Brenn’s newest album, Painkiller, now available.


Verse 1:
When my demons come back to haunt me
I remember every hard fall
Every shoulda woulda and coulda
And I curse them one and all

Unbroke horses and bad decisions
The burnin’ sun and the frozen ground
And the northwest wind so unforgivin’
And the dark of night gets me down

And I take painkillers every mornin’
I take painkillers every night
I empty the bottle again and again
But I just can’t kill the pain

Verse 2:
A storm is comin’ I can feel it
In the marrow of my long bones
My sciatica turns to psychosis
And the hell of it all is the pills are gone

Repeat Chorus

Check my blood Doc Check my heart
It’s been broken for so long
Give me somethin’ or give me nothin’
Just don’t tell me nothin’s wrong

Final Verse
Cause I got demons and they sure haunt me
When the sun sets and until dawn
My sciatica turns to psychosis
And the hell of it all my woman’s gone

Final Chorus

Austin Triangle
Verse 1
Shut the gate behind you boy and listen to the wind
Blowin’ cross the sagebrush through the wire
The sound of that old frackin’ station echoes once again
It’s the ways and means a cowboy is for hire
Out here on the Triangle summer finds its end
In the waves of cryin’ stormclouds rollin’ in
Listen to the thunder crack and see the lightnin’ bend
Check your cinch and blankets once again

And come of age come what may
Today we’ll ride and rope and wrangle
Today we’re playin’ hookie while we’re ridin’ for the brand
In the rain out on the Austin Triangle

Verse 2:
I know you’ve had your heart broke a time or two before
I know that you’ve got pain you try to hide
I see you give your damnedest and a measure even more
I know you wish you had more time to ride
Out here on the Triangle you can be yourself
As you let your horse and spirit intertwine
Leave your hurt and worries home a sittin’ on the shelf
Let the Bridger Valley clear your mind

Repeat Chorus

In your eyes I see the boy I used to be
And I wonder have I given you enough
But the best of what I have to give is priceless yet it’s free
You may never be rich but you’ll be tough

Final Chorus

I Like (What I've Got)
Verse 1
I like friendly fellas and confident ladies
Tough hearted horses, strong coffee and babies
Cow dogs that mind well and tough jobs getting done
A pardner with knack to make work fun

I like a good saddle and chicken fried steaks
A truck that never quits and a rope that never breaks
A well loaded pack string that stays head to tail
A good lead cow that always takes the right trail

And it don’t take much to please me
I find myself wanting for not
I’m happy, I’m healthy
I may not be wealthy
But Lord I love what I’ve got

I like silver bridles and hand-braided reins
Mane hair mecates and swivel rein chains
A good shoeing outfit and a teepee that don’t leak
Custom made boots and dry socks for my feet

I like the wild remnants that need to be roped
When plans come together the way that I hoped
A camp without rattlers and a creek without thorns
Neck rag you can wrap twice and cattle with horns

Repeat Chorus

So deal me a straight suit with a fair chance to win
Tell me a joke that don’t offend
Give me some long shank spurs, a sharp pocketknife
And Lord let me keep this of life

Final Chorus

Not A Soldier
Verse 1
I see in your eyes that your heart is hurtin’
You’re a mountain of muscle and a trained combat veteran
You’re an infantry warrior you can kill or restrain
You’ll follow an order through hellfire and pain

Verse 2:
Your war never ended and it never will
There’s scars on your heart that never can heal
The world keeps on turnin’ the days turn to night
Your family needs you but you’re lost in the fight

And I’m not a soldier and I never will be
I’ve taken for granted what it costs to be free
So tell me your story then tell it again
No I’m not a soldier but I will be your friend

Verse 3:
Let me ride beside you through Kunar River Valley
And the mountainside battle where the Taliban rallied
Where the hot rush of war turns fear into fire
And the revenant’s reckoning is your only desire

Repeat Chorus:

Verse 4:
I’ll listen forever if that’s what it takes
I’ll call to the Heavens and for Heaven’s sake
Hold on and keep fightin’ for you always will be
An American Soldier and a hero to me
An American Soldier and a hero to me

God And My Wife
God and my wife raisin’ good children
They look like me a little but they’re not like me at all
They’re patient and kind not restless and unsettled
For the things that they believe in they stand up straight and tall
While I resolve to try to rise again
Thankful to my wife and God for raisin’ good children

Verse 1:
Time was I couldn’t find the highway
To bring her home a paycheck from a bar
For the alcohol still streamin’ through my blood
Singin’ and pickin’ on this old beat up guitar

Lyin’ to the man inside the mirror
Cheatin’ death and chasin’ selfish dreams
Longer that I live it just gets clearer and clearer
I’m the broken link that’s somewhere in between

Verse 2:
Some years I run the straight and narrow
Some years I barely stumble on
I’m a sinner from my hair down to my marrow
The slow man on the team fumblin’ the baton

Blessed so far beyond what I deserve
Slow and unrefined and weak of heart
And only God knows how much I love her
And only they know how I always fall apart

Final Chorus

Cambridge in the Rain
Verse 1:
Still hear the sound of the motor windin’ up
Still feel the pull against the grade
Still smell the rubber of a brand new truck
Still see Shoshone Falls cascade
Turn up the radio and listen to the news
Paul Harvey’s on again at noon
Check on horses make sure nothin’ comin’ loose
We’ll be in Ontario soon

Ridin’ to Cambridge in the Rain
Sing summer wages and Navajo Rug again
You’ll never have another ride quite like that one back then
Ridin’ to Cambridge in the Rain

Verse 2:
Now every Spring you still long to be
Where grass and wildflowers kiss the evergreens
Still hear a high rollin’ river in your dreams
Prettiest country that you still have ever seen

Repeat Chorus

This world is movin’ too damn fast
When it rains it hardly ever rains for long
Diesel trucks do 80 on the pass
And you never know the power of a song

Final Chorus

Verse 1:
There’s hay in my church clothes
And hay down in my boots
There’s hay upon my pillow
And I think it’s growin’ roots
There’s hay in my ears and nose
And hay in my beard
And it’s been there for so long
That I don’t even think it’s weird

Hay is for my horses
Hay makes critters fat
Fat’s my favorite color
And no matter where I’m at
You’ll find a trail of green legumes
Spread out in disarray
I live for the day it blooms
So I can proudly say Hay!

Verse 2:
A sunny day is just ok
But rain makes grass grow tall
And every last blade of grass
Is not too much at all
I’ve spent a handsome fortune
On seed and fertilizer
‘cept when comes to bailin’ son
Well then I plumb despise it

Repeat Chorus

Verse 3:
Hey I’ve got a great idea
Let’s plow our cities under
Let’s seed the land from sea to sea
With green and purple plunder
What will we do with the urbanites
Well I think it’s fair to say
We’ll surely need them here alright
To bail and haul our hay!

No Country for Faithless Men
Verse 1:
Once there was a Holy Man
Who promised this family brand
Grass would always stretch the land
Deep and lush and green

But cometh now the wicked world
The wrath of God has been unfurled
There’s fire in the wind-whirl
Worst drought he’s ever seen

So save again this righteous man
Let the Spirit guide his Houlihan
Let this sacred land be green again
This is no country for faithless men

Verse 2:
Diggin’ deeper every stock-well stream
For a trickle of the crystal cream
Will he live out his golden dream
Or will he starve here with his cattle

Thistles bloom and reach out for the sky
The parched earth echoes out a painful sigh
He will see it through or die
A steel fork welded to his saddle

Repeat Chorus

And prophets seers and revelators
They can see eternity
The dry land rancher’s fate depends on
Will there a tomorrow be

Verse 3:
It only takes a horseshoe spark
To turn the sky and rangeland dark
An arrow through his aching heart
Pray the Lord it falls on dust

This is no country for faithless men
Will the cattle prices rise again
Lord will it ever rain again
This is no country for faithless men
This is no country for faithless men

Navajo Rug
Coming Soon

Too Hurt to Heal
Verse 1:
On a whirlwind run you’re a son of a gun
I never thought I’d regret the day I taught you to ride
You’re on your way to the top I’d like to tell you to stop
It wouldn’t do any good I know you’ve already tried

Your little boy’s at the end of the drive sayin’ Daddy can you take me this time
Hold him close wipe the tears from his eyes ain’t it just like a memory of mine

But in the back of my mind every time I watch you drive away
I keep it buried inside along with everything else I’ve been wantin’ to say
You’ve broken fifty good bones and I know you’re not a young as you feel
So what happens next time if you get too hurt to heal

Verse 2:
She’s a rodeo wife she’s in it for life
She’d never say she regrets the day she told you I do
You ride the best that you can they turn right into your hand
You still get lucky sometimes I know you live right too

Your little boy’s at the end of the drive when you finally make it home again
Hold him close wipe the hair from his eyes I remember how long it’s been

Repeat Chorus:

Like a war plan hope for the best but plan for the absolute worst
If you dreams get shattered son by a wheelchair or a hearse

Final Chorus

Two of a Kind
Verse 1:
They’d been drinkin’ all night they’d been drinkin’ all day when they tied up tight
And just drove away
No one could believe she would ever survive
And she still wears the scars from her hooves to her heart and she still shies from cars when she hears them start
But she’s still alive

Verse 2:
He was sure he would die when he first heard the blast of a roadside bomb it all happened so fast no one could believe he would ever survive
And now he still wears the scars from his head to his heart and he still fights a war every night in the dark
But he’s still alive

And they’re two of a kind and they’re out of their minds and they’re learnin to trust every time they hook up And they’re fallin’ apart now they’re healin’ their hearts and they’re happy to find each other
Two of a kind

Verse 3:
It’d been seven months since he left his house he justified more than once takin’ himself out he didn’t know how he would ever survive
But when he looked in her eyes and saw the long scars there was somethin’ inside that made him reach through the dark
And they’re both still alive

Repeat Chorus

Call it Equine therapy they take care of each others needs
Call it true comradery they’re settin’ each other free

Final Chorus

The Humble Son
Verse 1:
I put my Dad against a wall
In a fit of rage
He came up swingin’
A whole lot younger than his age
And I learned humility the hard way

I snubbed him to a post
Cinched my saddle on
When they turned us loose
I could not stay on
I learned humility the hard way

God will have a humble son
The easy way the hard way either one
Whether in the life or when your journey’s done
God will have a humble son

Verse 2:
Couldn’t take her bitchin’
At me any longer
I blocked her in the kitchen
Knew I was stronger
And I learned regret the hard way

Our first born watched me
And in a fit of rage
He came up swingin’
A whole lot bigger than his age
I learned humility the hard way

Repeat Chorus

I hold this bible in my hand
Hopin’ one day I will learn
When to kneel and when to stand
When another cheek to turn

Final Verse:
I work ‘em slow now
And from the ground
Firm fundamentals
Steady and sound
I teach partnership the right way

But I’m short of friends now
Mostly alone
I spend some long hard nights
All on my own
I’ve learned humility the hard way

Final Chorus

One Last Ride
Give me two shots of Pendleton whiskey,
Load up my good saddlehorse
Trailer us up Franklin canyon
Point his old head to the north
Then slap him hard on the backside
Son don’t you dare say goodbye
One last ride is a fine way to die

Verse 1:
I’ve been a bronc rider; been a streetfighter
I’ve been a business man
I’ve been a lover played for the cover
Played every card in my hand
A man’s got a right to his cowboy pride
To cling to his own dignity
Son you should know at the end of the road
Here’s what I want done with me

Verse 2:
I’ve seen my Grandaddy cry like a baby
Beggin’ my Daddy and me
To take him back home before he goes crazy
In a rest home on some city street
And some of my heroes who made double zeroes
Took their last breath in a bed
Son I’m a countin on you that a mountain
Is where I will fall over dead

Repeat Chorus

It might be the dead of the winter
I pray it’s the middle of fall
Call it my last wild bender
Then call nobody at all

Verse 3:
I don’t want nobody to
I don’t want nobody to look down on me
Layin in some wooden box
I’ll lay down easy where no one will see me
On sweetgrass or gray granite rocks
The wind o’er my bones rain on my face
One the last empty gaze at my sky
One last ride is a fine way to die

Angel Fly Away
Angel fly away all your cares are gone
Go and find your wings now we will carry on
I’ll see you when I close my eyes and think of you each day
Angel fly away

Angel fly away
Chariots from Heaven have come for you today
Its your turn to be set free from all your worldly pain
Angel fly away

Many times I heard you say just how much you loved me
But the man you think I am is just the one someday I’ll be
Now I hope I love you too was what I had to say
As you flyin’ away

Angel fly away
Though there’s a precious angel here wantin’ you to stay
But it’s your time to see the Lord he’s sent for you today
Angel fly away

Angel its been sweet livin’ next to you
Now I think of all things that I didn’t do
But you walked in the light and I live in the gray
Angel fly away

Angel fly away
Friends like you just don’t come along every day
And I pray that I love you was what you heard me say
As you flew away
Angel fly away


The fifteenth release from Brenn and sixth on the Defender’s Recording Label, Songs for a Winter’s Ride is perhaps the artist’s best work yet. Released on iTunes November 14th, 2019, this collection of Holiday favorites intermingled with poignant originals carries its listeners through the Christmas Season, New Years, and possibly beyond.

Recorded at Funk Studios in North Salt Lake City, Utah, the recording features some of Utah’s finest instrumentalists including Ryan Tilby, Ryan Shupe, Mel Shore, and Bart Olson. It’s a broad stroke of sonic pleasure that takes its listener from the high and windy snow-capped peaks of the Rocky Mountains to the sultry Jazz lounge.

There are classics like “Walkin’ in a Winter Wonderland”, “I’ll Be Home For Christmas”, and “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” that will make you believe you’re listening to a fine acoustic Jazz ensemble while “Angels We Have Heard On High”, “Joy to the World”, and “Little Drummer Boy” speak to the heart of the Christian’s ‘reason for the season’.

Hill covers two classic songwriting legends with Merle Haggard’s “If We Make It Through December” and Gordon Lightfoot’s “Song for a Winter’s Night”. Both risky attempts bring a fresh and contemporary feel to the timeless hits of two of North America’s most accomplished songsmiths.

Hill’s own self-penned season-specific additions articulate the westerner’s plight in the brutal western winter with light and deep-hearted tunes like “Cowgirl For Christmas”, “Christmas in the Bunkhouse”, “Learn to Love the Cold”, and “Hard Cancer Christmas”.  Listeners will laugh, remember, visualize, and cry throughout the whole recording as Hill takes us once again on a ride through the indomitable West – this time in Winter.


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Howlin’ On the Wind
Verse 1:
I came back home to suburban life
Down off my Rocky Mountain High
Back to my job my kids and wife
I guess I’ll give it one more try

But I’m lost here in the traffic
And these busy urban streets
Oh this concrete world is plastic
It don’t care about me

I wish I was howlin’ on the wind
Wish I was howlin’ on the wind
I feel like I’ve lost all of my friends
Wish I was howlin’ on the wind

Verse 2:

There’s nothin’ sacred here anymore
No one’s lookin’ for the truth
Those Rocky Mountains are Heaven’s door
An endless fountain of youth

But I can’t speak my religion
On these busy urban streets
With political correctness
And its chains upon my feet

Might as well be…

Repeat Chorus

And the wolves are howlin’ right outside my door
Gotta kill ‘em if I can
Just when I think I can’t take it anymore
Autumn comes around again

Final Chorus
And I’m right back howlin’ on the wind
Right back howlin’ on the wind
Runnin’ wild with my friends
Back out howlin’ on the wind

Rocky Mountain Drifter
Verse 1
I can’t count all my memories
Can’t explain the things I’ve seen
Years and miles have run right through me
Can’t remember where all I’ve been

Some might see that I’m still young
With hopeful eyes and a way that’s clear
But when I drive these endless highways
There’s an old man in the mirror

I keep reachin’ out for somethin’ That just gets further and further away

Twenty years of ramblin’ a couple million miles
I’ve done most of it alone
Put the kids to bed tonight and wait up for me
Your Rocky Mountain Drifter’s comin’ home

Verse 2:
I still believe that there’s a story
No one else would ever tell
The fading west in all her glory
Before it’s all bought and sold and gone to Hell

I guess I still believe in somethin’
That’s what makes me who I am today

Repeat Chorus

And there will always be a sad goodbye
The time apart and the tear in your eye
But Heaven help me on this road alone
Pray there’ll always be a time to come home

Verse 3
Keep your phone by your side
Keep your days and nights full of hope
Put the kids to bed and wait up for me
Your Rocky Mountain Drifter’s comin’ home

Black Joe
Verse 1
Out on the fringes of the Winecup
Many long years ago
Was a big black mustang stud
Name of Big Black Joe

He was the keeper of the brood mares
He ruled the east Owyhee
And ev’ry wooly buckaroo that rode there
Wanted the skull of that caballo

Black Joe stud Devil in mustang blood
Keep your eyes on the far horizon
Or he’ll come and stomp you in the mud
The Black Joe Stud

Verse 2:
My little sister and my father
Gathering down along the river
When down the walls of the black canyon
Danced a ghostly knicker

She rode a little buckskin mare
He said “little girl ride away hard!”
He dug his ol’ Garcias into an old thoroughbred gelding
And rode straight toward

Repeat Chorus

Verse 3
Hellbent to save his little girl
He T boned that old stallion on the slide
And they all fell twistin’ and turnin’
Through dust and brush and horse hide

And as my father got back to his feet
He took the reigns of his big thoroughbred steed
But he took one front slashin’ hoof to the back
Turned around and all he could see

Repeat Chorus

Verse 4
Along the breaks of the Owyhee River
They fought and chased for an hour
Til the whinnie of one of his broodmares
Made the old black stud herd sour

Father rode back to headquarters
Bleedin’ from a slash above his eye
Grateful to God to find his little girl alive
Sworn to see a mustang die

Repeat Chorus

Verse 5
Twelve buckaroos mounted fresh horses
Rode for the range along the river
Tracked west to the foothills of the
Owyhees And south across the barren desert

On the hard pan alkali moonscape
They lost the tracks of his herd
My father’s 30-30 never left his scabbard
And he never said another word

Final Chorus

The Last Catch
She stepped on my heel the first time I caught her
But somethin restrained me when I turned to swat her
Those soft deep dark eyes and quiet demeanor
Told me I could forgive her and she was a keeper

She sure broke out easy she was naturally kind
You know those kinda horses are so hard to find
I sent her to Wyomin to become a cowhorse
And she became a good hand all through the Big Horns

She learned to cut and sort there she packed elk and mule deer
She gathered in the Snowy Range, and down over Rabbit Ears
Then she started coughin’ from some bad hay in Rawlins
I knew there was trouble when they started callin’

So I went and got her brought her back to Utah
She had a high jugular pulse and she was sucked in and gaunt
I put her on albuterol and she came back to life
She carried me and my children and she carried my wife

Then tragedy struck and my son he got cancer
She knew somethin’ was wrong but she didn’t have any answers
I left he with a friend of mine up Franklin Canyon
I saw her in the rearview mirror lookin’ scared and abandoned

Fourteen long months we spent just fightin’ for dear life
I wanted to saddle up and ride but I couldn’t leave my wife
When we brought her and my son back home it was one sweet reunion
She turned nineteen that year it was the middle of June

Melodic Break/And somewhere in the middle of the night
I heard her coughin’ out in the moonlight
I knew her time was short the end was comin’
But there was one more job for her before her time was done

She became a therapy horse for my little boy
I knew she found a job again and it brought her joy
And days turned into months and months turned into years
One mornin’ my wife came in from feedin’ drownin’ in tears

Cause she was sick and dyin’ I’d waited too long
I couldn’t stand the thought of livin’ and her bein’ gone
And I’ll never forget the tears from my wife and daughter
And the look inside her eyes the last time I caught her

Old Ghost
Verse 1:
He’s old enough to be broke
But he’s much too young to broken
But he can barely get his foot inside the stirrup this mornin’
For the old ghosts have spoken

There’s a demon diggin’ daggers in his shoulder
Blowin’ hate and hot breath down his back
He keeps a damn stiff upper lip to keep from cryin’
While the old ghosts make their attack

Chorus 1:
And their risin’ risin’ through the misty mountain mornin’
And he keeps ridin’ to heal the scars inside that hurt the most
But he keeps fightin’ fightin’ and ridin’ hard and prayin’
For some new strength today to face the Old Ghosts

Verse 2:
And then she whispers on the wind
Reminds him of the life and love they once had
He builds a big loop in his long reata
Spurs his pony hard and misses bad bad

Chorus 2:
And she’s risin’ risin’ through the dust and sage and sorrow
And he keeps ridin’ to heal the scars inside that hurt the most
But she comes back and he knows that she’ll be back again tomorrow
To take away his strength to face the Old Ghosts

And there’s nights nights that he falls down and then it’s mornin’
And there’s nights that he don’t every really sleep at all
And he could drink but he knows well to heed the preacher’s warnin’
Give Ol’ Scratch an inch he’ll take it all
Give Ol’ Scratch an inch he’ll take it all

Repeat Chorus 1

Muddy Creek
Verse 1:
There’s a sign says Muddy Water
Creek is risin’ in the Spring
There’s a rainstorm on the hogbacks
Pray the good Lord don’t send down no Spring lightning

Turnin’ out on Muddy Creek lease
By the railroad tracks in the Spring
Colts a boogerin’ when the train rolls by
Its good you didn’t use him when branding

And you’re fiddlin’ around with a little leppy calf
That just don’t want to pair up ain’t it strange
How the prairie dogs bark from mornin’ til dark
While Muddy Creek keeps a risin’ through the rains

Verse 2:
There’s a big black Golden Eagle
Salivatin’ on his perch on Three Boob Ridge
There’s a rainstorm on the hogbacks
Damn Muddy Creek’s a runnin’ o’er the bridge

Repeat Chorus

And I can hear some lightnin’ roll
Over Evanston to the West
And I can see that old Cedar knoll
Where we’ll finally close the gate and end our quest

Final Verse:
And where the sign says Muddy Water
I’ll be leavin’ here for a week
There’s a dry wind comin’ on the hogbacks
Pretty soon there’s nothin’ runnin’ in the creek
Adios til next year Muddy Creek

Buffalo Beard
Verse 1:
Bow your head now Buffalo Beard
The rodeo is on; have no fear
Your horses are fresh and your latigo’s tight
And the time is right yeah the time is right

Toss a wide loop Buffalo Beard
There’s money on the line and way is clear
Settle him down back him in tight
Cause its on tonight yeah its on tonight

Chorus 1:
Buffalo Beard Buffalo Beard
I’m sendin you down on a Navajo prayer
Your possibles bag’s full of rodeo gear
Good luck down there Buffalo Beard

Verse 2:
Turn him back around Buffalo Beard
One quick dally and you’re almost there
Barrier’s broken and the flag is up
You know you need some luck yeah a little bit of luck

They’ll call you by name Buffalo Beard
Love of your life’s fightin’ back a tear
There’s more than a buckle on the line tonight
And the time is right you know the time is right

Chorus 2:
Buffalo Beard Buffalo Beard
I’m sendin’ you down on a Shoshone prayer
Your possible’s bag’s full of rope and gear
Good luck down there Buffalo Beard

Winnin’ means so much to you
But the West lives on win or lose

Repeat Chorus 1&2

There Goes My Son
Verse 1:
Here take the keys go take a spin
Take your hopes and dreams and win
Nobody told me how this would go
Use four-wheel drive in the snow

Just come back home once in a while
But I was born to run he says with a smile

As he’s drivin’ away with my heart
Suddenly sixteen doesn’t seem so far away
So let’s keep it safe out on the highway everyone
Cause there goes my son

Verse 2:
Sirens will stop my heart at anytime
Late nights I’ll be out of my mind
So check the brakes check the oil check the mirror
If you ever need me I’ll be here

Just come back home Just come back home
Comes a time when you gotta just let go

Repeat Chorus Bridge:
We’ve all got places to go
And we all love someone so let’s take it slow

Final Chorus

Drivin’ Daddy’s Jeep
Verse 1:
Silly boys Jeeps are for girls and damn she’s late for school
And she won’t even look at you ‘cause you’re just not that cool
You’ll be drivin’ Dad’s old truck turn sixteen in just one month
She’ll still sit higher parkin’ crooked right up front

Cause boys she’s drivin’ Daddy’s Jeep
And she’s puttin’ makeup on
While she’s finishin’ her breakfast
While she’s talkin’ on the phone
And she’s way above the law
Hell she could drive in her sleep
So get out the way boys cause she’s drivin’ Daddy’s Jeep

Verse 2:
Thirty threes, six-inch lift, she can’t even feel the road
And it takes the whole back seat just to carry her load
Of curlers books and pom poms and her boyfriends dirty clothes
And how they ended up back there Heaven only knows

Repeat Chorus

I wonder what its like inside up on those leather seats
I heard she takes off her shoes and works that clutch with her bare feet

Final Chorus

And The River Ran Red
Bitter wind cries out of moonless skies
and canteens freeze to ice
Horses stagger on, seventy miles by dawn;
victory comes at a price

Drumbeats pound, songs resound
off bluffs above river banks,
a Warm Dance to bring an early spring,
and send the Great Spirit thanks

And the river ran red rolling
with bodies of the dead
massacred on the banks of the River Bear
Blue-coated soldiers carried out killing orders there
and the river ran red

Hoofs test the edge of the bluff ledge
to the banks of the Bear below
Splash freezes quick and the ice floats thick
in the black of the river’s flow

Before the sun, before night is done
brass bugles sound the attack
In Beaver Creek ravine rolled the killing machine
and there was no turning back

And the river ran red rolling
with bodies of the dead
massacred on the banks of the River Bear
Blue-coated soldiers carried out killing orders there
and the river ran red

No surrender, no quarter, now blood forever stains her shore
with bayonet and gun; when their work was done
Three hundred Shoshoni breathed no more

And the river ran red
rolling with bodies of the dead
And the river ran red

Through the Lightnin’ Storm
Verse 1:
Bucky started pitchin’ somehow I stayed on
Seven miles up Eastfork Meadow fifteen miles long
Nobody watched the news last night nobody checked the weather
We were four young wranglers followin’ a boss hellbent for leather

There were 700 pair stretched out in front of us
And at the first strike of dry lightnin’ I heard ol’
Ricky cuss It was deep down in his throat it was a whisper cross his lips
But it echoed in our hearts and souls each time the lightnin’ hit

And Donnie rolled a smoke to hide the fear inside his eyes
And Pedro started prayin’ lookin’ all across the skies
And the rimrock all around us flashed the air was dense and warm
As we kept the herd a movin’ on through the lightnin’ storm

Verse 2:
We stopped and let our horses drink from the new Spring Tank
And no one said a word as lightnin’ crashed along the bank
We tore across the meadow when four pair broke and ran
Longin’ for the home corrals and less forsaken land

But we kept ‘em headed north until we reached the summer range
With those old dry lightnin’ nimbus clouds just circlin’ so strange
The lightnin’ and the wind passed by the Meadow’s upper end
And we all started talkin’ loud and laughin’ once again

And Donnie rolled another smoke and drew hard on his flask
And Pedro started singin’ loud and sang the whole ride back
And the rimrock all around us watched like mother’s watch newborns
As we kept the herd a movin’ on through the lightnin’ storm

Verse 3:
Sometimes the storms of life will come when you expect it least
The great gray clouds will gather o’er and roar just like a beast
Just square your shoulders up remember what you’re ridin’ for
And keep your herd a movin’ on through the lightnin’ storm
Just keep your hopes and dreams a movin’ through the lightnin’ storm

Oklahoma Wind
Verse 1:
Fancy you a standin’ there with your diamond necklace on
Lookin’ at me like you’ve just seen some old ghost
It’s a trendy place in the old downtown now the old café is gone
This woulda been where we hung out the most

And I see that you just can’t help but look me up and down
Ragged jeans and muddy boots and spurs
I mighta left them in the truck if I’d known you’d be around
What’s a matter are you finally lost for words

Or do you see back twenty long years to the night you said goodbye
Did you think you’d never see me again
Did you miss my truck and trailer parked by the old town sign
Blown in by the Oklahoma wind

Verse 2:
I finally found my rainbow in the buckskin colt she foaled
I’m gonna buy a ranch outside of town
Maybe you could bring our son to meet his real
Dad sometime I’m sure that I’ll be seein’ you around

You disappeared back twenty long years and I never said goodbye
Did you think you’d never see me again
A prisoner in my truck and trailer watchin’ as towns roll by
Blown in by the Oklahoma wind

Verse 3:
Oh is this your husband well I never did get the news
Congratulations is way long over due
I see that he must really do well by the tassels on his shoes
A Houston gas and oil boy through and through

I know you see back twenty long years to the night you said goodbye
You never thought that you’d see me again
I’d like to take that son of ours and teach him how to ride
Straight into the Oklahoma wind
It’s a cold night in the Oklahoma wind

My Angel Wings
Verse 1:
I drove all night to drive all day
I gave my heart and soul away
So far from home still my heart sings
I hope I earn my Angel Wings

I bear the pain of brother’s hearts
I never cease til healing starts
Final goodbyes are precious things
I hope I earn my own Angel Wings

My Angel Wings will carry me
Back to loved ones I long to see
They visit me in my dreams
Tell me I’ll earn my Angel Wings

Verse 2:
I am a sinner through and through
I’ll rectify one day the wrong
I do His great Atonement such peace it brings
I hope I earn my Angel Wings

Repeat Chorus

Verse 3:
My wife and children they wait for me
And home is where a father should be
There are no words for how much your friendship means
I hope I earn my Angel Wings

Shoot Me
Verse 1:
I’m stuck here in this prison called assisted livin’
Hell And I have lost my mind but doctors say I’m doin’ well
There’s green grass through my window but the fall is comin’ soon
I lie awake at night and wait to see the passin’ moon

My family comes and goes I guess their lives are not like mine
I sift through my memories most of which are truly fine
But I was once a whisky drinkin’ able mountain man
Now I can’t even hold a gun or bottle in my hand

So take me up to Woodruff when the leaves are comin’ gold
One last ride o’er Monte in the early Autumn cold
Take me from this prison and this cold hospital bed
Then take my old Winchester and shoot me in the head

Verse 2:
I’ll smell the Autumn sagebrush I’ll look into the sky
My heart it will be full again the moment that I die
I’ll see the Rocky Mountains when I take my final breath
And know I love you more for givin’ me a cowboy’s death

Repeat Chorus

And I know what I’m askin’ is too much
But life is so much sweeter when you die someplace you love

Final Chorus lyrics over Verse Melody

With Rocky Mountain Drifter, his fourteenth album, songwriter and singer Brenn Hill follows a trail far and deep into the heart and soul of the American West. His clear, powerful voice wrings every ounce of feeling from every song, interpreting compositions that reflect the West of today and recollect the West of days gone by. While retaining the roots of the tradition, the arrangements and instrumentation refresh and rejuvenate the substance of cowboy and Western music. Masterful musicians and expert production contribute to a spirited sound sure to seize listeners by the ears and energize emotions.

Brenn’s fourteen original compositions on Rocky Mountain Drifter tell tales of courage, adventure, tragedy, violence, faith, family, longing, struggle, and despair—the full spectrum of the human experience, played out under wide western skies. The title song anticipates the tender homecoming of a traveling man, while “Angel Wings” contemplates a homecoming of a different kind. “There Goes My Son” and “Drivin’ Daddy’s Jeep” address the anxieties of raising teenagers in complicated times, while “Old Ghosts” and “Shoot Me” delve into the opposite end of life. Storytelling takes a hard twist in “Black Joe” and “Buffalo Beard” as they plow a fresh new furrow through the West. The haunting “And the River Ran Red” recounts, with honest reverence, the bloodiest massacre in Western history. Other originals in the collection likewise peel away expectations to plumb new depths. Also included is a fresh rendition of the iconic “Desperados Waiting for a Train” by celebrated Texas legend Guy Clark, and a sparkling interpretation of the number-one Dan Seals rodeo hit, “Everything That Glitters.”

With its wide appeal and deep meaning, watch for Brenn Hill’s Rocky Mountain Drifter to reach new heights in Western music.

Listeners will learn of Rocky Mountain Drifter through social media, e-mail, and other online encounters and advertising. A “Making of Rocky Mountain Drifter – Part 1” and “Making of Rocky Mountain Drifter – Part 2″ videos and the official Rocky Mountain Drifter music video will excite existing fans and attract new ones. Reviews and features will appear in appropriate print media.


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How You Heal
Verse 1:
You could see the hurt in the cowboy’s eyes
Like a thunderhead in a clear blue sky
Twas a lonesome winter and a cold late Spring
Now it’s time to heal when the grass turns green

At the brandin’ pen ‘neath the snowy peak
On the reservoir road toward Otter Creek
Swing a leg on a bronc; feel the mountain wind
Build a big wide loop and let the fun begin

That’s how you heal a cowboy’s heart
Drag a slick new calf to the brandin’ fire
Thank the Lord above that you’re where you are
That’s how you heal a cowboy’s heart

Verse 2:
He was his youngest son; he was a damn good hand
He was just a boy but so much a man
And there will always be an emptiness inside
All a man can do is saddle up and ride

Repeat Chorus

There is healing in the mountain’s church
There is peace for the hearts that hurt
There are pardners all you that you can and cannot see
Taste the dust, smell the sage, let it be

Final Verse
In the rearview mirror as you drive away
Stands a memory of a sacred day
A field of branded calves means a brand new start
That’s how you heal a cowboy’s heart
That’s how you heal a cowboy’s heart

Middle Age Cowboy
Verse 1
Doin’ what he can to survive chasin’ his tail from 9 to five he’s gonna go to a rodeo on the weekend
He married a girl from in town she swore that she’d settle him down but he’s got a wild side and a desire to ride that won’t end
And he’s too much in the bottle and he’s way too into cattle
And he’s tryin’ to be a father but when he’s six feet in the saddle

He’s a modern day middle aged cowboy
He’s caught ‘n’ dallied hard to his glory days
Ropin’ and ridin’ while his whole life goes glidin’ by him
Better to burn out than fade away
He’s just a modern day middle aged cowboy

Verse 2:
She wants him to build a new house He wants to buy some more cows and build a few new stalls on the barn for his new horses
She wants to travel someday, he wants to take her away to some old rodeo somewhere they’re on separate courses
And she’s too much in his business and he won’t ever listen
She’s swears that she’ll be gone by Christmas he promises she’ll miss him

Repeat Chorus

Instrumental Final

Chorus Breakdown

First Half

Highway to Nogales
On the highway to Nogales in the Arizona rain
On the way to Hermosillo with a kilo of cocaine

My name is Milo Thomsey I’m a cowboy from Killeen
On the Arizona desert I have worked since seventeen
But the Drug-Lords and Banditos have a ransom on my life
And I will gladly pay to save my children and my wife
The border men and Sheriff they were nowhere to be found
When the son of Escondido fell into the creek and drowned
I rode and tried to save him as I dug his shallow grave
Another smuggler saw me and now I’m the one they blame

Was an old retired bandito used to cowboy on the Bell
He was brought up in the shanties and his childhood days were Hell
So he worked for Escondido bringing drugs across the line
‘Til he swore a vow of silence if he smuggled one last time
And he told me they would kill him if I told them how I found
The home of Escondido and his Becatate compound
So I’m bound for Hermasillo with his money and his drugs
Only God now can deliver through the border and his thugs

I told her I was leavin’ and she knew I had to go
Our lives and half-blood children would be gone like desert snow
I gave her all the money that I had left to my name
Said “If you don’t make it to Prescott then my life will be in vain”
I filled up the gas tank of my beat-up dirty truck
And looked deep into her dark eyes one more time for better luck
I’ll see my love in Prescott or else on the other side
Then I steeled myself to take this midnight ride

At the iron gates of the compound by the high adobe wall
I recalled the son of ‘Dido how made his fatal fall
As the gates began to open and I slowly made it through
The guards were all around me and a rifle butt came through
The shattered glass and shouting was the last thing I recall
Til I woke ten hours later on a cold adobe wall
And sitting there before me in a three-piece linen suit
Was the man called Escondido wearin’ alligator boots

So I told him what had happened and that I was all alone
When the cut-bank broke beneath his son and turned him into stone
I did not tell the lawmen and I’d never tell a soul
The drugs that I’ve returned to you are a token of my role
And I give my fate to you now but I beg you for the life
Of my black-hair, brown-eyed daughters and my sweet Apache wife
And the room it turned to silence but the pounding of my head
And I stared at Escondido for I knew that I was dead

Then he said I built a business out of honor and I see
That a man of honor hangs here on the wall in front of me
I will give you life and freedom and the lives of those you love
And you make your vow of silence and you never more speak of
The son of Escondido and my Becatate home
The bravery you’ve shown by coming here alone
Then they drove me to the desert with a band around my eyes
And I burned three days and wandered neath the Becatate skies

On the highway from Nogales through the Arizona rain
From the Becatate Mountains where a man could go insane
In the back of an old pickup with Tequila in a crate
I am thinking of my family and my miracle of fate
There’s a .45 colt pistol in my jeans upon its end
And a black-eyed girl in Prescott that I long to see again
And the sky is hot and empty out upon the desert ground
And the wheels upon the highway make a lonesome dreary sound

Twenty and Cowboy
Verse 1:
Somewhere tonight on Big D Double L
You’re watchin’ the sun goin’ down
There’s a chill comin’ on but the fire’s burnin’ well
As you look out across hallowed ground

There’s a coyote dancin’ along Mackie Draw
There’s a Golden Hawk perched on the wire
There’s a bedroll a waitin’ for your head to fall
As you stare deep into the campfire

And I’ve been camped where you are
And I’ve wished upon the same star
And I would give every last penny I’ll spend
If I could be twenty and cowboy again

Verse 2:
On an old Textan saddle with no buckin’ rolls
And a hand me down shank snaffle bit
And a rawhide reata that’s too long to hold
And a pair of old chinks that don’t fit

It’s seventeen miles from the Highway across
To the head of the summertime range
And there’s no one but you and the crew and the boss
And there’s nowhere to hide if it rains

Repeat Chorus:

I’ve got a place of my own And I’ve got a woman I love And I am never alone But sometimes that just isn’t enough

Final Chorus

American Blue Eyes
Verse 1:
American blue eyes take me away on the wings of a sweet memory
On a hot summer night off of old Combe road where your love like the wind flowed free
I was chasin’ a dream I was chasin’ my tail I was playin’ your heart all the while
And you were in love but I didn’t care lovin’ one girl wasn’t my style

On a faraway star I send up a wish
That I could turn back the time somehow
I told you that I didn’t love you back then
And I don’t love you now
I still don’t love you now

Verse 2:
American blue eyes I’m so far away from the wild one I used to be
On a cold winter night twenty years down the road with a job and family
I’m still chasin’ a dream and still chasin’ my tail now I’ve laid everything on the line
Is it you that I miss and your innocent love or the freedom that I left behind?

Repeat Chorus

Still see you cryin’ in that cold September rain
And neither one of us has ever been the same Verse 3:
American blue eyes take me away on the wings of a sweet memory
On a hot summer night off of old Combe road where you told me you’d always love me
You swore that you’d always love me

Fair Weather Cowboy
Verse 1:
I’m just a fair weather cowboy
A top hand when it’s sunny warm and clear
I’ll be the wooliest wildest buckaroo
But only when the summertime is here, or near

When that big ol’ sky is bright and blue
I am the man you should employ
But I’ll be gone when that autumn wind blows through
Cause I’m just a fair weather cowboy

Verse 2:
My ol’ hoss is cowhorse born ‘n’ bred
He likes draggin’ calves and ropin’ steers
He’ll sort and gather in beautiful weather
Then turn out to pasture for nine months of the year

Long as it ain’t dusty dry and hot
Ridin’ him is fundamental joy
We’ll give you ev’rything we got if it ain’t rainin’
Cause I’m just a fair weather cowboy

Verse 3:
If you ask me them cowpokes they’re all crazy
To sit upon a horse out in the rain
If it was me I’d go in and watch a western movie
And lament how I am just like old John Wayne when its sunny

Cause when that big ol’ sky is bright and blue
I am the man you should employ
But I’ll be gone when that autumn wind blows through
Cause I’m just a fair weather cowboy
Cause I’m just a fair weather cowboy

The Mountain is My Mistress
Verse 1:
I could see the longing look in your eyes
This morning when I kissed you all goodnight
And I know you want and need me here at home
And you wonder why I leave you all alone

The mountain is my mistress
And she’ll always come between us
And I’m wrapped inside her arms tonight
In this Idaho wilderness
I’m faithful to you more or less
But I’ve gotta get this off my chest
It’s somethin’ girl you’ll just have to accept
The mountain is my mistress

Verse 2:
There are some things that are too hard to explain
And I never meant to cause you so much pain
And I know that it’s not right to lead her on
But with the changin’ of the weather I’ll be gone

Repeat Chorus

And I know that she’s tearing us apart
And it’s killin’ me to know that I am breakin’ your heart

Final Chorus

Mono was the smallest of the foals that year don’t know how he stayed alive
Early spring blizzards kept the snow deep here yet somehow he survived
We had to separate him from the broodmare herd
He would’ve starved to death out on that lower third
And he was thin boned and pigeon toed but gentle in his eyes
And somehow he survived

I started Mono in the Spring of 95 I was seventeen and he was two
I’d work him from the ground and then I’d steal a ride he was learnin’ I was too
He bucked me off in the round pen once or twice
Stepped on my hand once and we fell down on the ice
But he started growin’ and his feet got straight and true
He was learnin’ I was too

We gathered cattle for the Bar B in the fall I rode him hard every day
Through shale rock canyons he gave his all and just got better in every way
He’d pin back his ears and bite an ornery cow
He was ready next mornin’ to go again somehow
And by the time the winter came I can honestly say
We were one in every way

I started college that semester in the Spring little Mono stayed at home
I rode Mono every night in my dreams while he waited all alone
I came home and branded cattle for my Dad
Little Mono gave me everything he had
When I went back to school again it hurt me to the bone
Little Mono stayed home

I met a girl that year and we fell in love and got married in the Fall
Goin’ to school and workin’ there was never time to ride little Mono at all
I sold him to a cowboy on the ALL
Heard Mono slipped and broke his neck when they fell
And now every time I saddle up a horse I can recall
How little Mono gave his all

I am a father now and life is hard and fast chasin’ children and their dreams
This world is changin’ and I long for the past and a simpler life or so it seems
I think of ridin’ Girtsen canyon in the Fall
I think of little Mono and how he gave his all
And I can’t find the words to say how much that memory means
But I still ride him in my dreams

The Dell
Verse 1:
It’s a little like Heaven south of the Dell
In the middle of April though you’re a hundred hard miles from Hell
And the mayhem traffic and the urban yell
Fades into silence south of the Dell

In a bar top trailer there’s a range bred horse
He’s a half blood mustang; he’s a wild unyielding force
When you start to gather you begin to gel
But it can get a little western south of the Dell

Chorus 1:
If it rains all night it’ll be dry by noon
There’s a strange blue light ‘neath the last blood moon
And the bawlin’ babies brand-burned to Hell
Like a choir from Heaven south of the Dell

Verse 2:
Dust devil goes dancin’ cross the Valley of the Skull
Toss a wind-burned penny down a dry stock well
Push a first-calf heifer to the brandin’ pen
To the edge of the world and back again

Chorus 2:
If it rains all night it’ll be dry by noon
There’s a strange blue light ‘neath the last blood moon
And your circlin’ pardners man they ride so well
They’re a picture of heaven south of the Dell

Cedar Mountains heal me hold me in your dry and barren hands
Urban poisons kill me; transfuse me with the blood of the land
Final Verse:
Take a drag on the free wind south of the Dell
If you don’t make it back again I’ll see you in Hell
On the eastbound freeway through the urban yell
Heaven will be waitin’ south of the Dell

Cowgirl Dreams
Verse 1:
Well you’re up before the sun workin’ hard on an old rail line
Life’s got you on the run always broke always runnin’ behind
And you’re upside down in an LQ trailer
Rather live in town than ever fail her
Brother I know just what it means

To be chasin’ cowgirl dreams
And there ain’t no in between
Win or lose it’s the road you choose
To be the best Father you can be
Everytime she spreads her wings
You’re chasin’ cowgirl dreams

Verse 2:
She’s got your same blue eyes but even brighter on a buckskin mare
And like a golden hawk she flies with the wind through her long blonde hair
And you’re upside down in love with the girl
With the breakaway rope she’s the center of your world
And brother I know just what it means

Repeat Chorus

So run like a train my friend
Saddle up when you get back home
Never doubt yourself again my friend
You are not alone

Verse 3:
When winter comes again and the rodeo season’s done
You can take a little time off then knowin’ she is the only one
That could ever tame an old bronc fighter
Whisky bended roughstock rider
Brother that’s you in a tighter pair of jeans

Final Chorus

Mama Bair
Verse 1:
Fightin’ cancer, fight the weather, fight the law, find the answers to the questions of life
Sunday mornin’ at the Gypsum Ward find the Lord as a sheep rancher’s wife
Raisin’ sons, raisin’ daughters, raisin’ Hell when they fell short of what she expects
Changin’ times, changin’ weather, changin’ ways, just ain’t nothin’ she could ever accept

And that Colorado highway ain’t a likely home
For a woman and a family livin’ there
She’s got a heart of gold and a will that’s made of stone
And you don’t ever mess with Mama Bair
Don’t try to second guess my Mama Bair

Verse 2:
There’s a new snow fallin’ on a cold November morn’ and a cowboy haulin’ bucks straight through the storm
She can hear him callin’ from a broken mobile phone so she sets out to save him all alone
Raisin’ lambs, raisin’ grandkids raisin’ hay ain’t the easy way to live but you find love
In the sacred land, and in the children that you raise, in the sheep and on the mountain above

Repeat Chorus

Verse 3:
Takin’ chemo and takin’ it like a man helps you understand your precious life
Back to the ranch to see if you can make a hand standin’ strong as a sheep rancher’s wife
Raisin’ sons, raisin’ daughters, raisin’ Hell when they fall short of what she expects
But you’ll find love a deep and neverending well in the heart of this woman of the west

Final Chorus

The Houndsman
Verse 1:
You’ll search forever for tracks in the snow
Waiting for winter ‘til it’s time to go
You’ll leave a good woman; take a good dog and horse
Leave her to worry all day and all night without remorse

New snow has fallen upon blood red cliffs
The mountains stand silent; the air clean and crisp
The bay of the walker is a song to your heart
That beats like a war drum every time you hear the song start

So Houndsman keep ridin’; away from your demons
The times they are changin’; you’re still up there dreamin’
These mountains and canyons that you love the most
Are dark and enchanted; you’re chasing a ghost

Verse 2:
They don’t understand you and they never will
The thrill of the chase is more than the kill
It’s something inside you that you can’t explain
It’s deeper than love, what love that you’ve known; it’s sharper than pain

Repeat Chorus

And freedom waits behind locked gates
The cattle are gone; the whole world’s movin’ on
It’s wild open country that you know so well
These mountains are haunted-but they’re Heaven
The cities are Hell

Final Chorus

She Could’ve Married A Cowboy
Verse 1:
She wrote him and told him goodbye
While he was off servin’ a mission
He came home and went back to cowboyin’
Now she’s forty years old and still wishin’
When dawn breaks tomorrow on Utah
He’ll saddle up once again
Hit that long trot through the canyon
She’ll wake up a wonderin’ about him

Singin’ I could’ve married a cowboy
But I broke a good cowboy’s heart
Now whenever I pass Heiner Canyon
I wonder where and how on earth you are
The life that I chose is a good one
But between all the pain and the joy
I guess that I’ll always wonder how it would be
If I married a cowboy

Verse 2:
At the twenty year high school reunion
She put on her best Sunday dress
She waited but he never came
Too busy out tamin’ the west I guess
The old flame burned down to ashes
And ashes blow hard on the wind
She longingly woke up the next mornin’ after
A wonderin’ and wishin’ again

Repeat Chorus

Knight On A White Horse
Verse 1:
There’s a knight on a white horse ridin’
Through the day and the dark to get home
From the battlegrounds where he was fightin’
To the woman he left waitin’ alone

There’s a cold hard wind upon his shoulder
There’s a ragin’ storm across the plain
There are mountains and deserts left to cross
Before he sees her again

Like the knight on the white horse ridin’
There is nothin’ in the world I wouldn’t do
For the hope and the promise of this family
I will always make it home to you
I will always come back home to you

Verse 2:
And I know you’ll be up all night a waitin’
Wonderin’ how I’ll make it home alive
Thinkin’ only the worst of news is comin’
Hopin’ and prayin’ I’ll survive

But the white knight wields the sword of God
And Faith is his everlasting shield
Love is his shining suit of armor
And a soldier’s heart is made of iron will

Repeat Chorus:

Bound by love that is Eternal
Sealed by promises we’ve made
There are legions of Angels all around us
That listen close to every word you pray

Final Verse:
There’s a knight on a white horse ridin’
Through the day and the dark to get home
From the battlegrounds where he was fightin’
To the woman he left waitin’ all alone

A Better Friend
Verse 1:
Through the phone I can hear the pain inside your voice
The same I’ve heard inside my own when I didn’t have a choice
You say the years and long hard miles have fin’ly taken their toll
Nowadays you come down hard when you used to tuck ‘n’ roll
Wild colts and lightnin’ bolts still dance inside your mind
But when a storm breaks loose on a young cayuse you’re just step behind

But I know who you are
And I know there’ll never be
A better man, a better hand, a better friend to me

Verse 2:
I listen to the stories of your life out in these hills
And through your eyes I always find a little iron will
To stand against the winds of change and go the extra mile
To treat my fellow man in kind with an honest word and smile
And sink a spur even when it hurts and always do my best
Never be afraid to wear my heart out on my chest

Repeat Chorus

Ain’t it time for some else to ride them green-broke colts
Take some time out for yourself and the woman that you hold
She’s got a heart of gold

Verse 3:
So take the easy trail back home there’s nothin’ left to prove
Wannabees like me come free but there’s damn few left like you
Sell your colts and your broken bones and buy a grown up horse
There’s no shame in givin’ in as nature takes its course
Wild colts and lightnin’ bolts still dance inside your mind
There’s a man looks just like you ropin’ mustangs inside mine

Final Chorus

Wolf Reaper
Verse 1:
Well the battle of the wolves is on
The north woods is their home
Where the Wapiti and Shiras used to run
They were once many thousand strong
Now the black bear is all but gone
And who will save the West there is but one

From deep in the Bitteroot Range
To the tips of the Selway Crags
The ghost wolf reaper rides his secret line
In those dark black timbered hills
He studies old wolf kills
Trying to restore what’s yours and mine

OOOOOh Ahhhhh Somewhere the ghost wolf reaper rides
OOOOOh Ahhhhh Until the last damn gray wolf cries

Verse 2:
You’ll never hear his name
He searches not for fame
For he’s seen the cow and calf elk on the run
Brought down in their own blood
To drown in crimson mud
And he won’t stop until the war is won

Think of him what you will
A man that lives to kill
Or is he more a man that lives to save
The last great roaming herds
Of wild things on the earth
What forty years of conservation gave

Repeat Chorus

And as another wolf pack cries
Their chorus sounds like demons in the night
Politicians sold on lies
But the west will not go down without a fight
Final Chorus

HOW YOU HEAL is the twelfth original studio album from Cowboy Singer/Songwriter Brenn Hill. Inspired by a life in and a love of the West, Hill continues to give great insight to the indomitable spirit of the Cowboy and the high and lonesome corners of the last American frontiers.

Surrounded by some of the music industry’s finest instrumentalists, Brenn’s confident performances reflect an undeniable passion for his music and the people and places that inspire him. The title track, “How You Heal”, is a poignant tribute to a Utah Ranch Family reeling in the wake of tragedy. In its haunting refrain, we learn “how you heal a cowboy’s heart”. There is “healing in the mountain’s church” and “peace for the hearts that hurt”. It is the song that Brenn calls his “greatest work yet.”

“Modern-Day, Middle-Age Cowboy” is a tribute to the forty-something cowboys that are torn between the life they long to live and the obligations of a growing family. “Twenty and Cowboy” is a look back at the wonder and optimism that a young cowboy experiences as he hires on for his first job in the saddle. “The Highway To Nogales” is the story of a brave cowboy’s desperate plea to a Mexican Drug Lord and his odyssey through the Sonoran Desert. “Mono” gives insight to the depth and strength of the kinship between a cowboy and his working partner – the horse. “Knight On a White Horse” honors fatherhood and the integrity of family, while “Wolf Reaper” and “The Houndsman” give real insight to the men who spend their winters chasing the great predators of the West.

HOW YOU HEAL is a recording that covers a broad range of themes, none more prominent than a pure love of the land. It is both a look back and forward from an artist that knows what it takes to survive, thrive, and find love in the rugged and beautiful mountains and plains of the American West. Order your CD today!

CUT-BY-CUT (The story behind the songs)

01 How You Heal
 There’s a set of corrals at the bottom of Otter Creek that’s full of calves in the Spring. The Weston Family invited me to the brandin’ pen just a few months after losing one of their own in a truck rollover accident. “A field of branded calves” meant a brand new start for a significant Utah ranching family. It was a day I’ll never forget.
02 Middle Age Cowboy
 For my friends that refuse to put down the rope at any cost…this song is a tribute to the “modern day, middle-age cowboy.”
03 Highway to Nogales
 This one is spun from a book I read and the tales I’ve been told by ranchers and cowpokes on the Southern Arizona border. A Texas-raised puncher makes a brave delivery to save his family from a ruthless drug Lord. Think this never happened…?
04 Twenty and Cowboy
 We sent our oldest son off to Deseret Land & Livestock for an adventure with the Hooper 3rd Ward. It was his first trip to the mountains by himself and on top of being a little nervous about it, a part of me really wanted to be there. This song takes a look back at when I was Twenty and Cowboy.
05 American Blue Eyes
 On a cold winter night I found myself rolling along “Old Combe Road” in South Ogden remembering warm summer nights and a teenage romance. Oh how O-town has changed…
06 Fair Weather Cowboy
These days, it takes a little more than a good mount to make me a helluva hand.
07 The Mountain is My Mistress
The time I spend away from my family on the road is one thing, but to turn around and leave again the name of R&D is a hard sell sometimes. This one is a confession of sorts I guess. And may there always be another adventure.
08 Mono
Always in my dreams I’m on a little brown and white paint. He’s older now and a little less prone to booger. The weather is always good and it’s just me and my old pard and there’s nothin’ to do but ride.
09 The Dell
The Dell is one of the last exits before the salt flats out on I-80. The range stretches far to the south below the old cedar mountain range. The corrals by the highway are a good place to brand. The blood moon phase sheds an eerie light across the valley.
10 Cowgirl Dreams
Quinn Stark has appeared in more than a couple of my tunes. He’s a former rough stock rider and all around good guy. I nominate him for Jr High School rodeo Dad of the century.
11 Mama Bair
The Bair family ranches just east of Glenwood Springs. To know them is to love them. Mama Bair takes her shot of chemo and heads back to the ranch to make a hand. There’s a load of grit and love in her heart. She is a true woman of the west and the Bair ranch will always offer you a good adventure.
12 The Houndsman
My cousin and a couple of my closest friends spend a good chunk of their winters chasing mountain lions. This song commemorates some great times on the mountain looking for tracks and listening for the bay of an old hound dog. Bring on the winter.
13 She Could’ve Married A Cowboy
When ‘Little Isaac’ left for his mission, I asked him if he had a girlfriend. We were looking down over China Town into Toone Canyon. It was his last day in the saddle on the range before he left for Philadelphia. And the rest is history.
14 Knight On A White Horse
With so much controversy surrounding the legal definition of the family, I set out with pen and guitar in hand to confirm my stance on this issue. My beautiful wife and family are the greatest gift God ever gave to me.
15 A Better Friend
When Briggs was “in-the-stuff” and on his back in the hospital, legendary cowboy and packer Ross Knox called about every other day to check on him. A few years down the road, after a bad wreck, I could hear a similar pain in Ross’s voice when I called to check on him.
16 Wolf Reaper
The ‘northern woods’ refers to the Selway-Bitterroot, the Kootenai, and the other mountain ranges of the west that have been wrongfully infested with a larger more aggressive Canadian Gray Wolf. Ranges that once were teeming with large ungulates are now quiet and empty as the packs enlarge and run deeper into the timber. But those who live there know the legend of one who rides to save the west.


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    Spirit Rider

    Verse 1:
    Well I know you can’t imagine ridin’ on alone
    Carryin’ on this ranch on your own
    Now the winds of change are blowin’ and the winter’s settin’ in
    And you look like you have lost your best friend
    And you’re feelin’ like the good times are all gone
    And you wonder if its time for movin’ on

    Chorus 1:
    But the Spirit Rider’s comin’
    On a white horse through the sky
    Give your horse his head and run him
    Brother don’t ever ask why
    I’m the angel on your shoulder
    I’ll be ridin’ alongside ya
    You will always be my brother
    Now I’m your Spirit Rider

    Verse 2:
    Well there ain’t no use in wishin’ you could hear my voice again
    Just listen to the cold Wyomin’ wind
    I’m the blue sky in the summer I’m the colors of the Fall
    I’m the horses you love most of all
    And if you really want to feel me close to you
    Go and do the things we loved to do

    Chorus 2:
    Cause the Spirit Rider’s comin’
    On a white horse through the sky
    Give your horse his head run him
    Brother don’t ever ask why
    I’m the angel on your shoulder
    I’ll be ridin’ alongside ya
    You will always be my brother
    Now I’m your Spirit Rider

    Carry on this family brand
    If you ever need a hand

    Final Chorus
    From Spotted Bear Montana to Nez Perce Idaho
    I am free Lord I am free
    Turn me loose and set me runnin’ on Elk City Wagon Road
    I’ll be free Lord I’ll be free

    The Land of No Return

    Verse 1:
    Through the veil I can see my family’s tears
    I can feel the depth of sorrow as they mourn
    For my body lies in ruin ‘neath a stand of Douglas Fir
    And from their arms for mortal life I have been torn

    But I lived strong and I loved deeply on the earth
    I chose the road of righteousness and truth
    And I held the girl that loved me; prayed for the one that gave me birth
    As I smiled and bid farewell to my own youth

    So let me fly again on unbreakable wings
    We will meet again in the land beyond all dreams
    And though my life is over there’s no need for you to mourn
    There is peace here in the land of no return

    Verse 2:
    So live your dreams for I am living beyond mine
    I know now just how the mystery unfolds
    Believe in God’s eternal plan and know that I’ll be fine
    With the love of my life here for me to hold

    And praise the land where I took my final breath
    May those Salmon River Mountains ever stand
    For I lived a life of freedom and I died a cowboy’s death
    And there’s nothin’ more to ask of any man

    Repeat Chorus

    Guns A Blazin’

    Verse 1:
    You have cause to wonder how much I love you
    The time has come for you my son to finally hear the truth
    You are what I live for and everything I do
    I do because I love you and I know you love me too

    And I yell from the sidelines of the game that you call life
    And I always love you though you won’t always be right
    For the rest of forever or until my days are through
    I’ll come runnin’ guns a blazin’ just to prove my love for you

    Verse 2:
    The signs are all around us the world is changing fast
    You are living proof to me God saved his best for last
    The way you treat the ones you beat with honor and respect
    The way you stand tall in defeat may you never forget

    That I yell from the sidelines of the game that you call life
    And I always love you though you won’t always be right
    For the rest of forever or until my days are through
    I’ll come runnin’ guns a blazin’ just to prove my love for you

    And I know I don’t always say the things you need to hear
    But you can hear how I love you every time I stand and cheer
    And for the rest of forever or until my days are through
    I’ll come runnin’ guns a blazin’ just to prove my love for you
    I’ll come runnin’ guns a blazin’ just to prove my love for you

    Hill Family Song

    Verse 1:
    We have been saved for these latter days
    We have been made to follow His way
    There may be times we might turn in despair
    But He is always there

    We will go on
    And we will not fall
    And we will not run
    We will be strong
    Through the darkest night
    We’ll stand and fight
    Through the deepest pain
    Our love remains
    And we will go on

    Verse 2:
    This battle of life
    Rages outside
    So we face the storm
    We’re ready to ride
    And there may be times
    We must stand on our own
    But we are never alone

    Repeat Chorus

    The day will come when we will be with Him again
    But until then

    Final Chorus

    We will go on
    We will go on

    Daddy’s And Daughters

    Verse 1:
    What am I gonna do with a little baby girl
    I don’t know the first thing ‘bout how you see the world
    I never had a sister I don’t understand my wife
    Now I’ve signed up to love you for the rest of my life

    Daddy’s and daughters
    Cowboys and Angels
    It’s a love so true
    There’s nothin’ I won’t do
    For two sweet arms around my neck
    And a kiss upon my cheek
    Little girl you’re everything to me

    Verse 2:
    You’re growin’ up so fast and I really don’t know why
    I’ll hold you forever or until you wanna fly
    Cause everything that’s right and good and innocent and true
    Is sittin’ here right next to me and livin’ inside you

    Repeat Chorus

    So take my hand and hold on for dear life
    It’s a big mean world so cover up your eyes
    And dream those dreams that every little cowgirl dreams
    Little girl you’re everything to me
    Little girl you’re everything to me

    Ballad of Sim Weston, Jr

    Verse 1:
    They arced on the highway one October mornin’
    When that renegade bay dropped his head without warnin’
    With two oncoming semis in either direction
    We reigned up to witness the fate of Simmie Weston

    While off to the west over Monte dark thunderclouds gathered
    With his spurs deep in flanks it was clear that nothing else mattered
    With nothing to spare in time’s narrow portal
    We all turned to see Simmie Weston become immortal

    Verse 2:
    They were frozen in time; they were framed in blue lightnin’
    And I knew in my mind he’d die tryin’ to fight him
    As an oncoming semi laid hard on the horn
    I saw the eyes of that bronc become lost and forlorn

    While off on the soft grassy shoulder a thousand black cattle
    Bellowed in rhythm with thunder a song for the battle
    At the last fleeting moment in time’s narrow portal
    The bay horse decided Simmie Weston’s immortal

    Verse 3:
    Some men speak of legend I’ve told you no tale
    The greatest bronc fighters would die rather than fail
    But he rides today through time’s narrow portal
    Through the Deseret sage…Simmie Weston, the immortal

    Defenders Recording Company announces the release of SPIRIT RIDER, the eleventh studio recording from Singer/Songwriter Brenn Hill. Recorded at Spiral Studios of St George Utah and produced by Brenn Hill and Ryan Tilby , this Faith-Based collection of original songs and popular Hymns was released March 31st, 2015.

    Featuring one of the West’s most dynamic solo artists surrounded by some of the music industry’s finest instrumentalists, SPIRIT RIDER gives bold insight to western life, the land, and the perspective of the Christian Cowboy.

    “Spirit Rider” is a song that portrays the triumphant return of a fallen cowboy to his ranching family after a tragic and accidental death. “Guns A Blazin’” and “Daddies And Daughters” honor the deep love of a father for his children and “Land of No Return” reconnects an Angel with his family following a plane crash that left his “body in ruins ‘neath a stand of Douglas Fir.”

    Popular Hymns like “How Great Thou Art” and “The Rugged Old Cross” are Cowboy Church Classics recorded in contemporary form while Andy Wilkinson’s “Power In the Wind” and Red Steagall’s “One Empty Cot In the Bunkhouse” leave you with visions of the Texas Canyons that inspired them.

    If you love and long for the West, if the Mountain is your Church, and if Christ is your Beacon, SPIRIT RIDER will take you to high places.



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    Ode to Selway

    Verse 1:
    From the low-lying mountains to the Salmon River breaks
    I am free Lord I am free
    The MacGruder Road from Darby; headwaters of the Snake
    I am free Lord I am free

    Chorus 1:
    And I miss my home and family and the woman that I love
    But the spirit of The Lapwei runs through the land like blood
    And I’m leavin’ it behind me now for that’s how it has to be
    But I’ll return and I’ll be free

    Verse 2:
    The Black Bear and the Lion and the blasted timber wolves
    They run free Lord they run free
    The canyon winds and rivers clear and clean as polished gold
    They run free Lord they run free

    Chorus 2:
    And the world it keeps a changin’ spinnin’ faster all the time
    When a tired and troubled nation weighs heavy on my mind
    I can leave it all behind me and be just who I want to be
    And be free Lord and be free


    Repeat Chorus 2

    Verse 3:
    From Spotted Bear Montana to Nez Perce Idaho
    I am free Lord I am free
    Turn me loose and set me runnin’ on Elk City Wagon Road
    I’ll be free Lord I’ll be free

    Final Chorus:
    When you see that crystal water you will never be the same
    You can disappear and wander in land never to be tame
    Leave your troubles far behind you come and ride along with me
    And be free Lord and be free
    And be free, and be free

    Breakaway Runaway

    Verse 1:
    She gathers slack on a Saturday night
    On a horse bred Lucky J Pine
    She spins his heels in the July dust
    And whispers ‘everything is gonna be fine’
    The price of diesel’s up a dollar fifteen
    Since they struck out in the Spring
    They broke left and she missed him clean
    All she can do now is cling to the dream

    Of a Breakaway Runaway
    There’s another rodeo down a long dark road
    She’s far away from her Selway River home
    But she’s gonna bring the big money back one day
    She’s a Breakaway Runaway

    Verse 2:
    Her heart breaks at the sound of his voice
    Sayin’ “Mommy when you comin’ back home?”
    She whispers soon but she’s got no choice
    She never dreamed she could feel so alone
    But there’s a fire burnin’ deep inside
    And a new hope shinin’ in her eyes
    She was born to rope and ride
    From the Texas plains to the Selway skies

    Repeat Chorus

    Her heart is flyin’ when the chute gate opens
    Horse is runnin’ like the Selway’s rollin’

    Final Chorus

    Blacktail Butte

    Verse 1:
    Nothin’ like the golden Camas Prairie in the Fall
    Stretchin’ to the canyons and the hills
    Catch that Old Blue Roani in the twilight before dawn
    With the whitetail buck a boundin’ through the fields
    Through the fields

    And it’s seven rocky miles to the meadows on the butte
    Where the fatties drift and mingle through the pines
    You dump out Old Blue Roani-he’s a frosty backed galute
    Thank goodness for the soft grass if you land on your behind

    Up on Blacktail Butte it’s a high and lonesome feelin’
    Up on Blacktail Butte with the whipperwill a singin’
    Up on Blacktail Butte chase them fatties through the meadow
    Turn ‘em towards the two track on the muddy sawmill loop

    Up on Blacktail Butte you can hear the bull elk bugle
    Up on Blacktail Butte see the red tail and the eagle
    Up on Blacktail Butte chase them fatties through the meadow
    As you whoop an’ spur an’ spin an’ run
    Up on Blacktail Butte

    Verse 2:
    Twas just a dusty summer since we struck out in the rain
    Drove them skinnies up from down below
    Ol’ Quinney blew his latigo just off Kamiaih grade
    And landed in a pile of mud an’ snow
    Mud an’ snow

    He rode the long and windin’ road a shiverin’ to the bone
    Bouncin’ on that rusty old flat bed
    Climbed into his pickup and he lit a shuck fer home
    With a busted rib and goose egg on his head
    On his head

    Repeat Chorus

    There’s somethin’ in the way those meadows move in the wind
    Somethin’ in the way the timber stands
    It’s somethin’ of a feelin’ when you ride along the rim
    And see a line o’ cattle wearin’ your old family brand

    Final Chorus

    Ridin' Job

    Verse 1:
    I still remember how it rained
    Still hear the whistlin’ wire
    I know we really haven’t changed
    Since our first brandin’ fire

    It’s such a long and windin’ road
    Through years of sacrifice
    If we knew then now what we know
    Would we still choose the life

    Chorus 1:
    We rode the Glory Trail my friend
    That leads right straight to God
    Still searchin’ everywhere west
    To find a ridin’ job

    Verse 2:
    You take the Baker Highway home
    To southeast Oregon
    You’d take it easy all alone
    But you are not alone

    Four hungry mouths you have to fill
    New dreams to carry on
    You’re just a buckaroo but still
    Your legacy grows strong

    Chorus 2:
    You ride the Glory Trail my friend
    That leads right straight to God
    Still searchin’ everywhere west
    To find a ridin’ job

    And now the cities of the west
    They spread like prairie fire
    Still it burns deep inside my chest
    It is my one desire

    Final Verse:
    To saddle up at break of dawn
    And ride into the wind
    To see the west before it’s gone
    Once more with you my friend

    Final Chorus
    To ride the Glory Trail again
    That leads right straight to God
    Still searchin’ everywhere west
    To find a ridin’ job

    A Cowgirl's Goodbye

    Verse 1:
    Perkiset takes the edge off
    Ibuprofen takes the swell
    Ice packs upon these old broken bones
    Man I still feel like Hell

    I’ve had broken bones before
    I’ve been bucked off to save my life
    But the pain I feel it will never heal
    Your sharp tongue cuts me like a knife

    And Hell hath no fury like a cowgirl’s goodbye
    It’s colder than the Norther blowin’ cross the Texas sky
    And it’s sharp like a dagger diggin’ deep into my side
    Hell hath no fury like a cowgirl’s goodbye

    Verse 2:
    I can’t run to chase you down
    And I won’t make it on my own
    When the night comes again the pain rushes in
    I’ll sober up and realize that you’re gone

    Repeat Chorus

    You’ll be halfway to Oklahoma
    Just a whisper in that cold Panhandle wind
    I’ll be back on my feet in a couple of weeks
    But I’ll never be the same again

    Final Chorus

    The Ones That Changed Our Lives

    Verse 1:
    I can’t stand the news but I can’t walk away
    I hold the ones I love; I don’t know what to say
    I fall upon my knees and offer up a prayer
    For someone so far away somewhere

    Verse 2:
    I am a simple man I lead a simple life
    I do all that I can for my children and my wife
    But I can’t stop the world and I can’t guarantee
    A lesser fate will wait for them or me

    There are days that change the times
    There’s a time to say goodbye
    There’s a place beyond the clouds where a precious angel flies
    Some things never change
    There are things that change us all
    This one’s for the ones that changed our lives

    Repeat Chorus

    But we are not alone and loved ones never leave
    We will meet again if we just believe
    That love trumps tragedy in spite of what has been
    We will be with Emily again

    Final Chorus


    Verse 1:
    Brianna saddle up that pony and ride him one last time
    Before the winds of change blow you away
    Ride him ‘til you’re out of your troubled mind and everything will be okay
    I promise somebody hears the dreams you pray

    And cowgirls and angels are one in the same
    And if you’re gonna be true you’re gonna have to be strong
    And if you find yourself all alone just whisper my name
    And hold on, hold on Brianna

    Verse 2:
    You know that somebody loves you more than you could ever know
    And everything that she does she does for you
    She can’t stop the risin’ tide of trouble in your life
    But she’ll do anything else that she can do

    Repeat Chorus

    I can’t even stand to think of tears from your blue eyes
    So ride into the wind and let ‘em dry

    Final Chorus

    The Bristlecone Pine

    Verse 1:
    Staunch in conviction, hard twisted and ancient
    Surveying the world from its perch in the cold
    The bristlecone pine through millennia watches
    As new chapters open on stories untold

    It watched as our young ones were schooled in tradition
    And watched generations each march off to war
    Then watched as their soldiers returned broken hearted
    Just longing to sleep as they once had before

    Chorus 1:
    But war’s never over for mem’ry or dreams
    And, innocence lost ain’t important, it seems
    Oft woke being soaked through in sweat, fear and screams
    Which make both your head and heart pound
    You still drop at the stop of a sound
    Cuz you’re stuck on some old battleground

    Verse 2:
    The bristlecone whispers to wind in the valley
    The wisdom of ages that live on the shelf
    How humans are warlike by nature, and oddly
    The only real threat to their kind is their self

    They war over thought, and they war for religion
    They war for a prize just the size of a throne
    How many more young will they send off to battle
    Before they start helping the heart to get home

    Chorus 2:
    But war’s never over for mem’ry or dreams
    And, life ain’t as precious as claimed, so it seems
    Oft woke being soaked through in sweat, fear and screams
    In a pain worse than most can conceive
    Tryin’ hard to hold on and believe
    Feeling forgot and deceived
    Dying of PTSD

    Final Verse:
    The bristlecone whispers to wind in the valley
    Surveying the world from its perch in the cold
    Twisted and ancient, through millennia it watches
    As a new generation is readied for war

    It Wasn't California

    Verse 1:
    He wears an old gray sweat-stained hat
    With a Montana crease
    Pulled down low upon his eyes
    Gotta wonder how he sees

    He rides a Hamley A-Fork saddle
    Built in 1952
    And he swears that punchin’ cattle
    Is just what he was born to do

    If he weren’t an old Vaquero
    And a two reign Hacka-Mormon
    You’d swear it wasn’t California

    Verse 2:
    Close the big steel gate behind ya
    Built by an LA millionaire
    Drive a mile past the home ranch
    You’re in Paradise somewhere

    Two track trail through live oak trees
    Cattle drift the golden hills
    The smell of ocean spray reminds you
    You’re in California still

    Repeat Chorus

    And he can’t afford the taxes
    On a place to call his own
    And his truck won’t pass emissions
    And he can’t carry a gun

    Final Verse:
    So he hand braids horse hair bridles
    Just to pass the time away
    And he remembers California
    Before the sixties came to stay

    Final Chorus:
    And if it weren’t for the ocean
    And the rollin’ central coast
    And the live oak and persimmon
    And the canyons he loves most
    And if he weren’t an old vaquero
    And a two-reign Hacka-Mormon
    You’d swear it wasn’t California

    Salmon River Motel

    Verse 1:
    River riders wait for her
    Free and easy she is sure
    The Salmon River and her soul
    Come together where the rapids roll

    I’m a cowhand-a buckaroo
    Between the timber and Montana blue
    Now I wait for Friday night
    We’ll be dancin’ in the moonlight

    At the Salmon River Motel
    Along the highway I know so well
    Heaven waits ‘neath Seven Devils
    At the Salmon River Motel

    Verse 2:
    She’s a taker; takes her time
    Makes me believe that she is mine
    But the Salmon River never ends
    Will she come back again

    Repeat Chorus

    And it’s a lonesome drive on Sunday night
    Back to Missoula by first light
    There’s a river runnin’ through my mind
    And a girl I long to find

    Final Chorus

    The Rawhide Braider

    Chorus 1:
    Over two under two lay pull again
    I will teach you reata my friend
    Only good as what you will put in
    Over two under two lay pull again

    Verse 1:
    Scrapin’ hair off of hide he had skinned stretched and dried
    To cut braidin’ strings narrow and thin
    He taught me the trade in the cool Sunday shade
    The wisdom of more years than I’d been
    For decades he practiced the skill of the craftsmen
    For usable art he would strive
    His whisper to a world where nothing seems to last was
    Slow down no one gets out alive

    Chorus 2:
    Over two under two lay pull again
    I will teach you reata my friend
    Like a spirit they fly on the wind
    Over two under two lay pull again

    Verse 2:
    I spent most of my Sundays in his school of life
    He’d share of the things that he knew
    And I found that most guys that I had long idolized
    Learned their rawhide under him too
    Prepare the hide well the keep your blade sharp as Hell
    Damper the strings almost dry
    Take time to lay every string tight and straight
    And make somethin’ that’s worthy of pride
    That will live long after you die

    Final Chorus:
    Over two under two lay pull again
    I will teach you reata my friend
    One day we are all dust in the wind
    Over two under two lay pull again

    Angles in this Room

    Verse 1:
    The cold November chill
    Followed me at will
    Down the hall into my room
    That fateful night I first met you

    Now a warm Alaska sun
    Lights the night and makes us one
    I can’t believe I’m here with you
    But you believed in me and I believe it’s true

    Chorus 1:
    There were Angels in my room
    To show the way
    To get me through
    I don’t know where I’d be or what I’d do
    Without the Angels in my room
    One of them was you

    Verse 2:
    Let me feel the Kenai wind
    Let me dance with you my friend
    Let tonight go on and on
    From the midnight sun to the break of dawn

    Chorus 2:
    There’ll be Angels in this room
    To show the way
    To get you through
    I don’t know where I’d be or what I’d do
    Without the Angels in this room
    One of them was you

    Can you believe how time flies?
    You’ll always be an Angel in my eyes

    Repeat Chorus 1

    50 Years
    (Ian Tyson lyrics) 

    Announcing the new release from singer/songwriter Brenn Hill, Red Cliffs Press is proud to present a collection of music that honors the great Selway Wilderness and beyond. Featuring twelve all-new, all-original songs and a cover of legendary Ian Tyson’s “Fifty Years Ago,”  (more…)



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    High Country

    Verse 1:
    I can’t think about my work today
    Even though I’m barely hangin’ on
    There’s a voice inside says “Run away…
    They won’t even know you’re gone”

    I’m a wildcat in a cage today
    Thinkin’ ‘bout the places I could be
    I don’t know how I can break away
    All I know is that I’ve got to break free

    To the High Country
    Like the Mountain Lion
    In the Land of Eagles
    Let my soul unwind
    It’s my Rocky Mountains
    That you can’t take from me
    Let me find myself
    In the High Country

    Verse 2:
    There’s a trail up Granite Peak
    Hidden by the sagebrush and the wind
    You can hear the mountain speak
    It says welcome back my long lost friend

    Repeat Chorus:

    And the future is uncertain for me
    For the places that I go
    Like the River of No Return you see
    Where the lost wind blows clean through your soul

    Verse 3:
    It’s a lonesome dream I know
    You might think I’ve lost my mind
    But there’s a hole inside your soul
    There’s a peace you long to find

    Final Chorus

    Hey Dawson
    Verse 1:
    Hey Dawson let’s ride again
    Up Franklin Canyon with our faces to the wind
    Let’s start at daybreak when the East is turnin’ gray
    Laugh about the ones that got away

    Hey Dawson let’s ride again
    Up the old red dugway and around the aspen bend
    Up on top of Timberfork and down the other side
    Let’s count our blessings as we ride

    For the time’s a changin’ the city’s closin’ in
    Across that old cattle guard our troubles all begin
    My heart is broken I need a friend
    Hey Dawson let’s ride again

    Verse 2:
    Hey Dawson where the Hell you goin’
    Huntin’ season’s comin’ and there’s talk of early snow
    These old red canyons they won’t ever be the same
    Just by the mention of your name

    Hey Dawson I’ll write you a song
    But this time where you’re goin’ I can’t ride along
    From old Hunt’s Meadow to the dusty Echo side
    Those were the best times in my life

    Repeat Chorus

    Final Verse:
    Hey Dawson let’s ride again
    Paradise can’t hold a candle to the places we have been
    Beneath the endless shadows of majestic Lewis Peak
    Until They set my spirit free

    Final Chorus

    Courage In The Saddle
    Verse 1:
    My name is Bobby Adair listen to my tale
    It ain’t much of a story so you’d better listen well
    In Southeast Oklahoma when I was but a boy
    I ran many a match race and I never wanted more
    I believed then I could ride anything with hair
    Then one California mornin’ I found myself there
    At Los Alamitos Race Course in 1962
    Where the story starts and ends is where you find the dream comes true

    Courage in the saddle
    Face into the wind
    You ride each time like you won’t live again
    If you’re gonna ride to win son it’s gonna be a battle
    You better have a heart of steel
    And courage in the saddle

    Verse 2:
    Anna Dial was ten to one in ’64 on May the 9th
    We were twenty-five-large richer when she crossed the finish line
    Night races at Bay Meadows ’68 to ‘73
    There never was a jockey who had won as much as me
    We were back at Alamitos in May of ‘84
    Thick fog down the straightaway, mud on the racetrack floor
    John Critter on “Face in the Crowd” turned left in front of me
    And the bottom side of runnin’ hooves was all that I could see

    Repeat Chorus

    Verse 3:
    Crushed my foot and ankle, my shoulder, and my face
    But my longin’ for the racetrack no surgery could replace
    So as a twenty year Outrider I’ll finally retire
    From the course at Alamitos the place I first caught fire
    And the years have passed right through me I’ll never be the same
    And the changin’ times and politics we ought to be ashamed
    For we’re short of field and horses Midwest jockeys they’re all through
    Where the story starts and ends is where you find the dream comes true

    Final Chorus

    Single Winter Rose
    Verse 1:
    Well the trail up Girtsen Canyon is covered in with snow
    I always dreamed that such a day would come my time to go
    With all our children gathered proud for the life I freely chose
    And on an old pine box you’d place a single winter rose

    For sixty years we did our best to make a house a home
    A woman’s life as a cowboy’s wife is too much time alone
    But down the trail I rode each night you waited here for me
    Now sittin’ here without you near ain’t how it’s supposed to be

    And would you be a cowboy’s wife again
    The hard times and lonely days and nights that never end
    ‘Cause Eileen I still love you as the Good Lord only knows
    It’s time to say goodbye now with this single winter rose

    Verse 2:
    The kids are gathered round me now their children and our friends
    We’re singin’ songs and memories I hope it never ends
    There’s still so much we have to say about you and your love
    Lookin’ back I can’t help feel I never said enough

    We’ll put up your old saddle now your spurs hang on the wall
    The picture of our wedding day that I love most of all
    Little things I should’ve done Lord how the time it goes
    I honor and I love you with this single winter rose

    Repeat Chorus

    The trail up Girtsen Canyon is covered in with snow
    I never dreamed that such a day would be your time to go…

    Verse 1:
    Up Indian Canyon all the way down Argyle all the way down Nine Mile
    You’ll hear his name
    The drunks in the trailer park, Game Wardens ridin’ ‘round in the dark
    Doesn’t matter who they are
    They all love him just the same

    Chorus 1:
    They all say, “Hey Finnigan, it’s always good to see you again
    I still remember when you were drillin’ for coal
    You’re one helluva sawmill man so put a cold one in your hand
    And by the way Old Finnigan, Blake says hello”

    Verse 2:
    The fair at Emory County good folks all around me the conversation drowns me
    When he walks in
    The old rough coal miners and the dry land farmers young ‘uns and the old timers they all turn and
    say, “Hey there’s Fin!”

    Chorus 2:
    And they say, “Hey Finnigan, it’s always good to see you again
    I still remember when you were drillin’ for coal
    You’re one helluva sawmill man so put a cold one in your hand
    And by the way Old Finnigan, Brenn says hello”

    I’ve been all around this wild and crazy world
    I’ve met folks from every walk of life
    The rich the poor the Jew the gentile boys and girls
    I’ve only met one woman I could ever call my wife

    Chorus 3:
    And there’s only one Finnigan it’s always good to see him again
    I’ve heard all the stories of when he was drillin’ for coal
    He’s one helluva sawmill man so put a cold one in his hand
    Then you tell Old Finnigan I said hello, Brenn says hello,
    You tell Old Finnigan, I said hello

    Bruneau Canyon
    Verse 1:
    I spent a night in the bunkhouse
    Down on Sheep Creek at Simplot #2
    Those black rock cliffs were all around us
    And the sky was a starry midnight blue

    Woke with the sunrise in the mornin’
    Desert sparrows singin’ through the brush
    I saddled Jasper in the lantern light
    And prayed I would make a hand that he could trust

    In Bruneau Canyon
    Springtime brandin’
    Lonesome as the windy ‘Wyhee plains
    North of Elko
    Southeast Idaho
    The cold gray sky that never rains
    I thank God some things never change

    Verse 2:
    Ten thousand acres to a pasture
    We gathered heifers until noon
    With their babies a bawlin’ ‘long beside them
    They’d feel the brandin’ iron soon

    Owyhee Mountains on the skyline
    Horse sweat and leather on the wind
    Lone buckaroos driftin’ through the sagebrush
    I prayed the day would never end

    Verse 3:
    We branded through the afternoon
    Ate lunch out on the dusty desert ground
    Then me and Elvin trailed some old dry heifers
    Back to the old Sheep Creek corrals

    I loaded Jasper in the Sooner
    And bid my new found pardners Adios
    And I think about them to this day
    But it’s the deep, dark Bruneau Canyon I miss most

    Purple Heart
    Verse 1:
    Clearwater River never-ending canyon such a long way where you are
    On the trail of Old Chief Joseph to the cold Northern Prairie
    I hear you calling from afar
    Your Purple Heart and Bronze Star

    I walk the woods there behind your son my lucky rifle in my hand
    We laugh and wander like soldiers on the run
    Huntin’ down an outlaw Indian band
    To where they made their final stand

    And Charlie can we talk about the war tonight
    Did you really kill 500 men
    Did their eyes glisten in the mortar light
    Would you go back there again
    With that damned old Agent Orange in your blood
    And that twisp of Old Montana in your scar
    Will you dig out that old Colt 45
    Your Purple Heart and Bronze Star

    Verse 2:
    Years on the mountain mappin’ out the Bob Morgan horses on the trails
    Them old canvas wall tents don’t hold out Grizzler Bears
    But that old pistol never failed
    And the best outfitter never tells

    Repeat Chorus

    Final Verse:
    Gotta go now I make my livin’ singin’ songs of men like you
    But this music business it’s like a war man
    They’ll kill a million ‘fore they’re through
    But my bullets fire red white and blue

    Final Chorus:

    A Mother's Love
    Verse 1:
    Look at me lookin’ down the children’s isle
    I feel your eyes upon me; I know I’ve been here quite a while
    And look at all these happy people with their children hand in hand
    Why the Lord took mine from me is somethin’ I won’t ever understand

    But I want this suit and tie
    And I want these little shoes
    Cause when we say goodbye
    I want him wearin’ somethin’ new
    And you ask if you can help me
    Maam you can’t help me enough
    I’m here today to redefine
    A Mother’s Love

    Verse 2:
    He was so much like his Daddy but so much more like me
    And he fought ev’ry day for ev’ry breath he took and now he’s fin’ly free
    And tonight I’ll dress him up just one last time for family and friends
    One door closes one door opens they say death is not the end

    Repeat Chorus:

    And there’s nothin’ you can say I’ve heard it all before
    Just ring me up I’ll pay now and then be out the door

    Final Verse:
    And you can go home to your family and kiss them all goodnight
    And know they’ll be there in the mornin’ and everything will be alright
    And when you send them off to school remember I’ll be sendin’ mine
    Back to his home in heaven and yeah I will be just fine

    Final Chorus:
    Cause I’ve got this suit and tie
    And I’ve got these little shoes
    So when we say goodbye
    He’ll be wearin’ somethin’ new
    And you ask if you can help me
    Maam you’ve helped me here so much
    I’m here today to redefine
    A Mother’s Love

    Just Gettin' Started
    Verse 1:
    Well you best leave me a message I might be on some pitchy old bronc
    Deep seat in the rockin’ chair doin’ the Honky Tonk
    I ain’t got time to kill ridin’ down the miracle mile
    I’m goin’ against my will son but I’m goin’ with a smile

    And that Rodeo Heaven that’s where I’ve already been
    New York in ’57 and I’m a goin’ there again
    So don’t expect to find me teary eyed and broken hearted
    The Doc might say I’m dyin’ son
    Hell I’m just gettin’ started

    Verse 2:
    I been ridin’ broncs and bulls for damn near fifty years
    I’ve lived all your cowboy poems and I ain’t got time for tears
    They say rodeo will kill ya’ leave ya’ a broken down tired old man
    I been dyin’ for years I guess cause ridin’ bulls son is who I am

    Repeat Chorus:

    And all them Honky Tonk Angels I almost hear them now
    And all my rodeo buddies are gonna carry me out
    Carry me out

    Final Verse:
    So when you feel one start to buckin’
    Dig a big spur in for Junior
    Me and the boys from the RCA
    Are gonna sit right back and join ya’

    Final Chorus:

    Rodeo Heaven
    Verse 1:
    Hey little cowboy they’re waiting for you
    Rodeo Heaven’s got somethin’ to do
    Wing-broncs and silver-horned bulls that can fly
    Rodeo Angels to sing through the sky

    Life is a gamble for any and all
    Sometimes you turn out
    Sometimes you fall
    Sometimes the best you can do is hang on
    Rodeo Heaven’s where Angels belong

    Verse 2:
    Mommy and Daddy are takin’ it hard
    Though deep in their hearts they know where you are
    So stop for a moment as you’re passin’ through
    Cadillac Cowboy a flyin’ through the blue

    Repeat Chorus

    Verse 3:
    Take your wings with you sweet little child
    Jesus will hold you so meek and so mild
    Then when you hear that old Rodeo bell
    Climb on that wing-bronc and spur him like Hell

    Repeat Chorus

    Verse 1:
    Salt packin’, mule-skinnin’, son of the Sage
    I’m tall in the saddle here beside you
    But just a city boy from another day and age
    Awestruck with wonder as we ride through

    Sweetwater stories of Great Basin Buckaroos
    I’m lost in the tales that you tell
    Life is a dusty trail you wouldn’t always choose
    A little bit of heaven and a little bit of hell

    Benny can you take me to the top of the world
    The Eastern Sierras where the mountains and the sky
    Come together forever like old friends in the wind
    Benny can you take me there again

    Verse 2:
    Don’t get your lead-rope caught beneath that horse’s tail
    Don’t rein him up hard if you do
    This is the canyon I remember oh so well
    When I was a wooly buckaroo

    My Basquo Father was New Mexican clean through
    He taught us horses all along
    I love my Linda and my baby Bonnie too
    Maybe you can put them in a song

    Repeat Chorus:

    Benny I don’t understand the changin’ of the times
    Why little boys get cancer why the Hell did mine
    Benny I don’t think I ever want to go back home
    I wanna ride here with you til the river turns to stone

    Final Chorus:

    The Buckaroo Fringe
    Verse 1:
    Feel again another Spring wind
    The snow disappears on the Southern Rim
    Air him out in the fields when the mornin’ ice thins
    Load him quiet and tight ‘fore you shut him in
    Take a ride down the alkali road
    Put your hand in the air ‘til you cover this load
    Unload at the state line cross
    Where the last winter snow will catch ya’ if you get tossed

    Chorus 1:
    Then you ride on through the meadow
    Where the real free world begins
    And it’s cold out here on the Buckaroo fringe
    Yeah it’s still cold here on the Buckaroo fringe

    Verse 2:
    Settle in to the old long trot
    There’s a summer ahead ‘til you see what he’s got
    In the brandin’ pen on the black-rock slide
    And the trail and the gather on the long divide
    Green buds on the aspen stand
    Feel the tension rise with a loop in your hand
    Now you turn back to the state line cross
    With a fire in your heart and a pretty good hoss

    Chorus 2:
    And you ride back through the meadow
    Cleansed of all your sins
    And it’s cold out here on the Buckaroo Fringe
    Yeah it’s still cold here on the Buckaroo Fringe

    We come alive in the early Spring when we’re tired ridin’ circles in a little round ring
    And it’s in the blood of the Buckaroo heart to be out in the world when it makes a new start

    Final Verse:
    Sun settin’ down the Centerline Road
    With a mud-track freezin’ in the twilight glow
    And a Dunn colt kickin’ on the last bend home
    At the end of his first ride out alone
    Turn him out in the stone corral
    Where he kicks and knickers at his long lost pals
    Then you close the gate and let the night begin
    And it’s cold out here on the Buckaroo Fringe
    Yeah it’s still cold here on the Buckaroo Fringe

    Verse 1:
    Carissa don’t you remember me there
    Flat on my back by that old rockin’ chair
    With tears in my eyes and tubes in my arm
    And my Mommy close by a keepin’ me warm

    Carissa I waited the whole winter long
    For you to come back and sing me a song
    The Spring and the Summer they beckoned you home
    You left me lonesome a singin’ alone

    Carissa I carry your song in my heart
    I’m a survivor
    We’ve both come so far
    And now you are married I know he loves you
    Always remember that I love you too

    Verse 2:
    Carissa I’m ridin’ my horses again
    I walk on my own though I fall now and then
    They say that miracles happen you know
    Hold onto my memory never let go

    Repeat Chorus

    Verse 3:
    Carissa I love you I’m lettin’ you go
    Go make your life now while I learn and grow
    And someday I’ll marry a sweet girl too
    Carissa I hope that she’s so much like you

    Final Chorus

    Horses In Heaven
    Verse 1:
    Allie I’ll be around
    Close when you need me
    Close as the sound
    Of teardrops fallin’ down slow
    Sweet little princess
    Don’t you know

    Chorus 1:
    That if there are horses in heaven
    Dapples and Sorrels and Bays
    Quarters and Ponies
    Trotters and Paints
    Round ones and skinnies
    Short ones and tall
    If there are horses in heaven
    You won’t have to miss me at all

    Verse 2:
    Mommy this is your song
    Sing when you need me
    I’ll sing a long
    Like a cool breeze across your sweet face
    Or sun on your shoulder
    That once was my place

    Chorus 2:
    And if there are puppies in heaven
    Fast ones and shy ones and strays
    Spaniels and Collies
    Boxers and Goldens
    Round ones and skinnies
    Short ones and tall
    If there are puppies in heaven
    You won’t have to miss me at all

    Maybe some days
    Days that we all used to love
    Christmas and birthdays
    That will be more than enough

    Final Chorus:
    Cause if there are horses in heaven
    Dapples and Sorrels and Bays
    Quarters and Ponies
    Trotters and Paints
    Round ones and skinnies
    Old ones and new
    If there are horses in heaven
    I’ll be here waiting for you

    RODEO HEAVEN is the eighth recording for Hill and the sixth under the Red Cliffs Press labeland produced by Brenn and his multi-instrumentalist cohort Ryan Tilby. It features veteran guitarist Rich Dickson and legendary Spokane, Washington bluegrass percussionist Bart Olson.  Hill penned fourteen all-new songs for the album which largely commemorates the immortality of one of the world’s most iconic figures-the cowboy.  “Live” studio recordings feature Brenn playing and singing surrounded by all-star musicians and capture raw emotion and dynamic energy with no auto-tune or studio tricks in chain.