Triple Played: Music memories from the ranch play out on my Cabin Songs 2
My sister-in-law Kari and her husband Todd moved to Buena Vista a few years ago after raising two children and retiring from their careers in Denver.
After our first visit there I decided to burn a CD for them and called it Cabin Songs. These were and are songs that make me think of the ranch between the east and west fork of Muddy Creek on the east side of Grand Mesa, a ranch that has been part of my family since my grandfather and grandmother Spadafora settled there in 1929.
With no television, we either listened to the radio or records. My grandmother had a record player she would set up on the roll-top desk and play Jim Reeves, Johnny Cash and Chet Atkins, to name a few. This led me to country-rock that always has been my preference when I am in the mountains. Some call it country and some call it rock, but it is based in acoustic instrumentation and great vocals.
My original Cabin Songs CD, which I described in an past column, contained more contemporary artists such as Guy Clark, Kevin Welch, Sam Bush and Robert Earl Keen.
Now that Todd and Kari’s oldest child, Justin, is marrying his soulmate, Sydney, in September, I thought it was a perfect time for Cabin Songs 2, but actually a prequel, with songs from the musicians of the 1960s and ‘70s that inspired me to listen to the artists whose music makes up the first CD. I have listened to all of them at the ranch in the past 30 years.
Cabin Songs 2 opens with “Long Way Home” (Live in the Country)” from the late Dan Fogelberg’s debut LP, “Home Free.” Fogelberg, a family favorite, has two songs on the disc.
Pure Prairie League is next with “Early Morning Riser” from “Bustin’ Out.” Pure Prairie League also gets two songs on the disc, the second comes later.
Gordon Lightfoot’s beautiful “Lazy Morning” is followed by the Ozark Mountain Daredevils’ uplifting “You Made It Right.”
“Song in the Breeze,” from the Outlaws’ outstanding 1975 self-titled debut, is followed by America with “Riverside” from its self-titled first record. America’s first two records have incredible acoustic guitar driven country rock masterpieces from the early 1970s.
Two of my wife Kenda’s favorite artists are next with “Boy From the Country” from Michael Martin Murphey and Poco’s “Ride the Country.”
Marshall Tucker Band’s fishing classic “Bob Away My Blues” follows.
The second half of the disc starts with another favorite of Kenda’s, “Ripplin’ Waters” from the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band.
Herb Pedersen’s the “Hey Boys” is followed by the Rick Roberts’ penned “Colorado” from the Flying Burrito Brothers’ self-titled 1971 recording.
Fogelberg’s second song “High Country Snows” is followed by the Amazing Rhythm Aces classic about Colorado called “Out Of the Snow.”
Dillard and Clark’s “With Care From Someone” from the all-time country-rock classic “Fantastic Expedition” from 1969 is next.
“Incommunicado” from Jimmy Buffett ensues with these lines: “On the day that John Wayne died / I found myself on the Continental Divide. Tell me where do we go from here / Think I’ll ride into Leadville and have a few beers.”
My grandfather passed away the same year as John Wayne and I found it ironic because my grandfather lived with the integrity that Wayne portrayed.
Cabin Songs 2 closes with Neil Young’s “Get Back to the Country” and Pure Prairie League’s “Two Lane Highway,” which is the only way to get to the ranch on the Muddy and, coincidentally, Buena Vista.