RIVER COWBOY, by Jerome Wheeler
featuring “The Talkin’ Columbia’s City Pipeline Blues”
“River Cowboy” is a collection of live and studio recordings made by the late musician, singer, and songwriter Jerome Wheeler with his friends, primarily in the last two years of his life, produced by Doireann O’Brien and Pete Szkolka. Doireann’s personal favorite is “Pipeline Blues.” This song, recorded in 1988, helped influence Columbia voters to vote out a city council and mayor who planned to implement an environmentally unsound plan to build a pipeline dumping partially treated sewage directly into the Missouri River, and to vote in a new mayor and city council who, instead, enabled Columbia to create a beautiful wetlands, now known as Eagle Bluffs Conservation Area, in McBaine. Jerome passed away on February 20, 2005, and one of his last acts was to spearhead the founding of an organization called the Missouri River Cultural Conservancy (MoRivCC), which serves the community by videotaping and broadcasting recordings of performances by local artists and musicians, particularly original songwriters, in order to preserve the talent and flavor of local culture.
1. River Cowboy
2. Homesick Rag
3. Sowin’ on the Mountain
4 Glendale Train (Pippa, vocal)
5. I Still Miss Someone
6. Frankie and Johnny
7. I’ll Fly Away
8. I’m in the Jailhouse Now
9. Wild Young Men
10. Stolen Away
11. Polly and Verlaine
12. Down into the River
13. Hesitation Blues
14. Scorpio Love Song
15. Clock of Life
16. The Talkin’ Columbia’s City Pipeline Blues
17. Pipeline Blues II
18. Sit by the River (Pippa, vocal)
19. Swimmin’ in the River
Tracks 1, 3–5, 7–8, 10, 12, 18 were recorded March–June 2004 at Pete Szkolka’s studio in Columbia, Missouri, by the River Cowboy Tour: Jerome Wheeler, vocals, guitar, banjo; Lee Ruth, vocals, guitar, mandolin, banjo; Danna Moore, vocals, guitar; Dale Palmer, vocals, guitar; Pippa Letsky, vocals, bass, guitar.
Tracks 2 and 14 were recorded by Kerby Mitchell of Humble Pie Productions at the “Everybody’s Got Love” concert at Thespian Hall in Boonville, Missouri, on December 11, 2004.
Tracks 6 and 11 were recorded and provided by Tim Buckler of Fayette, Missouri. Track 6 includes Jerome Wheeler, Lee Ruth, Danna Moore, Pippa Letsky, and Pete Szkolka, and was recorded partly at the Lupus 2004 Pepperhead Reunion and partly at Pete Szkolka’s Columbia studio. Track 11 was recorded at Cooper’s Landing in Easley, Missouri, at a live solo show by Jerome in February 2003.
Track 15, “Clock of Life,” was performed, recorded, and provided courtesy of Danna Moore of Columbia, Missouri, who wrote this song in memory of Jerome in March 2005.
Tracks 9 and 13 were provided courtesy of Neal Miller. Performers on
“Hesitation Blues” include Jerome Wheeler on vocals and guitar, Debbie D’Agostino on vocals, Ken Shepherd and Michael Cochran on vocals and guitar, Neal Miller on Tibetan Bowls, Don Cooper on vocals and guitar.
Track 16, “Pipeline Blues,” was recorded by Bob Pruitt at “The Land” Recording Studio in Columbia, Missouri, in 1988 and is provided courtesy of Blue Coaster Records.
Track 17, “Pipeline Blues II,” was provided courtesy of KOPN Radio.
Track 19, “Swimmin’ in the River,” features Jerome on banjo and Lee Ruth on guitar and was recorded at Pete Szkolka’s studio in Columbia, Missouri.
Track 20, “Shenandoah,” was recorded by Mike Robertson, at D’Agostino’s Restaurant in Columbia, Missouri, on December 21, 2004. Performers include Jerome Wheeler on guitar and vocals, Lee Ruth on vocals and mandolin, Danna Moore on lead vocals, Pippa Letsky on vocals and bass, Pete Szkolka on guitar.