Brooklyn Cowboys Ride Between Rock and Country
by Chris Kornelis, A&E Editor
The Brooklyn Cowboys is not your average rock ‘n’ roll monstrosity. The music sways from genre to genre, and it is sometimes hard to tell if the Brooklyn Cowboys is a rock band with a country influence or a very confused folk band with rock ‘n’ roll tendencies. Even members of the band find it difficult to put the Cowboys in one category.
“I don’t know [what to call it],” Buddy Cage, pedal steel guitarist with the Brooklyn Cowboys, said. “They call what we do ‘alternative country.’ Whatever works to get these songs played.”
The band is undoubtedly country influenced, but it favors rock ‘n’ roll too much to be considered a country band.
No matter what you call it, the Cowboys have a sound that has not been heard in Moscow for quite some time.
The group’s instrumentation is as eclectic as the members behind the music. The Brooklyn Cowboys is comprised of Walter Egan on electric guitar, Jeff “Stick” Davis on bass, vocalist/guitarist Brian Waldschlager, keyboardist Michael Webb, Fredo Perry, who plays drums and writes many of the band’s songs, and rock legend Buddy Cage on the pedal steel guitar.
Started in 1996 by Egan and Perry, the Cowboys have just released “Dodging Bullets,” the follow up to “Doin’ Time on Planet Earth.”
“On our first record, it felt like we were a group of hired guns,” Waldschlager said. “We did not know each other very well. Now, we have a real appreciation for each other and we’re now a ‘band’ in the truest sense of the word. The writing and vision draw a definitive calkline that connects the span of influences within the band while remaining true to the cosmic American form.” With so many great artists making up the Cowboys, each member’s talents are specifically tapped.
“Everybody brings something to the table,” Cage said. “Guys like me play what you feel.”
Members of the Brooklyn Cowboys have been involved in various musical situations for years. Walter Egan has been bumping shoulders, including being present for the first time Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris ever sang together, an event that took place in Egan’s kitchen.
Buddy Cage’s career goes all the way back to the days of the early 1960s when the New Riders of the Purple Sage decided Jerry Garcia was not cutting it as a pedal steel guitar player and replaced him with Cage.
For over a decade, Cage toured and recorded with the New Riders. The first couple of years included heavy touring, supporting the Grateful Dead and occasionally playing with the Dead.
Cage also has spent time recording with folk legend Bob Dylan, including an appearance on “Meet Me In the Morning,” off Dylans 1975 classic “Blood On the Tracks.” The Brooklyn Cowboys’ only area show with be at John’s Alley, Friday at 9:30 p.m.