The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Currents

March 28, 2014

Lonesome Ron hosting CD release today

MANKATO — As Ron Affolter notes, cowboys don't drive cattle like they used to.

But you can get a pretty fair illustration of the work, hardship and romance of the bygone era from listening to the songs cowboys used to sing on the trail.

"They're not doing cattle drives now," said Lonesome Ron, as he is known on stage. "But you can listen to a song and still get an idea of how the work went."

A veteran musician who has played in a variety of bands and ensembles throughout his career, Affolter didn't begin teaching himself old cowboy ballads until a decade ago. He taught himself to yodel by listening to Gene Autry, Jimmy Rogers and Elton Britt records and began perusing the catalog of such music preserved by musicologist John Lomax in the early 20th century.

Bolstered by an Emerging Artist grant from the Prairie Lakes Regional Arts Council, Affolter selected a dozen of his favorites (as well as three of his original compositions) and recorded a 15-track CD, "Songs of the American Cattle Trails," at Cellar Sound Studios in Mankato.

With little else but himself and his guitar, Affolter weaves an often plaintive and mournful tale of life on the open range. In traditionals like "Old Chisholm Trail" and "Streets of Laredo," Affolter's treatment of the rough-hewn life of cowboys is tender and reverent. Even faster-paced selections such as Affolter's own "Molly, Dear Molly" and "Lonely Line Camp" are underscored by a sense of toil and hardship.

"For this record, I wanted to keep it cowboy oriented," he said. "I chose the songs I really enjoy."

Tanner Kent

If You Go What Lonesome Ron CD release party When 8-10 p.m. today Where Coffee Hag, 329 N. Riverfront Drive Note CDs also available to purchase at Tacy's House (333 Center St., Mankato), the Blue Earth County Historical Society, Old Town Antiques and Rhapsody Music. Also available online at www.LonesomeRon.com

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Currents
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
NDN Video
Is Charlize Theron Wearing An Engagement Ring? Paris Hilton back in a swimsuit for Carl's Jr. and Hardee's burger commercial Could Sandra Bullock Be Leaving Hollywood After Recent Home Intrusion? Megan Fox Turns Up The Heat At Comic Con Gwyneth Paltrow Did What? Zack Snyder Shares An All-New Batfleck Photo The Secret Behind Sofia Vergara's Gorgeous Hair You're Not Going to Believe Who's Turning 50! Taylor Swift Looks Terrific in a Tummy-Baring Style Joan Rivers Calls Kristen Stewart a "Moron" Blake Lively's Wedding Dress Revealed?! Hillary Clinton Blamed Bill's Affair With Monica Lewinsky On Abuse He Suffered As A Child 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Yes It's True! Jessica Biel Returns to TV H-O-T! "Fifty Shades of Grey" Trailer Is Here! A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years Zoe Saldana is Reportedly Pregnant, Will Announce it When She's Ready Kim and Kanye's Daughter Takes Her First Steps Tori Spelling Lets Loose on Marriage Problems Selena Gomez Caught Snuggling With New Guy