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RIDE A WIDE CIRCLE
by MARY KAYE
Don't Fence Me In Records, BMI
(Released August 25, 2015)

 

2017 Will Rodgers Award - Western Song of the Year - "Grit, Grace and Balin' Twine"
- Academy of Western Artists

2016 Wrangler Award - Outstanding Original Western Composition - "Ride A Wide Circle"
- The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum


Ride a Wide Circle debuted at #1 on the Western Music Charts for the first quarter and for 12 months in a row after that it was #3 on the charts. That's #1, #3, #3, #3, and #3...! THANK YOU Western Music DJs for playing the music!!!

UPDATE: 24 months on the Top 30 Western Music Chart as of January 2018 (#14, #14, #14, #15)


"Mary Kaye’s CD is one of those perfect albums. Everything comes together: the songs, the superb vocals, backing musicians on top form, very good production and best of all Mary Kaye’s unique feel for her music."
- Paul Riley, Country Music People Magazine, United Kingdom


"Here we have arguably the strongest release yet...Highly recommended."
- Rick Huff, Premier Western Music Critic, The Western Way


Ride A Wide Circle debuted on the charts as the #1 Western Album!
- Top 30 charts in The Western Way - 1st Quarter 2016


"You speak our language."
- Liberty @ The Proffit Ranch


"It's a FANTASTIC album!"
- Paul Riley, International Music Critic


"A great piece of work and a real tribute to western people who carve out a living on the land."
- Perry Jacobson, Working Cowboy - Alberta, CA (Retired)


"This is one muy bueno CD. Great job and kudos all around!"
- Charles Engel AKA "Chakaroo the Buckaroo" at KPOV's
Calling All Cowboys radio


"
The CD is great and gets a great deal of air play."

- Bob O'Donnell @ "The Western Jukebox 2" radio show

 

To Listen and Order CD Click Here

 

Review
by Jennifer Denison
Western Horseman Magazine
December 2015
page 60

Ride A Wide Circle


Fans of Western singer Mary Kaye followed the recording of her fourth album, Ride A Wide Circle, on social media, eagerly waiting to hear the results. Touted as her "masterwork," the CD features 16 solid tracks that cover a lot of territory and keep listeners hooked for the entire ride.

In her pure, compelling voice, Mary Kaye sings of ranch life, horses, outlaws and heroes, and meaningful places in the West. The first track is a powerful a cappella version of the traditional tune, "The Night Herding Song." The title track, which begins with a spoken introduction and ends with a rendition of "Will the Circle Be Unbroken," is a fitting tribute to those who live off the land. Though it's hard to choose a favorite, "Woman and Horses," written by Dale Page, is a contender. as is "Que Vaquero," a nod to the vaquero and Mary Kaye's Mexican heritage. The singer is joined by her equally talented daughter, Millie, in "The Town that Raised Me."

The CD, which comes with a booklet of lyrics, is available for $17 at mary-kaye.com.



Review
by Paul Riley

Country Music People Magazine
October 2015
Page 47

 
MARY KAYE
Ride A Wide Circle
5 Stars

 
The Night Herding Song / Ride A Wide Circle[Spoken] / Ride A Wide Circle / Grit, Grace and Balin’ Twine / Leavin’ Cheyenne / Buckskin Joe / Women And Horses / Que Vaquero / The Wild Of The West/ Big Enough / The Town That Raised Me / Horse Lover / Love’s Last Stand / A Cowboy’s Soul / Girl Meets West / Song Of Wyoming
 
Producers: Mary Kaye and Brad Knaphus
Don’t Fence Me In Records
60.24
 
Western singer Mary Kaye returns with a special disc, her fourth album, following on from the underrated The Dawn And The Dusk. The press release for the new CD speaks of the singer’s “originality and authenticity” and both are important in understanding this new collection of songs. Most of the tracks, which celebrate the cowboy life, are originals and they blend very well with the few old songs.
 
The powerful opening track, The Night Herding Song, dates back to 1909, and is a song that was sung to cattle. These days it’s fairly certain that cows all over America will love Mary Kaye’s a cappella version. After a spoken intro the title track begins with a simple acoustic guitar and a strong vocal, towards the end of the track Mary Kaye segues into the classic Will The Circle Be Unbroken. This works beautifully as the two elements blend together. Mary Kaye’s vocals on the CD are superb, with real passion dripping into this wonderful collection of songs, which contains no duds.
 
The CD’s best song is also the longest, kicking in at over five minutes, Women And Horses. Written by Dale Page - a man who uses words to great effect – with Mary Kaye composing the music, the song has a simple acoustic guitar/fiddle arrangement. Mary Kaye knows the words she is singing are special. The lyrics for all the songs come in a booklet with the album and they can be enjoyed with or without listening to the music.
 
Other songs of note include the Mexican influenced Que Vaquero, the Western bounce of Grit, Grace And Balin’ Twine and the blues influenced Buckskin Joe. The final song, the gentle ballad Song Of Wyoming, brings the disc to a beautiful warm ending.
 
Mary Kaye’s CD is one of those perfect albums. Everything comes together: the songs, the superb vocals, backing musicians on top form, very good production and best of all Mary Kaye’s unique feel for her music, which is now becoming more important with each release. Mary Kaye’s songs about cowboys, horses, women and family breathe new life into Western music. With Ride A Wide Circle Mary Kaye’s unique journey continues, it seems almost certain that the new album will be Mary Kaye’s best seller, it certainly deserves to be.


To Listen and Order CD Click Here


Review
by Rick Huff
Western Music Critic
cowboypoetry.com
September 2015


MARY KAYE
Ride A Wide Circle


Here we have arguably the strongest release yet from the award-winning Mary Kaye. For those unaware (somehow), Mary Kaye’s voice ranges from expressively plaintive to all-out gut powerful. You will find that nobody from our genre…male or female…handles romping, bluesy attitude material any better than this lady.

Know that everything about the CD is top notch, but it’s nice to see “Buckskin Joe” rescued from an earlier album. Other picks include her title track, the bilingual “Que Vaquero”; “The Wild Of The West” (a showpiece of contemporary Western Music concepting); “Big Enough”; the swing novelty “Horse Lover”; “A Cowboy’s Soul”; and the swinging, quasi-autobiographical “Girl Meets West."

There are also some Western classics covered, and they include the a cappella opener (Harry Stephens’ 1909 “Night Herding Song”),  “Leavin’ Cheyenne,” and Kent Lewis’ beautiful “Song Of Wyoming.” Highly recommended. Sixteen tracks total.

CD: $20 postpaid through all major online stores & from Mary Kaye Knaphus, 1410 S. Jefferson St., Salt Lake City, UT 84115.



Review
by Bob Everhart
Country Music News International Magazine

February 15, 2016

MARY KAYE
Ride A Wide Circle

 
The Night Herding Song - Ride A Wide Circle (spoken) - Ride A Wide Circle - Grit Grace and Balin' Twine - Leavin' Cheyenne - Buckskin Joe - Women and Horses - Que Vaquero - The Wild of the West - Big Enough - The Town That Raised Me - Horse Lover - Love's Last Stand - A Cowboy's Soul - Girl Meets West - Song of Wyoming
 
Mary Kaye is an exceptional person.  She has been awarded just about everything that can be awarded to her, and here's an old country-boy listening to one of the very best 'western' singers I've ever heard.  How does she do this? First we strip off all the veneer of 'honor' which she has a ton of, deservedly so.  Then we listen to what she has to say about what 'western' really means to her.  Is it authentic?  Indeed it is. Then we reduce the 16 tracks, to 14 of which she wrote.  Can she write?  Indeed she can.  Then we listen to the honesty of her voice.  Is it there?  Indeed it is. Then finally we listen to those few notes on the musical scale that turns 'regular' into 'incredible.'  Can she do that?  Indeed she can.

I've never heard a western artist begin an album without instrumentation. That puts Mary Kaye in an interesting position right off the bat, or first out of the chute, as she is inclined to say.  She doesn't sound like anyone else.  She's not imitating anyone.  Mary Kaye is Mary Kaye, a name you are not likely to forget if you only hear one of her songs.  Listening to her doing 16 of equally fantastically gifted, talented, honest, versatile, and completely entertaining, is a special treat. Mary Kaye has already heard false praise in her career.  Someone as devoted as she is to her music would not be exempt from that.  She also knows if she can impress the Western Music Association, she can also impress a farmer's son who listens with an ear developed working for the Smithsonian Institution.  Is their accuracy, truth, devotion, in her works?  Indeed there are. It's very difficult for me to pick out any 'one' song to concentrate on.  That's not the way Mary Kaye wants you to hear her works.  She wants you to hear all of it.

The stories she tells, "whiskey and tobacco and bitter black coffee," how does she know about that?  "Cause every girl knows you are what you eat."  Yes, she knows that, she's a girl.  "I thank Heaven above for puttin' horses in my heart, cause horses keep me livin' the way I like."  How does she know this?  The answer is simple; Mary Kaye is a 'real' artist, one willing to put her soul on the line, willing to take whatever happens.  That's very unlike what we hear called 'country music' today.  It is so totally false; it could never come close to the honesty of an artist like Mary Kaye.  It's also the same reason we'll probably not hear Mary Kaye on the radio in Iowa.  But that doesn't matter.  She has some incredible gifted works already recorded, [five] albums since 2008.

She used a lot of different musicians on this particular project, and I suspect Mary could be a very 'determined' artist to make sure it sounds like the 'sound' she hears in her own head.  Salt Lake City, where she makes her home nearby, must already find her one of the most precious artists they could ever listen to.  2016 has already been an interesting 'music listening' experience for me, and I would certainly recommend to those many fans in Europe who read my column there, try to get a copy of Mary Kaye somehow.  I promise you will not be disappointed.  Now, I have to send this CD along to the Rural Roots Music Commission for their listening pleasure, and potential CD of the Year.  Oh, I know about that, they'll all want to be in the front row if she's available to accept.



Review
by Rod Miller
Award Winning Western Author and Freelance Writer

http://writerrodmiller.blogspot.com/

Soon, you’ll be hearing about a Ranch & Reata article I wrote about Mary Kaye. She’s a singer and songwriter of epic proportions. In my pantheon of contemporary Western songwriters, she’s right up there with Brenn Hill and Dave Stamey and a few others whose worthy words do the West justice.
And the truth is, she’s a lot better looking than those guys.
 
Beyond her ability to weave words into music, Mary Kaye has a voice that can rattle the rafters and caress the soul with equal facility. Now, you’re probably thinking I am overstating the situation. If anything, I am unable to find the words that do Mary Kaye’s music justice. I have enjoyed all her albums. But the brand-newest one is the bestest. It’s a master work.
 
Mary Kaye wrote most of the songs on Ride a Wide Circle. She co-wrote some and lights up a few old cowboy tunes. Her husband, who co-produced the album, said their goal was to put together a collection that made the “skip” button on players obsolete. They did it. Ride a Wide Circle by Mary Kaye.
Damn, that’s good.
 


To Listen and Order CD Click Here


Vern Hopkins
Working Cowboy and Horse Trainer (Retired)


"Bravo!!! Mary Kaye. I received, Ride A Wide Circle today and it is absolutely fantastic. I'm trying to decide which song is my favorite and there is no way. Each song is my favorite for a different reason. Every one of them touches my heart and soul in its own special way. In some of them, I hear the echoes of my own life. You and your music are amazing..."


LeeLee Robert
Award Winning Western Entertainer


"Mary Kaye is one of the foremost leaders in our Industry. I am thrilled with Ride a Wide Circle. It is diverse, high quality, and as soulful as it is whimsical; it's entertaining as it is educational about the western way. It sets the bar high and wide and makes me want to be on the inside of her circle!"
 

 

Liner Notes and Credits:


Track 1 The Night Herding Song
Words – Harry Stephens (1909)

The practical reasons for singing to cattle are apparent in this old cowboy work
song, but the romance of the range shines through as bright as prairie stars. I
never intended to start the album with such a raw vocal sound, but the song
sets the perfect tone for this project and I’m glad it has a chance to be first out
of the chute.

Tracks 2 and 3 Ride a Wide Circle
Intro – Mary Kaye and Owen Badgett
Words and Music – Mary Kaye
May the Circle Be Unbroken – Habershon/Gabriel (1907)
Michael Dowdle – acoustic guitar, dobro, bass

Owen Badgett is a Montana cowboy who has written a treasury of stories and
poems that I have read multiple times. He is what Wally McRae describes as a
“cowboy of the old school.” Two of the lines of the poem before the song are
written by Owen. The rest is my tribute to him and to those fortunate few who
are part of generational ranching and farming families. My own father was a
farmer raised by a farmer who was raised by a farmer. I included the traditional
“May the Circle Be Unbroken” to honor the connection between families and
the land they caretake.

Track 4 Grit, Grace and Balin’ Twine
Words and Music – Mary Kaye
Rich Dixon – acoustic and electric guitar; Wyatt Maxwell – slide steel; Ryan
Shupe – fiddle; Todd Sorensen – drums; Rob Honey – bass

At the Elko Cowboy Poetry Gathering I met a young ranching family. When
asked what they do for a living, they grinned and said, “We raise kids and cattle.”
This song is my tribute to all the ranching families I meet on my journeys across
the American West. Baling twine, udder balm, duct tape, and superglue are all
multiple-use items found and used at our place as well.

Track 5 Leavin’ Cheyenne
Traditional
Mary Kaye – arrangement, acoustic guitar

In preparing this arrangement, I took a deep seat and settled into the truth
that when any one of us is “Leavin’ Cheyenne” we are moving on and saying
goodbye to the past. This song has courage and resignation and is in a
language unique to the breed of man or woman who will best understand it.

Track 6 Buckskin Joe
Words and Music – Mary Kaye
Rich Dixon – acoustic guitar, bass, dobro; Dave Compton – harmonica

Based on a true story, this song is in my category of songs considered “Outlaw
Songs” in which the good guys prevail and the bad guys come face to face with
grim frontier justice.

Track 7 Women and Horses
Words – Dale Page, Music – Mary Kaye
Michael Dowdle – acoustic guitar; Ryan Shupe – fiddle

Dale Page is a western wordsmith of the top stamp. His well-crafted words
called for a timeless melody that would tell the story without stepping on the
simplicity of the message.

Track 8 Que Vaquero
Words and Music – Mary Kaye Spanish Lyrics – John Lamont
Michael Dowdle – acoustic and nylon string guitar

My mother was born in Pachuca, Mexico. This song is a nod of my flat-brim hat
to honor my heritage and to pay homage to Californio style horsemanship.

Track 9 The Wild of the West
Words and Music – Mary Kaye
Michael Dowdle – acoustic guitar; Mark Stephenson – bass, orchestra pads;
Emelia Knaphus – harmony vocals

The vastness of the American West has an uncanny way of making you feel
immense and small in the same moment. There is a wildness that you at once
want to be a part of but also want to take a chance at taming. This song was
written after a midnight hike into Lower Calf Creek Falls in Southern Utah with
my adventurous husband and children.

Track 10 Big Enough
Words and Music – Mary Kaye
Michael Dowdle – acoustic guitar, bass, mando, banjo; Ryan Shupe – fiddle, cajon

My back was still sore from a humiliating horse wreck when I penned this song.
I had some real fear in me to climb back on that horse but a friend of mine
spoke truth to my fear. She said, “You’re dreams aren’t big enough if they don’t
scare you some.” At the same time, one of my daughters was getting married
and leaving the nest. She is the girl with eyes of root beer brown.

Track 11 The Town That Raised Me
Words and Music – Mary Kaye
Michael Dowdle – acoustic guitar, bass, dobro, percussion;
Emelia Knaphus – harmony vocals

People ask me why I sing the music of the rural West. I tell them I write and
sing Western music because it’s the soundtrack of my life. I’m “Town Proud” of
our community and I know this song is going to ring true to hearts like mine.
It’s a pleasure to hear my daughter, Millie, singing on this track with her pure,
clear voice.

Track 12 Horse Lover
Words and Music – Mary Kaye/Terry Nash
Rich Dixon – electric guitar; Wyatt Maxwell – slide steel; Ryan Shupe – fiddle;
Rob Honey – bass; Todd Sorensen – drums

Terry Nash is a cowman and poet who is delightfully devoid of pretense. Cowriting
this song with him was a joy and was written in short order considering
our familiarity with the subject. Whether you love horses or love a person who
loves horses, you will love this song.

Track 13 Love’s Last Stand
Words and Music – Mary Kaye
Ryan Shupe – acoustic guitar, mando, fiddle

There is a shortage of love songs that speak to the subject of mature love. The
couple in this song have been knocked around a bit in the round pen of life, but
are now better prepared for the kind of love that lasts.

Track 14 A Cowboy’s Soul
Words and Music – Mary Kaye
Mary Kaye and Michael Dowdle – acoustic guitar; Ryan Shupe – fiddle;
Mark Stephenson – sample bass and accordion;
Emelia Knaphus – harmony vocals

This song is about our son, Nathaniel, who cowboys at the V-Bar Ranch outside
of Green River, Utah. I bet it might be about someone you know as well.

Track 15 Girl Meets West
Words and Music – Mary Kaye
Rich Dixon – acoustic and electric guitar; Wyatt Maxwell – slide steel;
Ryan Shupe – fiddle; Todd Sorensen – drums; Rob Honey – bass

The flu virus had done a number on me and I was flat in bed when the
inspiration for this song came. I literally wrote this vertically with the guitar
on top of me. It’s such a sassy song that I laugh when I think of the day I
composed it. Every word is a loving tribute to the women of western music
who brave long tours and hat hair to bring the Spirit of the West to your town.

Track 16 Song of Wyoming
Words and Music – Kent Lewis
Michael Dowdle – acoustic guitar

My favorite thing about this song is watching where it takes the listener. It’s
a song to get lost in. I hope it brings you joy and peace as you motor along
life’s busy highway whether you’re in a Cadillac caught in big city traffic or out
bumping along in the ranch truck for evening chores.


To Listen and Order CD Click Here