A friend sent me snapshots from the not-too distant past. An old '66 Flexible tour bus idling in front of the Outlaw Motel. Rodeo cowboys seated on the top rail with the Crazy Mountains as a backdrop. Wind blowin' snow off the Tetons on the way back from Du Bois, Wyoming. The crowd dancing at the Cowboy Bar. Finally, Bonnie and me between the barn and the main house on the ranch in Montana.
I swear these snapshots are no clearer than my memories of these moments. They lack only dimension, and they don't smell like whiskey on a hardwood floor. But strangely, they do buzz like neon and they sting my eyes like thick blue smoke.
I've come a far piece since then. Tonight I write to you from a farm house in Round Top, Texas. It is a well known fact that, after a few beers, I get the urge to sum things up, whether it be the pennant race or the state of the republic. Tonight, my friends, is nothing so very different.
This album, like my life, is loosely based on a true story. I never took notes in the strictest sense of the word, but then again, I never did anything in the strictest sense of the word. What I have done is sift through the crumpled napkins scribbled with numbers and what seemed -at the time- to be great ideas. From there I've tried to take you into the territory I love.
It is the Cowboy Nation.
Chris Wall, February, 1994