3 Pairs of Boots pay tribute to Old West cowboy Nat Love on their latest. ‘Just Call Him Love’ recalls the tale of this swashbuckling rodeo champ, noted for adventures that have permanently left his imprint as an American hero. The swinging Americana tune relates this history to moments that Black Americans are still facing, beleaguered by systemic racism that affects them today as it had in Love’s time—one in four Old West cowboys were Black, but the fact has been whitewashed in some circles. It takes a celebratory turn, memorializing Love’s incredible history running in crews that surpassed the racist constructs of the time and eventually becoming instrumental in the creation of the modern-day rodeo.
Musically, the song makes its mark with crunching rock-driven guitar courtesy of Andrew Stern and frontwoman Laura Arias’ infectious vocal lilt. The couple married within a year of meeting each other and their natural chemistry shines through on this lovely tune, itself a cut from their forthcoming album Mighty Love (2 September).
Stern tells For Folk’s Sake, “Based upon the life of Nat Love, the famous black cowboy of the late 1800’s, champion rodeo star, who wrote his autobiography in the early 1900’s, which is now in the Smithsonian. Fascinating story, born as a slave, found his freedom at age 15. The song works on two levels; as the story of his journey growing up during the latter part of the 1800’s, and the bigger picture meant to reflect upon how we are all the same as we sleep under the stars, as all cowboys did back then, no matter what our differences are.”
Words by: Jonathan Frahm