Long days in the saddle, sleeping under the stars, and sitting by the campfire are as much a part of being a cowboy as the boots and hat. Just as big a part of the cowboy life is singing, which the musical group Cool Waters will be doing in style at the Community Arts Center next weekend.
Cool Waters formed in 2004 at a church fish-fry when Jim Blasdell teamed up with Mike Grimes and Darrell Ingram, men who knew each other but had never played together before. The harmonies of their voices and instruments inspired them to keep playing long after the event, and to explore the quintessential element of American culture: the cowboy.
“We realized that nobody does cowboy music,” said Blasdell. “There’s country, bluegrass and gospel out there, but who’s celebrating the cowboy?”
Blasdell, a Houston, Texas, native, was born and raised with cowboy music, making the stylistic choice a no-brainer. The major influences on the group include the “block harmony” singing styles of Roy Rogers, Bob Nolen and The Sons of the Pioneers, Gene Autry, Marty Robbins, Riders in the Sky, Riders of the Purple Sage, and The Sons of the San Joaquin.
The performance is slated for 7 p.m. Saturday. The show revolves around the theme of the cowboy, with each band member contributing his own unique personality and flair to parts of each song. Blasdell stresses the concert is “a musical play, full of good clean fun. It’s perfect for children and families, especially because we have so many opportunities for audience participation.”
Attendees are encouraged to come in costume and be prepared to be part of the show.
The group will perform a variety of songs, including its namesake, “Cool Water,” and “Tumbling Tumbleweeds,” both by Bob Nolan. For Blasdell, these songs are essential because Nolan is considered the grandfather of all cowboy music, writing more than 1,400 songs throughout his lifetime and founding the Sons of the Pioneers, an influential cowboy music group.
Blasdell enthusiastically noted Cool Waters is not a bluegrass or country band, saying, “We do Texas Cowgrass Music. It’s a Texas thing!”
IF YOU GO
Cool Waters presents: “Why Does the Cowboy Sing? A Musical Ride Down Memory Trail”
7 p.m. Saturday
Community Arts Center
Cost: $12/adults, $8/children 18 and under
6-8 p.m. today
Danville Independent Methodist Church, corner
of Third and Broadway, across from Boyle
County Public Library
First time is free
presents: “Wild West!”
Through March 30
Community Arts Center
Hours: 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Wednesday through Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, 1-5 p.m. Sunday. Visit www.community
artscenter.net for school field trip reservations, to enter a
coloring contest, play Wild West flash games, and more.