Last November, if you were lucky enough (and I was) to catch the Wordfest program with Ian Tyson, you learned that our favourite cowboy was an art school graduate. That was before he broke his leg and picked up the guitar.
The program featured a relaxed conversation between Tyson and Corb Lund – his protégé. They discussed wide-ranging influences like Western legends, Will James and Charlie Russell, as well as the song-writing process.
Along with his renowned musical career, Tyson is an expert at training cutting horses and an environmentalist, determined to preserve the integrity of Alberta ranchlands.
Tyson’s biography is an engaging read that explores the trails of personal, musical and ranch life. He’s happy to kiss and tell and speaks fondly of the women in his life.
As you would expect, the library has a generous collection of Tyson CDs, from his early folkie days with Sylvia to his classic Cowboyography.
Tyson and Lund are among the many performers featured on the new release 35 years of Stony Plain: Canada's roots, rock, folk, country and blues label. It’s on order for the collection and I have my name on the list.
Shooting Cowboys is the clever title by Brock V. Silversides that tracks the changing image of the Canadian cowboy over 90 years. He takes a look at working cowboys, rodeo cowboys, cowboy entertainers and cowboy poseurs. Think we might see a few of those this week.
Dale Auger was a renowned artist from the Bigstone Cree Nation in northern Alberta. “Dale produced visually stunning, provocative paintings that captured the attention and imagination or art collectors around the world”. That’s a quote from the jacket and I couldn’t think of better words. A few hours spent with the work shown in Medicine Paint are hours very well spent.
Dale’s daughter, Neepin Auger, is also a painter who had a recent show at the Bluerock Gallery (formerly Terra Cotta Gallery) in Black Diamond. This gallery that shows the work of more than 100 Alberta artists is a great excuse to hit the Cowboy Trail this summer.
Cowboy biographies, music and photography - and art infused with the spirit of native culture - my happy trails are meandering.