Tuesday, November 17, 2009

We went that-a-way!

Please note: The official Cowboys & Indians blog has relocated. You now can find us here.

Monday, October 26, 2009

'True Grit' remake proceeds apace

Look like all those rumors about a remake of True Grit... aren't just rumors. According to the showbiz trade paper Variety, filmmakers Joel and Ethan Coen (Oscar winners for No Country for Old Men) are scheduled to start production next March -- for a late 2010 release -- with Jeff Bridges filling in for John Wayne as grizzled lawman Rooster Cogburn. Matt Damon reportedly is "in talks" to co-star as the Texas Ranger played by Glen Campbell in the original 1969 film -- which, like the remake, was based on a novel by Charles Portis. And Josh Brolin may sign on to play the chief villain of the piece. No word yet on who will portray the feisty young woman played in the '69 original by Kim Darby. But the Coens insist their version will be “more faithful” to Portis’ novel than the film that helped The Duke win his one and only Academy Award. Maybe it will. But, dang, talk about having a tough act to follow…

Monday, October 19, 2009

Paisley plans to bring Nashville to prime time

Country superstar Brad Paisley is branching out into prime-time TV as the co-writer and co-executive producer of Nashville, a potential weekly dramatic series under consideration by the CW Network. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the show would focus on two ambitious up-and-comers in Music City: A young female singer on the fast-track to success, and a young male songwriter whose career has yet to take off. Paisley is working on the project with One Tree Hill creator Mark Schwahn, and reportedly plans to contribute a few songs to the series’ soundtrack. There’s also talk that other Country stars might drop by for occasional guest appearances. We hope that works out better for Nashville than it did for Nashville 99.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Garth Brooks un-retirement update

It’s official: In a joint statement today out of Las Vegas, Garth Brooks, the No. 1 selling solo recording artist in U.S. history, and Steve Wynn, chairman of the board and CEO of Wynn Resorts, announced plans for Brooks to present a series of “special engagements” at the Encore Theatre at Wynn Las Vegas starting Dec. 11. “Steve Wynn did what I thought was impossible,” Brooks said. “He has given me a chance to sing again for the people, while at the same time never missing a day with my children. I am naturally nervous, but it feels good to be out from under the low ceiling of ‘retirement’ I put on myself."

For Wynn, signing Brooks to perform at his Vegas is the fulfillment of a long-time ambition fueled by unabashed admiration. “Everything about Garth’s performances—his artistry, the range of his voice and connection with his audience—is something that I haven’t seen since the Rat Pack,” Wynn said, referring to the celebrated ensemble of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr. “In show business, for a single performer to lift an entire audience emotionally to the point where they pray it doesn’t end, is an extraordinary and unique thing that only a few gifted people can do. But that is what I experienced when I saw Garth on stage, alone with his guitar, doing a history of his personal journey in music. I watched a man create instant love in real time, right before my eyes. Now we have the privilege at Wynn and Encore in Las Vegas to share this extraordinary, intimate experience with everyone.”

Tickets go on sale Saturday, Oct. 24, at 11 am. ET, 8 a.m. PT. The tab: $125 plus a $5 service charge and $13 tax. Confirmed concert dates: Dec. 11-13, Jan. 1-3 and 22-24, Feb. 12-14 and 26-28. Tickets can be ordered by calling (702) 770-7469, or on-line here.

Garth Brooks: Viva Las Vegas!

How are you going to keep Garth Brooks down on the farm after he’s heard from Las Vegas? Well, evidently, you can’t: The country music superstar announced Thursday morning that he’s coming out of self-imposed retirement, after years of spending quality time with his three daughters and wife Trisha Yearwood at their 2,000-acre spread just northeast of Tulsa, Oklahoma. During press conferences in Nashville and Las Vegas, Brooks revealed that his first post-retirement gig will be “an extended engagement” at the Las Vegas’ Wynn Resort –- where, it’s safe to assume, the reservation-desk phones already are ringing off the wall. “We’re going to take the retirement roof off over our head,” Brooks promised. “And I already feel taller.” Even so, don’t be too quick to assume there’s a new Garth Brooks album in the offing. (There isn’t.) And there are no immediate plans for any cross-country tours. Indeed, during the Nashville press conference, Brooks sounded as though his Vegas gig might be his way of testing the waters before considering any future activity. "I know this is a young industry," he said, "so I'm not sure I'll be welcomed back. But, if the fans want me, I still want to pursue my music."

Monday, October 12, 2009

Strait talk from The King of Country

Coming soon to a newsstand near you: Country music icon George Strait, the focus of a cover-story profile in the December issue of Cowboys & Indians. In an exclusive Q&A with C&I, Strait talks about roping and ranching in South Texas -- and singing and songwriting for Twang, his 26th studio album. An instant No. 1 smash hit when released in August, Twang features four songs written or co-written by the King of Country’s son, Bubba Strait, who tells C&I that he’s very happy to be working in the “family business.” He and his famous father “like all the same stuff, so we seem to agree on music, too, for the most part,” Bubba says. “I’m writing a lot more than him, though, because sometimes he’d rather go play golf. But you can’t blame him. Besides, he needs the practice!” Look for the December issue of Cowboys & Indians wherever fine magazines are sold starting Oct. 20.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Greetings from Bandera!

I had a rootin’-tootin good time this weekend in Bandera, Texas, where they observed the National Day of the American Cowboy with songs and celebration, trick roping and quick drawing, and an induction of honorees for the new Texas Heroes Hall of Honor at the Frontier Times Museum. It was an altogether great excuse for me to goof off with some great and gracious people.