COWBOY – ” The Capricorn Albums “

Posted: April 15, 2021 in Classic Albums, MUSIC
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One of Southern rock’s best-kept secrets during its golden age in the 1970s, Cowboy were formed by songwriters Tommy Talton and Scott Boyer in Jacksonville, Florida. They released four albums on the Capricorn Records label in the 1970s: Reach for the Sky (1970), 5’ll Getcha Ten (1971), Boyer and Talton (1974), and Cowboy (1977). Steve Leggett of Allmusic considered Cowboy “one of Capricorn Records‘ and Southern rock’s best-kept secrets during the genre’s golden age in the 1970s.

Led by Scott Boyer and Tommy Talton, the Jacksonville band Cowboy was discovered by none other than Duane Allman, who, as legend has it, banged on their door at 7 am one day and asked to hear some songs. He then recommended them to Capricorn label owner Phil Walden, who sent Allman Brothers producer Johnny Sandlin to check them out; Sandlin ended up producing several Cowboy albums for Capricorn. Boyer died on February 13th, 2018. His musical partner Talton said, “No one could write a more beautiful ballad than Scott Boyer. I love him and I miss him more than anything that can be said.

Cowboy CD

Reach for the Sky

Boyer and Talton Are Still Active Led by Scott Boyer and Tommy Talton, the Jacksonville band Cowboy was discovered by none other than Duane Allman, who, as legend has it, banged on their door at 7 am one day and asked to hear some songs. Sandlin endedup producing several Cowboy albums for Capricorn, of which this 1970 release was the first. Reach for the Sky features some great songs from Boyer and Talton, and has a loose, informal feel with acoustic guitars and harmonies a-plenty; over the years it’s become quite the cult item, with copies of its long, long out-of-print CD release trading hands for well over $100.

Our Real Gone reissue features notes by Scott Schinder, the original gatefold artwork (with lyrics) and photos. Fine, soulful Southern rock, long overdue for rediscovery! 

Cowboy 5'll Getcha Ten CD

5’ll Getcha Ten

The Allman Brothers connection on this album is even more explicit than it was on their debut album (Reach for the Sky, also reissued by Real Gone Music); Allman plays guitar on “Lookin’ for You” and dobro on “Please Be with Me,” while Allman Brothers keyboardist Chuck Leavell appears on half of the album tracks. But what makes 5’ll Getcha Ten special—and indeed what makes it many Cowboy fans’ favourite record—is the songwriting.

“Please Be with Me” was covered by Eric Clapton on his classic 461 Ocean Boulevard release, and throughout the album a gentle undercurrent of spirituality courses through these beautifully played and sung songs, particularly on “What I Want Is You,” “Innocence Song” and the title tune. Scott Schinder’s notes contain revealing quotes from Tommy Talton; we’ve also added some great period photos and provided a pristine remastering job by Maria Triana at Battery Studios in New York.

Cowboy Boyer & Talton (Expanded Edition) CD

Boyer & Talton

Having released the first two records to great acclaim, and with the recent passing of producer Johnny Sandlin and the even more recent passing of Scott Boyer himself, it seemed like a good time to circle back to the last two Cowboy records for Capricorn, which, like our first two reissues, feature liner notes by Scott Schinder featuring great quotes from Tommy Talton and pictures from Tommy’s private archive. As the title indicates, this 1974 album—produced, like the first two, by Capricorn mainstay Johnny Sandlin—found the group down to its creative core of Scott Boyer and Tommy Talton. But their new back-up band wasn’t half bad: Capricorn regular Bill Stewart on drums, future Charlie Daniels Band bassist Charlie Hayward, Allman Brothers Band members Chuck Leavell and Jaimoe on keyboards and percussion, respectively, and saxophonists Randall Bramblett and David Brown, the latter a former member of Boyer’s old Florida combo the 31st of February, which also included Duane and Gregg Allman as well as future Allmans drummer Butch Trucks (plus a cameo from Toy Caldwell of The Marshall Tucker Band)! Most of this same aggregation backed Gregg Allman on the solo album “Laid Back”, and indeed went on tour with him, which we’ve documented with the two bonus tracks that featured Cowboy from The Gregg Allman on Tour album, “Time Will Take Us” and “Where Can You Go?”

As for Boyer & Talton, it remains one of Tommy Talton’s favourite Cowboy albums (and one of their fans’ favourites, too), though he modestly points to a Boyer song, “Everyone Has a Chance to Feel,” as a particular standout. But you won’t go wrong with any track on this album…masterful, melodic American music. CD debut, remastered by Mike Milchner at SonicVision!

Cowboy Cowboy CD

Cowboy

Having released the first two Cowboy albums to great acclaim, and with the recent passing of Scott Boyer himself, it seemed like a good time to circle back to the last Cowboy records for Capricorn, which, like our first two reissues, feature liner notes by Scott Schinder featuring great quotes from Tommy Talton.

Talton and Scott Boyer just kept cranking out one great tune after another on their 1977 self-titled album, their last for Capricorn and the last made under their name until 2011. In the producer’s chair this time was Capricorn house engineer Sam Whiteside, while the band featured Arch Pearson on bass, Chip Condon on keyboards, and Chip Miller on drums. The band’s sound shifted to a more pop-savvy, country-rock sound, but Boyer and Talton’s wry, thoughtful song writing continued to ring true, and such numbers as “Takin’ It All the Way,” “Pat’s Song,” “Everybody Knows Your Name” and the Latin-tinged “Straight into Love” demonstrated that the new Cowboy line-up was adept at navigating the novel stylistic wrinkles. Shortly thereafter, the band folded, fittingly, at just about the same time the Capricorn label did, but Cowboy remains a worthy last hurrah.

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