If you’re one of those folks who believes that “good country music” is dead, I’d like to introduce you to Cowboy Dave Wilson. In a world where many artists shy away from traditional country music beyond the 90s, Wilson’s music embraces time-honored tradition. Influenced by greats of the Bakersfield Sound like Merle Haggard, Buck Owens, and Wynn Stuart as well as Texas Swing, the Colorado native boasts some of the hardest-swinging honky tonk on the market.
Try Paramount+ FREE for a week. Subscribe here to watch your favorite shows.
His debut full-length album Venture South drops this Friday. It’s packed with plenty of Telecaster twang, fiddle, steel guitar, and top-notch songwriting. From barnburners that would be right at home in any dancehall to cowboy songs that carry the echoes of the American West, Cowboy Dave delivers the goods.
We’re still a couple of days away from Venture South, but you can get a taste of what’s to come with “Sandhill Girl.” Check out the song and video below.
Cowboy Dave on “Sandhill Girl”
Like many great country songs, Cowboy Dave pulled this one from real life. “My wife is from the Sandhills of Western Nebraska. It is one of the most beautiful areas of the state – complete with rolling grasslands, water, pronghorn, and rattlesnakes,” Wilson said in an exclusive statement.
“It took some effort to get her to move to Colorado. She gets claustrophobic in the forest and insists that the sunsets are much prettier when the mountains aren’t in the way.”
Despite their differences, Cowboy Dave says, “We’ve made a beautiful life here in Colorado. But Lord knows she gets homesick for Western Nebraska. That’s where we spend most of our holidays.”
Cowboy Dave went on to talk about the music that serves as the backdrop for the ballad. “I really dig the groove of this song,” he said. “In my mind, this is prototypical honky tonk. It’s super simple and dominated by pedal steel and fiddle. When we were heading into the studio, I know we had legendary steel player Jay Dee Maness lined up for the session. My hope was to have him kick this song off with a sweet country steel lick to remember. Of course, he did that with ease and really made this song sing.”
Later, Cowboy Dave brought in fiddler Hank Singer to add harmony to the lick. “It’s one of my favorite parts of this new record,” he said.
Wilson on Venture South
Cowboy Dave’s debut full-length album has been years in the making. “We’ve been sitting on some of these songs since the world shut down. So, we’re all absolutely thrilled to finally be releasing them into the world. I’m really proud of this body of work and I love how these songs sit together,” Dave said. “It doesn’t always happen that way.”
About the album he said, “The overarching storying being told is one of landscapes, love, and lore of the American West. That’s something I connect with.”