Even if you’re a million miles away from the American West, you can still get there for a few minutes by popping in a Dave Stamey CD. The latest work from the Western Music Association award recipient takes you on an adventure to the far flung corners of the West, from the distant past to the present day, with all kinds of compelling stops along the way.
Come Ride With Me puts you right in the saddle from the start with a title track that kicks the CD into a lope as Dave takes us for a most enjoyable ride. This cowboy doesn’t make up stories or songs as much as he simply takes the listener where he’s spent his life. No one can make you smell the leather, hear the hoof beats, or capture the pure, plain, laugh-out-loud fun of a ride like Mr. Stamey. Accompanied by an expertly played Taylor guitar seasoned with a dash of fiddle and some mood setting piano, Dave’s writing is as authentic as the West itself.
But Stamey’s view of the West is not confined to the wide-open spaces. We see California’s historic Missions through the eyes of the Indians they were built to both convert and conquer. There is Dave’s trademark humor in a tune about tobacco chewin’ bull riders a few rides past their prime. We meet a descendant of Geronimo alongside an Arizona highway, and go inside a Montana junior high school of the 1970s, where a young cowboy had a crush on a pretty Crow Indian girl. We even visit Tonopah, Nev. in the 1950s, where a singer named Ruby once captivated the crowds in the mining town’s heyday.
But to me, Dave’s at his best when he’s horseback, riding the high Sierra, the desert trails, or kicking up dust on a dirt road miles from nowhere. “See the horses in the mornin’ when the air is soft and gold,��� he sings in the song “Dusty Road.” “If they wanna find me they can find me … on a dusty road.”—Mark Bedor
Come Ride With Me
Horsecamp Music (2009)