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Mark Gardner & Rex Rideout | Frontier Favorites: Old-Time Music of the Wild West

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Mark's HarperCollins Author Site Mark & Rex Website Time Travel Music

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Folk: Traditional Folk Folk: Minstrel Moods: Type: Acoustic
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Frontier Favorites: Old-Time Music of the Wild West

by Mark Gardner & Rex Rideout

Documented ballads and songs performed on vintage instruments that convey the full sweep of the Western experience, from the early minstrel show to the Victorian parlor, including a healthy dose of music from the Mexican, Civil, and Indian wars.
Genre: Folk: Traditional Folk
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Old Dan Tucker (Daniel D. Emmett, et al., 1843)
2:23 $0.99
2. The Arkansas Traveller (trad., 1847)
1:36 $0.99
3. Oh! Susanna (Stephen C. Foster, 1848)
3:20 $0.99
4. De Boatman's Dance (Daniel D. Emmett, et al., 1843)
2:40 $0.99
5. Buffalo Gals (orig. Lubly Fan, John Hodges, 1844)
2:07 $0.99
6. Red Haired Boy (orig. Little Beggar Man, 1700s Scotland)
1:33 $0.99
7. Turkey in the Straw (orig. Zip Coon, circa 1830)
1:35 $0.99
8. Old Rosin the Beau (anon., 1838)
4:13 $0.99
9. Camptown Races (Stephen C. Foster, 1850)
1:25 $0.99
10. Old Joe Clark (trad., late 19th century)
3:12 $0.99
11. Soldier's Joy (orig. The King's Head, trad., 1700s)
1:50 $0.99
12. Song of Texas (lyrics anon., c. 1845; melody Jim Sanford, 1844)
2:20 $0.99
13. Capt. Jinks of the Horse Marines (Lingard & Maclagan, 1868)
2:27 $0.99
14. The Girl I Left Behind Me (trad., 1600s Ireland)
1:31 $0.99
15. Garry Owen (trad., late 1700s Ireland)
1:18 $0.99
16. The Battle Cry of Freedom (George F. Root, 1862)
4:21 $0.99
17. Gen. Pike's Dixie (lyrics Albert Pike, 1861; melody Dan Emmett)
3:43 $0.99
18. Lorena (H. D. Webster and J. P. Webster, 1857)
6:14 $0.99
19. Grandfather's Clock (Henry C. Work, 1876)
2:06 $0.99
20. The Santa Fe Trail (James Grafton Rogers, 1911)
3:28 $0.99
21. Barlow Knife (trad., a personal favorite, probably 20th cent.)
1:57 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes

Mark Gardner and Rex Rideout are today's premier performers and interpreters of the historic music of the American West. Gardner, in addition to his music, is a prolific historian and writer focusing on the 19th-century Western experience. His books include "Wagons for the Santa Fe Trade: Wheeled Vehicles and Their Makers, 1822-1880" (University of New Mexico Press) and "The Mexican War Correspondence of Richard Smith Elliott" (co-authored with Marc Simmons, University of Oklahoma Press). Gardner's first CD, "Songs of the Santa Fe Trail and the Far West" (Native Ground Music) has been used on the soundtracks of several television documentaries, most notably "The U.S.-Mexican War, 1846-1848," a PBS documentary that aired nationally in 1998. Rex Rideout (www.TimeTravelMusic.com), a long-time student of the music of the American West, works in the Geology Department at the Colorado School of Mines in Golden.

From the well known fiddle tune "Arkansas Traveller" to obscure pieces such as "Capt. Jinks of the Horse Marines," Gardner and Rideout's "Frontier Favorites: Old-Time Music of the Wild West" offers a variety of historic popular music rarely heard on one release. A wide selection of period instruments were used in the recording: fiddle, banjo, mandolin, guitar, bones, and even jawbone! Gardner used six different banjos to offer different historic textures for the listener, including a reproduction 1840s tack-head banjo, a circa 1900 S.S. Stewart Universal Favorite, and a 1963 Vega Folk Ranger. Period playing styles were also used throughout to make the music as authentic as possible.

Following is a review of "Frontier Favorites" by popular Colorado author and musician Jon Chandler:

There is a scratchy wax recording of my great grandfather Morgan Patterson fiddling Turkey in the Straw, cut on his 80th birthday sometime in the late 1940's. After a few moments of dissonance as the modern ear relearns the musical language of a bygone era, the song becomes thrilling, guiding the mind's eye into America's past. When I slipped Frontier Favorites: Old-Time Music of the Wild West into the CD player and advanced it to Turkey in the Straw, Rex Rideout's fiddle burst from the speakers as if played by Morgan at a Southern Colorado barn dance in the 1880's. The hair on my neck stood up for a good ten minutes.
With Frontier Favorites, Rideout and his musical cohort Mark Gardner have created a stylistically accurate period piece filled with 21 tunes that are historically exact, yet can be appreciated by contemporary sensibilities. Sound, composition, instrumental technique and vocal technique - each is absolutely perfect, a dramatic tribute to our frontier legacy. In essence, the songs of the American Frontier are brought to life in exactly the form they would have been heard a century and a half ago.
This is no revisionist project, with smooth 21st century licks played on $10,000 humidified guitars, and vocals sung in 1990's Texas-speak by slicks who likely think Garry Owen is a game show host. No, this is history, with all its beauty and warts intact. It is eerily accurate, performed with skill and devotion by musical historians who could easily be transported to 1850 and not be found out! Mark Gardner and Rex Rideout have done more than just record the tunes of the American Frontier. They have recreated the music through exacting research combined with impressive musical ability. What they bring to the listener is the prototype for Country, Americana, Western and Folk music; before Nashville, before Woody Guthrie and Hank Williams and Uncle Dave Macon. Its instrumentation was portable and nearly primitive, with fiddle, banjo, mandolin and bones taking center stage in an era when guitars were a rarity.
The music on this disc is precisely what your ancestors heard, what they danced to. It encompasses the songs they sang and the tunes they hummed. It's a musical journey to the mid-19th century that transcends cultural nostalgia; this music is realistic enough in style and content to have been played and sung in its exact form on the Western frontier.
This is an essential recording for those who seek to understand the roots of America's music. It is rollicking, it is exhilarating, and most of all, it is real.

Jon Chandler



to write a review

Mitchell Weaver

I was entirely satisfied.
I am entirely satisfied with my purchase. It arrived in perfect condition. This CD was difficult to find. I hope you stock more like it.

Jean Good

Great old-time music. I like the instruments especially.
The CD arrived in perfect condition. I like it very much, have listened more than once already. My father used to sing many of these songs, back in the 1930's, early '40's. It brings back wonderful memories. Thanks!

Terry Lewis

Reminds me of the times in the evenings around a fire.
The music that jumps out of this CD take me back to living history events with Rex and other musicians. It's not hard to see and feel the camaraderie of friends sitting around a campfire when you listen to this music. I love the sound of the instruments and the voices. Thanks for bringing this music to us.

Tanya Mcbride

Great music and fun to listen to!

Corinne Browne, Writer/Music Reviewer

Rideout and Gardner are national treasures.
With gusto and clarity, Rideout and Gardner bring the frontier alive through some of the most beloved traditional compositions, performed on banjo, fiddle, mandolin, guitar, bones and jawbone! None can argue with the authenticity of renditions of old favorites like "Oh Susannah" or "Buffalo Gals" due to the age of these songs, but the simple and direct singing style and up-tempo beat make these versions sound archival at the least. There's something incredibly endearing about the unpretentiousness of this delightful CD, whether its vocals or instrumentals. The effect of the music magically pulls you back into time: with little effort, you can smell the prairie wind, watch the riverboats, and join in the inevitable joyful dance. If you're a history buff, a westerner, or a lover of traditional folk music, this recording is a must! Rideout and Gardner are national treasures: Frontier Favorites is a collector's item.

Mark FitzChang

Sounds so realistic, makes me wanna chew tobaccy.
Now thems musicians. My foot wont stop steppin' to the historic beat. 'Mericans would do themselfs good for once to pay a little more mind to histry where were from and what our past folks thought, found and expressed in music than the various misdirected nonsense that country guides itself with today. A window to history and values through music.

Lorna Dey

I am really pleased with both the attention to detail by CD Baby not to mention
I am really pleased with both the attention to detail by CD Baby not to mention the great music. The automatic email from CD Baby had everyone in the office chuckling. Great stuff. I listened to much of the CD online before buying. I really went on to do a bit of research but loved the music so much I just had to buy the CD. I love the straightforward interpretations of this old music that are probably in keeping with the originals. Will come back again.

Marianne Gibbs

Truly an authentic journey through the wild west!
Truly an authentic journey through the wild west! The project moves in a delightful order with vocal, instrumental and mood mix. The artists bring multiple talents instrument-wise as well as a nice blend of boisterous and melodic voices. You boys should be proud! Enjoying the music, ~ marianne


Upbeat and historical
Energetic and educational, FRONTIER FAVORITES has a full, authentic sound. Mark Gardner and Rex Rideout obviously know this music and love to play it. Old Rosin the Beau and Santa Fe Trail are my favorites, but you have twenty-one songs to choose from here, from the well-known to the not-so-well-known.