Roll On, Cowboys

Roll On, Cowboys

Those of us who already know something of Cowboy ways, who know the antidote to “civilization” is on the prairie around a campfire, will cozy up to Roll On, Cowboys like a trusty old bedroll. This cowboy variety show serves up a delightful campfire stew of strumming, singing, poetry, and back-slapping tall tales spiced with snippets told from the heart from the likes of host Red Steagall (1997 Western Heritage Award for Original Music,) award winning songwriter Bob Campbell (Will Rogers Award for 1997 Song/Songwriter of the Year,) balladeer Bob Sawyer, poets Tater Paschal and T. L. Thompson, and musical camp cooks Fran and Bob Hedrick. The love of the old west is carried on every note and word of the show.

Filmed around a campfire at a recent John A. Lomax gathering in Bosque County, Texas, Roll On, Cowboys will fortify the already cowboy-at-heart like a cup of black camp coffee.  But it holds even greater promise. It offers the uninitiated a glimpse into the rich cowboy past and present.  Roll On, Cowboys offers a bridge from the sport-and-fashion West into the real thing by way of Cowboy song and rhyme. And barring signing on as a ranch hand, that’s as close to the cowboy heart as it gets.

Roll On, Cowboys breaks into song less than a minute into the show and keeps on rolling. Yet the show captures the whoa boy, cowboy pace that is perhaps the trail’s hardest lesson for contemporary westerners to learn. Bring somebody you love, but who doesn’t yet love cowboy ways, to watch Roll On, Cowboys and don’t get caught in the “wire.” Review by Doug Cosper

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Produced by Steven Dickey Arnold

Photos by Steven Douglas Arnold

Music by Emily Elbert

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