Thank You, Elko: We Hope You Can Join Us May 4th

Photo by Jessica Brandi Lifland

Thank you, Elko is a free performance on May 4th for the community of Elko, featuring the humble songster Andy Hedges, local youth poets and special guests hosted by the Western Folklife Center at the G Three Bar Theatre and Pioneer Saloon.

Photo by Jessica Brandi Lifland

The Western Folklife Center event, Thank you, Elko, is in collaboration with the Northeastern Nevada Museum’s Halleck Bar Party ($20 suggested donation) on May 4. This is an opportunity to celebrate the “wild and wooly” history and culture of Elko County together, as well as extend our deep appreciation to the town that supports all of our events each year. We want to give special thanks to our local volunteers and sponsors that help to create and support the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering, including the Northeastern Nevada Museum.

The evening begins at 6:00 pm at the Northeastern Nevada Museum on Idaho Street with the adults attending “the best cocktail party in Elko for the past 40+ years!” The Halleck Bar Party was established to honor the acquisition of the antique bar and back bar from a saloon in the nearby town of Halleck. Always with a promise of gin, the Party will feature spirits and light refreshments, an art sale, yellow duck sales for the annual duck races and live piano music with a brief appearance by Andy Hedges.

Photo by Charlie Ekburg

Meanwhile, at 7:30 pm, a younger generation of poets from local ranch families in the area will begin their performance down on old Railroad Street at the Western Folklife Center. These young poets will be hosted by a special guest and remember cowboy poetry traditions. Andy Hedges will take the stage at 8:00 pm performing two 45-minute sets with a 15-minute intermission. This is just enough time for the Old West to begin flowing onto the streets to travel all the way from the Halleck Bar Party, past good ol’ Sherman Station, to the historic Pioneer Saloon downtown!

Photo by David Tau

At 8:00 pm dessert cocktails inspired by some of our favorite historical poems will flow at the Pioneer Saloon. The historic Pioneer Saloon, much like the Halleck Bar, is a “living visual memory of the Old West”. The Pioneer Saloon’s roots date back to the founding of the city of Elko in December of 1868. Possibly the first bar in Elko, the Pioneer Saloon began in a simple tent. Painters and ranchers stayed at the Pioneer in exchange for saddles or murals. So join in and dress up to the “old west” theme from the Halleck Bar to the Pioneer Saloon.

Andy Hedges is a self-taught songster, cowboy poetry reciter and storyteller with a varied repertoire including classic cowboy poetry recitations, obscure cowboy songs, dust bowl ballads and blues. He lives in Texas with his wife and children. Andy reached out to the Western Folklife Center to collaborate with us on creating a performance of “Thanks!” to the community of Elko for all they do during the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering. Everyone pitches in from local restaurants, hotels, museums, teachers, artists and even our Board of Directors whom are also volunteers to our organization. It is fitting to join the Museum for this evening of gratitude simply because the Western Folklife Center had their original offices for the Cowboy Poetry Gathering at the Museum! This year will be our 35th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering. It is thanks to the community of Elko, that we are able to host our signature event every year.

Learn more about Andy Hedges.

Thank you, Elko is sponsored in part by the Nevada Arts Council, a state agency, and the National Endowment of the Arts, a federal agency, and with generous support of the Red Lion Inn and Casino.

2018 Western Folklife Concert Series begins with Rick and Donna Nestler

Donna and Rick Nestler, Photo by Nancy Daynard

The Western Folklife Center is known for bringing interesting artists to Elko for performances and workshops throughout the year. For our first in 2018, join us on Saturday, March 24th, when we present – with host, GRAMMY award-winning singer/songwriter Rick Nestler of Rick Nestler and Donna “The Banjolele Lady” – a workshop on how to play a ukulele and banjolele. And in the evening, Rick and Donna will perform a concert at the Western Folklife Center: expect some folk, western swing, songs of the silver screen cowboys, and more!

The 2-hour workshop and jam session from 3:00 – 5:00 pm is an opportunity to learn tips, tricks, and more from these two powerhouse performers. The Nestlers are a folk duo committed to bringing together people of all ages to learn and play ukulele and banjolele.  These musicians bring stories and fun to life where music can be celebrated and created by all of us. In that spirit, the workshop will move right on into a special hour-long jam session with any instrument you want to bring along! Also, workshop participants that are interested will have an opportunity to play for a song or two during the concert, and you’ll receive a $5 discount on the price of the evening’s concert.

3 Ukes, Photo by Emma Dusepo – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0 (httpscommons.wikimedia)

We have a limited supply of ukuleles at the Western Folklife Center that can be reserved, when you call to pre-register for the workshop; we can also direct you to other local sources for obtaining a ukulele. The deadline to pre-register for the workshop has been extended to Thursday, March 22. To pre-register, contact Amber Adeline at 775-738-7508 x232 or abrown@westernfolklife.org.

In the Concert from 7:00 to 9:00 pm that evening, Rick Nestler will kick off the night playing guitar or tenor banjo performing several folk classics, as well as traditional and contemporary western music. Donna Nestler will play in the second half of the night with even more folk and traditional music adding concertina, harmonica, banjo and banjolele.

Concert Admission is $15.00 at the door and $10 for seniors, students and Western Folklife Center; or with your workshop registration. Kids 12 and under are only $5. Tickets can be purchased from the Western Folklife Center Gift Shop or by calling 775-738-7508. The Pioneer Saloon opens at 6:00 pm. Come early and enjoy a visit to the exhibitions in our Wiegand Gallery!

Rick Nestler, courtesy of the artist

Donna Nestler, courtesy of the artist

This workshop and concert are funded, in part, by the Nevada Arts Council, a state agency, and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency, with generous support by The Red Lion Inn and Casino.

The Faces of the 34th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering

We’ve been having a great time going through photos of the 34th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering by our photographers Jessica Lifland and Charlie Ekburg. We wanted to share some of them with you — Enjoy!

Arinak Basque Dancer. Photo by Jessica Brandi Lifland

One of Elko’s Ariñak Basque dancers. Photo by Jessica Brandi Lifland

Jean Flesher adds final touches to dessert at the Basque Cooking Workshop. Photo by Charlie Ekburg

Executive Director Kristin Windbigler welcomes everyone to the Keynote Address. Photo by Jessica Brandi Lifland.

Eric Trigg, a Keynote Speaker. Photo by Jessica Brandi Lifland

Emily Nielson, a Keynote Speaker. Photo by Jessica Brandi Lifland.

Nephi Craig, a Keynote Speaker. Photo by Jessica Brandi Lifland.

Trimming at the Hatmaking Workshop. Photo by Charlie Ekburg.

Rodney Nelson and Yvonne Hollenbeck in Members’ Show #1. Photo by Jessica Brandi Lifland.

A happy audience at the 34th Annual National Cowboy Poetry Gathering. Photo by Jessica Brandi Lifland.

Cody and Willy Braun in the intimate G Three Bar Theater. Photo by Charlie Ekburg.

Jesus Goni, Bertsolariak, and Joxe Mallea. Photo by Charlie Ekburg

Saturday’s Fiddling Around Show: the more, the merrier. Photo by Charlie Ekburg.

View more photos from the 34th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering on Flick’r.

The Full News About the Full Daily Schedule

It’s live! It’s colorful! It’s fun! It’s the online daily schedule for the 34th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering! The full daily schedule is embedded on our website and it’s also a smartphone app.

This great system from Sched.com lets you access the schedule in so many ways. Check out the list at the right and make your selection between date or venue, type of session and more. You can even search by genre (poetry, music, storytelling, cooking, discussions, gearmaking, etc.), and you can even look at a list of the most popular events.

If you want to see where and when each individual artist is performing, just click on “Artists” at the top to choose your favorite performer and you can see the shows they will be in along with their bio. (We’re still gathering the speakers and panelists together, but plan to have all of them available soon.)

And we’re so happy this year to be able to feature our major sponsors on the daily schedule, as well as including them on the evening shows they are sponsoring, as a special thank you for their support.

A couple of tips for looking through the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering daily schedule:

As always, we make the distinction between “Ticketed Shows” that occur mostly in the evening hours, and “Daytime Programming.”

Ticketed Shows appear in a deep blue color on the schedule, and those shows require purchase of individual tickets. Remember that Ticketed Shows showcase a combination of Western bands and cowboy poets that often you won’t see together during the day. Some artists only perform on ticketed shows.

Daytime Programming sessions include poetry, music, discussions, films and more, where only a Day Pass or Deluxe Three-Day pass is required for admission. However, this category also includes free and special invitation items, so be sure to check the description to see the full information on any item.

One more special note to the schedule, you may see that in the title and in the description, a cautionary note is added regarding the start and end time of a show or session, particulary in the Open Mics. Our schedule is occasionally tighter than the Sched.com system will feature. Please read the description to make sure you arrive on time.

Go Mobile:

There is a mobile app icon at the top of the right-hand column, and for your iPhone, Android & Blackberry, you can bookmark the app by signing up at https://ncpg2018.sched.com/mobile. Once you’ve created an account, you can make and view your personal schedule of shows you are attending, or you can browse what’s happening right now at the event, or search for what you want.

Everyone on Google Calendar, Outlook and Apple iCal can have instant, offline access to the schedule by clicking this link:  Full Schedule iCal Link for Downloading, save to your desktop and manually import into your calendar. Please note that this is a one-time import so updates to schedule will not show up.

The Braun Boys — All Grown Up

Muzzie Braun and his four boys—Cody, Willy, Micky and Gary—performed at the Elko Cowboy Poetry Gathering six times between 1988 and 1994. Muzzie Braun and the Boys are all grown up now, with successful musical careers of their own. Cody and Willy formed the band Reckless Kelly, and Gary and Micky started Micky and the Motorcars. Both bands have achieved national success with their Western roots music.

unnamed

It’s been 23 years since Muzzie and his boys have performed at the Gathering, and we are super excited to welcome three out of five members of the original band to the 2018 event. Muzzie, Cody and Willy Braun will perform together at the Gathering again.

 

We interviewed Cody Braun about his return to Elko and what his early participation in the event meant to him and his family. Here’s what he had to say:

Performing in the early days of the Gathering
The Gathering was one of the larger events that we would do every year. It was the granddaddy of all cowboy poetry events, with all the influential Western musicians.

Starting when I was about 10, I got to sit in on jam sessions upstairs at the Stockmen’s Hotel. I got to stay up until the wee hours. I learned a lot about fiddle playing from Woody Paul (Riders In The Sky) and Billy Beeman, who played German fiddle with The Lobo Rangers (with Dave and Patty Bourne). We got to hang out with Ian Tyson and Ramblin’ Jack Elliott (who sometimes slept on our hotel room floor). We met a lot of people who are life-long friends.

We are excited to be returning to the Gathering after all these years!

Muzzie Braun jam2

Muzzie Braun, Baxter Black and Woody Paul. Photo by Sue Rosoff

 

Muzzie Braun jam4

Muzzie Braun, Baxter Black, Ramblin Jack Elliott and Richard Farnsworth. Photo by Sue Rosoff.

 

About Reckless Kelly
Western music was our main influence growing up. I listened to Bob Wills, Gene Autry, Roy Rogers, and honky tonk stuff. We brought the Western country influence to Reckless Kelly which has an authentic country roots sound. Others in the band came from more of a rock background. Willy is the main songwriter. He writes good story-songs.

Performing with Muzzie
We play about 3-4 times a year with our Dad. When we do, we tend to play a lot of Dad’s tunes, and older Western honky tonk stuff. We can’t really sing the songs we used to when we were kids because they were written for us as kids.

 

Don’t miss these shows at the 34th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering, January 29 to February 3, 2018!

Muzzie, Willy and Cody Braun will perform with Mike Beck on Friday, February 2, in “Who You Callin’ Americana?” in the Elko Connvention Center Auditorium. The show starts at 8:00 pm and tickets start at $25.

Cody and Willy will perform in “Fresh Voices: Cowboy Coffee House” with Wyoming poets Maria Lisa Eastman and Pat Frolander, Canadian cowboy singer Matt Robertson and Utah singer-songwriter Sand Sheff, Thursday, February 1, at 6:00 pm in the Western Folklife Center G Three Bar Theater. Tickets are $35.

With the purchase of a 3-Day Deluxe Pass or a Single Day Pass, you can also catch Muzzie and the boys performing Friday morning on the Ruby Mountain Music Stage and Saturday afternoon in the G Three Bar Theater.

Tickets and information at www.nationalcowboypoetrygathering.org.

 

Dennis Parks Artwork for Sale

The Western Folklife Center is pleased to host an exhibition, Land, Language and Clay, of Dennis Parks’ works. Selected pieces from this exhibition are available for your collection. Here we share individual photos and the sales list. Please contact our Gift Shop at 888-880-5885 or 775-738-7508, extension 243 for purchasing assistance. Dennis’ son Ben Parks carries on his father’s legacy of ceramic artwork and a few of his pieces are also on display and for sale through the Western Folklife Center Gift Shop. Read more about Dennis Parks and the exhibition.

Land, Language and Clay Sales List

Blue Warriors: purchase for $5,600
Stoneware (1994)

Unknown Soldiers: purchase for $5,300
Stoneware (1994)

Reduction Jar: purchase for $950
7.5″ tall, Stoneware (1981)

Reduction Jar: purchase for $950
7″ tall, Stoneware (1981)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Poetry Plaque 2: purchase for $2,100
Stoneware (1978)

Poetry Plaque 1: purchase for $2,100 Stoneware (1978)

Poetry Plaque 3: purchase for $2,100
Stoneware (1978)

Heroes of the Old Left – Joe Hill: purchase for $750 Stoneware pedestal piece

 

 

 

 

 

 

Heroes of the Old Left – V.I.L.:
purchase for $750
Stoneware pedestal piece

Heroes of the Old Left – 19 Barcelona 09: purchase for $750
Stoneware pedestal piece

 

 

 

 

 

 

Heroes of the Old Left – Karl:
purchase for $750
Stoneware pedestal piece

Heroes of the Old Left – Big Bill:
purchase for $750
Stoneware pedestal piece

 

 

 

 

Platter 1: purchase for $3,500
Stonware (circa mid-1980s)

Dennis Parks Self Portrait: purchase for $2,300 Stoneware (1989)

latter – Desire Itself is Movement:
purchase for $3,500
Stoneware (circa mid-1980s)

Platter – Even While the Dust Moves: purchase for $3,500
Stoneware (circa mid-1980s)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Penada Landscape Plate 2: purchase for $650 Stoneware (circa mid 1980s-1990s)

Penada Landscape Plate 1:
purchase for $650
Stoneware (circa mid 1980s-1990s)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Penada Landscape Plate 4:
purchase for $650
Stoneware (circa mid 1980s-1990s)

Penada Landscape Plate 3:
purchase for $650
Stoneware (circa mid 1980s-1990s)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Penada Landscape Plate 5:
purchase for $650
Stoneware (circa mid 1980s-1990s)

Penada Landscape Plate 6:
purchase for $650
Stoneware (circa mid 1980s-1990s)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Executives Drowning: purchase for $17,000
Stoneware (circa 1990s)

Abacus, by Dennis Parks and John Fahnestock: purchase for $24,000
29″x54″ – Porcelain, Metal and Wood (2005)

Photos courtesy of Dennis Parks and the Nevada Museum of Art.

Mining the Mother Lode: a Moving Rural Verse Poem-Film

Andy Wilkinson’s poem “Mining the Mother Lode” is a lament for the diminishing waters of the enormous Ogallala Aquifer caused by the forces of “progress.” The poem was made into an animated poem-film with the help of Rebecca Shapiro and Jeremy Boreing as part of the Western Folklife Center’s Moving Rural Verse project, which created collaborations between poets and filmmakers around the subject of water in the West. By artfully fusing poetry and video, the Moving Rural Verse poem-films hope to nurture a deeper understanding of rural America and kindle important conversation about critical issues.

The “Mining the Mother Lode” film is not a literal adaptation of the poem. Rather it attempts to provide a counter-harmony to Andy’s words, reflecting the essence of the poet’s vision, just as the poem itself reflects the essence of the diminishing waters of the Ogallala.

Ogallala

Andy spoke to us about the writing of the poem and his hopes for its impact:

“I was asked to write an article about the using up of the Ogallala Aquifer for a local magazine. I started to write, and I realized I was ranting. There is no future in doing a rant in prose. I thought that if I am going to be emotional and passionate about it, I am going to have to write a poem.”

“I want people to think about what our obligation is to the environment. The USDA created an annual report in the early 1950s that was about water. If you blacked out the date, it would read exactly the same if it were written today.”

AndyWilkinson_byTinaThompson

“We already knew what the problem was back then. It’s not the lack of science or the lack of technology, but the lack of will. It’s the lack of willingness to change the bigger systems. Farmers are trapped in a system. They know they are using up the water, but they have to make the payments on the notes and on the equipment. You can change hearts but if you don’t change the system to go with it, you are still going to have the negative effects.”

The Moving Rural Verse program was funded, in part, by Artplace America, National Endowment for the Arts, The Community Foundation of Utah, Jeff Tant and Briana Tiberti. The Moving Rural Verse DVD—containing all four poem-films—is for sale in the Western Folklife Center Gift Shop. To purchase it, give us a call at 888-880-5885