It’s rare to find a cowboy in Nashville that doesn’t decorate themselves with rhinestones. But those rare few, those men of sweat, blood, and earth, hold wisdom and secrets long forgotten by city-slickers in the digital age. One of those men is Dave Barnes, the songwriter behind Blake Shelton’s “God Gave Me You” and the duet of the year “Craving You.” Hold on to yer hats, he’s going to teach you how to be a cowboy.
You may not know Barnes, but you should. His weathered chaps speak of hard cattle drives and lonely nights on the open plains. His mustache, untrimmed and flying wild like a hawk in the evening wind, heralds a new age of freedom. And his word, few but poignant, recall a forgotten age when a man staked his claim on hard work and reliable craftsmanship. He’s a man who ain’t afraid to stand up for what’s right and won’t shy away from justice.
If you want to be a cowboy like Barnes, the first thing you have to do is shed your city duds and equip yourself for the untamed trails.
(Note: The cover images on some of the videos aren’t showing up but the videos work, I promise.)
Next, you got to know how to ride a horse, ’cause a cowboy ain’t much without a trusty steed. Give it a name like Bullet, Lightnin’, or Trigger; something fast and strong.
Third, you need to know how to build a fire. Fires will keep you warm, scare away the vampires, and cook your food. Yeah, vampires, the mortal enemy of cowboys. The last thing any cowboy wants to meet on the range is an immortal, blood thirsty, Transylvanian. That’s why cowboys always carry garlic and wooden stakes. What!? You didn’t know that neither? You got a long way to go, hombre.
Lastly, you need to find love. Part of being a cowboy is having some sweet country girl you’re fighting to get back to. You don’t talk about it much and tend to spit or ride away when someone brings it up ’cause it hurts and you don’t know how to express your emotions. But don’t worry your head about it, there’s cattle that need branding and bad hombres to bring to heel. You’ll get home…someday.
That’s it, amigo. Time to get out on the range and with John Wayne’s hero, Dave Barnes.