ROBERT DENNIS - Busted Rowels

ROBERT DENNIS - Busted Rowels
Spring Dance - Beyond Alone - Real Western Mornin' - Cowhand - Coy - 'Tween My Horse's Ears - Calvin' Blues - Loveswar - Wet Sortin' -  Revel in the Journey
     I believe what we have in Robert Dennis is a 'real' cowboy.  He makes his home in South Dakota, and the photos on his CD show him on horseback (at least three different steeds), riding the range, and certainly working the ranch.  Of the ten songs on this CD, six are his own originals.  The other four he co-wrote with some of his cowboy poet friends.  What Robert Dennis does, is take some excellent cowboy poetry and brace it together with some fine old-time guitar focused western melodies. 
     I've always liked the cowboy approach to music, mostly because of its honesty.  Today though, at least with the Western Music Association, you'd best have lots of money to even get 'mentioned' in their very slick, over-produced, over-colored, magazine.  Not a place where I would expect to see Robert Dennis, but I do see him working on the ranch, spending off hours with like-minded friends, swapping stories, songs, tales and details, without all the hullabaloo created around many in show business today.
     Not a lot of instrumentation on this CD, mostly acoustic guitar which I believe Robert is playing, and he allows it to bring his voice forward so we can hear the 'entire' story as he relates 'life on the prairie.'  This is what is so great about today's cowboy and western music makers.  We just had Michael Martin Murphey at our festival in LeMars, Iowa in 2012, and just him, his guitar, and his little daughter's fiddle, absolutely magnetized the audience.  The proverbial 'he had them in the palm of his hand' held more than true at that performance.  Robert Dennis has that same mild appealing ability.  I believe we will have Michael Martin back in LeMars in 2013, and we'd like to extend an invitation to Robert Dennis to come be with us too.
     A 'picture in my memory' is simply one of the many very small poetic images Robert creates throughout this entire CD.  All of his 'memories' become the basis for an entertaining and pleasantly beautiful portrayal of another time, and certainly a different lifestyle from what most urban folks experience today.  He has a nice easy-going voice, attuned to the songs and the poetry he has created.
     I'm going to forward this CD to the Rural Roots Music Commission for 'Western CD of the Year" and see what happens.  Much continued success to Robert Dennis.
Bob Everhart, Reviewer

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