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Music Monday Featured Artist: Riddy Arman

Riddy Arman is a Montana ranch hand and cowboy who writes songs inspired by a life spent working the land and riding fences. Ahead of her debut album (out September 10 on La Honda Records), she’s already evoking comparisons to legendary songwriters Johnny Cash and Dolly Parton, as well as newer country revivalists like Margo Price, and she’s about to hit the road for an East Coast tour with CLN favorite, Colter Wall, before headlining some Midwest shows later this fall.

Arman’s music was first introduced to the world through a Western AF acoustic performance video of her stirring folk song, “Spirits, Angels, Or Lies.” It quickly became a fan favorite and serves as the opener on the forthcoming album. “Spirits, Angels, Or Lies” tells the true story of Arman’s father’s passing and Johnny Cash’s posthumous visit to his deathbed. In steadfast baritone, Arman sings, “The nurses told my mom ‘don’t be surprised’ / funny things happen before someone dies / You can call it spirits, angels, or lies / but we’ll never know what someone sees with their own eyes.”

Arman spent her childhood in rural Ohio and has since traveled all over the country working on ranches and farms while documenting the scenes around her through songwriting. With every line she sings, you can hear the pure authenticity that used to be the very backbone of country music. Songs like “Barbed Wire” paint a picture of the loneliness that cowboys both dread and long for out on the range with a level of understanding that can only come from lived experience: “There’s one thing he wants and can’t seem to find / so he sits atop his horse as his dog trails beside / Seeking freedom from his mind under sunny desert skies / The wind will dry his tears that fall as if he’s never cried.”

It comes as no surprise that Arman finds a deep connection between working the land and songwriting.

“After long mornings, into afternoons, moving handlines, you still have to chore. There’s always an animal that needs attention, too,” she explains. “You get wet early and the grass is tall. Sounds like songwriting.” 

Arman’s love of hard, honest work began in her early 20s on a friend’s small farm in central Virginia, where she killed time between barn chores listening to female songwriting icons like Loretta Lynn. Eventually, she took a job in California and spent four years in ranch country learning livestock agriculture. She fell in and out of love and began to shape some of the songs that would ultimately end up on her debut record. But her first two singles, “Half A Heart Keychain” and “Too Late To Write A Love Song,” are not your typical heartbreak, break-up country tunes. They’re empowering anthems that find the bright spots in moving on.

Most of the rest of the record was written during a stint in Fayetteville, Arkansas, and while playing shows around New Orleans. After relocating to Montana and meeting the Western AF crew, she spent six days at Mississippi Studios in Portland, Oregon with producer Bronson Tew (Jimbo Mathus, Dom Flemons). The resulting 9-song set is a glimpse into the life of a wandering cowboy, written and recorded with Arman’s heart on her sleeve.

With live shows lined up for the rest of the year, Arman is looking forward to sharing the new music with her fans. “I’m so glad folks were able to take the time, from work and life too, in order to come to see the shows. That ain’t easy! I look forward to playing,” she says, adding, “I wonder is this how Loretta Lynn felt? You know, I lived a life before this, like her. It’s unreal. Pinch me!”

Riddy Arman’s upcoming tour dates

September 9  — McKees Rocks, PA — Roxian Theatre*

September 10 — Washington, DC — 930 Club*

September 11 — New York, NY — Irving Plaza*

September 12 — Philadelphia, PA — Union Transfer*

September 16 — Buffalo, NY — Asbury Hall*

September 17 — Detroit, MI — Majestic Theater*

September 18 — Columbus, OH — Newport Music Hall*

September 19 — Indianapolis, IN — Hifi*

September 22 — Nashville, TN — Americanafest

September 23 — Des Moines, IA — Vinyl Cup Records

November 19 — Bozeman, MT — Live From The Divide~

November 20 — Miles City, MT — Montana Bar~

November 23 — Minneapolis, MN — 7th Street Entry~

November 27 — Davenport, IA — Raccoon Motel~

November 28 — Chicago, IL — Tonic Room~

December 1 — Yorkville, IL — The Law Office Pub~

December 3 — Madison, IN — Red Bicycle Hall~

December 8 — Asheville, NC — The Grey Eagle~

December 11 — Nashville, TN — The Basement~

December 15 — Tulsa, OK — Mercury Lounge~

December 17 — Trinidad, CO — Trinidad Lounge~

December 18 — Denver, CO — Hi-Dive~

December 19 — Laramie, WY — Ruffed Up Duck Saloon~

*appearing with Colter Wall

~Fall Headlining Tour

CLN Community & Event Sponsor

Hi everyone! I'm Krysta Paffrath, I am a proud Arizona native who has a passion for everything business and rodeo. I am beyond thrilled to be the Editor in Chief for Cowboy Lifestyle Network. With my background in digital marketing and rodeo, this was a natural fit for me to join the team. My adventurous and entrepreneurial spirit has guided me to work in many places like the WYO Quarter Horse Ranch in Thermopolis, Wyoming, a working cattle ranch in Seligman, Arizona, and many places in between. I am passionate about preserving the western way of life and working with different brands and rodeos to make that happen. If you're looking for a write-up, please shoot me an email at krysta@clngo.com. Learn more about me at krystapaffrath.com. Looking forward to hearing from you!

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