Rick Huff reviews Western music and cowboy poetry releases in his “Rick Huff’s Best of the West Reviews” column in The Western Way from the International Western Music Association
Here’s what he wrote about Tom’s CDs:
Horses and Happiness
Tom Swearingen - 2013
If you know popular music forms, you may have heard of a “rave.” Well, now you’re about to read one of the other kind!
Tom Swearingen’s Horses and Happiness is one of the best cowboy poetry albums I’ve had the pleasure to hear. I love the humor. I love the introspection. I love the timing of the delivery and the construction of the verses. I really love the imagery and the pictures painted. And I further love that the album was professionally recorded “live” at a house concert, which puts just that much more of a spark into the performance and the listening experience with the appreciative crowd reaction. They knew they were in on something good
Seeing as how I love everything about Tom Swearingen’s “Horses and Happiness,” I suppose all that’s left to ask is “what’s not to like?”
Rhyme ‘Em Cowboy
Tom Swearingen - 2016
The verse of Tom Swearingen is characteristically brief, always to the point, effective and (most often) optimistic. And once again he has chosen to record his CD in front of appreciative living beings, which I generally find to be a plus.
Swearingen spins a fine tale and his expert delivery is comfortably conversational in its cadence. Tom Swearingen is most certainly one of the poets folks might want to point out when they are trying to explain or typify the genre of cowboy poetry. His style and body of work make him one of the most approachable cowbards workin’. Recommended. Seventeen tracks plus the opener.
Language of the Land
Tom Swearingen - 2019
Captured here for your enjoyment is another of the live performances from the Oregon cowboy poet Tom Swearingen. In his latest release, Swearingen again shows his preference for gettin’ in and out quickly in verse, as most of the works make it in under the two-minute buzzer! Present also is Swearingen’s believable, authentic style of presentation.
Collection picks this time include the title track “Language Of The Land” (one of the better descriptions of ‘range reading’ I’ve heard), “Ropin’ Mama’s Llama” (a yarn concerning his wife’s four-footed yarn supply), “Keep ‘Em Movin’ Slow Parts 1 & 2” (Part 1 is driving the herd into weather and Part 2 is driving them out…only fair), “Oh No You Don’t” (words of advice to a fleeing calf from his pursuer), “In The Shadow Of The Treeline” (a little cattle what-done-it) “Folks Who Do Know Horses” (why they will snow-roll…the horses, not the folks) and “Cowgirl From Nantucket” (talk about your real ‘me too movement’)! The album closes with [a bonus track]: Bruce Kiskaddon’s “The Gentle Hoss.” Sixteen tracks. Recommended.