Why A Cowboy Poetry Podcast Is What America Needs Right Now

A Lubbock-based podcast is bringing the world stories from working cowboys.

By Leah Scarpelli & Laura RiceMay 9, 2017 10:11 am

The top podcasts on iTunes right now include Serial, This American Life and a new Serial-This American Life mash-up called S-Town. Much further down the list… but getting a decent amount of attention lately is a podcast out of Lubbock called Cowboy Crossroads. It features working cowboys, poets, musicians and historians sharing their stories.

Andy Hedges hosts the podcast. He’s also a songwriter and storyteller himself.

On cowboy poetry:

“Cowboy poetry is a storytelling tradition that dates back to the earliest days of working cowboys. It’s really back to the trail-driving era and it kind of grew out of the folk song tradition that found its way to America from the British Isles.”

On sho the podcast reaches:

“The audience for cowboy poetry in general tends to be mostly Westerners and an older demographic. But I’m finding with my podcast that I’m reaching people all over the United States and even outside of the country and I’m getting feedback from people who have never listened to cowboy poetry but have listened to my show and feel drawn in and interested to learn more about the West, to learn more about working ranches and just to enjoy the storytelling and the slower pace of my show.”

On why people are drawn to the podcast:

“It’s always been that when things get turbulent, or when we’re facing hard times, Americans have always kind of looked to the West and looked to the cowboy — maybe as a source of inspiration. So I think it’s the perfect time for a show like mine right now with all of the political divide that we’re seeing in America. But I think even more so than that, as our lives are increasingly urbanized and digitized, I think people are interested in going back to their roots.”