5 O’Clock Somewhere
He and I
I Twisted the Wire
I’ll Ride Thru It
Last Horse in Dad’s String
The Good Years
There are few better representatives of the people of today’s real working West than Deanna Dickinson McCall, a fifth-generation rancher, writer, and poet who currently ranches with her husband Dave McCall on their remote New Mexico ranch.
In recent years, Deanna Dickinson McCall’s artistic output has been a
bountiful force of creativity. She has released recordings, books of stories and poems, and a book with artist JaNeil Anderson that pairs poems and paintings. She’s been recognized by organizations and her peers with awards, including the Georgie Sicking Award and the Will Rogers Medallion Award. Earlier this month, she was honored for her life and work with the Heritage Award from the Texas Cowboy Poetry Gathering, where she is often a featured poet.
Her latest release is I’ll Ride Thru It, a CD with fourteen strong tracks of cattle, horses, humor, romance, history, and rough country. The poems are fresh, written and presented in in her unique style, authentic, and informed by a life rich with challenges and rewards.
The lead poem is “It’s 5 O’Clock Somewhere,” which first appeared in Split Reins, with a painting by JaNeil Anderson. “Last Horse in Dad’s String” comes through with moving sentiment, strong and real. “Cake” starts with wild cattle and ends on a note of humor and good advice. “The Good Years,” which deals with drought, goes beyond nostalgia with a message of faith and gratitude, a way of thinking that has no doubt guided the writer through many hard times. A phrase from “His Queen,” a poem both gentle and powerful, says something about women like Deanna McCall and would delight the late female cowboy icon Georgie Sicking, “…always tender but tough when times are rough.” “I’ll Ride Thru It” is a proud philosophy of true grit:
When dust sticks to my sweat
Heat bouncing off the ground
Horse’s shoulders dripping wet
No breeze is to be found
I’ll ride thru it…”
“True Stories” sparkles with humor, an affectionate view of cowboys and their tales. And there’s more.
The widely varied poems are presented with a steady continuity. The flow is further complemented by a particular bonus: the musical accompaniment throughout by Jim Jones and Randy Huston. It is an art to pair music with poetry, an art that is rarely accomplished well. But in this case, the bond among these three artists and friends comes through with a perfect harmony. Jones and Huston create a true soundtrack, filled with imaginative tunes and moods and creative riffs that enhance—but never distract from—the poetry.
“I’ll Ride Thru It” comes together with grace. At the heart of this CD is the story of survival: of the spirit, of people, of horses and cattle, and of a way of life. Deanna Dickinson McCall’s poetry shines in this satisfying and original project.