STONY PLAIN – A celebrated cowboy artist and musician is making his way back to Stony Plain this weekend for the first time in ten years. Ben Crane had been a feature of the Stony Plain Cowboy Music, Poetry & Art Festival since its humble beginnings.
Crane’s artwork is featured predominately on the Leanin Tree’ line of greeting cards most commonly sold throughout Canadian western stores. Art is where he first started out on the cowboy circuit before the music took over.
But music had always been a family trait for Crane.
“I cut my teeth on music,” he said.
“My daddy was quite a guitar player. He would chunk out these old jazz and country chords on a 1932 Arch top Gibson. I was just a pup so I grabbed another guitar and started doing some leads, fills, noodling around. And that’s how it started.”
Crane recently released his eighth music album and is busy playing rural venues across the prairies.
Raised on a ranch in Southern Alberta, he now lives near the same area with his wife and children on a home quarter section of land overlooking rolling hills filled with cattle.
Nowadays there’s not much time to commit to ranch life because the music keeps him so busy.
“But my neck is about as red as you can get it.”
He said he believes in helping to keep the cowboy tradition and lifestyle alive in today’s modern world.
“The thing that worries me the most is how people don’t have a clue even where their food comes from. They don’t have a clue where a steak comes from or an egg, milk or anything.”
In his spare time he enjoys reading and is currently finishing up a book called “Log of a Cowboy”. It’s a journal of a cowboy from the 1800s that tells the story of delivering cattle from the Rio Grande, through Texas and up North through to Montana.
“It’s amazing to see what they went through and how things were. Not according to Hollywood but according to the guys that lived it. That’s the thing that’s important to me is when people talk about cowboying and ranching- it’s important to me that they understand what really happened,” he ended.
Crane is looking forward to re-connecting with old friends at the festival and will perform at various times all weekend long.
To see a schedule of events go to www.stonyplaincowboypoetry.com
Source: Spruce Grove Examiner