Showing posts with label don edwards. Show all posts
Showing posts with label don edwards. Show all posts

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

The Master's Call

       I am not a fan of religious music.  Neither am I a fan of country music.  I attribute this distaste to the bland insipid quality of Mormon hymns and the tendency of modern country music to sound whiny and nasal.  I want my music to challenge me, to force me to accept some truth about myself.  
One glaring exception to my aversion to country/religious music is my fondness Don Edwards, who is an old troubadour-style musician who sings about the lives of cowboys.  One of his most famous songs – and one that I listen to quite regularly – is called “The Masters Call” and is a narrative about a religious conversion.  “The Master’s Call” is an ballad-style song about a teenager who runs away from home and gets caught up in a cattle-rustling band.  Then, one night, a thunder-storm comes up and a cattle stampede starts.  The crux of the song is about the narrator’s near-death experience, which causes a religious conversion.  
I don’t listen to this kind of music very often and yet I can’t seem to stop listening.  I am not sure why I like this song so much.  I suppose part of it is simply that Don Edwards is a consummate musician.  His music is a blend of story-telling and instrumentals; his music is an understated exercise in showing rather than telling.  Listen to his music enough and you will understand that as a musician, he is willing to confront the parts about us that most people don't want to think about.  
I don't understand the lives of cowboys - but I do understand the deeper troubles that we all face and that Don Edwards confronts in his music.  And for that reason, I have a huge love for the stories that Don Edwards has to tell.

Check Don Edwards out.  You’ll be happy you did.  J

Sunday, March 17, 2013


          This past week I had the good fortune of going to Big Bend National Park, where I was able to stock up on some much-needed nature and solitude. Big Bend is located in a remote area of western Texas and borders the Rio Grande. With its combination of desert terrain and mountains, it has a wide sampling of ecological diversity. While at Big Bend, I saw hares and javelinas, cactus and creosote. 

The Rio Grande - the opposite side of the river is Mexico

The view from the Pinnacles trail

          I really enjoy the music of Don Edwards, who sings about the lives of cowboys. Traveling through the flat empty plains of west Texas - and hiking some of the trails around Big Bend - I began to understand his music a little better. One of Don Edwards' songs, called Coyotes, has the phrase

                Sit out under the stars of the Milky Way 
                And listen while the coyotes howl

          With the dark skies of Big Bend, I was fortunate enough to see the clustering of stars, with the characteristic dark band of clouds, that comprises the Milky Way. 
          And that night, the coyotes howled.