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Cowboy logic

"Cowboy logic" Continued...

Issue: "Rethinking the death penalty," Oct. 19, 2013

That’s not too different from Jesus’ admonition not to do anything to lead children astray. It sounds simple, even simplistic, but try it sometime. Try waking up in the morning and saying, “Today I won’t do anything that would influence a kid the wrong way.”

What was the other piece of advice? Get yourself a good-looking horse. Because when you get old and ugly, the kids will still come to see the horse.

What turned you toward bluegrass? I sat down and did some research and found over 100 bands had recorded my songs, and it surprised me to discover that lots of them were straight bluegrass bands. I said, maybe that’s a good idea. I had already done a bunch of cowboy songs by then, so we called the first bluegrass album Buckaroo Blue Grass. It was a cowboy’s take on bluegrass music. 

And that album got a Grammy nomination. I got my first Grammy nomination for that album. I had gone through all the fanciest producers you can name. But none of them got me a Grammy nomination until my son Ryan made Buckaroo Blue Grass. I’m pretty proud of that, and proud of him for that. 

What is it about the cowboy music you’re doing now that captures people’s imaginations? It’s the simple, direct honesty of it that cuts through the intellectualizing of life. It’s like it says in my song “Cowboy Logic”: “If it’s a job, do it. Put your back into it, ’cause a little bit of dirt’s going to wash off in the rain. If it’s a horse, ride it. If it hurts, hide it. Dust yourself off and get back on again.” We need to hear that today. Sometimes you need to get rid of the Dr. Phil tapes and the Oprah stuff and just get back to work.

What do you think of the entertainment culture generally? Increasingly toxic. It tears down society, like we saw with the recent Miley Cyrus situation, which didn’t surprise me at all. Though I don’t want to denigrate Miss Cyrus in any way as a human being. She’s simply susceptible to the things that we’re all susceptible to.

Warren Cole Smith
Warren Cole Smith

Warren, who lives in Charlotte, N.C., is vice president of WORLD News Group and the host of the radio program Listening In. Follow Warren on Twitter @WarrenColeSmith.

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