Welcome!  Caitlyn Taussig's debut album was released in January 2015.  Caitlyn has performed at the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering, the Texas Cowboy Poetry Gathering, and many other venues.  Check the schedule to catch her in concert!

Welcome

Thank you 2015 

The year is winding down.  I used to spend the last hours of each year writing in my journal and reminiscing about my year.  Tonight I'll be out ringing in the new year with some dear friends!  But here's my journal entry for all to see...

When I think back on the year I think THANKFUL. 

It hasn't been the easiest year.  I've had my fair share of emotional turmoil, and my family has darn sure had a tough run of luck.  Back in August my mom and I were doctoring a foot rot calf and she broke her ankle when he fell over on it.  It's a long story but the main point is that suddenly she was having big time surgery and unable to help on the ranch or even do much housework for 6 weeks while she was on crutches.  Then it got infected... then she had another surgery... and just this week she had a third surgery to remove infection.  We are waiting to hear if she'll need a bone graft.  Then a month later we came home to find my 89-year-old dad on the floor.  He fell and didn't call anyone for help even though he had his phone with him.  He spent 6 weeks in a rehab facility and still isn't ok.  We aren't sure what happened with his brain and body that day.

So it's been a little rough!  But it's also been an unbelievably great year.

- I finally finished my first CD!  It was a labor of love.  I now try and buy CDs directly from artists to support them because I understand that part of your soul goes into a record and you should be fairly compensated.

- I was an invited performer at the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering and had an absolute blast!  I had planned to write a whole series of blog posts on that experience but you know how plans go...

- My CD was reviewed in Western Horseman which was so cool.

- I got to sing at gatherings, bronc ridings, brandings, funerals, weddings, fairs, opera houses, lawns, living rooms, bars, and in a wagon in a parade.  I met a ton of cool new people who will enrich my life!  I sang in Nevada, Wyoming, Colorado, South Dakota, and Ohio.

- I ate delicious food at great restaurants with great people.  I saw great concerts!  I learned about new music that makes me feel with every fiber of my being.  You know that gritty, gets right down in your soul music!

- I improved my roping.  Some of my good friends helped me out by teaching me to tie off, giving me tips, and just being flat out patient with my misses.   When I got frustrated they reminded me of the things I'm good at.  Thanks guys!

- My family may have felt better but we are all ALIVE.  And when I see the blizzards down south and the tornadoes and floods I feel so incredibly lucky to go out in -30 degree weather to feed our fluffy mountain cows who can manage because this isn't that bad.  I hope the ranchers in disaster areas are able to pick up the pieces and go on... it just breaks my heart.

- As always, I learned new things and grew.  I made some BIG mistakes.  I made some poor choices.  But I'm in a different place than I was at this time last year. 

Bring it on 2016!  I can't WAIT!

Ch-ch-ch-changes! 

It is nearly Christmas, nearly the end of 2015, and nearly the start of some new adventures!  Next week is my last week working in the Extension Office as my county 4-H Coordinator!  After that I'll go back to living the life of an odd-job-working rancher girl who sings.  Which means I have to remember how to be thrifty again...

But I'm really excited to focus on my music and get some new songs written!  Here's a secret... I haven't written a single song since The Things We Gave Up was released.  So when people ask when the next album is coming out I smile nervously and say, "Don't hold your breath!"  But here's the thing, I don't want to rush the next one.  It took me almost ten years to write that first album!  Rushing=crappy in my case.  But I can feel several songs stewing inside me that will roll around for awhile and then just come out one day.  I have a feeling that spending more time outside in the snow, watching my breath puff and listening to cows munch hay will improve my muse.  I'm nervous as hell to quit drawing a steady paycheck, but I've done it before and I can do it again!  The freedom!  You only live once.

Here are some things I'm looking forward to in 2016:
- Taking guitar lessons!
- Riding the new 3 year old gelding I just bought, and having time to ride him
- Calving!  (It's right around the corner, just look at a calendar)
- The Outside Circle show at the Star in Elko on January 29th... be there.
- Turning...gasp...30!
- Catching up on my hand-painted silk scarves list
- Improving my roping skills.  I'll get there someday.  And by 'there' I mean basically proficient or mediocre.

Watch for my next post, which will be on the things I've been grateful for in 2015!

I love you as meat loves salt... 

Anyone who has recently purchased my new album, The Things We Gave Up, may have noticed the inscription inside the front cover.  I thank my family and tell them, "I love you as meat loves salt".  I was recently asked if that was some funny little thing that I made up!   I realized that I should explain the story behind it.  It's been my family's way of telling each other how great our love is since I was a little kid!  My mom has a cutting board and a pottery bowl that I made with the same inscription on the bottom.  I can't remember where we read the story, but I have found several versions!  I'm going to tell it how I remember it:

I Love You as Meat Loves Salt
Once there was a rich king with three lovely daughters.  The oldest two daughters loved gowns, jewelry, and other fine things.  The youngest loved books, animals, and playing outside.  One day, the king asked each of his daughters how much they loved him.  The daughter with the best answer would go on to inherit the throne.

The first daughter was brought to the throne room and threw her arms around the kings neck, "Oh Papa!  I love you more than silks and brocade, more than all of my dresses!"

The second daughter flounced into the throne room and said, "My darling father!  I do love you more than all of my diamonds and gold!"

The third daughter quietly entered the room, kissed her father on the cheek and said, "Papa, I love you as meat loves salt."  The king was momentarily stunned into silence.  "What is the meaning of this??  You disgrace me!  Leave the castle at once!"

The young princess was cast out with nothing but the clothes on her back and spent several sleepless nights in the streets.  She found that if she wore rags and disguised her fine clothing that she wouldn't be taunted by the other young beggars.  Eventually she was so tired and hungry that she returned to the castle and asked at the kitchen for some food and shelter.  In exchange for a bowl of broth she washed dishes that night.  The cook took pity on her and gave her a job.  The young princess chopped vegetables, washed dishes, and scrubbed floors.  Soon all of the kitchen staff loved her for her quiet kindness and cheerful disposition.  (I imagine she was a good singer too and won them over with her lovely songs.  There might have been singing mice too, who knows.)

When she was working in the kitchen for several weeks, there was suddenly a flurry of activity.  "We must prepare a feast!  Go to the market and get the finest lamb, goat, and beef that you can!"  The head cook was beside herself. 

"What is going on?" asked the little princess. 

"Why, the king is holding a feast and dance to find suitable husbands for his two daughters! We must prepare!"  The little princess thought very hard and then asked if she could help prepare the food.  The cook agreed but asked why she was suddenly so interested in cooking when she was clearly an outdoors girl who had better things to do.  The little princess told the cook her entire story and the cook was aghast.

"What an idiot!  You clearly showed your love!  We will cook the entire feast with no salt and show your father a thing or two."

The little princess and the cook allowed no other staff in the kitchen.  They prepared dish after beautiful dish of steaming food that smelled wonderful!  When the cooking was done, the little princess sat down to rest.  The food was placed upon the table in the great hall, but suddenly the happy sounds of the party quieted as the guests began to eat the tasteless food.

"What is the meaning of this?" bellowed the king, "Bring the cook to me immediately!"  And so the little princess was brought before the king.  He did not recognize her through her rags, her tangled hair, and the soot upon her face.  "Why have you not salted the meat??  You will be punished!"

The little princess replied, "My lord, I did not salt the meat because I knew that you did not think that meat loves salt."

The king recognized these words and looked carefully at the little girl.  Recognizing his daughter and realizing his great mistake, he called for salt to be brought to the table and seated her next to him.  He began discussing matters of the realm with her over their salted meat, and he valued her wise opinion.  She went on to rule the kingdom for many peaceful years.

The End!

We survived Elko... and it was AWESOME!! 

Well my friends, I'm back home after a whirlwind week in Elko playing the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering.  People keep saying, "How was it?" and I'm honestly having a hard time putting my feelings into words.  Adjectives like "life-changing", "amazing", "indescribably awesomely amazing" keep coming to mind.  (Although that last one makes me sound like a Miley Cyrus fan who's had too much sugar.)  I'll try and break down the experience in categories, and do some different blogs about them:

The People
Some of the folks I was rubbing elbows with in the Pioneer Bar have been on my radio, iPod, in my CD case, and influencing my own music for my entire life!  I loved meeting Mike Beck and talking horses.  He also had the craziest stories of Elko in the 70's when he was a young buckaroo on the Spanish Ranch... I'm telling you, hair-raising rough stories about murders etc!  And what a guitar player!  Man that guy can pick.  I've decided I need guitar lessons.  A truly nice guy!  I really appreciated Mike introducing me to Ian Tyson as "a good singer".  Ian Tyson!  It was just so cool...  I also got to chat with Corb Lund after his show! 

Some really great folks who made me feel welcome and at ease were Andy Hedges and Chuck Hawthorne from TX, Charis Thorsell from OH (sounds like "carrots" without the T), and Gail Steiger and Amy Auker from AZ.  Really talented people who are so down-to-earth and fun! 

And of course my amazing friends and family!  I road-tripped out with Mom and Cameron, and we met my aunt Sue as well!  I hung out with the Outside Circle: Daron Little, Justin Reichert, and Shandee Allen.  Great people and GREAT friends!

I just can't say enough about everyone I met.  Literally everyone I talked to was truly interesting.  I met silversmiths, braiders, leatherworkers, and bootmakers at the trade shows.  I met poets and singers.  I met vaqueros from Baja California Sur.  I met Facebook friends I had never met before.  I met new awesome people!  My gosh!  I'm planning on these being lifelong friends!!
~Caitlyn

If you'd like to check out the people I have mentioned here are some websites!

Mike Beck: www.mikebeck.com
Ian Tyson: www.iantyson.com
Andy Hedges: www.andyhedges.com
Chuck Hawthorne: www.chuckhawthorne.com
Charis Thorsell: charis-thorsell.com
Gail Steiger: www.gailsteigermusic.com
Daron Little: www.ranchcowboymusic.com
Outside Circle: www.facebook.com/pages/Outside-Circle.com
 

New Songs, New Lyrics, New Shows 

My first CD is nearly done and I'm getting excited!  I wrote and recorded the last two songs, North to Denver and Sierras and the Rockies, in November and now Butch Hause at The Ranger Station is adding some bass lines and mixing!  Look for it here and on Facebook in January!

Find the lyrics to both of these new songs on the lyrics page of the website.  North to Denver is an epic ballad... 6 minutes!  Sierras and the Rockies is a song about my mom, and the story deserves it's own blog post :)

I have also added a new show on January 2nd in Torrington, Wyoming for the WSRRA New Year's Bronc Bash.  I will be singing our National Anthem and playing some cowboy tunes before the event.  Come on out!

~Caitlyn 

North to Denver 

I've been working on a new song for a few weeks now and it is finally done!  At least a rough version... I am still tweaking.  I got really absorbed in this one and it involved lots of research.  My writing process generally involves me playing chord progressions and humming along until a particular melody stands out.  I will also add whatever lines or words come into my head and in this case I got "headed north to Denver on the Goodnight-Loving Trail". 

Ah ha!  A song is born!  I began researching the Goodnight-Loving Trail.  The only things I knew where the namesakes: Charles Goodnight and Oliver Loving, and that the trail was an L-shape for some darn reason.  The real story is fascinating!  I didn't realize that Larry McMurtry modeled Lonesome Dove closely on the real Goodnight-Loving Trail story.  Oliver Loving died of an arm wound that went bad and Charles Goodnight hauled him back to Texas for burial.  They really had to cross the Llano Estacado, which is close to 100 miles with no water.  And one of their trail hands, Bose Ikard, was a former slave who became a trusted friend and employee.

I had already written the chorus to this song when I learned about Bose Ikard.  The chorus goes:

Oooo...Oooo...
Singin' to the night herd, with the lonesome coyote's wail
That spring I found my freedom on the Goodnight Loving Trail


It turns out that Bose was a free man after the war and hired on to the trail crew, and he was one of the best night herders Charles had ever seen!  So naturally, the song wound up being from Bose's point of view.  Bose was the inspiration for the character Joshua Deets in Lonesome Dove.

After Bose Ikard's death, Charles Goodnight paid for a marble headstone to be placed over his grave.  This is what it reads:

Served with me four years on the Goodnight-Loving Trail,
never shirked a duty or disobeyed an order,
rode with me in many stampedes, participated in three engagements
with Comanches, splendid behavior. 
-C. Goodnight

This is a fascinating story and has been a joy to write about.  I'm excited to record this new song on my next trip to Berthoud!
~Caitlyn
 

Talented people work wonders 

Those of you who know me are aware that I do NOT photograph well!  I'm usually captured mid-sentence and my mouth ends up in some kind of weird position...or my eyes are closed...or I'm inexplicably holding my hands like Will Ferrell in Talladega Nights!

That is why I asked my friend Liz Hergert to take my photos for my album cover!  I grew up with Liz and she is one of the most artistic people I have ever met!  Both Liz and her husband Nate take great photos.  Liz made me look good in almost every photo!  She managed to capture the "feel" I wanted for my cover with gorgeous light.  I was nervous about looking silly but she eased my fears and I had a great time.

If you are in the market for wedding photography, engagement photos, family portraits, or baby pictures check out Liz and Nate's website: http://lizandnatephotography.com/  You will be glad you did!

~Caitlyn

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Sep19

Lost Art Revival Chuck Wagon Dinner

La Joya Dulce Ranch, Steamboat CO

La Joya Dulce Ranch is opening their gates for an elegant evening to celebrate Steamboat’s western heritage. Cloverdale Restaurant will provide an authentic wood-fired dining experience for attendees while cowboy poetry, a singing cowgirl, silent auction, music around the campfire, and horse and carriage rides are sure to entertain. Join this fundraiser for Steamboat Creates and the Steamboat Springs Arts Council to ensure traditional arts and cultural heritage continue to flourish. Hosted by the Steamboat Springs Arts Council and Steamboat Creates in partnership with the Tread of Pioneers Museum.

Nov8

WRCA Ranch Rodeo Finals

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Amarillo TX

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