The Texas-based cowboy singer, poet, and storyteller shares the title track of his forthcoming album.
Before you read any further: I want to introduce you to Andy Hedges with a little video. My own words can’t do the guy justice until you’ve enjoyed his stress-killing cowboy vibes with your own eyes and ears. Hit play below to watch his campfire-adjacent performance of S. Omar Barker’s “Into the West”:
Did that lower your blood pressure? Are you calmer and open to hearing more music? Good: Hedges has a way about him, doesn’t he? Whether it’s his own words or those of fellow cowboy poets, his delivery of lyrics and his guitar-pickin’ style evoke a certain gentleness and respect for surroundings. That’s no accident: Hedges spends a lot of time and effort honing his performance craft, whether it’s appearing at cowboy poetry events, taking concert stages, or talking about Western arts and culture in his popular podcast, “Cowboy Crossroads.”
About his new song and album: Raised in a small town close to Lubbock by a mom who taught school and a preacher dad who’d once been a rodeo cowboy, Hedges has pursued music and poetry about the Western way since he fell in love with the lifestyle as a kid listening to Dad's tapes. Now in Lubbock proper with his wife and three kids, the singer is getting ready to release his next album, Shadow of a Cowboy, on April 16.
The album’s title track is just as you’d imagine: a lonesome, poetic ode to the legacy of those who tend to the land and the cattle. The imagery in the song, written by Tucker Zimmerman, is powerful on its own, but Hedges’ lived-in singing voice and the light harmonies of his wife, Alissa, bring the ideal sonic moodiness and an air of reflection into the mix. Listen below:
In the artist’s own words: Says Hedges, “‘I knew of [songwriter] Tucker Zimmerman because of his connection to Derroll Adams, who played banjo with Ramblin' Jack Elliott in the 1950s. Tucker wrote a song called ‘Oregon’ that Derroll Adams used to sing. I also recorded ‘Oregon’ for this [album], and when I reached out to Tucker about that song, he sent me a recording of ‘Shadow of a Cowboy.’ I fell in love with the song and decided to record it as well. I played the song live for the first time in Elko this past January at the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering. After the response the song received there, I knew it should be the title track of the record.”