J Parson / Gary S. Pratt

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The Eyes of a Cowboy

J Parson

As I write this, J Parson is entertaining some of the best-known horsemen in the world at the first-ever Horseman’s Reunion in Paso Robles, California. He’s well-respected in that world and his good friend Chris Cox wanted to be sure J was there.

“I don’t just sing cowboy songs, I like to sing songs real cowboys like to listen to,” says this rancher, horseman, singer and songwriter.

His latest recording project, The Eyes of a Cowboy has 12 tracks and it’s pretty easy to listen to. The songs are all original and subject matter runs from drifting cowboys with no more to their name than a saddle and guitar to glorious days riding the ranges of the West. J’s voice is clear and pleasant and the arrangements are clean and uncluttered. The first track to make The Spirit of the West playlist was He Wore a Blue Bandanna, a song I’m trying to learn. It captures exactly what the soul of cowboy culture is all about. Other tracks that caught my ear immediately were Bridgeport, Blue Mountain Home and the song he wrote for Chris Cox, Ride the Journey.

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The Other Side

Gary S. Pratt

Gary Pratt is the sure-enough real deal. He’s currently managing ranching operations for the Chickasaw Nation in South Central Oklahoma. His voice is what comes through first; expressive, commanding, and comfortable. The next thing you notice are the lyrics of his songs. Before you know it you’re drawn into the stories.

The arrangements are pleasing and tasteful with fiddle, steel and a good lead and rhythm guitar. Most of the tracks have a drum track, a rarity in pure Western music. The music that makes The Spirit of the West playlist is very carefully selected, but several songs on this one meet my checklist for airplay. The Other Side, Joe Cowboy and American Cowboys for sure. The final track is one of the best songs I’ve listened to this year. Gary wrote Trail End for a short but terrific movie starring Barry Corbin.

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