An Evening with Trinity
Thursday, October 3rd at the Henry Strater Theatre

Two Showtimes: 6:00 and 8:00 p.m.
Tickets $45, reserved seating

Trinity Seely ~ Cascade, Montana
Trinity grew up in the heart of cow country in the Chilcotin region of British Columbia. Inspired at an early age by a rugged sea of jackpine forests and grasslands, she learned to work hard from kitchen to corral on the family’s guest ranch. As a teen, Trinity moved to California to attend The Thacher School and her love affair with the vaquero way was born. Her life has taken her from Ojai, California, to the high plains of Wyoming, the Sandhills of Nebraska and finally to the Big Belt Mountains outside Cascade where she and her husband Jeff and their three young boys live and work on a cattle operation. With humbling honesty and a honey-smooth voice, Trinity sings about loving cowboys and horses and living “in the middle of nowhere” with honest lyrics that touch the heart.Trinity has been awarded the Western Music Association and Academy of Western Artists’ Song of the Year, and recently released a CD collaboration with cowboy poet Ross Knox, The Horse in the Middle.

 

Join us for two evenings of Cowboy Poetry and Music!


Friday, October 5 ~ 6:00
Saturday, October 6 ~ 8:00

"Cowboy Humor"
Henry Strater Theatre

Reserved seating: Tickets $35 premier seating, $25 regular

Host: Thatch Elmer
Margaret Wilhelm
Brooke Turner
Bill Lowman

 

Friday, October 5 ~ 8:00
Saturday, October 6 ~ 6:00

"Classic Cowboy"
Henry Strater Theatre

Reserved seating: Tickets $35 premier seating, $25 regular

Greg Hager
Ross Knox
Mary Kaye
Host: Nolan King


 

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Thatch Elmer, HOST
Bear River, Wyoming
The “Bear River Buckaroo” is a 16 year old that has been reciting cowboy poetry since he was old enough to speak a complete sentence. Thatch enjoys writing and reciting originals along with the classics. He has been influenced by his father, grandfathers and family friend Don Proffit. Thatch has spent his years listening to stories about ranch life as it used to be from his great-grandpa who was a cowboy all of his 88 years. Thatch enjoys riding his horse, roping and riding mini bulls throughout Wyoming, Utah and Idaho. Thatch was co-recipient of the first Rod McQueary/Sue Wallis scholarship presented at the 2014 National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko. He is published on CowboyPoetry.com and in the book Cowboy Rhymes-N-Dreams of Other Times, and is celebrating the release of his first CD, The First Go Round.     

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Nolan King, HOST
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 has a wide range of influences, from Roy Rogers, to Bob Wills, to Bing Crosby. He cowboyed on the Texas/Oklahoma border for two years, during which time he would 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 continues to ranch, while also pursuing his passions of Western music and ballroom dance.

 

Margaret Wilhelm
White Sulphur Springs, Montana
Margaret lives on a ranch in Montana. People say she sees life from a little different slant … who else would write a tribute to her washing machine or an ode to the neighbour’s goat. Margaret loves to laugh and hopes her contemporary poetry about ranch and rural life will produce a chuckle or at least a smile. A popular American performer, Margaret has a poem about William Shakespeare as a cowboy. “Mother up, you milky mooies! Get thy beefy arses,” she recites, imitating Shakespeare instructing his cows.
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Greg Hager
Valley City, North Dakota
Greg's rural Western roots run deep, and he writes and sings about the life he knows and lives. Valuable lessons about honesty, integrity, and keeping your word—no matter what—were instilled at an early age, and form the backdrop of his musical perspective. Worldwide, Greg’s music is making a difference. In spring 2017 and also in 2018 he completed two concert tours of Japan – performing a total of 48 concerts of only his original Western, Country, Cowboy and Gospel songs. He writes everything he sings and his style is heavily influenced by other great 12-string guitar pickers and story-tellers like John Denver, Roger Whittaker, Gordon Lightfoot, Paul Overstreet, Clint Black, George Strait and many others. His style is described as “easy-going, melodic and clever” relating to more traditional Country and Western music prior to the pop-culture influences. Greg and his wife and three children live in southeast North Dakota near the family homestead.

 
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Brooke Turner
Clarinda, Iowa
Brooke has used his music to reach the hearts of people throughout the country. He owns and operates a working cow-calf outfit along with the help of several dogs and horses, three kids and a top-hand wife. Brooke said his poetry and music are “guaranteed to make some people laugh, some people cry and everyone think.” He draws inspiration from all areas of his life, from bull riding, to fishing with his kids, to calving in a blizzard or just riding out across his ranch in the morning light. In the past few years, Brooke’s greatest inspiration has been his sister Jyl, who was paralyzed in a ranching accident. To help her, he did the thing he knew best...he cowboyed his way to Nashville by riding over 730 miles on horseback to perform a song he wrote in tribute to her as well as raise awareness and money for Spinal Cord Injury Research.
 
Ross Knox
Sasabe, Arizona
Ross aspired to be a cowboy as a little boy after watching his father work their ranch in central Oregon. At 16, he quit school and moved to Nevada to buckaroo, where he also began writing poetry to occupy his time alone. He has worked at both the Grand Canyon and Saguaro National Parks in Arizona, packing in supplies and tools for trail and fire crews. Ross has also led pack trips in Yosemite. He now works on the historic Rancho de la Osa in Sasabe, Arizona. Known for reciting the classics, Ross also writes original poetry from his life experiences and has more than 100 poems committed to memory. He recently released a CD collaboration with musician Trinity Seely, The Horse in the Middle.

   

Bill Lowman
Sentinal Butte, North Dakota
Bill was raised on the family ranch in Sentinel Butte and rode horseback with his two brothers and sister to school at the one-room Westerheim School three miles from the ranch headquarters. He grew up wrestling and roping calves during branding season and went on to weekend rodeoing and riding bulls in the Northwest Ranch Cowboys Association. An undiagnosed dyslexic, he struggled with school and spent time pencil sketching instead of studying. He pursued his aptitude for art by studying commercial art at the Art Institute of Miami in Florida, returning to the ranch each summer. His cowboy “get ‘er done” capabilities impressed his classmates, whose privileged upbringing didn’t include improvising to accomplish necessary tasks—a second-nature skill for rural North Dakotans.
After returning home, Bill took a series of ranch jobs and began to sell his artwork. When times got lean, he operated heavy equipment building state and federal highways, eventually buying his own equipment to start Lowman Construction with his wife, JoAnn. In the late 1990s, the Lowmans built a log hunting and guest house, Lowman’s Lodge, on their picturesque ranch. Bill is the founder and annual organizer of the Dakota Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Medora.
 


Mary Kaye
Escalante, Utah
A multiple award winning entertainer, Mary Kaye tours extensively throughout the United States and Canada with her unique brand of Western Roots music, a mix of Western Folk, Traditional, Americana and Western Swing. She is a native born Texan and as a young woman ventured off to Utah where she "married her a cowboy.” Their family has deep roots that go back six generations and reside in the small western town of Escalante, a 140-year-old ranching community in southern Utah. The authenticity of her music emerges from her life of mothering cowboys, wranglers and rodeo sweethearts, caring for livestock and living in one of the most remote places in the western United States. Mary Kaye combines traditional trail songs with fresh, contemporary material and award-winning originals. She has been married to her husband Brad for 32 years and they have 10 children.

 
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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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Floyd Beard
Ramah, Colorado
Floyd and his wife Valerie are ranchers on the high plains of southeastern Colorado. A fifth-generation livestock producer, Floyd has run cattle in the Colorado mountains, the rolling eastern plains and 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 Mexico border to Stony Plains, Alberta, Canada. A multiple award-winning cowboy poet and finalist for 2015 WMA Male Cowboy Poet of the Year, Floyd also holds audiences spellbound with his recitations of cowboy poetry classics. Writing stories that are inter-woven with his Western code of high ethics and integrity and 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.”

 
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Colt Blankman
Avon, Utah
This 12-year-old cowboy poet performed his first poem at the Cache Valley Cowboy Rendezvous kids’ poetry contest when he was eight. The next year he won that contest with an original poem and was hooked. He has performed at schools, community events, 4H, talent shows, cowboy poetry gatherings and at the Ag Agents National Convention in Salt Lake City. Colt loves the classic cowboy poems, patriotic poems and enjoys writing some of his own. He is active in Horse and Ranch Horse 4H with ranch roping and sorting being his favorite. He is a member of the Cache Valley Youth Hunter Education Challenge Team. He loves to shoot anything from archery to muzzleloaders. Colt tells folks that he was born 150 years late. Following a year of amazing opportunities, he just released his first CD titled Pullin’ That Trigger. For more information visit her blog.
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Valerie Beard
Kim, Colorado
Valerie is a rancher's wife, teacher, writer, crew cook, quilter and reader.  She and her husband Floyd live in Southeast Colorado "12 cattle guards from the pavement." The Beards run Corriente cattle with their daughter and son-in-law and keep a few Border Collies around to stay humble.  Valerie writes original poetry and also recites classic and contemporary cowboy poetry. She has been a performer at several poetry gathering across the West.

 
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Jack Blease
Krum, Texas
Jack lives in a log cabin on a small ranch near Palo Duro Canyon, but said he doesn’t pretend to be a real cowboy. “I’m still a cowboy wannabe.” He raises registered Texas Longhorns and Appaloosas, but works at a day job to support that habit. Jack grew up playing piano, organ and trumpet and added guitar at age 25. A communications degree and study at a Methodist seminary launched him down a path that eventually brought him to the West. His career has typically been in sales and marketing, but side jobs have included singing cowboy songs, reciting poetry and officiating at weddings. “Cowboys aren’t religious in the normal sense, but they are spiritual,” he said. “If a cowboy gives you his word, you can bank on it. If people would live their faith the way working cowboys do, it would be a better world.”
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Rick Buoy
Ainsworth, Nebraska
Rick is a brand inspector, rodeo judge and cowboy poet. With these occupations and through the raising of two adult kids he has accumulated buckets full of experiences to share through his poetry. Along with all these hobbies he has also taken on the position of poetry chairman for the Old West Days celebration.

 
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Patty Clayton
Denver, Colorado and Honolulu, Hawaii
A fifth-generation descendant of Oregon Trail pioneers, Patty has a voice "as pure as the prairie wind.” Her original "buckaroo ballads" and borrowed songs celebrate the West and her family’s ranching history in Idaho. She has received multiple awards from WMA and AWA. Her latest honor in 2017 was having an original song included in a feature length film. Patty calls Colorado home, but has taken up temporary residence on a tiny island in the Pacific where she shares her musical talents with the local folks and Paniolo of the Hawaiian Islands. For more information visit her website.
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The Cowboy Way
Socorro, New Mexico
This Western music trio combines the talents of Jim Jones, Doug Figgs and Mariam Funke. Jim and Doug have received multiple awards from the WMA, the AWA and the Western Writer’s Association, among others. Mariam co-wrote many of their songs and is the master musician who ties it all together. Their songs paint vivid stories of the West from yesterday and today, including fast-paced melodies reminiscent of Southern Rock, heartfelt Ballads and everything in between. Their debut CD, The Cowboy Way, won the prestigious 2017 Wrangler Award from the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum. Two songs on the album, “Halfway Down the Devil’s Road” and “Tularosa Rose,” were winner and finalist for the Western Writers of America 2017 Spur Award. The Cowboy Way was honored by the WMA as 2017 Group of the Year.

 

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Sam DeLeeuw  
Roy, Utah
Make no mistake, Sam knows what she’s talking about. She has been a part of the agricultural life since she was born. She has raised and herded cows, sheep, horses and two rodeo queen daughters! In college, she was often the only girl in the ag-curriculum and was a popular date because she’d help with the branding and such. Sam’s background gives her all the ideas for her often humorous, but sometimes tear-evoking, stories. She has been honored four times as Female Poet of the Year by the WMA, Humorist of the Year for the AWA, and received the 2017 WMA Poetry Book of the Year award, but her most treasured rewards are the people she’s met over the years. Raised in Blackfoot, Idaho, she now makes her home in Utah and is in demand as poet, humorist, emcee and lively entertainer.

 

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Thatch Elmer
Bear River, Wyoming
The “Bear River Buckaroo,” as he is known around home, is a 15 year old that has been reciting cowboy poetry since he was old enough to speak a complete sentence. Thatch enjoys writing and reciting originals along with the classics. He has been influenced by his father, grandfathers and family friend Don Proffit. Thatch has spent his years listening to stories about ranch life as it used to be from his great-grandpa who was a cowboy all of his 88 years. Thatch enjoys riding his horse, roping and riding mini bulls throughout Wyoming, Utah and Idaho. His favorite time of year is spring because he loves to see the lambs and calves and go branding with family and friends. Thatch was co-recipient of the first Rod McQueary/Sue Wallis scholarship presented at the 2014 National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko. He is published on Cowboypoetry.com and in the book Cowboy Rhymes-N-Dreams of Other Times, and is celebrating the release of his first CD, The First Go Round.


 
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Steve Jones
Steamboat Springs, Colorado
Steve was the lead singer-songwriter with the Yampa Valley Boys for many years. Dubbed "The Cowboy Irish Tenor,” he said he still has "the fire in the belly" to write, sing songs and entertain audiences with Cowboy/Western, Classic Country, original, Folk and Irish music. Steve has been active in the Western Music Association since 2005 and performed throughout the West. His latest CDs are That Irish Kid and Picasso.
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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 has a wide range of influences, from Roy Rogers, to Bob Wills, to Bing Crosby. He cowboyed on the Texas/Oklahoma border for two years, during which time he would 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 continues to ranch, while also pursuing his passions of Western music and ballroom dance.

 
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Jo Lynne Kirkwood
Sigurd, Utah
Jo Lynne was born in the small northern Arizona town of Fredonia. Her great-grandfather was an original settler of the area and her family has worked with livestock for generations. Jo’s poems reflect her intimate relationship with the land and the people of the Arizona Strip country, as well as an often tongue-in-cheek appreciation for daily agricultural life in central Utah where she and her husband Michael now live. Jo is a Lariat Laureate on CowboyPoetry.com and has been named Female Poet of the Year by the AWA. Her poetry has received numerous other awards and has been published in magazines, anthologies and elsewhere.
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Susie Knight
Conifer, Colorado
Susie has entertained audiences of all ages with her own brand of cowgirl poetry and music. A former barrel racer, riding instructor and an all-around ranch hand, she is sought after for her exceptional stage presence and story-like delivery of a woman’s perspective on ranch life, rodeo, remudas and romance. Susie’s awards include the 2014 WMA Female Poet of the Year, the 2013 AWA's Cowgirl Poet and the 2013 Cowboy Idol Poet. Her all-original album Western Wordsmith won the 2012 WMA Cowboy Poetry CD of the Year. Celebrating 50 years on stage and in the saddle, Susie is “Colorado’s Own All-Around Cowgirl Entertainer!”

 
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Allora Leonard
Pagosa Springs, Colorado
Allora was born and raised a fourth-generation south Texas cowgirl, and now resides on the family ranch in Pagosa Springs. She learned to ride a horse before she walked and rarely goes a day without riding. Allora and her mother break, train and show Quarter horses in multiple events including reined-cow horse, cutting, barrel racing and much more. This past June, Allora won 2018 Reserve National Champion for the National Stock Horse Alliance in Oklahoma. When she’s not showing horses, Allora participates in barrel racing in the New Mexico and Colorado pro rodeo circuits. During this summer season, she won both the Red Ryder and Little Beaver youth barrel championships. On top of her horse is where Allora discovered her love for music: singing to her horses as she rode. She began performing the National Anthem at many of the rodeos where she competed and later, at the age of 12, decided it was time to pick up the guitar. Now 14 years old, this cowgirl has a passion for classic Country music, admiring the greats such as Patsy Cline, Hank Williams, Bob Wills, Roy Rogers and many more. She aspires to keep their sound alive while bringing glory to Jesus. Allora has combined her love of music and horses by playing at many equine events such as Road To The Horse, the NCHA Futurity, and the San Antonio Rodeo to name a few. When she’s not working cattle or running barrels, she has a guitar in her hand and a song in her heart.
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Maria McArthur
Tucson, Arizona
This 15 year old plays fiddle, guitar and banjo and loves all kinds of music. She enjoys playing Western, Western Swing, Bluegrass, and Gypsy Jazz with a variety of other musicians. Her other interests include reading, traveling and historical re-enacting.

 
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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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Doc Mehl
Black Diamond, Alberta, Canada
Newly transplanted from Colorado to Alberta, Al “Doc” Mehl traces his family roots to central Kansas where his grandfather raised six children on the family homestead. With one foot in the past and one in the present, Doc weaves the history and the mystery of the West into his original “west-clectic” poetry and music. His poems and musical lyrics have been featured on the website cowboypoetry.com and his poems have been published in Rattle magazine. Doc's spoken-word album, The Great Divide, was named Cowboy Poetry CD of the Year by both the WMA and the AWA. In the words of songwriter Jon Chandler, “Listening to Doc is like having Lyle Lovett in one ear… and Tommy Smothers in the other!”
 For more information visit website


 

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Dave Munsick
Dayton, Wyoming
This Wyoming rancher and performer escorts audiences to a country few have imagined and even fewer have seen. Drawing from a diverse palate of experiences, his Western folk style combines with a unique harmonic and lyrical smoothness to create a genre of music he describes as "Western Americana." A former New Mexico state fiddle champion, Dave's songs are about the people, places and times of a West that lives without borders – a West where stories fly and horses run. He has performed across the West for 40 years and has worked as a sideman or opened for acts including Chris Ledoux, Ian Tyson and Lyle Lovett, both as a solo artist and as a member of the bands he has led, including his family band, The Munsick Boys, voted Western Band of 2016 by the Academy of Western Artists.
 For more information visit website

 

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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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Gary Penney
Lorena, Texas
Gary is an accomplished cowboy poetry writer and reciter with several of his poems being published in books and magazines. He has performed at many retirement centers and churches around the central Texas area and beyond. Some of his more notable performances include appearances at major cowboy poetry gatherings throughout the southwest. Although Gary and his wife Donna are not cattle ranchers, they stay busy maintaining a modest herd of Boer goats. Gary's love of livestock and the cowboy way led him into sharing his thoughts on the lifestyle of the American cowboy through his poetry and old cowboy campfire harmonica tunes. Through his experiences and imagination he attempts to capture and share the cowboy way by making you smile or by touching your heart. Gary was named "Best of the West" at the 2017 National Cowboy Poetry Rodeo in Abilene, Kansas.

 

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Hailey Sandoz
Plano, Texas
Hailey's music is rooted in Western Swing, Cowboy, Bluegrass and Jazz with Celtic influences. This remarkable young performer captures the attention of audiences young and old with her exciting fiddling, charming personality, jazzy vocals, creative composing and arranging skills. Hailey has performed internationally at the Equiblues Festival in France and travels full-time with Bobby Flores and his Yellow Rose Band, as well as appearing as a solo artist and with various artists. Her awards include: 2017 Western Music
Association Instrumentalist of the Year; 2016 Academy of Western Artists Young Artist of the Year; 2015 Western Music Association Crescendo Rising Star; 2015 WMA Youth Harmony winner; and numerous Celtic fiddling awards.
 For more information visit her website


 

Lindy Simmons
Mancos, Colorado
Lindy has lived on a ranch with her husband Eldon for 45 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.
 
Gail Starr 
Carefree, Arizona
Gail has been singing for a long time on stages and at campfires and corporate events. Her life has been based on the Western ways as she has traveled, worked with ranchers and helped bring the romance of the West to folks who wanted an experience to remember. Cattle drives, chuck wagons and time on the trail have given her the soul needed for an authentic Western serenade. When Gail gets out her guitar, be ready to go back in time and have a good time remembering the cowboy heroes of years gone by.

 

Miss V – The Gypsy Cowbelle
Thermopolis, Wyoming
A bona fide troubadour, Miss V offers intriguing glimpses into American culture, history and lore. Her musical performances pair a diverse selection of original ballads with traditional Cowboy, Country and Americana covers. Compelling lyrics accompanied by solid rhythms on the guitar and her homemade “plank banjo” define her signature “Genuine Cowbilly” sound. Her subtle humor, engaging personality, creative spiri and penchant for discovering "the road less traveled" culminate in unique performances that entertain and provoke thought in equal measure. Listeners enjoy stepping back to rural places and simpler times. While caretaking a homestead ranch for 14 years, Miss V honed skills such as driving teams, making tack, running pack strings, building banjos and cowboying. Two decades spent exploring rural America and her backcountry have afforded her a rich understanding of the land and its people. Her fascinating story has been captured in magazines, books, newspapers, radio interviews and television broadcasts nationwide. She has produced five CDs of original music including her 2018 release, “Tribal Pilgrim.”
 
Washtub Jerry
McDonald Obs, Texas
Washtub Jerry is a recognized authority for building and playing the washtub bass. In 1999, he was named “Instrumentalist of the Year” by the WMA. Jerry has performed with Patsy Montana, Yakov Smirnoff, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Riders In The Sky, Peter Yarrow, Johnny Gimble, and yes, Don, Waddie, Red and R.W. (plus hundreds of other musicians)! He participated in musical cultural exchange tours in Russia, Germany and Ireland. Jerry has authored and published four books. He is the fifth generation descendant of South Dakota homesteaders and has lived among west Texas ranchers and cowboys for over four decades. For more information visit his website.