An Evening with Dave Stamey
Thursday, October 4th at the Henry Strater Theatre

Showtimes: 6:00 and 8:00 p.m.

Dave Stamey
Nipomo, California
Cowboys and Indians magazine has called him "the Charley Russell of Western Music." Dave Stamey has been a cowboy, a mule packer and a dude wrangler, and is now one of the most popular Western entertainers today. He has been twice voted Entertainer of the Year, three times Male Performer of the Year and twice Songwriter of the Year by the Western Music Association, and received the Will Rogers Award from the Academy of Western Artists. He's delighted audiences in 14 states, and finds that he prefers this to being stomped by angry horses.

 

Join us for two evenings of Cowboy Poetry and Music!


Friday, October 6 ~ 6:00
Saturday, October 7 ~ 8:00

"Cowboy Humor"
Henry Strater Theatre

Tickets $25, reserved seating

Host ~ Jay Snider
Curt Brummett
Sam Noble
Ken Overcast

 

Friday, October 6 ~ 8:00
Saturday, October 7 ~ 6:00

"Classic Cowboy"
Henry Strater Theatre

Tickets $25, reserved seating

Host ~ Floyd Beard
Kristyn Harris
Jay Snider
The High Country Cowboys


 

Jay Snider, HOST
Cyril, Oklahoma
Jay was born into a ranching and rodeo family in southwest Oklahoma. Today, he makes his home in Cyril with his wife, Sandi. His dad was a top roper and rodeo cowboy; his granddad was a brand inspector for the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association. Jay rodeoed during his early years. He now stays busy raising cattle and ranch horses and team roping. Writing and reciting cowboy stories in verse since 1996, Jay says he's not sure his English teacher would consider it poetry. Explaining the reason behind the pursuit, he says: "I've been researching the cowboy way for life for nearly 60 years. I felt a need to preserve some of the stories I heard from the old timers, and I wanted to try to relive some of my own experiences. Fortunately, cowboy poetry seems to appeal to most people. I thank God for the greatest super-hero of all times: the American Cowboy."
 
Floyd Beard, HOST
Ramah, Colorado
Bio:  floyd and his wife Valerie are ranchers on the high plains and canyons of southeaster Colorado.  A fifth-generation livestock producer, Floyd has run cattel in the Colorado mountains, the rolling easter plains and t in the canyons of southern Colorado and northern New Mexico.  He turns his experiences and observations while in the saddle into stories that have delighted audiences for over 30 years from the Meixco border to Stony Plains Alberta, Canada.  A multiple award-winning cowboy poet andf finalist for the 2015 WMA Male Cowboy Poet of the Yera, Floyd also holds audiences spellbound with his recitations of cowboy poetry classics.  Writing stories that are inter-woven with his Estern code of high ethics and integrity are richly sprinkled with humor.  His philosophy is simple: "Life is a journey not a destination, and is best viewed from atop a good horse."

 

Curt Brummett
Westbrook, Texas
Curt was born in Clovis, New Mexico, "a little over" 40 years ago, and grew up in Clovis and on an eastern New Mexico farm and ranch. He started writing short stories when he was a senior in high school – in fact, the first story he sold in 1986 was the same one his English teacher gave him an "F" on. It seems she was pro-Shakespearean and anti-Curt. As soon as it was published he had a copy of the story sent to her – postage due. Curt has worked on ranches in Wyoming, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico and Colorado. He has worked feed yards, in sale barns and even in the oil field. He has three daughters, eight grand kids, one horse, three roping steers, a female type cowdog that has 13 to 27 pups every other full moon and 14 of the non-layingest hens you ever saw. He was recipient of the Will Rogers Award (Humorist/Storyteller of the Year) in 1996, given by the Academy of Western Artists. 
 
Kristyn Harris
McKinney, Texas
Kristyn is a Texas-bred musical powerhouse with captivating Western flair. Her singing has been praised as “timeless,” “powerful” and “shimmering,” and is complimented on stage by her Swing guitar playing, yodeling, songwriting and energetic stage presence. Now 23, Kristyn tours across the U.S. and internationally. She started playing and singing when she was 14, drawn to songs of the Western lifestyle because of her passion for the land and livestock and her rural raising. When she’s not playing music, she spends time training wild mustangs and trick riding, and has even ventured into the cattle business via her own small herd of black angus. She draws most of her artistic inspiration from these experiences, as well as the vintage melodies and arrangements that cornerstone the Western Swing genre, plus styles from other songwriters.

 
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Sam Noble
Durango, Colorado
Sam grew up in Bayfield, Colorado, and has lived and ranched north of Durango all his adult life.  He's been involved with agriculture, rodeo and the cowboy world which has given him a background for his own brand of cowboy poetry and humorous stories. For 13 years, Sam and his wife Tanna followed their sons as they competed in rodeo events. During that time they were Rodeo Club sponsors and Sam was arena director – he pulled a lot of chute gates and hauled a lot of horses. Today, Sam and Tanna still operate a little farm and ranching operation north of town. They raise hay, potatoes and pasture other folk's cows (so Sam doesn't have to fix fences anymore). Sam has written cowboy poetry for 30 years and performed at cowboy poetry gatherings in Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Texas and parts of Wyoming and Florida. His real life stories and cowboy humor come from everyday experiences on their ranch. Since 1991, he has also recited inspirational poetry three nights a week at the Bar D Chuckwagon chapel. He is an active participant in Durango's Cowboy Church and hosts the annual program "A Cowboy and His Creator" on Sunday morning during the Durango Cowboy Poetry Gathering.  Sam has served on the Board of Directors of the Durango Gathering for 26 years. His influence keeps the Board true to it's mission of bringing real working cowboys and cowgirls to perform at the Gathering, which preserves the culture of the American cowboy.
 
Jay Snider
Cyril, Oklahoma
Jay was born into a ranching and rodeo family in southwest Oklahoma. Today, he makes his home in Cyril with his wife, Sandi. His dad was a top roper and rodeo cowboy; his granddad was a brand inspector for the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association. Jay rodeoed during his early years. He now stays busy raising cattle and ranch horses and team roping. Writing and reciting cowboy stories in verse since 1996, Jay says he's not sure his English teacher would consider it poetry. Explaining the reason behind the pursuit, he says: "I've been researching the cowboy way for life for nearly 60 years. I felt a need to preserve some of the stories I heard from the old timers, and I wanted to try to relive some of my own experiences. Fortunately, cowboy poetry seems to appeal to most people. I thank God for the greatest super-hero of all times: the American Cowboy."

   

Ken Overcast
Chinook, Montana
Ken is the real deal. In this day and age of plastic throw away everything, to find someone who is really genuine is a treat indeed. Born into a ranching family, he was raised in northern Montana on a section of the Milk River known as “Paradise Valley.” He literally grew up on a horse and attended a rural school with three classmates. He and his wife Dawn were childhood sweethearts and run a commercial cow/calf operation on Lodge Creek. Having written about half of the music he's recorded, there are currently eight albums in Ken's Bear Valley Records catalogue and several more recordings are in various stages of planning. His album Montana Cowboy was named Cowboy CD of the Year by True West magazine and contains the song Montana Lullaby, co-written with Wylie Gustafson, which was selected as The Official Lullaby of the State of Montana in an act by the Montana Legislature. His most recent recording project, Montana In My Soul, expounds upon Ken's love for the West and his home in particular.
 


The High Country Cowboys
Red Lodge, Montana 
Born and raised in rural Montana, brothers John, Joe and Marty have found a desire to revive all the aspects of traditional Western music. They evoke silver screen cowboys like Roy Rogers, Western harmony groups like Sons of the Pioneers and Country music icons such as Marty Robbins. They have released several albums, and in 2015 and '16 lead singer Marty was awarded WMA’s Yodeler of the Year. In 2016, they were nominated for the WMA Crescendo Award, and their album Songs of the High Country Cowboys was among the Top 5 nominees for the 2016 WMA Western Album of the Year. In 2016 they were also recognized by the Academy of Western Artists, being nominated for Western Group of the Year, Western Song of the Year and Western Album of the Year.

 
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DAYTIME SESSIONS OF COWBOY POETRY, MUSIC, STORYTELLING AND FOLKLORE ~
10:30 am to 4:30 pm ~ Strater Hotel, General Palmer Hotel and Rochester Hotel.
The “heart” of the Gathering, featuring 40 invited performers in four concurrent theme sessions every hour. In open sessions anyone can entertain.
To sign up, please call Lindy Simmons at 970-946-2460.
FREE admission.
 
POETS & MUSICIANS
 
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Vic Anderson
Estes Park, Colorado
Vic provides rhythm guitar and vocals for the Lazy B Wranglers in Estes Park. He won the WMA’s Male Yodeling Championship in 2003 and 2010 and was nominated for the Academy of Western Artists Will Rogers award in 2013. He was Tex Williams’ lead guitar player on Tex’s final tour and has provided music for a movie trailer, local and national television and radio ads. Vic is well known for his melodic whistling and has performed at Equitana, at Esne, Germany and in Canada.
He has hosted a yodeling workshop at the Elko Cowboy Poetry Gathering and spent a season as the entertainer for the Yellowstone Park Roosevelt Ranch Cookout, as well as driving stagecoaches and wagons loaded with guests through bison herds there. He is a novelist, columnist and free lance writer.
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"Straw" Berry
Cordell, Oklahoma

Growing up in west central Oklahoma, Straw became part of the third generation of Berry’s to work and live on the Botchlett Ranch raising cattle, sheep and poultry. After stints as a police officer and a musician, he went into the livestock feed, farm and ranch supply industry, from which he retired in 2010. Straw and his father currently work a small cow/calf and wheat operation and he starts a colt or two along. He and wife Penny live in Cordell where he is vice-president of the Washita County Historical Society. Straw received a BA in History and Sociology from Southwestern Oklahoma State University and began writing and reciting Cowboy Poetry in about 2000. He has entertained at numerous cowboy gatherings and for civic groups and has recorded a CD titled Red Hill Reflections.

 
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Marty Blocker
Cody, Nebraska
Marty is a working cowboy and ranch manager for a large cattle operation just west of Cody. Plying his trade gives him a lot of subject matter for his poems and an edge of authenticity in his works. In addition to writing his own poems, Marty recites the works of past and present masters presenting a wider range of styles and stories. He was the All-Around High point winner of the 2007 National Cowboy Poetry Rodeo in Hot Springs, South Dakota and was a featured artist at the 2010 National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko. He has been featured in several magazines and performed at venues across the high plains region. If it's riding colts, feeding with a team, brandings or just plain making a living on the ranch, Marty likes to share and promote the good – and sometimes not so good – way of life that is waning from our Western folklore.
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Marleen Bussma
Dammeron Valley, Utah
Marleen was raised on a small farm in North Dakota and horses and cows have been part of her daily life. As a young girl, herding cattle on horseback stirred her imagination to want to be just like Dale Evans. Farm stories and intriguing tales of the Old West have had a big influence on her writing. She has put together verses on the plight of the women of the West from frontier days to modern farm and ranch times. Her current book, Is She Country?, was named the WMA’s 2016 Cowboy Poetry Book of the Year and won the Will Rogers Medallion Award for excellence in western literature. Marleen is retired and lives with her husband Vaughn and in Dammeron Valley.

 
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Dominic Farrenkopf
Hamilton, Montana
Dominic performs as "Dusty Trail," cowboy comic and poet, accompanied by his trick pony Thunder.  Dusty and Thunder have been performing cowboy poetry together since 2011 and have appeared at events in Montana and Alberta, Canada. When he's not writing cowboy poetry, Dominic writes whimsical rhyming poetry for his hometown newspaper.  His column, “These Poems Need Homes,” is in its sixth year.  In addition to a love of writing, Dominic teaches poetry and runs workshops in primary, middle and high schools. He recently accepted a role in his local Montana 4-H as Cowboy Poetry Leader, and hopes to excite today’s youth about writing and reciting cowboy poetry.
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Doug Figgs
Lemitar, New Mexico
Tucked among the cottonwoods along the Rio Grande River is a hidden treasure – a singer/songwriter inspired by his love for horses, dedication to the cowboy way of life and devotion to his family. Doug and his wife Cathy run a farrier business, grow some hay and day work for other local ranches when they get the chance. Doug is an active member of the Western Music Association and Academy of Western Artists and performs at gatherings and rodeos throughout the West. He recently received the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum's 2017 Traditional Western Album of the Year award for The Cowboy Way.

 
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Hanson Family Singers
Veneta, Oregon
The stage comes to life with the energy, talent and enthusiasm of Lisa, Theresa and Daniel Hanson. Dazzling audiences everywhere with new and fresh arrangements, this dynamic trio brings you the best of Western Swing, yodeling mastery, rousing fiddle tunes and blazing harmony combined with humor and audience participation. The beautiful harmonies and vocal arrangements of The Hanson Family have gained them much recognition in the music world as well as the honor of winning, among other awards, the 2014 Academy of Western Artists Duo/Group of the Year, the 2014 Western Music Association Crescendo Award, the 2013 Kamloops Cowboy Festival "Rising Star Showcase," the 2016, 2015 and 2006 WMA Marilyn Tuttle "Best of the Best" harmony award, and the 2005 WMA "Youth Yodeler of the Year."
They have entertained at the Alaska State Fair, Pendleton Roundup, Paramount Theater in Seattle, New York City Center Theater, the Wyoming State Fair and hundreds of other events and venues across the U.S. and Canada. With great instrumentation, spectacular yodeling mastery and a deep love for music, the Hanson Family is fast becoming a popular group in the entertainment world!
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Andy Hedges
Lubbock, Texas
Andy Hedges is a songster, reciter and guitarist. His varied repertoire includes classic cowboy poetry recitations, obscure cowboy songs, dust bowl ballads and blues. Andy taught himself to play the guitar when he was 14 and began collecting classic cowboy poems and traditional cowboy songs. He has released nine albums including four joint projects with songwriter Andy Wilkinson. In 2010, Andy won the Wrangler Award from the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum for Outstanding Traditional Western Album. His latest album, Cowboy Recitations, is a collection of traditional and modern cowboy poems that Andy has picked up over the years. Andy lives in Lubbock with his wife and children.

 

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Nolan King
Cortez, Colorado
Born and raised in Cortez, Nolan has spent his entire life working with livestock, horses and the land.After falling in love with the sound of yodeling at a young age, he taught himself how to yodel and sing and later started learning how to play the guitar and other instruments. He cowboyed on the Texas/Oklahoma border for two years which gave him the ability to travel to the Fort Worth Stockyards every week to perform with Devon Dawson and the rest of the Cowtown Opry. Now back in Colorado, Nolan divides his time between his three biggest passions: ranching, Western music and dancing.

 

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Tim Krebs
Lewis, Colorado
Krebs is a singer, songwriter and ranch cowboy since his youth. He started playing a guitar at the age of 42 and sings all over the country at cowboy gatherings, Western settings, churches and many more places. "I love to sing the old cowboy songs, Western gospel and much more," he said. "My mission is to lift up my Lord, whenever and wherever I sing."


 
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Slim McWilliams
Lewis, Colorado
A fourth-generation Colorado native, Slim was reared on the stories of Will James. He started riding when he was four and grew up wanting to ride the rough string. Slim spent many years on working ranches, breaking colts, packing and guiding for outfits from Arizona to Montana.  He learned many traditional cowboy songs around a campfire, in a bunkhouse or in the cab of a pickup on the rodeo trail. He writes songs and poems based on his experiences and the semi-true stories of his friends. He and his wife Sue live in southwest Colorado.  
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Ken and Lyn Mikell
Verde Valley, Arizona
Ken and Lyn play a wide range of traditional music, with particular attention to the Celtic roots of cowboy music. Using a wide range of musical instruments, they animate and illuminate the music and poetry that followed the trail west. They have been making music together for more than 30 years. From old time trail songs to the golden era of the radio and silver screen cowboy, Ken’s rich vocals and Lyn’s beautiful harp put a new twist on old-time favorites. They have an extensive knowledge of the history of Western music and enjoy sharing it with audiences. They have lived in northern Arizona since 1978 and were present at the first Arizona cowboy poetry gathering in Prescott in 1987. Since then they have been featured at gatherings all over the West. They are especially proud of their work with Northern Arizona University Elderhostel and Road Scholar programs. Their work in schools and classrooms is educational and entertaining, introducing a new generation to an important part of America’s unique cultural heritage. The music of the Old World found a new home at the hearths and campfires of the Old West, and Ken and Lyn are proud to be part of that continuing tradition.

 
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Miss "V" – The Gypsy Cowbelle
Thermopolis, Wyoming
Living the life she sings about, the Gypsy Cowbelle is a genuine troubadour, offering intriguing glimpses into American culture and history. While caretaking a remote ranch, she honed skills such as driving teams, making tack, canning food, building banjos and wrangling. Two decades spent exploring the nation’s blue highways and backcountry afforded her rich understanding of the land and its people. While conducting workshops and performing her signature “Cowbilly” music nationwide, she has also appeared in movies, books, newspapers and radio interviews, entertained Wyoming’s first lady and shared the stage with Baxter Black and Ramblin’ Jack Elliott at the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko.
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Terry Nash
Loma, Colorado
Raised on a farm/ranch operation in eastern Colorado, Terry now ranches in western Colorado, raising cattle, horses and hay. Summers, the cattle graze on a little piece of heaven called Pinon Mesa, and Terry spends as much time horseback on that mountain as possible. He also writes and recites cowboy poetry in venues all over the West, and has been a top-five nominee for the WMA’s “male poet of the year” for four years, 2013-2016.

 
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Sam Noble
Durango, Colorado
Sam participates in numerous gatherings and has been a featured poet in Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Nebraska and Wyoming. He has been reciting poetry three nights a week in the Bar D Chuckwagon chapel every summer since 1991 and is an active participant at cowboy churches and campfire settings throughout the West.
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Kay Kelley Nowell
Alpine, Texas
Kay and her husband Gene day work and run their own cow/calf herd on leased country. They also stay busy with their small pre-conditioning and custom feeding operation and pipe and steel business. Kay's poems come from her experiences of breaking colts, working cattle and the cowboys she has known. In 1989, Kay recited one of her poems on the “Tonight Show" with Johnny Carson but said she prefers the down-home atmosphere and authenticity of traditional cowboy gatherings and treasures the friends she has made through cowboy poetry.

 

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Jake Riley
Kearney, Nebraska

Jake grew up in the Upper-Arkansas Valley of the Colorado Rockies. He’s always enjoyed rhyme and poetry and started writing some in school but he's only recently begun sharing his poetry with others. Much of his work is inspired by rural life and his ranching and rodeo experiences, but he occasionally ventures out into the realms of philosophy and theology. He loves the process of putting a story together within rhythm and rhyme, as well as performing his work for an audience.  Jake considers himself incredibly blessed to have opportunities to do what he loves and to have "the best wife on planet Earth" and an increasing number of energetic young children.

 

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Dennis Russell
Cimarron, New Mexico
Dennis blends his original Western poems and songs and shares some of the classics around campfires or at cowboy gatherings. He and his wife Jana have a cow-calf operation in Redwing, Colorado, and their home headquarters is in Cimarron. Dennis was appointed the first Poet Laureate of Cimarron and won the first WMA Western Wordsmiths Chapter Cowboy Poetry Jackpot in the Novice Division in 2014. He was Vice President of the WMA Western Wordsmiths Chapter in 2015 and nominated for 2016 Cowboy Poetry CD of the Year. He was Western Radio's Top 10 CD and Top 15 Poet also in 2016. Dennis is the founder of the Cimarron Cowboy Music and Poetry Gathering held at the Philmont Scout Ranch annually the last week in August.

For more information visit: website


 


Lindy Simmons
Mancos, Colorado
Lindy has lived on a ranch with her husband Eldon for 44 years. She followed the family on the rodeo road for several of those years. Her poetry is rooted in the true stories of the cowboys of history and present day. She is fluent in Spanish and is a Mexican and southwestern history buff. Lindy’s “day job” was as a professor at Fort Lewis College in Durango for 27 years. She retired to be a full-time writer of poetry and history.

 

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Del Smith
Ridgway, Colorado
Del Smith and his wife Laura are both natives of Western Colorado. They lived in Silverton for many years and owned an outfitting business there which included four-wheel drive tours, trail rides, camping trips and guided elk hunts. Del said he feels more comfortable performing his songs and poetry around the camp fire than in front of a microphone. They now live in Ridgway where Del is a pastor at Ridgway Community Church.


 

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Steve Jones
Steamboat Springs, Colorado
After 17 years with the Yampa Valley Boys, Steve is beginning his solo career and will continue to perform Western music, including some songs with an Irish flavor. Steve is most known for his tenor voice and some call him "the Irish cowboy tenor." He will be introducing some new songs at this year's gathering, including "Picasso," co-written with Les Buffham, about a wild horse in northwest Colorado. This is also the title track of his new CD. Steve is an experienced entertainer and will continue to mix classic Western songs with contemporary music, originals and "a good deal of humor."

 

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Tom Swearingen
Tualatin, Oregon
Tom is an Oregon horseman whose original cowboy poetry is often inspired by his own experiences and observations from the saddle. Tom brings his stories to life with rhythm and rhyme and a style that makes him a popular performer not only at cowboy gatherings and horse camps, but wherever else you find folks who appreciate the heritage of the West. Two-time winner of the National Finals Rodeo Cowboy Poetry Contest and 2015 and 2016 finalist for WMA Male Poet of the Year, Tom’s poems have been published by the Center for Western and Cowboy Poetry, featured in Cowboys and Indians magazine, and recognized by such organizations as the National Cowgirl Hall of Fame. Tom’s Horses and Happiness CD was a two-time finalist for WMA Cowboy Poetry CD of the Year. His newest, Rhyme ‘Em Cowboy!, was a 2016 finalist for WMA Cowboy Poetry CD of the Year.

For more information visit: oregoncowboypoet.com