Music intertwines and links the heroic historical verse and epic narrative structure of my trilogy A Ballad of the West. From the beginning of the concept, however, the songs were written to stand alone as unique, contemporary musical works. Music was the reason for bringing the legendary Lost Gonzo Band into the project from the very beginning. Of course in those days, they weren't "legendary"; they were simply new friends who happened to be great musicians. The original group, Gary P. Nunn, Bob Livingston, John Inmon and Donnie Dolan helped me record the first demos of Part One, Seekers of the Fleece in 1972 in engineer Jim Inmon's bedroom studio at the Austin house we called the "Hill On The Moon". The same team reunited in Colorado with the late beloved character actor, Slim Pickens, in 1975 to create the master recording of "Seekers". In the Spring of 2002 John and Jim Inmon and Bob Livingston went into the studio again with me to record parts Two and Three, Pahaska and Lakota. Paul Pearcy, Richard Bowden, Bob Meyers, and George Carver joined us in the process.

So it is with great satisfaction - and a very deep and appreciative bow to these talented, generous and spirited musicians- that I write liner notes to accompany the collection of songs on this compact disc. I hope separating these songs from the masterwork will free them to be appreciated simply as music, yet I hope they will simultaneously attract the curious listener to the broader, more intricately layered historical narrative presented in the four disc recordings of my complete epic trilogy. With these purposes in mind, I selected songs that present the poetic and musical essence of each unique part of A Ballad of the West. In order to stay true to the concept of allowing the songs to be appreciated on their individual merit, however, I have sequenced the songs musically rather than historically.

  1. Sundance***
  2. Red Cloud***
  3. Dime Novels**
  4. Lakota***
  5. Rendezvous*
  6. The Rainbow Trail**
  7. Permanent Change***
    (Crazy Horse's Song)
  8. The Cycle Song**
    (Pahaska Had A Good Heart)
  9. One Perfect Moment**
  10. I Had A Vision*
  11. Buffalo***
  12. Is The Darkness Only Searching For The Light?***
  13. People Carry On*
  14. Destiny**
  15. Free My Spirit, 'Fore My Spirit's Dead*

*from Part One:

Seekers of the Fleece

Seekers of the Fleece presents the life story of premiere American mountain man Jim Bridger and the Fur Trade Era. Beginning with Bridger's historic ascension of the Missouri River with the Ashley-Henry Expedition in 1822, Seekers of the Fleece musically dramatized the adventures of the initial interactions between European and Native American people as well as the beginnings of the Emigration Era and the Indian Wars Era. recorded at Denver Sound Studios, Aurora, Colorado, July 17-25, 1975

Produced by John and Jim Inmon and Bobby Bridger
Engineered by Jim Inmon
Mastered by Jerry Tubb, Terra Nova Digital Audio, Austin, Texas

The Players
John Inmon: 6 and 12 string acoustic guitars, bass, banjo, dulcimer, mandolin, autoharp and flute.
Bob Livingston: piano, bass, mandolin, dulcimer, and jaw harp.
Gary P. Nunn: piano and fiddle.
Donnie Dolan: drums and percussion.
Bobby Bridger: lead vocals, 6 and 12 string guitars.
John Inmon, Bob Livingston, Gary P. Nunn and Bobby Bridger: background vocals
John Inmon, Bob Livingston, Gary P. Nunn, Ramblin' Jack Elliot, Big Mike Williams, John Charles Quarto, Michael Burton, Jennifer and Jeffrey Johnson, Kenny Inmon, and Bobby Bridger are the "mountain man choir".

@1975, White Coyote Music, ASCAP, POB 49301, Austin, Texas 78765
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

**From Part Two:

Pahaska

Pahaska is the ballad of "Buffalo Bill". Beginning with William F. Cody's birth in 1846 during the Emigration Era, Pahaska (Cody's Lakota name, meaning "long hair") chronicles Buffalo Bill's adventurous boyhood on the Great Plains, his career as a Pony Express rider, buffalo hunter, scout,, and showman, and his rise to global celebrity with the creation of the "Wild West".

Recorded at Hill On The Moon Studios, Austin, Texas, March/April, 1999 & April 4-6, 2000
Produced by Bobby Bridger
Engineered by Big John Main and Jim Inmon
Mastered by Jerry Tubb, Terra Nova Digital Audio, Austin, Texas

The Players
John Inmon: 6 string acoustic and electric guitars.
Bob Livingston: bass
Paul Pearcy: drums and percussion
Richard Bowden: fiddle
Bob Meyers: trumpet
George Carver: bass harmonica
Bob Livingston and Bobby Bridger: Background vocals.
The Porcupine Singers: traditional Lakota Songs*
Bobby Bridger: narration, lead vocals, 6 and 12 string guitars

* from the compact disc, Traditional Lakota Songs, by the Porcupine Singers on Canyon Records. Used by permission.
@ 1996, White Coyote Music, ASCAP,POB 49301, Austin, Texas 78765
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

***From Part Three

Lakota

Lakota begins with the meeting of Nebraska poet, John Neihardt and the Lakota Holy Man, Black Elk, in South Dakota in 1931. A "telling of a telling of a telling", Lakota musically and dramatically presents Black Elk's recollections to Neihardt of the Indian Wars (1860-1890), Red Cloud and the Fetterman Massacre, the Battle of Little Big Horn, the deaths of Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull, Lakota travels with Buffalo Bill's Wild West and the Wounded Knee Massacre.

Recorded at Hill On The Moon Studios, Austin, Texas
March 18-19, 2000 & April 4-6, 2000
Produced by Bobby Bridger
Engineered by Jim Inmon
Mastered by Jerry Tubbs at Terra Nova Digital Audio, Austin, Texas

The Players John Inmon: 6 string acoustic and electric guitars
Bob Livingston: bass
Paul Pearcy: drums and percussion
Richard Bowden: fiddle
Bob Livingston and Bobby Bridger: background vocals
The Porcupine Singers: Traditional Lakota Songs*
Bobby Bridger: narration, lead vocals, 6 and 12 string guitars, Lakota courting flute, and Eaglebone Whistle

*from the compact disc, Traditional Lakota Songs, by the Porcupine Singers on Canyon Records. Used by permission.
@1975 Bobby Bridger, White Coyote Music, ASCAP, POB 49301 Austin, TX 78765
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

A Ballad of the West

A Ballad of the West is inherently a multi-media performance piece which should be seen, heard and read in order to ensure a complete experience. My intent in creating the epic trilogy has been to synthesize poetic, musical, graphic and historical narratives into a unique, comprehensive artistic creation. I have performed various configurations of the trilogy as one-man shows for over thirty years all over the world. From 1988-1995, often with up to 26 artists, Part One, Seekers of the Fleece, was performed as a full-company musical all over the state of Wyoming. Aside from the live performances, however, one of the reasons A Ballad of the West has taken over three decades to produce in its entirety is because of the difficulty in presenting all of the various narratives together as a unified work. The poetic and musical narratives were first published in Four Winds Magazine in1980 with a graphic narrative featuring the watercolors of the only painter to capture images of the mountain men, Alfred Jacob Miller. The Four Winds publication led to the publication of a hard-back edition of poetic and musical narratives in 1982. In 1993 a paperback edition of these narratives were published. Of course, these various publications presented the poetic and musical lyrics, but, with no recordings of the narratives available, the epic trilogy could be read but not heard. Finally, in December, 2000, Golden Egg Records released a deluxe, four-disc set of the recordings of all three parts of A Ballad of the West.

www.bobbybridger.com

The release of the four-disc set of A Ballad of the West presented me with a problem: The spacial constraints of a CD pamphlet made it impossible to even consider printing the complete lyrics of the work. The solution to the problem can be found at www.bobbybridger.com. There, I have created a consolidation of the poetic, musical, historical and graphic narratives of A Ballad of the West. Visitors to the website can either download lyric sheets to accompany this compact disc, or simply read the lyrics while listening to the music. And please keep in mind, www.bbridger.com is not a static publication; instead, it is constantly evolving with my career.

 

 

 

 

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2013 HOT News

New Bridger Recording
the news is here

Bridger interviewed and performs for documentary film to be part of an exhibition at the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian.
Find out more here.

Bobby's Calendar is Updated for 2013
show dates here

Bridger's song, 'The Horse and the Man' used in new documentary film
check out the film site

Bridger is Centenary College of Louisiana's resident "Attaway Fellow" for the fall, 2013 semester. learn more

Bridger hangs two exhibition paintings at the Dixie Theater in Ruston, Louisiana and at Centenary College of Louisiana in Shreveport. learn more