This week we have the Wild West Club Fest going on, and to celebrate the themed event, I’ve gathered some nice tunes that depict life in the wild, wild west. Now some of these songs have vague representations of the area, but they make up for it with style that goes with the tall boots and spurs. I challenge you to a draw.
“Doolin Dalton”- The Eagles
This charmer is a slow tune off of The Eagles’ great album, “Desperado.” The song starts off with a swooning harmonica that sets the mood as we get back in the saddle to ride into the technicolor sky. Don Henley’s soulful voice kicks in and sings about the trials of Bill Dalton, and Glenn Frey picks up the end vocals. “Better keep on movin’, Doolin’ Dalton/ ‘Til your shadow sets you free/ If you’re fast, and if you’re lucky/ You will never see that hangin’ tree.” Dalton stopped working the life of hard labor and decided to leave the stir-crazy town to make something better of his life. Nice song choice for a car ride down the interstate.
“Wild West Hero”- ELO
This piano-heavy tune is an odd gem from the symphonic rock group. The song’s chorus chants, “Ride the range all the day ‘til the first fading light/ Be with my western girl ‘round the fire, oh, so bright/ I’d be the Indians’ friend, let them live to be free/ Ridin’ into the sunset, I wish I could be.” This is the dream of the band’s vocalist as he looks to the skies. The song starts like a slow Elton John song but then blasts off with thunderous drums as strings and harmonies swoon in the background. The pianist and guitarist commence in a quick duel midway through the tune as they show off their musical chops.
“La Grange”- ZZ Top
The Texas trio’s signature track offers so much in terms of style. The southern guitar runs will get you slappin’ your knee and snappin’ your fingers as you sway your hips to the groove. The song discusses a nice, little bordello outside La Grange, Texas, which was later revealed to be called “The Chicken Ranch.” The vocalist sings, “Just let me know if you wanna go/ To that home out on the range/ They got a lot of nice girls there.” It’s a great song to rock out to after slinging back a few shots of José Cuervo.
“Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys” – Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson
“Cowboys ain’t easy to love, and they’re harder to hold/ They’d rather give you a song than diamonds or gold.” This is the dilemma about which Jennings and Nelson sing on this soothing 1978 country track. The two singers warn moms around the country to make sure their children stay away from the leather boots and guitars and pick a more respectable profession such as a doctor or lawyer. Jennings’ vocals soar while Nelson gives his signature twang to give a nice melding of two country greats.
“Billy the Kid”- Marty Robbins
Some outlaws start young like Billy the Kid. The song tells the story of how Bill became a feared young outlaw who traveled to the West and killed his first man at age 12. Marty Robbins sings about the infamy that came for Billy, “There’s Mexican maidens play guitars and sing songs about Billy, their boy bandit king.” Poor Billy eventually meets his demise by the traitorous hand of Pat Garrett. The Spanish guitar beautifully spans across the song in small sprinkles that accentuate the story as it unfolds.