The Lives Of The Cowboys, a regular feature on A Prairie Home Companion, has been a well-liked feature on the NPR show by Garrison Keillor (of News From Lake Wobegon fame). It’s about time this segment gets a CD version Some of the best of these funny skits from the last seven or so years are now available from HighBridge Audio on Dusty And Lefty The Lives Of The Cowboys. Keillor plays Lefty and cohort Tim Russell plays Dusty.

Dusty and Lefty: The Lives of the Cowboys mp3 album download at Amazon is strongly reminiscent of old-time radio cowboy comedy shows. The stories on this Prairie Home Companion feature and this funny cowboy story CD are often red herrings that end fairly abruptly but this does not really take away from the enjoyment. The advertisers on this fake radio show (Vaya Con Dios Vibrating Saddles, Trailblazer Table Napkins: When shirt sleeves won’t do, or Chapparal Brand Short Starch) are as much fun as the crazy, fairly macho, humorous stories themselves.

There are 6 complete stories by Garrison Keillor on this 10-track cowboy comedy CD. The other 4 are song excerpts from other Lives Of The Cowboys skits (Pretty Good Bet, South Dakota Song, Jump Start My Heart, and Whoopi-Ti-Yi-Yo). As funny songs go, not our favorite genre by the way, Garrison Keillor certainly knows what he is doing and he is excellent at rewriting old chestnuts to make them country and western funny ditties. Personally, I much prefer the tracks featuring complete adventures of Lefty And Dusty with Prairie Home Companion sound effect wizard Tim Russell as Dusty. Lake Wobegon show perennial Sue Scott plays all the female parts.

Citrusy Aftershave, the opening Lives Of The Cowboys track has Lefty And Dusty meeting a nice girl on the trail. They tell her two different stories of how they met while she discusses the kind of man she is looking for (one that does not use citrusy aftershave). Big Messer is the story of Lefty losing a poem he wrote and planned to send to a poetry magazine. He goes to a saloon and encounters the yella belly double-crossin cowpoke who stole the poem and believes he has exclusive rights to the expression Alas! This story features the sort of country song Trouble In Mind. Big Messer is one of the few stories on this Garrison Keillor CD that feels complete and does not really end abruptly.

The Copper Casserole Cafe features the cowboy standard Git Along Little Doggies. Dusty And Lefty are escorting 10,000 wild range chickens to their restaurant destination (another occasion for Tim Russell to do his chicken sound effect). They decide to eat at the restaurant but it is definitely too new age for their taste. Lefty gets caught with a book some rough tough buckaroo objects to.

Cowboy Librarians has the two cowpokes on the run from the law in New York. They are trying to pass for librarians. The jokes at the expense of professional shushers are quite good. This particular story definitely has an adult oriented material to it with the reference to the food pornography food group on the internet and catching a couple in full sound-effect action in the classics section Quite surprising for the usually white bread Prairie Home Companion.

Squeezing Peaches has Lefty feeling a bit lonely, going to a bar, and ordering a drink featuring squeezed peaches. This gets him into trouble with a cowpoke whose girlfriend’s name is Peaches. Trouble starts brewing when news Big John is in town cuts it short. Lefty stays and meets the supposedly mean hombre. This is a fun little story but not a classic Lives Of The Cowboys.

This comedy skit CD closes with Christmas On The Trail, A Xmas story of course. This funny story features Garrison Keillor singing a modern cowboy version of Santa Claus Is Coming To Town (“You better not eat a handful of snow / Someone might have peed there a moment ago/ Santa Claus is riding your trail”) and the cowpokes meeting a travelling evangelist. Fun stuff.

A Prairie Home Companion Dusty And Lefty The Lives Of The Cowboys will please and entertain the many fans of the Garrison Keillor News From Lake Wobegon show. It is a great gift idea for those you love who like this part of the show. Click here for our Garrison Keillor page

Dusty and Lefty Lives of the Cowboys
Garrison Keillor
Comedy CD
HighBridge Audio 2006
75 minutes

Track List and air date:

Citrusy Aftershave 10:28 01/06/01
Pretty Good Bet 01:32 06/19/99
Big Messer 10:57 01/22/05
The Copper Casserole Cafe 10:44 06/05/99
South Dakota Song 02:28 11/20/99
Cowboy Librarians 13:33 12/13/97
Jump Start My Heart 01:43 02/15/03
Squeezing Peaches 11:54 04/03/99
Whoopi-Ti-Yi-Yo 01:10 05/15/04
Christmas On The Trail 10:44 12/04/04

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