Call of the Cowboy

Don Edwards made it his mission to research and preserve the background of traditional folk music. Along the way, his unique style struck a chord with audiences worldwide, and his lyrics became the voice of the American cowboy.
Sitting on a stage at Western Jubilee Recording Studio with his guitar and a dim spotlight casting a warm glow, Grammy-nominated recording artist Don Edwards feels at home. Tucked at the dead end of a side street in downtown Colorado Springs, Colorado, the converted Santa Fe Railroad warehouse isn't an elaborate auditorium. Patchwork quilts serve as a backdrop and buffer the sound studio, and the walls are cluttered with vintage instruments and an eclectic assortment of memorabilia. The screaming whistles of passing trains frequently provide background harmony.

The venue is a far cry from the high-tech recording studios in Nashville, but it's the type of milieu that suits Don's music best.

"My music isn't arena music," he says. "Rather than having thousands of screaming people in the audience, I'd rather have a hundred quality listeners. The sound here is pure and natural, not sterile. That's how cowboy music should sound."

Just like his music and the studio in which he's about to perform, Edwards shows no signs of superficiality.

"What you see is what you get," says longtime friend and cowboy poet Waddie Mitchell. "He's still the most humble guy I know. If you're his friend, you're always his friend."

To read the complete story, pick up the June 2007 Issue of Western Horseman.