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Musicians


Musicians of the
35th Gathering
 

 Photo from artists

Photo from artists


3hattrio - Virgin, UT

3hattrio's home base is Virgin, Utah at the doorstep of Zion National Park. Together for five years, they have four CDs to their credit. They have toured Europe three times performing at the prestigious Gothenburg Sweden Culture Festival, the Tønder Festival in Denmark, and Celtic Connections in Glasgow, Scotland. The trio is Hal Cannon (vocals, banjo and guitar) who is the retired founding director of the Western Folklife Center and raises a few cattle and Navajo Churro Sheep with his artist wife, Teresa Jordan. Greg Istock (vocals, acoustic base and foot percussion) has a Caribbean music background and is also a visual artist. Eli Wrankle (violin) is a classically trained violinist who studies at Southern Utah University and comes from a family of artists. 3hattrio takes pride in originality both in their music and their style, creating “American Desert Music.” Musicians often identify with things larger than themselves such as place, like the Delta blues or Appalachian mountain music, and athough 3hattrio has great respect for what is called western music, they believe the vastness of the American West deserves many interpretations of its glorious traditions and landscape. http://www.3hattrio.com


 Photo by Charlie Ekburg

Photo by Charlie Ekburg

Mike Beck - Monterey, CA

Mike Beck is a professional musician and working cowboy whose songs reflect his experiences in California, Oregon, Montana and Nevada. Born and raised in Monterey County, California, he was a student of legendary horseman Bill Dorrance and now travels extensively in the United States and Europe, making music and conducting horsemanship clinics. Known for his guitar wizardry and acclaimed Western songwriting, Mike’s mellow sound combines real cowboy experience with a unique blend of Western, rock and Americana styles. Mike’s seventh and most recent album, Alta California, features original and cover songs paying tribute to the sounds he grew up listening to in California. http://www.mikebeck.com


 Photo by David Gaar

Photo by David Gaar

Geno Delafose & French Rockin' Boogie - Eunice, LA

Geno Delafose and French Rockin’ Boogie are a zydeco band from southwest Louisiana, deep in Louisiana’s bayou country. Geno relies on his traditional Creole sensibility for guidance in his music. He divides his time between touring and operating his Double D Ranch, outside of Eunice, where Geno breeds cattle and raises American Quarter Horses. Geno’s CD Le Creole Cowboy was nominated for a GRAMMY Award. French Rockin’ Boogie includes Popp Esprite on bass, Germaine Jack on guitar, Dale Stelley on drums and Demetric Thomas on rubboard. http://www.genodelafosemusic.com/


 Photo from artist

Photo from artist

Ryan & Hoss Fritz - Longview, AB, Canada

Recording artist Ryan Fritz, who has spent decades cowboying and ranching in Canada’s West, has dedicated his life to writing music about the Western way of life. His style is infused with traditional textures of Cowboy Music, honoring the tradition of storytelling through song. Ryan’s melodic style is influenced by legends of Canadian and American Western roots, including Ian Tyson and Tom Russell. His live show transports audiences to the vast landscapes, blending creativity with authenticity and expert musicianship. For the title track to his 2016 album, Keeper Of The West, Ryan received a prestigious Wrangler Heritage Award, one of only three Canadians to have taken home this honor. Whether on stage as a solo artist, with his guitar and his voice, or joined by his son Hoss Fritz (mandolin, bass and guitar), the sound is always deep roots of Western cowboy music. https://ryanfritz.net


 Photo by Hannibal Bach

Photo by Hannibal Bach

Jamie Fox - Harlem, MT

Jamie Fox is a fiddler of the Métis tradition, which grew out of a mixture of Celtic, French, and Native American cultures. The Michif fiddle tradition on the Fort Belknap Reservation was on its last legs just as Jamie fell in love with the tunes. Jamie, through her love of the Michif tunes, brought new healing to an old discord between cultural sectors of the tribal society. As word got out, others on the reservation and along the Montana Hi-Line were incredibly enthused to see her taking on the music that was in jeopardy of vanishing. While she no longer lives the Montana country life, she grew up in a ranching family and still feels at home to that lifestyle. She represents the continuance of this generation maintaining a style and repertoire that dates back to the fur trade era and the first generation of European and Aboriginal mixing in the upper reaches of North America. Jamie will be accompanied by Philip Aaberg, GRAMMY- and Emmy-nominated composer of Chester, Montana, known worldwide for his compositions that evoke the spaciousness and beauty of the Western landscape. http://www.3fiddlers3traditions.com/about-3-fiddlers-3-traditions/jamie-fox/


 Photo by Jessica Brandi Lifland

Photo by Jessica Brandi Lifland

DW Groethe - Bainville, MT

DW Groethe is the son of a son of pioneers. Born and raised in the west of Dakota, DW has lived the past 25-plus years across the border in Montana. It is the same land...same folks...same weather...same heartbeat. The lyrics may change but the rhythm stays true. He is a ranch hand, he is a poet, he is a songster. His songs and his poems sing of who he is and where he comes from. When you’re in Elko, feel free to stop DW any old time and ask him whatever needs asking. Coffee's on him. http://www.cowboypoetry.com/dwgroethe.htm


 Photo by Kevin Martini-Fuller

Photo by Kevin Martini-Fuller

Andy Hedges - Lubbock, TX

Andy Hedges is a songster, reciter, storyteller, guitarist, and collector of cowboy songs and poems. The son of an Italian schoolteacher and a rodeo cowboy turned preacher, Andy was born in Lubbock, Texas, in the spring of 1980. He grew up in the small community of Tokio, Texas, where his family paid rent on an old farmhouse by looking after a few head of cattle. It was there that Andy fell in love with traditional music by listening to his father’s cassettes of cowboy songs. Andy’s vast and varied repertoire includes classic cowboy poetry recitations, obscure cowboy songs, dust bowl ballads, and blues. He also hosts a podcast called Cowboy Crossroads which features in-depth interviews with fellow musicians and poets. Andy lives in Lubbock, Texas with his wife and three children. http://www.andyhedges.com/


 Photo from artist

Photo from artist

Brenn Hill - Hooper, UT

Utah singer/songwriter Brenn Hill doesn’t just sing about the West, he reveals its heart to anyone who will take the time to listen. He is not only an observer and narrator of Western lore, but one of its strongest interpreters. The cowboy’s trials and tribulations are his raw material. Brenn’s career spans 12 recordings of mostly self-penned music more than two decades on the road. His most recent release is How You Heal. Like all of his prior recordings, it serves as a pathway through his own personal journey. Brenn is an artist who gives great insight into the West that he calls Heaven. He lives with his wife and three children in Hooper, Utah. http://www.brennhill.com


 Photo by Natalie Rhea

Photo by Natalie Rhea

Tish Hinojosa - Austin, TX

Singer/songwriter Tish Hinojosa was singing Americana music before the term was coined. Born in San Antonio, Texas, as one of 13 children born to Mexican immigrant parents, Hinojosa has dedicated her career to playing music from the southwest, starting out in Tejano before moving on to singer/songwriter folk, border music and country. Hinojosa originally started out in New Mexico as a back-up singer in Michael Martin Murphey’s band, where he took her under his wing and encouraged the young performer to pursue her singer/songwriter muse. Tish released her first album, Homeland, in 1989. She was the recipient of the American Association of Independent Music’s 1992 India Folk Album of the year and she has recently released a new album, West. http://www.mundotish.com/


 Photo from artist

Photo from artist

Alex Kusturok - St. Paul, AB, Canada

Growing up, Alex Kusturok (a third generation fiddle player) followed his mother Patti to old time dances around Manitoba where he was enriched with the Métis fiddle from a very young age. By age 7, the passion for music became apparent and fiddle became the focus of Alex's life. Culture has always played a huge part in Alex's music and his life. His father, a treaty Indian from Wabigoon Lake First Nation in Ontario made sure that Alex learned of his aboriginal heritage which transferred into his music and gave him a set of values in which he lives his life. Between his mother's fiddle and his father's guitar, there is no question that Alex would take to the music and continue to pass on the tradition. Alex's music is very much about family. Every time he plays it is for his late grandparents John and Eva, his mother Patti, and his father Gerald who so freely gave him the gift of music. Alex has released two Independent Albums, Groove (2009) and For Old Times Sake (2014). In Alex's show you can count on a display of culture through music and dance, stories of his upbringing, and a "hard driving" energy that will get everyone on their feet.
Unfortunately, Alex Kusturok is unable to attend the Gathering.


 Photo from artist

Photo from artist

Ned LeDoux - Northeastern KS

Ned LeDoux is a musician and the son of Chris LeDoux. He got his start as a drummer in his dad Chris’ band Western Underground in 1998, and knew from an early age that he had “no plan b” but to play music. When his dad passed away in 2005, Ned continued to tour with his father’s band and picked up the guitar and try his hand at some of his dad’s songs. He has picked up where his dad left over, finishing songs that Chris started and recording and performing. For the last year, Ned has been steadily touring and opening for acts like Toby Keith, Chris Janson, Aaron Watson and Randy Houser. And with his debut EP Forever a Cowboy available now, there is a new voice to carry on the LeDoux sound. https://nedledoux.com


 Photo from artist

Photo from artist

Daron Little - Saratoga, WY

Daron Little cowboys on the TA Ranch north of Saratoga, Wyoming, where he lives and writes music about the cowboy life. He is married with three daughters, which take up quite a bit of time and energy. His music is best described as Western Americana and occasionally will delve into traditional cowboy music. He hopes that folks will identify with the realness of his music and leave a performance thinking "I never thought of cowboy music like that!" Daron is a proud endorser of the Great Basin Hat Company.   http://www.ranchcowboymusic.com/


 Photo from artist

Photo from artist

Corb Lund - Southern AB, Canada

Corb Lund was born and raised in rural southern Alberta and comes from four generations of Canadian ranchers and cowboys. He grew up riding horseback, chasing cattle and rodeoing on the prairies and in the foothills of the Rockies. Lund’s Western heritage stays with him, no matter where he roams. “My whole life is sort of a dichotomy between being a cowboy kid and living in a city,” says Lund. “I guess that informs my music too.” His newest album is Things That Can’t Be Undone (2015). http://corblund.com/


 Photo from artist

Photo from artist

Carolyn Martin's Swing Band - Ft. Wayne, IN

Carolyn Martin’s Swing Band is led by Carolyn Martin, a singer and musician from Texas. Carolyn has been making music since she was a teenager, and eventually relocated to Nashville, Tennessee, where she joined the Time Jumpers. After 11 years of making music with them, she left to create her own group, joined by Rory Hoffman playing accordion, guitar, and clarinet; Paul Kramer on violin and mandolin; steel guitarist Mike Sweeney; along with Dave Martin on bass; and drummer Ray Von Rotz. She was inducted into the Northwest Western Swing Music Society’s Hall of Fame in 2014, the Western Swing Society of the Southwest’s Hall of Fame in 2015, and was the recipient of the Academy of Western Artists’ Will Rogers award as the Western Swing Female Vocalist of the Year in 2008, 2010, and 2014. Her latest project is Wild West Texas Wind. http://www.carolynmartinmusic.com/home.html


 Photo from artist

Photo from artist

Gary McMahan - Bellvue, CO

Gary McMahan has made his living during the last 40 years on a horse, with a guitar, or both. He has ridden, wrangled and roped all over the West, all the while collecting reflections on cowboy ways. Those reflections are the backbone of all his songs, stories and poems. Gary is known for his award-winning songs, captivating stories, uproarious humor and national championship yodeling. His songs have been recorded by artists such as Garth Brooks, Ian Tyson, Chris LeDoux, Riders In The Sky and Dave Stamey. He will be joined by Ron and Julie Lynam, with Ron on the guitar, mandolin and dobro while Julie plays the upright bass. Gary has played with Jon Chandler, Patty Clayton, Dakota Blonde, Tom Paxton and Reckless Abandon, as was featured in the 2016 documentary Everything in the Song is True. http://www.singingcowboy.com


 Photo by Joe Ownbey

Photo by Joe Ownbey

Michael Martin Murphey - Fort Worth, TX

Michael Martin Murphey is a proud son of Texas, where his family settled in 1858. He divides his time between his home in Amarillo, Texas, headquarters of Murphey Western Institute in Ft. Worth, Texas, and his Rocky Mountain ranch in Walden, Colorado. A true genre-busting artist, he has released over 35 albums. His song “Wildfire” is among the most-aired songs in radio history. Michael’s most recent release, Austinology • Alleys of Austin, is a look at a seminal period of the Austin music scene that Michael—along with the likes of Jerry Jeff Walker, Gary P. Nunn and more—helped shape what is today considered “Americana” music. He is also prominently featured in the Country Music Hall of Fame’s acclaimed exhibit, Outlaws & Armadillos, which pays tribute to those contributions. Murphey will be recognized in 2019 with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum & National Cowboy Hall of Fame, is a member of the Western Music Hall of Fame, and serves on the Western Folklife Center’s National Advisory Council. His cowboy music venue in Red River, New Mexico, The Rocking 3M Chuckwagon Amphitheater, attracts thousands to the region each year. http://www.michaelmartinmurphey.com/


 Photo from artist
 Photos from artists

Photos from artists

Halliday & Rob Quist - Kalispell, MT

Rob & Halladay Quist are a father/daughter musical duo from Montana. Taken collectively, their music glides effortlessly over the boundaries of Western, country, bluegrass, folk, pop and blues, and many of their original songs have been featured throughout the rich tapestry of the American Musical Media. They both grew up on ranches, and as a child Rob would take Halladay and her brother on wagon train cattle drives in the summer throughout the Bob Marshall Wilderness, where there would always be music around the campfire at night. Halladay,lead vocals, bass, banjo and guitar, has recently released an EP titled In the Sun, while Rob, lead vocals, banjo and guitar, is lead singer and songwriter of such seminal groups as Mission Mountain Wood Band, The Montana Band, and Rob Quist & Great Northern. Rob has released several CDs; appeared on national TV numerous times; toured extensively to Japan, Europe and the US; is a published poet; and was recently inducted into the University of Montana School of Fine Arts Hall of Honors, recognizing him as "one of it's greats". With stellar lead vocals, and close harmonies, they bring the easy camaraderie of well seasoned road warriors to the stage. www.halladayquist.com


 Photo by John Reedy

Photo by John Reedy

Brigid Reedy - Whitehall, MT

Brigid Reedy first entertained the Elko crowds by yodeling at the Pioneer Saloon at the age of two. She has attended every Gathering since (this is her fifth as an invited performer) and her appreciation of Western music, poetry and culture has only deepened along with her love of the performers and friends who have inspired her. An accomplished singer and fiddler, Brigid's musical repertoire runs the full gamut of the American West, from the most traditional cowboy tunes to new and original songs. Brigid also recites and writes poetry that reflects her life and experience as a young woman growing up in the contemporary rural West and her beloved Montana.
http://www.brigidreedy.com


 Photo by Charlie Ekburg

Photo by Charlie Ekburg

Matt Robertson - Okotoks, AB, Canada

Raised in Wheatland, Wyoming, Matt Robertson currently resides in Southern Alberta where he cowboys at a grazing co-op and trains horses. Since the age of sixteen, Matt has been writing and playing music for friends, family and audiences across Canada and the United States. He credits Chris Ledoux and Ian Tyson for inspiring his career as a songwriter. Matt’s discography includes The Old Roan Horse (2008), The Voice (2012), and Makin’ History (2016). Matt grew up on the back of a horse, starting colts as a young teen, riding broncs in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association through his youth and currently enjoys ranch rodeo and working with young horses. His experiences both on and off a horse have influenced him and his music. Matt’s heart is in the open country where a person can still feel inspired and free. https://www.facebook.com/cowboymattrobertson/


 Photo by Neets

Photo by Neets

Trinity Seely - Ashby, NE

Trinity Seely grew up in the heart of cow country in the Chilcotin region of British Columbia. Inspired at an early age by this 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. With humbling honesty and a honey-smooth voice, Trinity sings about loving cowboys and horses, and living “in the middle of nowhere.” Trinity was awarded the Western Music Association and Academy of Western Artists’ Song of the Year. She flourishes as a cowboy’s wife and mother to three buckaroos and a buckarette. http://trinityseely.com/


 Photo by Jessica Brandi Lifland

Photo by Jessica Brandi Lifland

Sourdough Slim - Paradise, CA

A performance by Sourdough Slim a.k.a. Rick Crowder is a hoot to say the least. This savvy performer with a seasoned gift for connecting with audiences transports us to a whimsical world where vaudevillian camp intermingles with cowboy lore, producing grins galore. Since 1988 he has gained national recognition performing at events across the country including the National Cowboy Gathering in Elko, Nevada, The Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, and Carnegie Hall and The Lincoln Center in New York. His fast-paced stage show combines cowboy singing, award winning yodeling, timeless humor, accompaniment on accordion, guitar, ukulele and harmonica and a keen knowledge of the traditional Western repertoire. Sourdough Slim hails from California’s gold country and is the recipient of the Academy of Western Artist’s “Yodeler of the Year.” http://www.sourdoughslim.com/


 Photo by Jessica Brandi Lifland

Photo by Jessica Brandi Lifland

Dave Stamey - Orange Cove, CA

Dave Stamey has made it his life's work to celebrate the rural American West. In the past two decades he has recorded 11 albums of original music, travelled literally hundreds of thousands of miles and performed thousands of shows doing just that. He lives in the farthest north-eastern corner of Tulare County, and the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains begin just outside his back door.  http://www.davestamey.com/


 Photo by Jessica Brandi Lifland

Photo by Jessica Brandi Lifland

Gail Steiger, Prescott, AZ

Gail Steiger is a songwriter, filmmaker and cowboy, and since 1995, foreman of the remote Spider Ranch in Yavapai County, Arizona. He has been playing guitar and writing songs for over 30 years, and often recites works by his grandparents, Delia Gist Gardner and Gail I. Gardner. Gail also collaborates with his brother Lew on various film and multimedia projects, including the acclaimed documentary, Ranch Album. He’s released two CDs, The Romance of Western Life in 1999, and A Matter of Believin’ in 2015. Gail is a member of the Western Folklife Center’s Board of Trustees. http://www.gailsteigermusic.com/


 Photo from artist

Photo from artist

Colter Wall - Swift Current, SK, Canada

After two years of relentless touring, Colter Wall wanted to make an album about home. Drawing on the stories of Saskatchewan, Canada, the young songwriter’s corner of the world takes shape throughout his second full-length album, Songs of the Plains. Produced by Dave Cobb in Nashville’s Studio A, the project combines striking original folk songs, well-chosen outside cuts, and a couple of traditional songs that reflect his roots growing up in the small city of Swift Current. Wall captures the spaciousness of the Canadian plains by relying on minimal production and his resonant baritone, which he’s strengthened into a mighty instrument in its own right. It’s a deep and knowing voice you wouldn’t expect of a man who’s not yet 24 years old. As a folk singer, Wall places equal importance on crafting songs as well as carrying older songs into the present day. http://www.colterwall.com/


EMERGING TALENT


 Photo from artist

Photo from artist

Forrest VanTuyl - Enterprise, OR

Forrest VanTuyl paid for his songwriting and wandering addiction with all sorts of jobs, from tugboat deckhand in Seattle, to sheep dairyman in the Alps, lawn mower in New Mexico, to potato harvester operator in Nebraska, but when he got on a horse in Northeast Oregon’s Wallowa Mountains, he never left. Forrest has been packing, starting colts, and riding there for the last 4 years. His most recent album, Ol’ Yonder, is a collection of original and traditional songs inspired by riding down a mountain in the dark, the camp cook’s jokes, and the joys of riding a good horse in good country. When he’s not horseback, Forrest is playing shows on the west coast and trying to explain where Wallowa County is without explaining how to get there.

Forrest is the Reno Rodeo 100 Year Celebration Scholarship recipient.


Banner image: Charlie Ekburg