The Cowboy Boot

May 22 2013

Ostrich Cowboy Boots: Full Quill and Beyond

Published by under Cowboy Boots,Exotic Boots

Full Quill Ostrich Boots - Exotic BootsOstrich skin has no doubt become a luxury item that people can enjoy on their bags, wallets, belts, and especially their footwear. In particular, Full Quill Ostrich Skin Boots are the most heavily-demanded form of exotic boots that are currently available. With variations in size, strength, color and texture, ostrich skin boots offer bootwearers everywhere the opportunity to customize their most stunning pair of boots.

Why Ostrich Skin Boots?

Despite the enthusiasm that exists in the boot wearing community for this follicle-covered footwear, full quill ostrich skin boots are actually a relatively new fashion phenomenon. No doubt, the thought of a rugged cowboy bursting through the saloon doors in a brand-new pair of ostrich boots seems implausible; ostrich boots have actually only been around since the 1970s, whereas their equestrian and cowboy relatives date back to the 16th and 19th centuries, respectively. Since their popularity has grown, ostrich skin boots have developed an entire culture around them about quality and other components that make them a western wear favorite. Here are a few of the basics about ostrich skin boots:

  • Unique Appearance: While the colors might change, the one characteristic that all ostrich skin boots share is the speckling of quill follicles. These raised bumps offer a texture that traditional bovine hide doesn’t, and has an unmistakable connotation of luxury. What’s interesting, is that the portion of the ostrich skin that contains the follcles – called the crown – only comprises about a third of the entire ostrich hide. This is why the “full quill” title is so prestigious: the boot is made entirely from the very best part of the ostrich skin where the feathers used to be.
  • Durability: Although the ostrich isn’t typically regarded as one of the more formidable species in the animal kingdom (at least compared to cows and crocodiles), the ostrich skin is one of the strongest commercial leathers in existence. This adds even greater value to the skin’s appearance, since an authentic pair of ostrich boots is essentially a guarantee that you will be able to enjoy the boots for a long time.
  • Quality Control: An entire production subculture has emerged around the collection and preservation of ostrich products called the World Ostrich Association. As bizarre as this type of organization might seem, they are responsible for detailing the criteria for quality ostrich skin. Their list of methods for evaluating ostrich products is available online and adheres to very strict standards for skin quality. Although the WOA doesn’t enforce these standards at the seller/trader level, their standards are what help traders and manufacturers produce the best possible ostrich skin boots for you, the boot wearer.

Full Quill Ostrich Skin Boots

Despite the strength of the ostrich skin, it needs to be handled through a very delicate processing program that requires over 35 stages of soaking, tanning, cutting, dying, trimming, grading, measuring and packing. While the manufacturing process is rigorous, the final product is magnificent ostrich boots with elegant follicular spotting. Take this information and allow it to help you select the best possible pair of full quill ostrich skin boots the next time you are shopping for cowboy boots!

Apr 24 2013

Bullhide Cowboy Hats – Pure Country Toyo Straw

Published by under cowboy hats

Toyo Straw - Bullhide Cowboy Hat

Bullhide Cowboy Hats - Toyo Straw

The heat of the summer is already beating down from the end-of-spring sun and emerging from the Texas asphalt. So while we’re sweating it out going to and from work, we’re indulging our fantasies of a lazy beachside visit to Margaritaville.

There’s no better way to usher in the new season than by introducing some new additions to the rest of your wardrobe. Some shorts and shirts that show a bit more skin are necessary to get a tan that will last into the first few weeks of fall, but you won’t want to spend the entire summer with the sun beating down on your skin. Sometimes you (and your skin) will want a break from the sun, and would prefer stretching out under some shade.

While you won’t always be able to get cozy under a palm tree, you can still keep your face burn-free with style. Cowboy hats are an obligatory summer accessory that provides both health and fashion benefits: you can avoid the blistering ruby-red face that comes from hours of outdoor summer fun and you can add a little bit of country sass to your swimming outfit.
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Mar 18 2013

George Strait ‘Love is Everything’ to Be Released in May

Published by under Country Music

George Strait Love Is EverythingDespite having announced his departure from live performance with his “Cowboy Rides Away Tour”, George Strait has just announced through his Twitter account on Sunday that he plans on releasing yet another studio album due out May 14 entitled ‘Love is Everything. George Strait went on insist that he will continue to release new music, hopefully as often as at least once a year.

‘Love is Everything’ will mark the 40th release from country’s reigning king, and its first single, “Give It All We Got Tonight” is already receiving plenty of love from his devoted fans as it climbs the singles charts toward the top position. In fact, some of George’s most dedicated followers have started the “George Strait 60 for 60 campaign” which aims to put the seasoned cowboy at music’s number one spot for the 60th time in his 60 years before he turns 61 on May 18. The online petition is even being spearheaded by some of George’s country-singing peers with artists like Scotty McCreery, Luke Bryan and Kacey Musgraves encouraging their own followings to launch “Give It All We Got Tonight” to the top of the charts.  As it is, George Strait already holds the record for more songs to reach number one in any genre of any artist in music history – it just seems that his fans are looking to add some icing on the cake for their beloved cowboy crooner.

The first single from the album already offers fans a familiar taste of George Strait’s cool, passionate love ballads. Although it doesn’t deviate heavily from the rest of his discography, listeners can expect some quintessential Strait from the next album. And not to mention fans can appreciate that although the cowboy will be “Riding Away” from live performance after this tour, they can still expect to hear Texas’ bellwether songwriter in their headphones and jukeboxes for a little bit longer.

Mar 13 2013

Country Living 101: Share and Share Alike, Y’all

Published by under cowboy culture

Personally growing up in Texas, the environment was a surprisingly polarizing one for my friends growing up. In high school there were two camps of people: people who wanted to stay in Texas forever and the ones were determined to get the hell out of Dodge the moment they got their high school diplomas. But as I’ve gotten older and I have had the opportunity to run into some of my old peers after they have (mostly) matured away from their Texas homes, there seems to only be one camp: the people who miss Texas. This isn’t to say that Texas is any better than any of the other states recognized for their Southern aesthetic (though, c’mon guys, we know that it is), because the thing that acquaintances are sure to cite for their homesickness is the pervasive Southern friendliness.
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Mar 12 2013

Is Connie Britton America’s Country Sweetheart?

Published by under Country Music,cowboy culture

Connie Britton at the Golden Globes 2013 jdeeringdavisWhen I think of the phrase “Country Sweetheart”, I immediately envision a rosy-cheeked “aw, shucks” country starlet who is adored by the masses and likely resides on a poster hanging above the beds of girls (and probably boys) everywhere. We’ve had Dolly Parton, Shania Twain (even though she’s Canadian), and more recently the lovely country ladies Carrie Underwood and Taylor Swift. These Southern Belles who can belt it out keep the lion’s share of the spotlight when it comes to the affections of country fans, but the “Country” culture extends much farther than the lighted stage. I believe that the term “Country” encompasses much more than just a vocal twang and songs about loves gained and lost. Country music is a statement about patriotism, values, strength and resourcefulness in the face of struggle.

Someone who has undoubtedly demonstrated these virtues in her artifice is no doubt Connie Britton. Her performance in Friday Night Lights (both the series and the film, actually) was sufficient to skyrocket her to stardom and secure her a place in our hearts as the brilliant Tammy Taylor. Her performance as Coach Eric Taylor’s wife showed America a side to the Country lifestyle that isn’t consistently communicated in Country Music alone. Country music is a wonderful genre that is loved for its accessibility, but it has a hard time illustrating the some of the quirks (for better or for worse) that we experience on a daily basis. Connie Britton brought an unbelievable authenticity to the relationship between Tammy and Coach Taylor, one that was often critically regarded as the most realistic portrayal of marriage on television. Where Country music enjoys fondly recounting youthful love and mischief, Friday Night Lights observed the drudgery and pains that are a part of every American’s human experience.

And then we have Britton’s excellent performance in Nashville alongside another beloved starlet, Hayden Panettiere. Here, Britton’s character, Rayna James, actually resembles what we would typically considered to be a “Country Sweetheart”. Called the “Queen of Country” in the series, Rayna James has enjoyed enormous fame, but the series takes a realistic turn when it begins to chronicle her deteriorating fame as country fans prefer the younger, sexier brand of pop-country from the emerging Juliette Barnes. Again, Britton portrays the struggles that come with fame, and although the performance is inherently very different from that of FNL, the characters share some striking similarities in their down-south tenacity when faced with hurt or failure.

Without a doubt, it would be controversial to give an actress an honor that is typically reserved for musicians. But when we realize that the culture that surrounds Country is much more than just the songs that we sing, that it is more a reflection of the American way of life, then maybe there is a bit of wiggle room in who we consider Country’s best representative. So although Connie Britton might not be America’s Country Sweetheart right now, she is most certainly its “People’s Champion”. People might prefer a younger songstress, but Britton represents people who have Country in their blood, and who know that Country is less of a preference and more of a lifestyle.

For more views on the Country Lifestyle and Country Living, check out the following blogs:

“Go West” Feral Woman
Between The Fenceposts
Nikki’s Country Blog

Image Courtesy: jdeeringdavis

Jan 29 2013

Infographic: Country Music Through The Decades

Published by under Country Music,cowboy culture

Our friends at “I Should’ve Been A Cowboy” just featured a pretty neat infographic chronicling the history of Country Music with some of it’s most definitive tracks. The tracks weren’t all number-one-hits, but they are still special songs that each had a hand in molding the culture that we love today. Take a look:

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Jan 22 2013

Zero Dark Thirty: The New Western

Published by under cowboy culture

The Western genre might be one of the most recognizable film aesthetics that has ever graced the silver screen. From the films of John Ford to Sergio Leone to even some of the most modern interpretations of the genre like we’ve seen from the Coen Brothers (True Grit (2010) and even No Country for Old Men (2007)), the Western narrative tradition is one of the most deeply-ingrained aspects of our cultural heritage. But much like American culture, the Western genre has seen a lot of fluidity since its conception, with great stylistic variations that allow different artists to make the genre their own. Continue Reading »

Jan 16 2013

Brad Paisley to Experiment on “Wheelhouse”

Published by under Country Music

Brad Paisley has become one of the most adored country music personalities over the years. With colossal hits like “Water”, “American Saturday Night”, and the poignant “Whiskey Lullaby”, this Tennessee native has earned his place in hearts and jukeboxes, alike. Understandably, the country community is excited over the recent news of his 2013 effort, Wheelhouse.

Fans have been lucky enough to catch a musical glimpse from Paisley’s next album: debuting in the fall of last year, “Southern Comfort Zone” describes how the now well-traveled Paisley has been influenced by the cultural differences that he has encountered throughout his career. In the track, he considers his experiences around the world and details the introspection that the diversity has aroused in him. In SCZ, we see a more pensive Paisley,  one who ponders the cultures that don’t do the things he does, sing the songs he sings, or believe the things he believes, and whether his musical trajectory should reflect his new-found cultural awareness.

Paisley successfully makes an astute observation about Country music as a whole with the title of his new album. The choice of Wheelhouse is almost an ironic one, as he admits he will use the release to explore other musical and lyrical styles rather than performing in his, well, wheelhouse of upbeat country hits. A shimmer of these atypical musical decisions is evident in SCZ, as we notice a discernible shift in musical style somewhere just before the chorus: rather than the acoustic chords and country crooning that we’ve become accustomed to, Paisley employs an energetic passage mimicking arena-rock techniques of brilliantly-echoing guitar leads and vocals. The style is almost reminiscent of the methods that acts like U2 and Coldplay have come to be recognized for, yet still works within the song’s musical framework and delivers a fresh hook for listeners to chew on.

Paisley has also discussed how this album is the first in which he will have sole production responsibilities. This kind of musical control can allow an artist to generate some very personal work, and without the ever-looming supervision of a record company, enable Paisley to take risks like the ones we have already seen on the currently released track. The selection of SCZ as the introductory track to Wheelhouse is probably a wise one; SCZ serves as a sort of stylistic and thematic primer for what fans can look forward to once the album is released in its entirety this spring.

But for those who are still unwilling to let go of the Brad Paisley that they fell in love with, we can still expect some familiar notes on the new album. Always one to convey humor in his artifice, Paisley will likely give his fans some material that is more in line with releases like “Celebrity” and “Online” that have been both comical, but hugely successful. Whimsical tracks like these have branded Paisley with accessibility, giving his songs that irresistible down-to-earth quality that balances his more austere efforts, like the aforementioned “Whiskey Lullaby”. Maybe, however, Paisley will find an interesting way to repackage his characteristic frivolity under his new creative framework.

More information on Wheelhouse can be seen here.

Photo attribution: asterix611

Jan 11 2013

The Hats of Jason Aldean

Published by under Country Music,cowboy hats

So a cowboy walks into a saloon seeking a cold beer after a hot day in the desert heat. He kicks open the swinging doors, and reacting to the sound of an intruder, the startled bar patrons look to the front of the bar to see the cowboy’s silhouette looming in the entrance… Continue Reading »

Jan 10 2013

George Strait Says “Farewell”

Published by under Country Music

So the sad news has broken that the ‘King of Country’ plans to lay down his ten-gallon crown in the coming months. George Strait has announced that 2013 will be the year that concludes his 40 years as one of country’s most colossal contributors, and most prolific performers. Strait will be accompanied on his 21-date tour by Martina McBride – another giant in the world of country music. Continue Reading »

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