Barry Ollman Three Song Sampler

Barry Ollman Songs

Painting The West



Painting The West

  • Written by Barry Ollman, 2009
  • Produced and engineered by Dave Beegle, Loveland, Colorado
  • Acoustic and electric guitars and vocals, Barry Ollman
  • Acoustic and electric guitars, bass guitar, Dave Beegle
  • Drums and percussion, Christian Teele
  • Trumpet, Pete Olstad
  • +  Painting The West lyrics

    This song started after a hike that my wife Judy and I had taken in February down in Sedona, Arizona where we used to have a place. The walk was spectacular and the images were vivid and alive. When we got back to Colorado I started playing with some ideas.

    Judy and I are privileged to be the custodians of a beautiful oil painting, painted by Woody Guthrie in 1936 of his impressions of Santa Fe, New Mexico. As our friend Nora Guthrie points out in her amazing book Woody Guthrie Art Works Woody left dust bowl ravaged Texas not with a guitar but with paintbrushes in hand. Check out Woody's entry in this 1936 telephone directory from Pampa, Texas.


    Woody Guthrie phone book entry from Pampa, Texas, 1936


    For his occupation Woody used the word painter (abbreviated as pntr). Pick up a copy of the Nora Guthrie and Steven Brower book and you'll see why.

    Those of you who know me know that I have been a collector of all sorts of historical material (see Collections) for many years. I remembered that I had bought a collection in the mid-eighties from someone who's great-great-grandfather had been an employee/librarian at The Smithsonian in the 1890's and somewhere in a box I had about 15 letters from a wonderful artist named William Henry Holmes. In this correspondence Holmes wrote back to Washington from Arizona and Colorado regarding his mission to go west and, among other things, draw the Grand Canyon. This guy really captured it too... To learn about him and see some of his work check out his Wikipedia page: William Henry Holmes

    Anyway, as I reread his letters, I started feeling and imagining what he might have felt like out there on the road. Mix that in with Woody's story and a great hike through the red rocks of Sedona and this song is the result.