Huston home on the range

Published 9:12 pm Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Randy Huston and his daughter, Hannah, make beautiful music together singing about ranch life in their new album. (Submitted Photo)

Randy Huston and his daughter, Hannah, make beautiful music together singing about ranch life in their new album. (Submitted Photo)

By Frank Roberts

Saloons, tinny pianos, dancin’ girls. Ah, the life of the cowboy. Well, the movie cowboy anyway.

Recently, I talked to a “real” cowboy who rounds ’em up and rides like the wind. His life revolves around his ranch, his daughter and his music.

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Randy Huston is a cowboy songwriter who goes for mid-tempo and lyrics that are unbelievably clever. Give him a close listen, and you will be as hooked as I’ve become as I listened to his third CD, featuring his co-star, 17-year-old daughter Hannah.

The album, “Cowboys and Girls,” is definitely biographical.

“Writing started as a hobby in high school, then I got serious,” he said, during a phone interview from his New Mexico home. “I can’t wrap my head about how to quit.”

Huston, 56, was raised, and still lives, near the little town of Cuervo, near Las Vegas, N.M.

There, he watches a lot of cows. “I run about 300.” The animals are quite different than those most of us see as we drive past what is left of area farmland.

He raises Corriente cows, descendants from animals brought to this country from Spain in the 15th century. You see them at rodeo events. They are the littler ones weighing well under 1,000 pounds — lean, athletic and with long, upcurving horns. They are easier to handle than their counterparts and eat less.

They require less water and live contentedly on sparse open range. Their meat is leaner than most beef cattle and, their master notes, “they have gentler dispositions.”

“I still do what was done in the post-Civil War period,” Huston said. “I don’t make much money, and working on the ranch is hard work, but I enjoy what I do.”

The growing legion of fans of dad ‘n’ daughter enjoy the Huston shows as the pair travels around the country, concentrating mostly on the west.

Huston divides his time between working the Corrientes and writing words and music. “Not everyone,” he admits, “would like to have my life.”

Said life is as colorful as the man. His thick, gray mustache, ‘neath the widest of grins, droops down on each side.

“It’s a cowboy thing. When I was a kid I wished I could grow a mustache. It was one of my goals, and I accomplished that.” In spades.

Huston does some work in Nashville, but he is not a fan of big cities, although his wife, Julianne, who handles the family business, comes from Long Island.

“The bumper-to-bumper traffic up there spooked me at first, but then it was fun,” he said.

God and country, family, friends, cows, and horses are the favorite things of the cowboy who was recently a Wrangler winner of a Western Heritage Award, as recognized in the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum.

It behooves me at this point to toss in a few Huston lines from “Cowboys and Girls.” In the title tune, he penned, “He’s rawhide and leather, she’s ribbons and curls. God blessed the lives of cowboys and girls.”

“We’ll meet again at the end of my trail, when my angel carries me home.”

In a song about a man who was slightly injured in a gunfight, he writes, “Just last week at the rodeo dance, I met a lady that owns her own ambulance. Just call me lucky.”

Finally, Huston has this request: “Lord, grant me one more tomorrow, and most of all, thanks for today.”

Cowboy Randy Huston — one of the good guys — notes, “Hannah and I are thankful for God’s gift of music. We are very blessed.”

Visit to order the gem-like “Cowboys and Girls.”