Cowboy Crossroads

By Andy Hedges

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 Apr 11, 2019


Andy Hedges interviews a different guest on each episode and asks them to share stories from the working cowboy West and beyond. Cowboy poets, musicians, songwriters, folksingers, and historians. Subscribe on iTunes for new episodes!

Episode Date
Episode 49: Sean Sexton

Florida rancher and poet Sean Sexton talks about working with his father and son, the Florida cattle business, his writing process, and poetic forms.

Aug 28, 2019
Episode 48: Vess Quinlan

Poet Vess Quinlan discusses growing up on small family ranches, contracting polio as a child, occupational poetry, and offers insights into ranch culture.

Jul 10, 2019
Episode 47: Ned LeDoux

Ned LeDoux elaborates on growing up in Kaycee, Wyoming, getting started in music, playing drums with the Western Underground, and being the son of Chris LeDoux. Don't miss the new song at the end of the episode.

Jun 18, 2019
Episode 46: Rodney Nelson

Cowboy poet Rodney Nelson of North Dakota talks about his life experiences including ranching, rodeo, poetry, his parents, and the power of music.

May 21, 2019
Episode 45: Colter Wall

Colter Wall discusses growing up in Saskatchewan, his interest in cowboy culture, old-time cowboy songs, his 1937 Martin guitar, what it means to be a folksinger and his album Songs of the Plains.

Apr 23, 2019
Episode 44: Dave Stamey

Singer/songwriter Dave Stamey talks about his early life, wranglin' dudes, his rural audience, and his songwriting influences. Don't miss the new song at the end of the episode!

Mar 20, 2019
Episode 43: Remembering S. Omar Barker

This episode features two guests celebrating the poetry and memory of S. Omar Barker. Barker's grandniece Georgia Snead shares memories, stories, and anecdotes about Barker and cowboy poet Waddie Mitchell tells his story of discovering Barker's poetry and calling him on the phone.

Feb 12, 2019
Episode 42: Corb Lund

Canadian singer/songwriter Corb Lund talks about his family history, old cowboy songs, Marty Robbins, Ian Tyson, authenticity, his diverse audience, and tells the story of his parents putting on a rodeo in Zambia. Don't miss his live version of S Lazy H at the end.

Jan 08, 2019
Episode 41: John Dofflemyer

Fifth-generation California rancher and poet John Dofflemyer talks about growing up on his family ranch, poetry, his first trip to Elko, Dry Crik Review, endangered species, and more. 


Dec 04, 2018
Episode 40: Too Slim

Bass player, vocalist, and humorist Too Slim reflects on his 40 year career with Riders in the Sky.  Tune in to hear Slim talk about his early musical influences, the beginning of the band, his role in the Paul is Dead conspiracy theory, the Riders’ stage names, working with Pixar, and more.

Nov 06, 2018
Episode 39: Roots on the Narrow Gauge with Tom Russell

Live from Roots on the Narrow Gauge, Tom Russell shares about his early musical influences, personal encounters with the Beatles and Bob Dylan, living in Nigeria, the making of The Man from God Knows Where and Hotwalker, bad gigs, and his writing process. He tops it off with a new song.

Oct 17, 2018
Episode 38: Joel Nelson (Part 2)

Part 2 of the interview with NEA Fellow and poet Joel Nelson. In this episode, Joel talks about his lifelong journey into poetry from his earliest exposures to literature to writing his own poetry. Listen to the end to hear Joel recite his poem "Awakenings."


Sep 19, 2018
Episode 37: Joel Nelson (Part 1)

NEA National Heritage Fellow and poet Joel Nelson recalls his childhood memories, how he ended up in Alpine, Texas, and his early days as a working cowboy on the 06 Ranch.

Sep 05, 2018
Episode 36: Amy Hale Auker

Working cowboy, author, and poet Amy Hale Auker stops by Cowboy Crossroads and talks about her father, her history, her writing process, and her work with Andy Wilkinson. Listen to the end of the episode to hear Amy recite the title poem from her new book Livestock Man.

Aug 01, 2018
Episode 35: Australian Bush Poetry with Jack Sammon

One of the last of the old-time Australian drovers, bush poet Jack Sammon talks about his fascinating life as a drover and coal miner. Tune in to hear about the similarities between Australian bush poetry and American cowboy poetry.

Jul 10, 2018
Episode 34: Westfest with Michael Martin Murphey

Michael Martin Murphey returns to Cowboy Crossroads to talk about the history of Westfest and the influence of Buffalo Bill Cody. Tune in and hear Murphey play an acoustic version of his song "Wild West Show" at the end of the episode!

Jun 19, 2018
Episode 33: Wally McRae

Cowboy poet and rancher Wally McRae talks with Andy about his father and grandfather, the story behind his poem "Reincarnation", the influence of theater on his work, and his friendship with Paul Zarzyski.

May 31, 2018
Episode 32: John Erickson

Hank the Cowdog author John Erickson talks about his deep ranching roots, the inspiration for Hank the Cowdog, sense of place, and the oral tradition of storytelling.

Apr 25, 2018
Episode 31: Coal Miners and Cowboys with Jerry Brooks

Jerry Brooks shares about working as a woman in a coal mine for 26 years, coal miners & cowboys, the spoken word, and cowboy poetry.

Apr 10, 2018
Episode 30: Riders in the Sky

Recorded live from the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko, NV, Riders in the Sky make the 7216th performance of their career on Cowboy Crossroads! Tune in to hear stories about their early days as a band, their worst gigs, and a few classic songs.

Mar 20, 2018
Episode 29: Charlie Goodnight with Andy Wilkinson (Part 2)

On part 2, Andy Wilkinson discusses his personal relation to Charlie Goodnight, the making of his Charlie Goodnight album, and sings his song "Palo Duro Farewell."

Feb 27, 2018
Episode 28: Charlie Goodnight with Andy Wilkinson (Part 1)

Lubbock songwriter Andy Wilkinson shares stories, observations, and anecdotes about his distant uncle Charlie Goodnight. Tune in to hear about the Goodnight-Loving Trail, the first chuckwagon, and the death of Charlie Goodnight.

Feb 13, 2018
Episode 27: The Old Double Diamond with Gary McMahan

"The Old Double Diamond" is one of the few modern cowboy songs to become a classic. In this episode, Gary McMahan tells the story behind his classic song. Along the way, he discusses his musical influences, the cattle feeding and trucking business, and the cowmen and cowboys he writes for.

Jan 09, 2018
Episode 26: Cowboys, Minstrels, and Medicine Shows with Pipp Gillette (Part 2)

East Texas rancher Pipp Gillette talks about the roots, influences, and origins of traditional cowboy music and reflects on minstrelsy, blackface, medicine shows, Jack Thorp, and banjos.

Nov 21, 2017
Episode 25: New York to Texas with Pipp Gillette (Part 1)

Texas rancher and musician Pipp Gillette talks about the beginnings of his grandfather's ranch in East Texas, his parents meeting in New York City, spending childhood summers in Texas with his brother, and ultimately coming home to the family ranch.

Nov 07, 2017
Episode 24: Rod Taylor

New Mexico cowpuncher and musician Rod Taylor talks about the beginnings of his cowboy career, being a camp man, roping a buffalo, acting in a Toyota commercial, and his friendship with cowboy poet J.B. Allen.

Oct 24, 2017
Episode 23: Hal Cannon

Folklorist and musician Hal Cannon talks about growing up in the Salt Lake City folk scene, the founding of the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering, and the influence of tradition.

Oct 10, 2017
Episode 22: Mike Beck (Part 2)

Mike Beck returns in part 2 of his interview and speaks with passion on the Dorrance brothers, horses, music, and plays a song from the California coast.

Sep 19, 2017
Episode 21: Mike Beck (Part 1)

California songwriter and horseman Mike Beck talks about growing up in Monterey, California, working with Tom and Bill Dorrance, cowboyin' on the Spanish Ranch, and shares a new song written for Merle Haggard.

Sep 12, 2017
Episode 20: Chuck Hawthorne

Chuck Hawthorne talks about the three passions of his life: cowboy culture, the military, and music. He also shares the story of how he never met Buck Ramsey and plays a stirring version of a new song.

Aug 29, 2017
Episode 19: Don Edwards

Grammy nominated cowboy singer Don Edwards talks about his early days, the White Elephant Saloon, the importance of Jack Thorp, cowboy music and the blues, the solo tradition, guitar playing, and more.

Aug 22, 2017
Episode 18: Tom Russell

Tom Russell shares stories about picking up Robert Hunter in a taxicab, writing songs with Ian Tyson, playing music behind a snake handler, the advice he would give a young songwriter and more! This episode also includes a live performance of a brand new song about Ian Tyson from the upcoming album, Folk Hotel.

Aug 08, 2017
Episode 17: On the Road with Ramblin' Jack

Rick Hastie shares stories from 28 years of friendship with the legendary Ramblin' Jack Elliott. Rick is a horseman, sailor, and part-time road manager for Ramblin' Jack.

Aug 01, 2017
Episode 16: Last of the Vaudeville Cowboys with Sourdough Slim

Sourdough Slim's passion for the music and culture of the 1920s is contagious! Listen in to hear Slim talk about vaudeville cowboys, hobo singers, the inspiration behind his name, bad gigs and more.

Jul 18, 2017
Episode 15: Old-Time Cowboy Songs with Don Hedgpeth

Old-time cowboy singer and author Don Hedgpeth discusses traditional cowboy songs, minstrels, why we have cowboy poetry gatherings and more.

Jul 05, 2017
Episode 14: Randy Rieman (Part 2)
Randy Rieman explains the process of braiding a rawhide reata, shares about his passion for the spoken word, and recites a horse poem from the Australian tradition.
Jun 20, 2017
Episode 13: Randy Rieman (Part 1)
Respected horseman, rawhide braider, and reciter, Randy Rieman, reflects on the beginnings of his cowboy career in Montana, his early mentors, and the influence of legendary horsemen, Tom & Bill Dorrance.
Jun 13, 2017
Episode 12: Paul Zarzyski (Part 2)
Rodeo poet Paul Zarzyski talks about falling in love with the sound of words, writing songs with Ian Tyson and Wylie Gustafson, how to become an extreme creativist, and reads a brand new song lyric.
May 31, 2017
Episode 11: Paul Zarzyski (Part 1)
Paul Zarzyski talks about watching westerns with his father, how he became a bronc rider, giving of yourself as an artist, adopted humpback whales, and more!
May 23, 2017
Episode 10: Ranch Work Meets Music with Martha Scanlan

Martha Scanlan talks about the first song she wrote, finding the groove in ranch work and music, and plays a stunning version of her song, "The Shape Of Things Gone Missing, The Shape Of Things to Come."

May 09, 2017
Episode 9: Black Cowboy Songs with Dom Flemons

Dom Flemons talks with Andy about the African American influence on country music and cowboy songs and plays a soulful rendition of "Goodbye Old Paint."

May 02, 2017
Episode 8: Ramblin' Jack Elliott (Part 2)
The legendary Ramblin' Jack Elliott tells stories about a singing rodeo clown, Buck Ramsey, the White House, Gregory Peck, and Bill & Hillary Clinton.
Apr 18, 2017
Episode 7: Ramblin' Jack Elliott (Part 1)
Ever wondered what Ramblin' Jack Elliott's response would be to a smoke alarm going off? Listen to find out and and hear Jack talk about Brooklyn, baseball, dogs, bronc ridin', and Casey Tibbs.
Apr 04, 2017
Episode 6: Writing Songs and Building Guitars with Guy Clark

Noel McKay tells stories about his friendship with Guy Clark and plays a song that they co-wrote.

Mar 21, 2017
Episode 5: Michael Martin Murphey (Part 2)
Michael Martin Murphey talks about the making of Geronimo's Cadillac, his worst gig, and his first trip to the Elko Cowboy Poetry Gathering.
Mar 07, 2017
Episode 4: Michael Martin Murphey (Part 1)
Michael Martin Murphey talks about learning cowboy songs as a kid in Texas and his involvement in the Civil Rights Movement.
Feb 21, 2017
Episode 3: Ross Knox
Ross Knox talks about cowboyin' on big outfits, packing mules in the Grand Canyon, and writing a song with Ian Tyson.
Feb 07, 2017
Episode 2: Waddie Mitchell (Part 2)
The second part of the interview with Waddie Mitchell where he tells stories about the first cowboy poem he ever heard, his love of literature, and appearing on the Johnny Carson show.
Jan 17, 2017
Episode 1: Waddie Mitchell (Part 1)
Cowboy poet, Waddie Mitchell talks about his early days as a working cowboy, attending the very first Ray Hunt clinic, and reads a brand new poem.
Dec 28, 2016