Western Music Central to the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering
Nov 15, 2011 | 1178 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Western Music Central to the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering

Elko, Nevada—The 28th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering—the nation’s greatest celebration of the American West, its people, culture and traditions—will take place January 30 to February 4, 2012, in Elko, Nevada. The Gathering is as much about the music of the West as it is about its poetry, and this year’s event boasts an impressive line-up of musical icons including Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Ian Tyson, Michael Martin Murphey, Mike Beck and the Bohemian Saints, Martha Scanlan, Stephanie Davis, Wylie & The Wild West, Canada’s Tim Hus and the Rocky Mountain Two, Austin’s Hot Club of Cowtown and many more.

“Music has always been essential to the cowboy way of life,” explains Hal Cannon, Founding Director of the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering and an accomplished musician and songwriter. "But the fact is, today's cowboys not only sing to their cattle as they herd them along but they also need to express in song what it has meant to their livelihood to share the range with dirt bikes, condo developers and coalbed methane exploration. At the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering, we strive to present western music that is grounded in tradition, both celebrating the romance and the hard realities of the life. This Gathering is about ranching but at its heart it’s about being a westerner in the 21st century, no matter whether you are urban, rural, young or not so young.”

Every winter for the last 27 years, rural and urban people have joined with cowboys and ranchers in the small high desert community of Elko, Nevada, to listen to poetry and music, learn about cowboy culture in the U.S. and around the world, experience great art, watch western films, learn a craft, play music, gather to eat, drink, swap stories and dance the night away. Open-mic sessions, music jams, dances and dance lessons offer opportunities for everyone to participate. The 28th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering will feature nearly 50 poets, musicians and musical groups from the U.S., Canada and Australia, performing on seven stages at four different venues. Programs at the 28th Gathering will focus on the southwestern United States, specifically Arizona and New Mexico—which are celebrating their centennials next year.

The nonprofit Western Folklife Center is the producer of the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering. For an in-depth look at some of the musicians performing at the 28th Gathering, visit the Western Folklife Center blog. Tickets to the 28th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering can be purchased at www.westernfolklife.org, by calling 775-738-7508, toll-free 888-880-5885, or by stopping in to the Western Folklife Center’s ticket office, 501 Railroad Street, Elko. Press passes are available to this event. Simply submit the online Media Credential Application http://www.westernfolklife.org/component/option,com_breezingforms/Itemid,100194/.

The 28th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering is supported by NV Energy, AT&T, Red Lion Hotel & Casino, McMullen Insurance, KNPB Public Broadcasting, the Elko Convention and Visitors Association, Barrick Gold of North America, Newmont Mining Corporation, Wells Fargo, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Nevada Arts Council, Nevada Humanities, and many more foundations, businesses and individuals.

The mission of the Western Folklife Center is to enhance the vitality of American life through the experience, understanding, and appreciation of the diverse cultural heritage of the American West.


28th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering Performers


Mike Beck & the Bohemian Saints, Monterey, California

Baxter Black, Benson, Arizona

Dave Bourne, Agoura Hills, California

Jerry Brooks, Sevier, Utah

Ken Cook, Martin, South Dakota

Doris Daley, Turner Valley, Alberta, Canada

Stephanie Davis, Columbus, Montana

John Dofflemyer, Lemon Cove, California

Ramblin' Jack Elliott, Northern California

Rolf Flake, Gilbert, Arizona

Dick Gibford, New Cuyama, California

The Gillette Brothers, Crockett, Texas

Skip Gorman, Connie Dover & the Waddie Pals, Wyoming

DW Groethe, Bainville, Montana

Amy Hale Auker, Prescott, Arizona

R.W. Hampton, Cimarron, New Mexico

Carol Heuchan, Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia

Yvonne Hollenbeck, Clearfield, South Dakota

Hot Club of Cowtown, Austin, Texas

Jess Howard, Wibaux, Montana

Tim Hus & The Rocky Mountain Two, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Ross Knox, Benson, Arizona

Marley's Ghost, Mill Valley, California

Michael Martin Murphey & The Rio Grande Band featuring Pat Flynn, Pueblo, Colorado

Wally McRae, Forsyth, Montana

Waddie Mitchell, Twin Bridges, Nevada

Andy Nelson, Pinedale, Wyoming

Joel Nelson, Alpine, Texas

Rodney Nelson, Almont, North Dakota

Glenn Ohrlin, Mountain View, Arkansas

Vess Quinlan, San Acacio, Colorado

Henry Real Bird, Garryowen, Montana

Pat Richardson, Merced, California

Randy Rieman, Dillon, Montana

Ronstadt Generations, Tucson, Arizona

Martha Scanlan, Birney, Montana

Georgie Sicking, Kaycee, Wyoming

Sourdough Slim, Paradise, California

R.P. Smith, Broken Bow, Nebraska

Jay Snider, Cyril, Oklahoma

Dave Stamey, Orange Grove, California

Gail Steiger, Prescott, Arizona

Rod Taylor, Cimarron, New Mexico

Ian Tyson, Longview, Alberta, Canada

Dick Warwick, Oakesdale, Washington

Andy Wilkinson & Andy Hedges, Lubbock, Texas

Wylie & The Wild West, Conrad, Montana

Paul Zarzyski, Great Falls, Montana


Western Folklife Center • 501 Railroad Street • Elko, Nevada • 89801 • 775.738.7508



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