Like a lot of songwriters and authors, I was a fan of music and books long before I started creating my own work.  Every so often, I run into some stuff that I think is just top shelf and I wanted to share some of that with you.  Mike Blakely is a singer/songwriter AND an author (hmmm, that sounds familiar) and he is outstanding in both fields.  His latest album, The Outside Circle, is a wonderful collection of Western music, all of which he wrote or co-wrote except for his lovely rendition of the classic, The Colorado Trail.  Every song is a keeper but I particularly like The Outside Circle (title cut), Don’t Ever Sell Your Saddle, and the haunting The Ballad of Josiah Willbarger.  The album was produced by Texas songwriting icon, Walt Wilkins and Ron Flynt in Austin.  If you like great acoustic story songs, you’ll love this album and you don’t even have to be a cowboy to appreciate it.

My second recommendation today is the book Small Moving Parts by author D B Jackson.  Set in southwest Texas, it’s a barn burner from the get go.  It’s set in Texas in 1958 and it tells a fascinating and unique story about the friendship between two hard luck cowboys, one at the end of his life and the other a teenager.  It’s such a unique story that I don’t want to say too much about it but it’s got all the action you could want in a Western novel presented in a highly unusual and engaging manner.

I’ll put links for both these guys down below and I would encourage you to check out their work.  Oh and by the way, I have a few books and CDs myself which you can take a look at here on my website.

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