jpegOne of the greatest legends of Texas music isn’t a specific artist or band so much as it is a movement: the “Cosmic Cowboy” days of the 1970s, with its gravitational center in funkier-than-thou, cheaper- than-now Austin. More or less interchangeable with the “Outlaw Country” label that subsequent generations still aspire to carry on, it wove the adventurous spirit of hippie-friendly rock ’n’ roll into the rootsy sounds of country music and the enduring mythology of the American West. The magnetic pull of it shook burned-out drifter Jerry Jeff Walker (formerly Ron Crosby) out of his post-“Mr. Bojangles” Key West haze, boomeranged a successful but disillusioned songwriter named Willie Nelson back home from Nashville, and just as significantly — although his legacy hasn’t gotten as much ink in recent years — spurred a lonesome L.A. cowboy named Michael Murphey to get back to his Texas roots and make the most ambitious music of what would be a multifaceted and fairly fascinating career.

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Little Joe The Wrangler

The Sierry Petes (Tying Knots in the Devil's Tail)

About High Stakes: Cowboy Songs VII

On his new album, High Stakes: Cowboy Songs VII, Iconic Western Artist Michael Martin Murphey pleads on the stunningly beautiful Australian cowboy song, “Campfire On The Road” “We must never let ’em take this life away / Old stock routes belong to one and all / Drovers, dreamers all agree / Poets, Aborigines / We have a right to light a campfire on the road.”

The lyric underscores the dramatic tone of Murphey’s return to his Texas-cowboy roots at a time when we are facing the rapid deterioration of our crowded world's most precious resources : Land and Water.

Over the past 40 years, Murphey has left an indelible mark on the American Music Landscape with genre busting hits like “”Wildfire,” “Carolina In The Pines,” “Cherokee Fiddle,” “What’s Forever For,” “Cowboy Logic,” “Cosmic Cowboy,” “Geronimo’s Cadillac” and more, the timing of High Stakes is particularly significant as the album release day falls on Earth Day (April 22).

"This generation of the human family is witnessing the emergence of their home as a desert planet", says Murphey, a passionate lifelong rancher-poet. "Two-thirds of the Earth's land surface is grassland plain. Eighty percent of its soil is dying. This is due to a lack of grazing animals — cattle, sheep, buffalo, deer, elk, goats, even free-range chickens and pigs. We need vastly more split-hooved grazing animals that turn up the soil — managed by the world's stockmen and stockwomen — to replicate the rotationalgrazing habits of wild herds to restore grasslands for the creatures and life-forms that thrive there. As we develop cities and urban sprawl, we run off animals that cannot be replaced by technology. You can't eat computer chips."

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