Welcome to the World and Music of Dan Roark

Welcome to the world and music of Dan Roark. I have lived here for a while now and it's not a bad place to live, really. Although on some level, it's probably just as well you're only visiting. But hang around as long as you like.

Here you can listen to my songs - and buy them if you wish - read my thoughts in posts on my blog, see my pictures, and find out when and where I am playing. 

You can also hear live versions of my songs on Reverbnation, as well as see videos of live performances. You can also see my videos on, and subscribe to, my YouTube channel


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Horses Help Forge Lasting Friendships 

Tucker is facing the camera, while Juliana’s back is to the camera

Tucker and Juliana are a perfect example of the type of friendships that are built at New Hope. Away from the outside pressures of school, society in general, and people who just don’t understand. People driving by go unnoticed.

There are only horses and friends in the little universe called New Hope. Well, and a mule, three goats, a boar, and two dogs. But they’re friends, so that works. Tucker and Juliana’s friendship is special (yet not the only special relationship at New Hope – whether person/person, person/horse, or horse/horse). Let’s say their friendship is unique. They keep in touch all the time. They are each other’s shoulder, sounding board, and scuffling companion.

Keeping in touch all the time involves the New Hope group chat. The

Juliana putting Tucker’s number on during Chisholm Challenge..

idea of the chat was to keep everyone informed about New Hope events – dates changed, lessons rained out, practice times for Chisholm Challenge, etc. As far as the young riders are concerned, the adults on the chat are there for the updates as mentioned above. Other than that, it’s teenagers chatting about whatever strikes their fancy – from a good grade in school to being at Disneyland to actual pertinent questions about New Hope.

Despite the slight irritation for the adults in getting pointless texts (as far as they’re concerned), the group chat further illustrates the friendships that are forged at New Hope. The riders in the chat are all good friends. But even they realize that Tucker and Juliana’s friendship is unique.

Tucker and Juliana

There are also friendships at New Hope between volunteers/riders and riders who have issues that do not allow them the convenience of a phone. Sunday is the day to exercise the horses. Which means riders get to come out and ride outside the structure of lessons. And see their friends, both animal and human.

Tucker and Juliana’s friendship is certainly special. But, as mentioned earlier, it’s not the only special friendship at New Hope. That’s the thing about this little universe we call New Hope – we’re all friends. And that is special, too.

Ride on and ride for hope.

Chisholm Challenge – The Volunteers Who Make it Possible 

Susan presenting an award to an excited Luci.

Susan ended the awards luncheon by thanking all the volunteers. And they should be thanked. Nothing that happens at New Hope would happen without volunteers. That includes a great many tasks. Most of which have to do with horses (and a mule), with or without rider.

Specifically pertaining to Chisholm Challenge itself – not counting the preparation beforehand – begins with loading up  the tack room into the truck along with other necessities.  Then transporting those horses that will be ridden during events to the stalls in Fort Worth. Then

Warm Up Arena – Riders seating on left.

there’s the general care of the horses for two and a half days. In addition, volunteers are needed to bring the riders to the New Hope stalls from the New Hope section of the John Justin Arena (JJA) stands and then back to the warm up arena at the back of JJA. That trip needs to be made for each rider. After the ride, it’s all done backwards. Then there are the side walkers and horse leaders. As well as other volunteers.

To the volunteers who helped at Chisholm Challenge, we say Thank You!

Ride on and ride for hope!

Concert Tickets – Then and Now 

This is a picture of a picture in the newspaper. I’m sure I have the original, but I wouldn’t begin to know where.

Full disclosure: I/We rarely go to many events because we don’t enjoy crowds anymore and getting tickets has become an extreme pain in the ass and there are few people I want to see that are worth a mortgage payment. So I don’t think about it much, but I do get numerous music emails and at times I’m curious to see what outrageous sum they are charging for tickets.

The recent return to the news of the Ticketmaster/Live Nation monopoly question, on top of the Taylor Swift ticket fiasco last year, got me to thinking about the actual experience of buying concert tickets. Even though it’s not really an experience any more. It hasn’t been since long before the Garth Brooks wristband debacle, whenever the hell that was, exactly.

And for the record: No, I did not walk two miles uphill barefoot in the snow to go to school. And we did have indoor plumbing.

This is just an experience that we had that a lot of people these days never had and I just want to share the experience.

I had the most experience with buying concert tickets my senior year in high school. I wrote a music column for the school paper and reviewed concerts. Since it was for school, my parents paid for every concert I could cram into my schedule.

But I had to buy tickets like everyone else. Depending on the popularity of the artist, tickets could be bought at local music stores – particularly Sound Warehouse – or the Sears box office at the Sears on Ross for larger concerts. There were others as well.

As to the larger concerts, Led Zeppelin, for example, the tickets would go on sale at – say – 8 a.m. on Saturday. We would be in line outside the building no later than 2 a.m. Often times, earlier. This is the experience I referred to.

You can share a lot with a group of people over the course of eight or more hours, particularly with chemical and alcoholic inducement. Not a massive amount, mind you – things might have been cheaper, but we still didn’t have any money. But enough inducement to “get us through the night.”

The point was, we shared. Stories, cigarettes of various kinds, beers, jars, blankets, munchies, whatever. (Some of which we’ll never share again after the pandemic.) And we’d hold your place if you needed to leave for some reason. That was when I perfected my art of sleeping standing up against a building. Sometimes it would be cold, sometimes it would rain. But it was Texas, not usually in winter months, so the weather was usually fair. Tickets ordinarily went on sale some time in March for the spring and summer shows.

There were many times when I saw some of the people at the concert whom I had met while we were in line. Those that went to as many concerts as I did for those two years I would see in line for, and at, numerous concerts. I would be walking through the crowd — on the floor at larger shows – or on the way to the bar – at smaller shows, when I would suddenly hear five people (give or take) yell my name. Even in school people would stop to show me their tickets and ask if they were good seats and where to park. It was what made my senior year – and the year after – not suck.

But the point was, it was a social occasion with a common goal: tickets to another type of social occasion. Up front and personal – in person. Did we all agree? Hell no. Each of us had our own favorite song, or album, or story. But it was a blast sharing them, and whatever else.

Not saying it was good or bad as far as you are concerned. Just that it was. And it was a hell of a lot of fun! And a lot of damn good music!


Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.


Chisholm Challenge Award Luncheon 

After being under the weather last week – and staying out of the weather then and now – it’s back to the Chisholm Challenge news and the awards luncheon.

Looking outside now at all the frozen white, it’s hard to picture the sunny Saturday at the Pizza Hut in Argyle as the crowd gathered to celebrate the riders’ accomplishments. And to think of being inside and warm while the horses brave the elements.

Folks began to gather a little before 11:30, but trickled in for a while. A multitude of conversations was shared over the next couple of hours, but oddly enough, not a lot of pizza was eaten. But the excitement was palpable, with volunteers and families of riders visiting with old friends and meeting new ones. Riders visited with each other excitedly –  there was even a little wrestling involved. Something about a phone and a sock. Which probably helps to explain the leftover pizza.

Before things went awry, Susan Altshuler – Organizer of Things – began the presentation of awards. Those that received awards at Chisholm Challenge – such as for English Equitation and Drill Team – were “re-presented” with those awards so that all present could celebrate with each of the riders. And celebrate with each of the riders we certainly did.

The smiles on their faces in the picture had been on their faces for quite some time throughout the presentation. The applause seemed to go on forever. You can feel the enjoyment in the air as you look at them. Yet behind all the smiles of satisfaction lay the determination to do better next year.

Ride on and ride with hope.

R.I.P David Crosby, Memories, and Cardi’s 

David Crosby and band

David Crosby joins those musicians of our era that Cyndy and I have seen a few years before they passed away. Leon Russell and Gregg Allman are two others on the list. Unfortunately, there are more.

A few years ago, I won tickets through KXT to see David Crosby at the Granada Theatre. It was a fabulous show – see my review here. I’ve seen Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young in most of their permutations. I’ve seen shows when Crosby had to be propped up at the mic and a singer was doing his parts from behind the stage. When the members all showed up each in their own limo because they wouldn’t ride together. I also saw them at Texas Stadium on the 1974 tour which was considered their best tour.

I was also at Cardi’s the night David Crosby got busted, ending up in a prison sentence. A friend of mine was running sound. I was going to stay for the show, but his shows hadn’t been getting very good reviews and the crowd was a little sketchy. So I cut out before the show. Turns out it was a good thing.

But I got to see a dynamite David Crosby show before he passed away, and that is kind of special.


Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.


Chisholm Challenge – The Aftermath 

By now, everyone – horses, riders, and volunteers – has had a chance to rest. Some of the riders and volunteers have been riding to exercise the horses, re-live Chisholm Challenge, and sooth their soul.

Tomorrow will be the New Hope awards ceremony at lunch with – you guessed it – pizza. At the equitation events, the awards were presented at the end of each heat. For other events, such as trail, the awards were picked up by volunteers from each stable.

Those awards for New Hope riders will be presented tomorrow and riders who received awards last week will be celebrated as well. A time to have fun, congratulate each other, share Chisholm Challenge memories, and plan improvements for next year.

Watch for news of the awards party, and an online presentation of sorts.

Ride on, and ride with hope.

A Horse is a Horse Except When It’s Not 

Now that I have your attention, I’ll explain what I mean. No, I don’t mean that at any time, a horse is not a horse. That is not in my bailiwick. I mean that every horse is different – like almost everything on the planet. Or I could say that horses are human, too. Which also means they’re fallible as well, not that they are actually human. But they do have some similar characteristics, to be sure.

One of the things that fascinates me about equine assisted therapy, is that everyone involved, with little exception, has issues they are trying to resolve. To attempt to list all those issues would be like trying to note every point on the autism spectrum. It would probably never end. More to the point, horses, riders, volunteers, and leaders are all helped in many ways by their interaction with each other.

The reason I bring this up at this precise time is due to my last post on Wednesday about the final day for New Hope at Chisholm Challenge. Tucker was supposed to ride Gabby in Barrels and Pole Bending. But Gabby reared up at the gate and could not be calmed down. And she cannot be fully held responsible.

It was a long three days in a new stall for all the horses. And with so many other horses around, they were all nervous to a point. Not to mention having to hang out in the warm up area – with other horses – while waiting to be called to the gate. In addition, men were working on stalls with machinery while all of this was going on for some inexplicable reason. And the volunteers were all tired and sleep deprived and slightly on edge themselves.

But everyone got through it, Tucker was commended for being courageous and sticking it out, and everyone from New Hope headed home. But mostly, there was a sense of pride for having made it through another Chisholm Challenge, whether a horse, rider, or volunteer. Lessons were learned on all levels (albeit horse or human). A lot of love was shared. And EVERYONE benefitted in mind, heart, and soul. That’s what fascinates me about equine assisted therapy.

Stay tuned for more about Chisholm Challenge.

Ride on, and ride with hope.


Chisholm Challenge – Final Day 

A tired group of volunteers waiting for the final Chisholm Challenge events after packing everything up to return to New Hope. Tucker is competing in barrels and pole bending. Then it’s time to load Gabby and the final group of horses in the trailer before heading back to Argyle.

It’s been an eventful, successful, and insightful Chisholm Challenge. All of the competitors enjoyed themselves despite some disappointments and tired horses. Lessons learned will lead to better riders in the future. But despite challenges, the competitors all performed quite well.

Watch for more posts about Chisholm Challenge in the coming days after we all get a little sleep.

Ride on and ride with hope.

Chisolm Challenge – Load In 


While I was posting yesterday, volunteers were setting up the horse’s stalls and tack room. It took a number of volunteers several hours to get everything set up. They also erected the banner at our gathering area for Chisolm Challenge Opening Ceremonies in John Justin Arena. Competition events will be held at both John Justin Arena and Will Rogers Coliseum.

This morning volunteers took Keegan, Gabby, Missy, Flash, and Daisy Mae the mule from New Hope to their stalls so they can gussied up and ready to compete. Tommy, Beau, Olivia, Cy, and Libby made the trip this afternoon with more volunteers. Chito and Rain will have New Hope all to themselves. “Although not in the same paddock because Chito is bossy.” 🙂

We will be posting pictures of the horses (and mule) during the Chisholm Challenge. Below, Tucker is riding Chito on the left and Juliana is on Rain, giving them one of the last exercise periods before just hanging out for a few days.

Ride on, and ride with hope.

Eggs Hard-boiled, Eggs Fried, Eggs Deviled, Oh My! 

If hens could lay perfect eggs every time, hard boiling eggs would be a piece of cake, so to speak. It’s even more of a problem if you’re making deviled eggs. Then you want them as perfectly peeled as possible so the halves will hold the filling without breaking. In the instance pictured above, the first nine peeled perfectly, albeit not easily. I was concentrating, but trying not to concentrate too hard.

Despite all my carefulness, the tenth egg went south. The thin membrane between the egg and the shell can be a pain in the ass. Doing one thing one time and another thing another. Sticking to the shell one minute and pulling a chunk off the egg the next. The eleventh egg echoed the tenth. I didn’t know if it was the eggs or if I had altered my modus operandi without meaning to. Possibly a bit of both — who knew?

As I alluded to in the opening sentence, each egg is different. When Cyndy and I would go to any type of potluck event in the last thirty years, most of the time we would take deviled eggs. They always turned out really good, but not always the same. People would ask us for the recipe. We told them we didn’t know. It was different every time. And that had to do with the differences in eggs. The flavor of the boiled yokes dictates the amount of the different ingredients.

A few days ago, I hard boiled seven eggs. I was doing other things as well so I was late in starting the timer after the eggs started to boil. I didn’t take a picture, but they all peeled perfectly. Now, if only I knew how long I boiled them for, I could do it every time. Or not. Did I say all eggs are different?

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

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Previous events

Dan will play songs from his new album, Southern Plains Revisited, his previous work, and songs of John Prine from 7 - 8:30 p.m. Up to 30 people may attend the show live - adhering to social distancing and wearing masks when not at your seats, and donating to the cause. If you would like to attend the show in person, contact David Card at david@poordavidspub.com to make arrangements. Tickets for the livestream are $10 and include the link and a download of Dan's Southern Plains Revisited album when it is available. A major portion of the proceeds goes to Poor David's Pub to help keep the doors open. When the pandemic has finally subsided, songwriters and performers would like to still have places to play.

Dan Roark Livestream at Herd Wear Store

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Herd Wear Store, 2000 US Highway 287, Clarendon, Tx 79226

Dan will play songs and tell stories from noon to 12:45 at Herd Wear Retail Store in Goodnight, Tx. Tickets are $.50 but contain the livestream link. Herd Wear has all things bison and more. They have many unique and special items. The bison ribs, burgers, summer sausage and brats are a little pricey, but oh, so delicious - worth the money. Cecil and Darlene will work with you on whatever you need. You can even schedule a virtual shopping experience.

Dan Roark at Starving Artist Festival


StarvingArtistFestival.com 12 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. ALL DONATIONS BENEFIT FEEDING AMERICA! 12 - Introduction 12:10 - Zach Benson 1:00 - LEX (E should be reversed) 1:35 - Matthew Mozingo 2:25 - Bad Ties 3:10 - Torture and The Desert Spiders 3:45 - LEIF 4:20 - Andrew Magruder 5:10 - OneManJamz 5:45 - Sarah Zotian 6:20 - Tyler Schafer 7:10 - Dan Roark 7:45 - Max Stratyner 8:20 - Brian Sauerwald 8:55 - Ian Logan