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"The Lights Of Cheyenne" released off Special Edition Reflectere

Updated: Apr 14, 2020

My great friend, band-mate, and gifted luthier, Sven Gonstead, passed along my first James McMurtry album in about 2004.

It was McMurtry's Live in Aught Three, and man--what a gem.

The album is mostly a rocker--McMurtry's band "the Heartless Bastards" were on fire that night, and the engineer that tracked that show definitely caught some lightning in a bottle.

One song leapt out at me as it had a very different feel than the rest of the show. It's called "The Lights of Cheyenne," and McMurtry performs it solo on his 12 string acoustic guitar. It took a few listens to absorb all of the stories the song contains, but as a piece of songwriting, it's one of the more unique approaches I've ever encountered.

The narrator jumps between an omniscient perspective and first person perspective in the story of the song, and laces together different voices and characters from Cheyenne, Wyoming. It's essentially a collection of vignettes or short poems that all intertwine, and conclude within nine minutes of music . It's beautiful, moving, melancholy, and so unique in perspective, that I can't honestly think of any other song that comes close to it in approach or emotion.

Hope you enjoy, and thanks for listening/downloading! This Wednesday, April 15th, I'll be releasing the fourth song on Reflectere, "Blackjack County Chains" by Red Lane. More on that tune in a few days...

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