NOTES ON SONGS:
Spirit Buffalo (Markstrom)
This song has a mystical quality to it in lyrics and music. The story is told primarily from the perspective of buffalo about their relationship with tribes in the Great Plains and what occurred when newcomers came into the land. Spirit Buffalo was inspired by a friend’s experience.
Jefford’s Secret (Markstrom)
The friendship between Cochise and Army Scout/Indian Agent Thomas Jeffords is told by Apaches and Anglos alike. Their alliance speaks to surmounting cross-cultural barriers and finding humanity in the enemy. As is alluded to in the song, Cochise’s body is still safely hidden in the Dragoon Mountains in Arizona.
Starry Night (Markstrom)/Silver on the Sage (Rainger/Robin)
This song was inspired by Mae Camp whose life has been dedicated to Western music. I was captivated by the image of Mae as a teenage girl singing to her horse out under the stars. Mae especially talked of Silver on the Sage so that song became embedded within Mae’s story told in Starry Night.
Old Nevada Moon (Penny/Montana)
I wanted to include a Patsy Montana song on this album and was drawn to this one because of its catchy tune and lyrics that resonate with my love of the outdoors—just being out there under the Western night sky—“sprinkle me with desert stardust!”
Many would like to know more about this amazing Apache female warrior of the late 19th century. The lyrics were based on stories of Lozen told by Apaches. Thanks to Rick Sale who suggested a lyric from this song for the title of the CD.
Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door (Dylan)
Written and sung by Bob Dylan, this song is played during a scene in “Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid.” Jim Jones and I began singing it together at the Western Writers of America jam sessions. His contributions to this recording are very apparent.
Roger Dale (Markstrom)
Roger Dale “Chuck” was the son of my dear friends, the Preston family, from the San Carlos Apache Tribe. Chuck was an accomplished team roper. Chuck has since passed on, but his life stories carry on and inspired this upbeat song.
Ride On (Markstrom)
I always feel a little let-down after watching a “ride on” type western film which ends with the cliché of the hero riding off alone into the sunset after accomplishing good deeds for others. This song probes into the “why” he must stay on his endless ride.
Snow is on the Aspen (Markstrom/Maynard)
The mountains of Southwest Colorado are the location I envisioned as the setting for this mournful love song. It covers the year in the life of a relationship between star-crossed lovers separated by a harsh winter. Thanks to Seth Maynard for bringing his creative talents to this song.
Peace and Love (Markstrom)
Abilene Texas is the setting for this light-hearted love song about destiny’s determination to hitch a grounded cowboy and a free-spirited young woman. The song perhaps reveals something about me—the flower child within who loves the West. Listen for the nods to the 1960’s in the lyrics and music.
Tucson Twilight (Markstrom)
The lyrics came to me during a quiet moment of prayer and reflection while surrounded by the luminosity of an Arizona sunset. The sentiment of “Beauty all around me” is found in various faith traditions but I reference Navajo culture in this song because of personal experience. Special thanks to Emerson Farley from the Navajo Nation for his kind and supportive words after listening to the song.