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Cowboy Dreams

by John Train

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    Cowboy Dreams
    About 15 years ago, my wife Jodi got interested in horseback riding and in a relatively short period of time became a damn good rider. I found myself hanging around barns quite a bit and often walking alongside the horses during rides in the Wissahickon. Maybe at some point, I’ll take up riding myself, but given my responsibilities running an international multimedia corporation such as John Train LLC, for now, I am satisfied in my role as “Squire Jon” as I have come to be known among Jodi’s fellow riders. I personally call myself a Hot Walker!
    We started at Monastery which is just down the street from our home in the Mt. Airy section of Philadelphia. Monastery is a beautiful place – built in 1747! – with great access to Forbidden Drive. Jodi joined the Saddle Club over there and rode a horse named Madison. She eventually began share boarding a horse called Twister with whom I enjoyed hundreds of walks in the park.Twister was eventually moved down to Belmont Stables by his owner Misty Godfrey – who runsBelmont -- so we moved over there with him. Belmont was my first experience among the blackcowboys of Philadelphia and I am very grateful to have gotten to know characters such as Al, Lenny, and Preacher. We also met Erin Brown – who is the Executive Director of the Philadelphia Urban Riding Academy – at Belmont. Erin’s foal Dream became the subject of a song as did Erin herself, first among many great “Concrete Cowgirls” in Philadelphia. I am amazed at how the riders at Belmont (and Fletcher Street for that matter) ride in these most urbanof environs. Fearless. And, yes, Jodi’s friend Fausto really did give his horse Marengo a beer asthey stood outside the Dell listening to R & B. When Twister sadly passed on Christmas day a few years back, we moved to Chestnut Hill Stables where Jodi share boarded Mr. Blues Amigo, a wonderful old gentleman who I never tired of hugging. We eventually got our own quarter horse – the amazing Kira – and are now in a private barn in Andorra. What a journey!
    Last summer when legendary Philadelphia sound engineer John Anthony invited John Train to do some recording at Gradwell House in Haddon Heights, NJ, I decided to pull all of my horse related material together and call the collection Cowboy Dreams. The title track was actually written by Paddy McAloon of Prefab Sprout if you can believe that! We also essay Jonathan Richman’s Since She Started to Ride and David Halley’s Further. I had a couple western sounding instrumentals that seemed to fit in as did Mark Tucker’s honkytonk rave-up Cuttin’ Down on Cuttin’ Up. Finally, I penned one just for the sessions called Blood Horses which was inspired by John Jeremiah Sullivan’s book of the same name. It’s about horses but also about lineage in general as is the whole album.
    Giddy up!
    Jon Houlon, July 2022
    ... more
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Blood Horses 04:39
Further 04:49
Twister 02:58
Dream Waltz 03:26


Mike "Slo-Mo" Brenner (steel guitar)
William Fergusson (mandolin and bouzouki)
Mike Frank (bass)
Jon Houlon (vocals and acoustic guitar)
Mark Schreiber (drums, percussion, background vocals)
Mark Tucker (electric, acoustic and steel guitars, keyboards)

Additional Musicians: Eliza Hardy Jones (background vocals on Blood Horses, Cowboy Dreams, and Twister);
Mike Beaky (banjo on Since She Started to Ride)
Rosie McNamara-Jones (violin on Dream Waltz)


released July 15, 2022

Produced by Mike "Slo-Mo" Brenner and John Anthony
Engineered, Recorded, and Mixed by John Anthony at Gradwell House in Haddon Heights, NJ
Dream Waltz recorded at a secret location by Mark Schreiber

Unless otherwise noted all songs by ©2022 Jon Houlon, Hillside Blue Music, BMI. ®2022 Chapter 7 Records

Front cover: "Reigning Fancies" by Crystal Latimer
Back cover photo: "Jon and Twister" by Jodi Houlon
Art direction: Alec Meltzer

Special Thanks to John Anthony, Fred Beckley, Jon Jolles, Fergie's Pub and the entire Train Army
for their unerring support of John Train

www.trainarmy.com for complete lyrics, booking


all rights reserved



John Train Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

It's a band, not a person. Country-folk-roots sextet led by Philadelphia singer-songwriter Jon Houlon.

Jon Houlon - vocal, acoustic guitar
Mike Brenner - steel guitar, dobro
Mike Frank - bass
Bill Fergusson - mandolin, bouzouki
Mark Tucker - lap steel,various guitars, piano
Mark Schreiber - drums, shaky things
Steve Demarest - Bass (1997-2013)
... more

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