Cowboy troubadour Don Edwards is one of the last great American treasures, an artist who has remained completely indifferent to trends, expectations and the lure of payola. Edwards has been quietly maintaining the lost cowboy genre -- a niche that can count icons like Marty Robbins, Tex Ritter, Jimmy Wakely and Johnny Horton as alumni -- since the release of his Happy Cowboy album in 1980. A real-life cowboy in the Southwest, Edwards' songs are simple, poetic and bereft of Nashville excess. On the humbly titled Best of Don Edwards, the "The Minstrel of the Range" offers up some of his best work, including "The Cowboy Song," a gritty and realistic tale of what it takes to make a living on the trail, the politically charged "Freedom Song," and the gorgeous "Coyotes," most recently heard in the film Grizzly Man.
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AllMusic Review by James Christopher Monger