which it did, nearly twenty five years later when I caught the tail end, the last, "EeeAas" of Brooks and Dunne’s cover. Even contemporary country couldn’t destroy it. Oh the mournful joy. He was lovesick when he wrote it. Oh the sunshine memories: a can of Schaefer beer, grasshoppers rustling in the dry grass, yodels issued from a transistor radio.

Yes, yodels and they break your heart with their plaintive beauty.

B.W. (born Louis) Stevenson’s recording career was a brief one. He gave it up in 1980 only to die destitute in a veteran’s hospital eight years later from heart surgery complications. Born in Dallas, dead 38 years later in Austin, he said of his life, "Well, I've never done anything but hitchhike, write songs and sing." That’s not entirely true. He served in the Air Force and worked a stint as a wrangler in Durango.

As long ago promised to Mr. Poncho here is B.W.’s version of Three Dog Night’s Shambala. Rustier and dustier than the original, I find B.W. easy to believe.

1 comment:

Mr. Poncho said...

I thought you'd be interested in this: