Cowboy Music’s Joe Walus by Cindy K. Roberts(as published in November 2005 Central States Horseman)
Wyoming High Country Trail Ride’s entertainment in the Big Horn Mountains this year was Cowboy Music’s very own Joe Walus. Entertainment on a trail ride isn’t like Las Vegas where your name is chiseled in the bright lights with your limo service awaiting…it’s Cowboy Music that you find only on the prairie. In lieu of valet parking for your horse, hobble your mule, find a seat under the big top tent and listen to the greatest sound of folk guitar and mandolin strings under the western starlit sky.I saw Joe Walus perform in the nighttime wilderness on top of a Wyoming mountain. The twinkling stars accompanied a crisp, cool night with mule deer grazing in the lower meadow . A distant howling coyote was just the perfect setting for listening to Cowboy Music. Songs from his latest CD “Ride Into The Past” were shared and to witness Joe’s performance made you feel like little cowboys and cowgirls all over again. Songs such as Old Paint, Streets Of Laredo, Cowboy Jack and Big Texas Moon were so convincing to the cowboy soul that you wouldn’t take your boots off. Not ever. I had the opportunity to talk with Joe and he set me straight on what Cowboy Music is all about. Cowboy Music (also known as Western) is what Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, and the Sons of the Pioneers introduced to the entertainment level of the music industry. It is songs produced for the American cowboy, songs about the open range, coyotes howlin’ under the western sky, ridin’ for the brand, wild horses, outlaws,
gunfights, the old saddle in the barn…got it? Not to be confused with Country music, which is something like “my wife ran off with my dog and pickup truck while I was drunk visiting my mom in prison”. Recording artists Don Edwards and Michael Martin Murphy have helped shape Cowboy Music in today’s modern world and as Joe puts it, “I heard Don Edwards sing one time and that was it, I was hooked on Cowboy Music.” Joe Walus’ childhood consisted of watching every Bonanza episode and Roy Rogers film along with doing his homework and chores after school. Joe picked up the guitar at the young age of 14 and his parents couldn’t pry it away from his fingers ever since. Joe had this deep passion to be a cowboy and now he’s living that dream. Living in Wisconsin with his wife Pam and their two American Quarter Horses Dude and Dusty assures Joe that Cowboy Music is where his heart is. “It’s about values and the American way.” Joe’s horse “Dude” is accustomed to having a guitar being played while he’s saddled and walking along a moon light night. Pam helps Joe write his songs and accompanies him on the road. She also sings backup and helps Joe produce his cds from their in home recording studio. His first CD “Singin’ In The Saddle” was released in 2003. Joe is on the road performing at lodges and trail rides and assures me he doesn’t work in the kitchen frying fish to support his Cowboy Music habit. (If he did, I’d be certain to get a good fish recipe from him.) Joe did a summer engagement with the Bear Lodge Resort in Burgess Junction, Wyoming. They helped Joe get a big jump on his singing career and Joe is grateful for that. Joe enjoys meeting trail riders while he is on tour and loves sharing the cowboy spirit. After all, that’s what today’s Cowboy Music is about. To learn more about cowboy music go to: http://www.roughstock.com/history/cowboy.html. Joe Walus can be contacted through email at joe firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for the interview Joe and we’ll see you down the trail. [The author can be reached email@example.com]
Joe Walus: Press
If you appreciate simple or pared-down production and a clear Cowboy message delivered in a pleasingly melodic manner, here is your album.
Joe Walus is gifted with a smoothly expressive, mellow and resonant baritone-bass voice. His original lyrics resonate as well. I must admit to complete ignorance of his history, but either he is a songwriter of long practice, or he is a natural. Either way his words are cogent and nicely thought through.
All twelve of these original songs are worthy, but I'll name as pick tracks "Trail of The Kid", "Old Friends", "The Outlaw Trail", "Ride Out On The Trail", "Letters From The West", and the interesting other-side-of-the-saga song "Return To Laredo".
I believe you'll find Joe Walus's "Old Friends" is worth your gamble. Pick it up.