Michael Martin Murphey, Friday, Dec. 22, 8 p.m. and Saturday, Dec. 23, 1:30 p.m.; 10075 Commons St., Lone Tree, lonetreeartscenter.org.
he number of songs that have been written about horses is surprisingly few: There’s The Byrds’ “Chestnut Mare” and Johnny Cash’s “Tennessee Stud,” as well as U2’s more metaphorical “Who’s Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses” and America’s apparently too-stoned-to-know “Horse With No Name.” Michael Martin Murphey’s “Wildfire” fits squarely in the more literal camp. The high-lonesome ballad of a young girl’s ghost reuniting with the wild mare she lost in a Nebraska blizzard, it doesn’t take long for the song to sink its hooves into your brain, and the same can be said for Murphey’s oft-covered mid-‘70s hit “Carolina in the Pines.” Through the years, the Dallas-born crooner has racked up nearly three dozen albums, multiple Grammy nominations, and countless live gigs. Currently he’s out on his 24th Annual Cowboy Christmas Tour, which began Dec. 1 in Lubbock, Texas, and wraps up with his two-night Lone Tree run. If you’re a fan of cowboy country music, it doesn’t get much better than this.