Cowboy Bill and Other Stories
Okay, I have a pretty good voice myself. In fact, people pay me money just to hear me talk from time to time (not my own words, however – I always have to read what others write!). Sometimes it makes me feel like somewhat of a bigshot!
Then I popped in Bill Barwick’s newest CD, Cowboy Bill and Other Stories. Talk about crashing back to earth! Barwick’s deep bass tones are something that cannot be duplicated and add to the enjoyment of the great cowboy music included in this collection.
Cowboy Bill and Other Stories is a well-paced collection of songs in a variety of styles that showcase Barwick’s stories in a proper setting. He can be humorous, as he is with “Smilin’ Jack,” about a young cowboy with a moisture problem, and “You Gotta Have A Mustache” (Barwick can certainly get away with singing this song!). He can also be retrospective, as he is with “When Cowboys Didn’t Dance.” And of course, he can just flat out tell a story, such as with “Just Doin’ My Job,” written by Juni Fisher, and “Mrs. Buffalow’s Biscuits,” where he lays his guitar down and uses his great pipes to tell of the old wagon trains of the past.
The title track is a great story about an old cowboy the likes each of us have known at one time or another in our lives. Barwick also gets a little help from his friend Johnny Western on the legendary Johnny Cash tune “Tennessee Flat Top Box.” If you don’t hear Cash while you listen to this one, you aren’t trying.
When you pick up this CD, I have a suggestion for you. Listen to it the first time for the great stories that Barwick spins. Listen the second time for the fabulous guitar and background instrumentals. The third time you listen, put both together, lean back and prepare to be entertained. That third time, you might just be able to smell the coffee cooking in the old can over the open fire. And don’t forget to get started on that mustache!
Rex Flottman & Keith Anglemyer Walnut Valley Association