Tuneful Troublemakers

29th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering
Friday, February 1, 2013

download2Glenn Ohrlin has certainly been at this for many years, and as he stepped onto the stage a 12 year old Brigid Reedy followed close. The theatrical arguments between the pair and the passing of folk tradition was magical to watch. 75 years between them certainly didn’t let on as they played great music today, and it is great knowing that the next 30 years of cowboy poetry and music will be carried on by talented young performers like Brigid.

download3First time National Cowboy Poetry Gathering visitor, Ed Peekeekoot, took the auditorium today after a standing ovation finish at the Flag View Stage yesterday. And like an old friend to the NCPG, Ed talks smooth and shows massive amounts of confidence and class. His stories about growing up on a reservation listening to friends play popular rock and roll cords is a great dimension of growing up. During those years he found his own music with influence form Chet Atkins and Merle Travis, all leading to an amazing ability to layer chords into musical melody. Ed is a fresh and fantastic way to fall in love with Western folk traditions. With the help of his wife, Gail, Ed provides a good time for everyone in attendance and comes across as the kind of person that you could stand up and party with.

Ed is fast making the list of favorite artist this year and certainly one that you shouldn’t miss out on.

Written by Mike Gamm

Photos by Charlie Eckburg

Roughstock Cocktail

29th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering
Thursday, January 31, 2013

Paul Zarzyski and Wally McRae by Jessica Brandi Lifland_smLast night the Roughstock Cocktail proved to be a great mix of music, poetry, and comments regarding Paul’s sagging derriere. The show’s name did not fail to provide as the amazing cast mixed equal parts of flavor and zest with music and story.

The performance opened to an audience nearly bursting at the seams, and a rousing introduction to LSD by Paul Zarzyski got the crowd’s energy pumping. The stage was not short on talent as Cowboy Celtic lulled the audience with sweet melodies, and Paul Zarzyski and Wallace McRae provided all the in- between with word and poem. Even the silent duo, Nathan and Joe, impressed the audience using their instruments to create strong stage presence. Quips and jokes by the rest of the group kept cheers and laughter pouring. Simply put, it was a great time watching this motley crew up on stage doing what they love. Giving way to good old fashion fun.

After the show an impromptu musical bash between Cowboy Celtic and the Italian duo Marco Rufo and Gianluca Zammarelli broke out in the G Three Bar Theater. And with a bit of trial and error at the beginning, the bands soon melded together keeping the those in the Pioneer Saloon entertained for hours. If you hang out at the Folklife Center long enough you’re sure to see the Italian musicians walking about playing bagpipes and accordion. It’s quite fun to see Marco and Gianluca banter back and forth about rhythm and song choice, even if you don’t understand Italian.

Written by Mike Gamm

Photo Courtesy Western Folklife Center

Young Guns

29th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering
Thursday, January 31, 2013

download5Last night’s “young” guns came to the G Three Bar Stage with guns blazing, each entertaining the crowd with sharp lyrics and an array of stories. Andy Hedges and Brenn Hill had the crowd moved with poetry and song, each weaving life and music together seamlessly.

download4Its great to have performers step onto the stage and immediately captivate the audience with smiles and fun. If you were looking to find spunk and heaps of heart on a National Cowboy Poetry Gathering stage then you had better seek out another show with Adrian. She certainly brought the lady fire last night and let us know that buckerettes are a tough group of gals.

Written by Mike Gamm

Photos by Charlie Eckburg

Cowboy Philosophy

29th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering
Thursday, January 31, 2013

In this session, Jess Howard and Georgie Sicking shared their stories about the simpler parts of the western lifestyle, while Keith intrigued us with what it meant to be a cowboy as we grew up watching great American heroes. Together, they remind us that being a cowboy is not all work and strife; that it’s made up of plenty of laughs and fun. Most of all, they reveal that each day is special as long as we strive to be our own cowboy.

Kristyn Harris and the Quebe Sisters Band

29th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering
January 31, 2013

imageKristyn Harris wowed performance-goers in the open mic music sessions at last year’s Gathering, and as a result, she came back this year with a variety of fun songs.  She’s a talented singer/songwriter with plenty of extra skills in her tool box.  Her smooth talk and yodeling kept the room engaged, and once again Kristyn didn’t fail to impress the audience, proving that fresh talent is always welcome at the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering. Wow this girl can yodel!
Yodeling Fever with 18-year-old Kristyn Harris. Click here for a video.
The Quebe Sisters Band took the stage once again this afternoon, showing what it means to be a powerhouse trio.  It will get you all warm and fuzzy inside hearing these girls singing and playing.  Everyone on stage is a champion of their craft, and they’ll show what it means to be the best.

A Changing West

29th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering
January 31, 2013

20120204_jbl_WFC_2951Today’s session “A Changing West” presented great stories and songs by John Dofflemyer, Henry Real Bird and Gail Steiger. Each painting beautiful pictures of the West. Although lament for the western way may have been the topic, these poets painted pictures not just about the changing West, but also how the West is still out there for all of us to explore. John Dofflemyer revealed that poetry can describe so much more than a something we see. Gail Steiger asked us to take a look at the West that remains as we visit Elko, and Henry Real Bird reminded us that the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering is a place to explore some of these lost (but needed to be rediscovered) places and traditions. By the end, they showed us that the West can be found in the poetry that it keeps it in our hands and in our hearts, proposing that the changing West is only the whitening of our hair.

Written by Mike Gamm

Photo by Jessica Lifland

Beautiful Day in Elko

29th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering
Thursday, January 31, 2013

The rousing performances by the Quebe Sisters Band and Max Baca & Los Texmaniacs may have kept people up late last night, but as the city awoke in shuffles, smiles could be seen as the Gathering moves into full swing today. This morning appears to be another beautiful day in Elko, Nevada, as blue skies push the white away.

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The Quebe Sisters Band and Max Baca & Los Texmaniacs have stopped in Elko before flying off to Zurich, Switzerland. From the beginning of last night’s performance the Quebe Sister’s were all smiles and talent. They did no less than allow our hearts and minds to fly away as quick hands and sweet voices lulled our senses. The balance between vocal power and fiddle rhythm kept feet moving.

20131230_jbl_WFC_0346When Max Baca & Los Texmaniacs stepped out from the curtain it was clear that the party was starting. The energy within the group showed a strong love with stage and audience, and simply stated they we’re a fun group of guys. Their music leaves us wondering if it’s always a good time in Texas.

Each of these groups will be performing over the next few days, so don’t miss your chance to see them.

Written by Mike Gamm

Photo by Jessica Lifland