Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Renaissance Cowboy

Spent the last couple of days with country music star Royal Wade Kimes, and I have to say I'm tremendously impressed...and not just with his music. I always liked Wade's music...he may be the last country "and western" singer left on earth. His "In My Land" Second Amendment anthem is a really cool song...I may negotiate with him touse a piece of it on the upcoming Michael Bane Blog video show.

But the more you talk to Wade, the more complex and strikingly talented individual surfaces. Once the highest paid songwriter in Nashville, he walked away from one of those "deal of a lifetime instant millionaire" label deals because they wanted him to "tone down the guns." So he starts his own record label, sucks it up and hits the road to become a star his own way. And he does, in spite of zero airplay on commercial radio stations. He wins on his own terms, without compromise.

Oh yeah, he's also an in-demand fine artist with pencil and charcoal, with his original art selling for big bucks and a brisk business in the prints. His first novel, EMINENT DOMAIN AND OLD MAN SMITH is into multiple printings. In his spare time, he designs and manufacturers high-end jewelry. he works with Taylor's and Co. on custom cowboy guns, and he and his band wear guns on stage...which I always though was a pretty good idea in some of the chicken wire honky-tonks I used to hang out in...because he thinks it's the right thing to do.

And hell, he's never even married a movie star or been in rehab! No wonder he's moving to Arkansas.

Good on you, dude! Go to iTunes, search "Royal Wade Kimes" and buy "I Cme to Dance." It's damn country!

Wade also gave me an amazingly cool numbered print of one of his drawings of Nathan Bedford Forrest, the Confederate general who pretty much perfected the concepts of mobile guerrilla warfare, rode his horse into the lobby of the Peabody Hotel in then Union-held Memphis, had 30 horses shot out from under him in the Civil War and was reported to have said, "War means fightin', and fightin' means killin'." When I went to high school in Memphis, we learned a lot more about Bedford Forrest than we did about those other history guys, like Washington, Lincoln, etc. BTW, there was a statue of Bedford Forrest on his horse just south of Nashville. In 2002, a bunch of shots were fired at the statue...all the shots hit the horse. That's 31...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Michael: He wouldn't be visiting the Shot Show by any chance would he? Sounds like one of the few musicians I would like to meet.

All The Best,
Frank W. James