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Alright hold it, you may say! How the heck can so many fine musical acts live and work in a state the size of New Mexico and still know little or nothing of each other . . . and how could the public at large have missed ‘em!?! Well maybe the same way Bigfoot apparently lives in northern California and for very much the same reason: sometimes you can’t see the “foragers” for the trees!

In New Mexico’s case it’s the miles. Here we have one major but isolated population corridor stretching along the Rio Grande’s north central portion with lots of Indian land, ranch land and widely scattered self-contained rural and agricultural communities. But here we also find a curious creative wellspring that per capita spawns more artists in all media than does any other part of the world! The topography has encouraged New Mexico’s music artists to grow “modularly” (with outside stylistic influences to be sure), shaping their own fan bases and individual takes on Western Music and its honky-tonkier cousin Western Swing, a style that has remained intact since the earliest days of Bob Wills, Adolph Hofner, Milton Brown and so on.

Incorporating other musical forms into Western is still being “true” to Western, defined as the music of and about the West past and present…its people, land, traditions and all pursuits of the cowboy. Irish and English ballads, Cajun and Blues, Mexican and even Hawaiian music have splashed their colors onto the palette of Western. It’s a 300-year-old work in progress!!

The contemporary staying power and lasting value of Western Music is proven. It flourishes with minimal radio airplay and little coordinated promotional assistance. It has too long gone unrecognized as an “official musical genre” by the professional monitoring organizations. Yet Western and Western Swing are the music mainstays of many of the artists who you’ll discover (and who have discovered each other for the first time) through this album project.

So, on with the show! Welcome Western Music fans and curiosity seekers alike! And welcome performers! It’s our privilege and pleasure to give up the “big secret” of your existence!

Rick Huff and Mary Ryland
December, 2004