Events: Gatherings and More

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Submission information
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We welcome your event date and link for cowboy poetry and Western music events. Please send information at least several weeks before your event. Email us.

We regret that we can’t list individual performers’ or groups’ shows or “shows” that have just one or two performers or groups, including house concerts; those are too numerous for us to maintain. (We do welcome information for established venues with a roster of regularly-scheduled programs, even if those programs feature just one or two performers. The season’s schedule is welcome, at least several weeks before the season begins.)

We sometimes include other events of interest, such as rodeos and art shows.

We will consider separate blog posts with event information. Please send the announcement in plain text, not in graphic or pdf format. You can attach a logo, photo or graphic.

Be sure to include date, times, ticket information, a description, and performers’ names, along with contact information: a phone number, email address, or web link that can be posted.

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COWBOYS ON FACEBOOK by Andy Nelson

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COWBOYS ON FACEBOOK
by Andy Nelson

I’ve found a new way to keep up with my pards,
That seems to be all of the rage;
I revel in stalking my cowboy buddies,
From my very own Facebook page.

I’m the jigger boss of my own cyber wall,
A social media buckaroo;
I ride herd all over my internet range,
And all of my buddies do too.

I post and I poke and I tag and I like,
It seems that the fun never ends;
I share and I add and most all my replies,
Irritate most all of my friends.

I’m on the confuser first thing in the morn,
Asking for side pork recipes;
But holding a skillet of splattering grease,
Makes it real hard to take selfies.

With smart phone I go as I see to my chores,
And film the cat having kitties;
Then upload a clip of a silly bum lamb,
Nursing on the milk cows (udders).

I spend most of the morning passing along
Unsubstantiated rumors;
I ask a few pards about wart remedies,
And treatments for sarcoid tumors.

I don’t care much for the political posts,
Just like most all of the masses;
Pachyderm or burro, far as I’m concerned,
Both parties’ mascots are asses.

I get all jacked up when a notice comes in,
It might be my birthday, or not;
Then invite all my friends to join an event
Called, “My party that you forgot.”

I keep track of feed days with a status update,
I don’t do anything by halves;
And I make sure to post a new life event,
Each time that a mama cow calves.

The joke that I shared of the old spotted donk,
Didn’t much seem to offend me;
But the Appy folks and the mule skinnin’ crowd,
All of them want to unfriend me.

I get back to the house and upload some pics,
Of me with my new healer pup;
A cryptorchid horse colt, a prolapsed old cow,
And something the barn cat threw up.

I know my old pards will be waiting to hear,
About my ev’ning ablution;
So I share a quick pic of me in the tub,
With my new dandruff solution.

Then I jump in my long-johns, flop into bed,
And rehash my day on the run;
I’m worn to a frazzle but don’t understand,
Why I don’t get anything done.

© 2016, Andy Nelson
This poem should not be reposted or reprinted without permission

Pinedale, Wyoming’s Andy Nelson is a second-generation farrier, cowboy poet, emcee, humorist, rodeo announcer, and co-host (with his brother Jim) of the popular syndicated Clear Out West (C.O.W.) radio show. This poem is included on his most recent CD, I Won.

Andy entertains at gatherings across the West, and next month he is headed to Utah’s 22nd annual Heber Valley Music & Cowboy Poetry Gathering, October 25-29, 2017. Other poets include Waddie Mitchell, Chris Isaacs, Jeff Carson, Sam DeLeeuw, R.P. Smith, Jake Riley, and Paul Bliss. Musicians include Riders in the Sky, Bellamy Brothers,  Bar-J Wranglers, Brenn Hill, R.W. Hampton, Sons of the San Joaquin, Sourdough Slim, Lon Hannah and San Joaquin Junction, Chris Peterson, Rollie Stevens, Joshua Creek, Many Stings, Dave and Jenny Anderson, Charley Jenkins Band, Jon Messenger, In Cahoots, Cold Creek, Carin Marie, Eli Barsi, Summer Brooke & Mountain Faith Band, Call of the West, Kristen H. Lloyd, John Wayne Schulz, Molly in the Mineshaft, and the Heber Valley Orchestra.

There are many special events, including the Cowboy Express Train, a mounted shooting competition, the Buckaroo Fair, Cowboy Brunch, and Cowboy Church. On the Free Community Night, Thursday, October 26, the cowboy poetry and cowboy music Chuckwagon and Cow Camp Stages are open to all.

This year’s poster features the art of Andy Thomas. Read more about him here on the gathering site; at his web site, andythomas.com; and on Facebook.

Find more about this year’s event at hebervalleycowboypoetry.com and on Facebook.

Find more about Andy Nelson at CowboyPoetry.com; at his web site, cowpokepoet.com; at the Clear Out West (C.O.W.) website, clearoutwest.com, and the show’s Facebook page.

 

THE HELPMATE by Yvonne Hollenbeck

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THE HELPMATE
by Yvonne Hollenbeck

You say I look disgusted
but you took me by surprise,
and I suppose there was resentment
coming from my eyes.

Since that hired man left us
I’ve been more than just his wife;
I’m the helper by his side
as he continues ranching life.

I get the gates and scoop the bunks
and help with feeding hay,
and that is just the start
of all the jobs I do each day.

I’m right there for the calving
and I help with all the chores,
then try to catch my work up
when I get some time indoors.

You see, I run and jump
each time he gives a little yelp,
and it galls me that you ask
how he is doing “with no help.”

© 2014, Yvonne Hollenbeck
This poem should not be reposted or reprinted without permission

Yvonne Hollenbeck is cowboy poetry’s most visible ranch wife, and her life gives her endless material. She is a sought-after performer at Western events, for her poetry and for her traveling program that includes the works of the five generations of quiltmakers in her family. She is a champion quilter.

Yvonne and and her husband Glen, a champion calf-roper, raise cattle and quarter horses on their ranch in Clearfield, South Dakota.

In fairness to Glen, the poem came about after he told Yvonne about someone who, even after Glen had said Yvonne was helping out, went on to ask how he did everything “with no help.”

This poem is in Yvonne Hollenbeck’s recent book, Rhyming the Range, which collects her original poems about her life on the ranch. The book includes the most requested poems from her two out-of-print books and all of her newest poetry. She also has a CD by the same name that includes many of those poems.

Next month, Yvonne heads to the Red Steagall Cowboy Gathering & Western Swing Festival, October 27-29, 2017 at the Forth Worth Stockyards National Historic District. Events include a ranch rodeo, invitational team roping, chuck wagon competition, wagon train/trail ride, and much more. Yvonne joins other poets and musicians, including Don Edwards, Jay Snider, Jean Prescott, Chris Isaacs, Dan Roberts, “Straw” Berry, Mikki Daniel, Bobby Flores, Kristyn Harris, Jake Hooker, Leon Rausch, Hailey Sandoz, and of course, the great Red Steagall.

Find more about the event at redsteagallcowboygathering.com and on Facebook.

This photo, by Yvonne Hollenbeck, was taken last spring at the Hollenbeck ranch.

Find more of Yvonne Hollenbeck’s poetry at CowboyPoetry.com  and visit YvonneHollenbeck.com.

Durango Cowboy Poetry Gathering October 5-8, 2017, Durango, Colorado

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Image: “Ten Below Zero” by Andrew Peters

From the gathering organizers:

Embrace Cowboy Culture and Humor at Durango Cowboy Poetry Gathering
Oct. 5 -8th, 2017

Celebrate Durango’s ranching heritage with performances, motorless parade, train ride & more

Spectacular autumn foliage in the mountains, beautiful fall temperatures and cattle drives all signal it’s time to for the 29th annual Durango Cowboy Poetry Gathering. The October 5 – 8th event celebrates the culture and stories of the American cowboy and ranching in southwest Colorado, creatively shared by more than 40 cowboy poets, storytellers and musicians.

“It’s the perfect opportunity to pull on your cowboy boots and hat, observe a really unique art form in action and enjoy all the incredible fall activities in Durango,” says Linda Mannix, coordinator of the second oldest event of its kind in the United States.

The celebration is held in Durango’s bustling downtown district and headquartered at the historic Strater Hotel, where evening performances are staged at the Henry Strater Theater. The theme this year is “cowboy humor” and the Premier Show on Thursday Oct. 5th is called “Laughing Stock” featuring four of the finest cowboy humorists in the West.  Other evening performances on Oct. 5th and 6th  at Henry Strater Theater showcase several top cowboy poets and musicians from around the country and take place at 6:00 and 8:00p.m.

Mannix advises enjoying all the great trails, attractions and activities in the Durango area during the day on Thursday and Friday and the many Gathering happenings on Saturday before savoring dinner at the many locally-owned restaurants downtown and attending the late shows. “We have tickets still available for the late shows, with the earlier shows already or nearly sold out. The Cowboy Comedy Revue on Saturday morning also promises to have people tipping their hats to the 15 performers sharing the funniest tidbits of ranch life.”

Another event on Friday with space still available is the popular Cowboy Poet Train on the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. The excursion runs from 10 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., winds through the mountains and beautiful fall scenery, and features performers on every coach and a barbecue lunch at Cascade Canyon.

New this year will be a screening of the  award-winning film, “Everything in the Song is True.” The film screens at 2:30pm in the Henry Strater Theater. This documentary follows the lives of three present day cowboys and one cowgirl in the American West. Tickets are $10 to benefit the 4-H and FFA Youth Programs.

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Free Ways to Kick Up Your Heels

Start off Saturday morning with a real Cowboy Chuckwagon Breakfast on the corner of 5th St. and Main Ave.  Then stay right there to watch the large motorless Cowboy Parade at 10 a.m. on Saturday with horses, riders, wagons, walkers and even llamas and Longhorns, but no motorized vehicles.

From 10:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., free themed sessions of cowboy poetry and music are being held at Strater Hotel and other downtown locations.  Walk from room to room to hear cowboy music and poetry all day, at no charge.

Shows of Western art are on display at Wild Shots Gallery, Sorrel Sky Gallery and Toh-Atin Gallery throughout the weekend. At 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, the free Poster Session at Toh-Atin Gallery highlights  15 cowboy poets and musicians performing their interpretations of this year’s fine art poster “Ten Below Zero” by fine artist Andrew Peters. A print signing and artist’s reception follows from 5:30 – 7:00 p.m.

Durango Cowboy Poetry Gathering wraps up at the Strater Hotel with free performance “A Cowboy and His Creator” on Sunday at 8:30 a.m. with inspirational poetry and music by many of the weekend’s performers.

For a complete schedule, tickets, performer bios and more information, call 970.749.2995 and visit www.DurangoCowboyPoetryGathering.org. Also follow the event on Facebook.

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Image: “Sammy” by Elizabeth Kinahan 

Durango Cowboy Poetry Gathering focus on Cowboy Humor this year

Living a hard life, working outdoors with livestock and equipment, a cowboy’s life can take many twists and turns.  This year the 2017 Durango Cowboy Poetry Gathering is focusing on cowboy humor.  How the cowboy finds humor from the funny side of the fenceline, which might include horse wrecks and ironic twists of fate.

Rancher and cowboy poet R.P. Smith from Nebraska, will lead a group of some of the finest humorists in the world of cowboy poetry.  Andy Nelson, Gary McMahan and Terry Henderson are featured in the Premier Show on Thursday October 5th titled “Laughing Stock” at the Henry Strater Theater.  Two shows, one at 6pm and one at 8pm, will highlight funny stories, poems and the comedic mistakes of living the cowboy life.

The Durango Cowboy Poetry Gathering runs from October 5th to October 8th with a bent towards humor. Headquartered at the Strater Hotel, the Friday and Saturday evening shows feature humorists Otto Rosfeld, Floyd Beard, singers Trinity Seely, Pat Meade and others.  Saturday October 7th starts off with a real Cowboy Chuckwagon Breakfast at 7am on the corner of 5th St. and Main Ave. followed by the “motorless” Cowboy Parade at 10am with plenty of horses, riders, wagons and walkers.  After the parade, there is another “not to be missed” cowboy humor show, the Cowboy Comedy Revue at 10:30am in the Henry Strater Theater.

Free sessions of cowboy poetry and music on Saturday, will run from 10:30am to 4:30pm in the Strater Hotel, Lone Spur Cafe and Cerda 7.  A free session of poetry and music at  4:40pm at Toh Atin Gallery will focus on this year’s fine art poster, “Ten Below Zero” by artist Andrew Peters.

Cowboy hats and boots will be the norm in downtown Durango as the town goes “western” for the Durango Cowboy Poetry Gathering October 5th through the 8th.  Enjoy a wide variety of family-friendly shows and activities.  Complete schedule at www.DurangoCowboyPoetryGathering.org or call 970-749-2995.

12th Annual Mesquite Western Roundup, February 23 and February 24, 2018, Mesquite, Nevada

From the organizers:

12th Annual Mesquite Western Roundup

Featuring Cowboy Poetry and Traditional Western Music

Due to recent sell out performances, we are expanding to 3 shows.

Performances will be :

Friday, Feb. 23, 2018, 7:00 PM

Saturday Feb. 24, 2018, 1:00 PM & 7:00 PM

Mesquite Community Theater, 150 N Yucca St. Mesquite, Nevada.

Contact Russ Westwood at 385-241-1123 for more information or visit our website at mesquitewesternpoetry.com.

THE OLD DOUBLE DIAMOND lyrics by Gary McMahan

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THE OLD DOUBLE DIAMOND
lyrics by Gary McMahan

The old Double Diamond lay out east of Dubois
in the land of the buffalo
And the auctioneer’s gavel rapped and it rattled,
as I watched the old Double Diamond go.
Won’t you listen to the wind
Mother Nature’s violin.

When I first hired on the old Double Diamond
I was a dammed poor excuse for a man
Never learned how to aim,
well my spirit was tame
couldn’t see all the cards in my hand.
And the wind whipped the granite above me
and blew the tumbleweeds clean through my soul.

I fought her winters, busted her horses
I took more than I thought I could stand,
but the battle with the mountains and cattle
seems to bring out the best in a man.
I guess a sailor, he needs an ocean
and a mama, her babies to hold.

And I need the hills of Wyoming
in the land of the buffalo
Now shes sellin’ out, and I’m movin’ on
But I’m leavin’ with more than I came
‘Cause I got this saddle and it ain’t for sale,
and I got this song to sing

I got this a new range to find
and new knots to tie
in a country where cowboys are kings
I turned my tail to the wind,
and the old Double Diamond
disappeared into the sage.

Yay ee o-del o-hoo – dee

© 1975, words and music by Gary McMahan
These lyrics should not be reposted or reprinted without permission.

Gary McMahan’s widely loved song has been cited as one of today’s top cowboy songs by Western Horseman. It has been recorded by Chris LeDoux, Ian Tyson, and dozens of other artists. Gary tells about writing the song:

My dad was a cattle trucker and had hauled lots of cattle out of Dubois, Wyoming, for a fella named Ab Cross. Ab owned the grand old Cross Ranch outside of Dubois. Dad and Ab were good friends, and I became a friend of the Crosses as well.

I believe it was 1973 when Dad and I were up there in Dubois on a fishing trip. We stayed with the Crosses, and as we were getting ready to head out, Ab said, “You’re not leaving today, are you? The Double Diamond Ranch is going on the auction block today, and it’s kind of a big deal around these parts.” So Ab talked us into staying an extra day.

We all went to the sale and saw the fine old ranch go. There were a bunch of cowboys there who had just lost their jobs and were loadin’ up and moving out, all heading to what they hoped would be another cowboyin’ job somewhere. It struck my heart, and I thought this was kind of typical of what was going on in the West.

That next day on the drive back to Colorado, I wrote the basics of the song “The Old Double Diamond.” I was living in Nashville at the time and over the next…I don’t know…nine months or so, I refined the song into the song you hear today.

It’s been cut I don’t know how many times by big names and small alike. I never tried to control who sang the song. I just let it have its head…I rarely meet a cowboy who doesn’t know the words to that song.

Listen to Gary McMahan’s rendition at his web site and see a video here.

Find an Ian Tyson version on YouTube and one by Chris LeDoux here.

Find more about Gary McMahan at CowboyPoetry.com; visit his site, singingcowboy.com (where there are full-length versions of all tracks on all of his albums); and find him on Facebook.

See Gary McMahan at Colorado’s 29th annual Durango Cowboy Poetry Gathering, October 5-8, 2017. He joins Andy Nelson, Yvonne Hollenbeck, Floyd Beard, Rhonda Sedgwick Stearns, R.P. Smith, Terry Henderson, and many others.

This year’s theme is “cowboy humor.”

Much goes on at the event in addition to cowboy poetry and music stage shows: the popular Cowboy Poet Train, the Cowboy Poet Trail Ride, the Cowboy Parade, a chuck wagon breakfast, theatre performances, art exhibits, and more.

There’s a particular special event this year: A showing of Everything in the Song is True, Doug Morrione’s award-winning feature-length documentary film “of four iconic western characters”: Gary McMahan, Yvonne Hollenbeck, Brice Chapman, and Greg Nourse. Find more about the film at everythinginthesongistrue.com and on Facebook.

This image is this year’s great fine art poster with the painting, “Ten Below Zero,” by artist Andrew Peters (andrewpetersart.com).

Find more about the Durango Cowboy Poetry Gathering at durangocowboypoetrygathering.org and on Facebook.

 

Events: June

Find links to all months here.

•  June 1-3, 2017
 Equestrian Legacy Radio’s RENDEZVOUS Hurricane Mills , Tennessee

•  June 2, 2017
Meeker Cowboy Poet Gathering Meeker, Colorado

•  June 3, 2017
 2nd annual Cowboyin’, Horses, and Friends  Choctaw, Oklahoma

• June 3, 2017
6th Annual Glade Park Cowboy Poetry and Music Festival Glade Park, Colorado

• June 3-4, 2017
Murphy Outpost Days Murphy, Idaho

• June 9 – 10, 2017
Prix de West Invitational Exhibition Opening Weekend Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

• June 9, 2017
Kansas Cowboy Poetry Contest Manhattan, Kansas

• June 10 – June 15, 2017
Reno Rodeo Cattle Drive Reno, Nevada

• June 15-24, 2017
Reno Rodeo Week Reno, Nevada

• June 15-25, 2017
36th Annual End of Trail Founders Ranch, New Mexico

• June 16-18, 2017
Willow Creek Cowboy Poetry Gathering Stavely, Alberta

• June 16-17, 2017
Wild Bill Hickock Days Deadwood, South Dakota

• June 21-24, 2017
63rd annual Western Writers of America (WWA) Convention Kansas City, Missouri

• June 23-25, 2017
Crooked River Roundup Prineville, Oregon

• June 24, 2017
WMA Colorado Chapter-“Branded Western” event  Steamboat Springs, Colorado

• June 28-July 4, 2017
World’s Oldest Rodeo—130th Annual Prescott Frontier Days Prescott, Arizona

• June 29-July 4 and July 6-9, 1017
50th annual Smithsonian Folklife Festival Washington, D.C.

• Dates not yet received for 2017
Settlers’ Picnic at Devils Tower National Monument near Hulett, Wyoming