If you're under 45, the romance of the West probably doesn't resonate with you all that much. Hopalong Cassidy might have been your father's or uncle's childhood obsession, Bonanza was something you watched in reruns amid the dregs of Sunday-morning TV, and Gene Autry is a fading cultural landmark. For the most part, it's old hat -- no pun intended. But there are still traces of that lost Western mystery out there, thanks to artists like Don Edwards, a Jersey farm boy who left home at sixteen to get a taste of the real cowboy life and has been blazing his own trail ever since. A poet, singer and songwriter, Edwards (above, right), doesn't so much re-create the past as convey the universal nature of a great tradition. His delivery is spare and true, his golden baritone forthright and soulful, whether applied to his own "The Habit" -- an ode to wanderlust that could ring as true to a cowboy as to any internationally galavanting American -- and the classic "I'd Like to Be in Texas When They Roundup in the Spring," or to the deep humanity of Autry's "That Silver Haired Daddy of Mine," perhaps the most moving ode ever written to an aging parent. See Edwards try his hand at these and other sounds on Sunday, December 1, when he performs at the Boulder Theater as part of an e-town taping. Peter Rowan and Kim Richey will also appear.
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