Andy Hedges: Cowboy Songster & Poet Extolling the Virtues of the American West

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Andy Hedges got his love for all things cowboy and western through his dad. His father was a bull rider in his younger days, and aside from telling rodeo stories, he often listened to older style music from the likes of Tex Ritter, Marty Robbins, and Jimmie Rodgers. The younger Hedges grew up listening to his dad’s stories and music, and at the age of 13, he began teaching himself how to play the guitar and was soon reciting poetry. He cut his teeth on old country ballads and songs about cowboys and gunfighters. Immersed in the lifestyle at a young age, his love for it only grew stronger until he began expounding its virtues through song and spoken word.

A quarter-century later, the name Andy Hedges is revered in circles that follow cowboy poetry and music. He’s a cowboy songster. In fact, his sixth and seventh albums were titled just that – “Cowboy Songster,” volumes one and two, released in 2013 and 2016, respectively. Not only that, but he went on to release a recording of “Cowboy Recitations” in 2017 and continues to pursue the limits of folk tradition which has found a niche in the primarily fast-paced media market.

Andy Hedges: Cowboy Songster & Poet Extolling the Virtues of the American West
Photo: Andy Hedges with Ramblin’ Jack Elliott. Photo courtesy of Andy Hedges.

Making his foray into the podcasting world, Hedges found a role as a skilled orator.  Hedges is well-versed in the craft and lifestyle of his guests, many of whom are his long-time heroes. With each episode, the audience of his “Cowboy Crossroads” podcast is treated (and, it is indeed a treat), to a mix of “…music, poetry, and culture from the working cowboy West and beyond.” In speaking with Hedges on his projects and upcoming events, he defined the episodes as his opportunity to “expose more people to cowboy poetry and music as well as life in the working west. It’s interesting, diverse, and creative, all at the same time.”

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