Musicians & singer-songwriters
january 27 - February 1, 2020
An American Forrest - Enterprise, OR
An American Forrest is the words and music of Forrest VanTuyl; packer, poet, cowboy, and songwriter from Wallowa County, Oregon. His most recent album, 'O Bronder Donder Yonder?' is a full-band exploration of songs inspired by riding out of the mountains in the dark, camp cook’s jokes, good horses, good country, and learning to be a better man. He will be joined by Margo Cilker, Dan Galucki, and Noaa Reinecker. http://www.americanforrest.com/
Mike Beck - Manhattan, MT
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
Cat Clifford - Porcupine, SD
Cat Clifford, born and raised on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation is an enrolled member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe. Cat grew up surrounded by artists, musicians and rodeo cowboy legends, which inspired the dreams and aspirations of who he is today. As a rodeo cowboy Cat has qualified 5 times to the Indian National Finals Rodeo, twice in the Bareback Riding and three times in the Bull Riding. In music, Cat began writing songs about rodeo in 2008 and released the single "Outlaw Bucker" in 2011. In 2013, Cat did some acting in the feature film "Songs My Brothers Taught Me" directed by Chloe Zhao which was shot on the Pine Ridge Reservation. A few of his songs were included in the movie as well as the ending credits. Most recently, Cat has opened business at Flying High Leather, making custom rodeo chaps, horse tack and other western leather products.
Dylan Clough - Spanish Fork, UT
Dylan Clough is a horseman, rambler, folklore enthusiast and singer-songwriter, calling no place home but hailing from Utah. His sound is raw, gritty and as real as dirt beneath boots, taking the listener from sagebrush plains and red rock plateaus to Rocky Mountain pines & bluebell meadows. Bandcamp advises Clough is “Best listened to alone by fireside & paired with bourbon. Blues/Folk inspired tunes that capture the spirit and sound of the American West.”
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/
Dom Flemons - Silver Springs, MD
Dom Flemons is an award-winning musician, singer-songwriter and slam poet. Carrying on the songster tradition, Flemons strives to mix traditional music forms with a contemporary approach, to create new sounds that will appeal to wider audiences. For his solo album Prospect Hill (2014), Flemons drew from a wide range of styles, including ragtime, Piedmont blues, spirituals, southern traditional music, string band music, fife and drum music, and jug-band music. He began his career as a performer in the Arizona music scene, where he produced 25 albums for singer-songwriters and slam poets in Phoenix. In 2005, Flemons co-founded the Carolina Chocolate Drops, an African-American string band that won a GRAMMY for its 2010 album Genuine Negro Jig. His most recent album, Black Cowboys, was released in 2018 through Smithsonian Folkways.
Pipp Gillette - Crockett, TX
Pipp Gillette lives and works on the family ranch near Lovelady, Texas, where his grandfather started raising cattle and cotton in 1912. Pipp and his late brother Guy received the Western Heritage Award for Outstanding Traditional Western Album of 2011, and the 2013 Western Heritage Award for Outstanding Original Western Composition for their performance of the Waddie Mitchell song "Trade Off.” Drawing on a life-long interest in Western history and music, Pipp plays traditional cowboy music on guitar, banjo, harmonica and bones. Pipp’s newest CD, Singing Songs by Waddie and Pipp, received the Western Heritage Award for Outstanding Traditional Western Album of 2016. Lloyd Wright is accompanying Pipp at this year’s Gathering.
DW Groethe - Bainville, MT
DW Groethe is the son of a son of pioneers. He was born and raised in the west of Dakota and 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
R.W. Hampton - Cimarron, NM
R.W. Hampton has lived and worked on ranches throughout the West. Whether driving cows, shoeing horses, singing around the campfire, or leading horse rides in the high country, R.W. knew it was the life he was destined for. He performs traditional and original cowboy songs. He lives with his wife Lisa and their family on the Clearview Ranch at the foot of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains south of Cimarron, New Mexico. In 2011, R.W. was inducted into the Western Music Association’s Hall of Fame. http://www.rwhampton.com/
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, Cowboy Crossroads, which features in-depth interviews with fellow musicians and poets. Andy has performed many times with folk legend Ramblin’ Jack Elliott and the duo’s performance at the 60th Newport Folk Festival was named one of the “10 Best Things We Saw” by Rolling Stone. http://www.andyhedges.com/
Hot Club of Cowtown - Austin, TX
Hot Club of Cowtown has been stunning audiences worldwide for over 20 years. Their trademark blend of hot jazz, western swing, Gypsy music, American songbook standards, and music from 1930s Paris and the American West, is unmistakable. Vocalist and classically trained violinist Elana James is a sometimes Montana and Colorado horse wrangler. She discovered Western swing with bandmate Whit Smith (vocals and guitar) whose first memories also include folk and acoustic blues music. Jake Erwin completes the trio with tight vocal harmonies and jaw-dropping double bass. Together, their trademark sound keeps dancers on their toes as the band virtuosically improvises their way through what The Independent calls “...that crossroads where country meets jazz and chases the blues away.”
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
Corb Lund and the Hurtin’ Albertans -
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/
Miko Marks - Oakland, CA
At the start of her career, Miko Marks was named "Best New Country Artist" by New Music Weekly. Subsequently, her debut album, Freeway Bound, also received top honors as the "Country Album of the Year", at The Independent Music Awards. Originally from Flint, Michigan, this graduate of Louisiana’s famed Grambling State University is also a prolific songwriter who wrote 7 of the 10 songs on her award-winning debut album. Her sophomore album, It Feels Good was also very well received. These days Miko continues to perform and evolve as an artist, rather than be stereotyped, or pigeonholed by genre or past success. So as she moves forward, it’s no doubt that listeners will continue to be amazed and delighted, all while witnessing one of the most beautiful and illimitable singer/songwriters of our time. https://www.mikomarks.com/
Tracy Morrison - Boise, ID
“Sun baked soil and rabbit brush, rattlesnake coils in the desert rust,” Tracy Morrison sings on the opening track of her third album, Flower Songs in Sagebrush Town (2019). “Her path is paved with bone and stone, this desert plain will lead her home…” a tribute to women and girls who traveled the Oregon Trail during the western migration of the 1840’s -1860’s. Tracy is a sixth generation Idaho native who was raised on a small farm in Hammett, near the Snake River. “Our family lived off three acres of fruit trees and gardens. We had livestock and supplemented our meat by hunting and fishing. I’ve lived in the city for many years now, but my heart lives in the desert.” Tracy performs songs and stories programs for the Idaho Humanities Council, including “Historical Idaho Women Stories & Folk-songs”, “Country Ballads and Early Blues” and “American Folk-music Revival.” https://www.tracymorrison.org/about/
The Munsick Boys - Dayton, WY
The unique aspect of The Munsick Boys band is that their music is a combination of four different western styles that are united by their family ties. They have been playing together for all of their lives and began playing professionally ten years ago. They participate in horsemanship clinics, help out at local brandings and do day work on neighboring ranches. Tris trains horses, works in the ag industry, and plays music throughout the West. Sam works as a rancher. He plays and writes his own brand of western music for both the open public and the ranching community. Ian has gained enormous popularity within the millennial generation as a link between modern day urban life and the timeless appeal of the genuine West. The boys perform an annual sell out concert at the WYO Theater in Sheridan and perform dances, concerts and festivals around the West. They all continue to release their own music as well as Munsick Boys songs. They were selected as the Academy of Western Artists Country Band of the 2016.
Brigid Reedy - Whitehall, MT
Featured at the Gathering for her 7th year, Brigid Reedy has become a singular young voice representing her beloved home state of Montana. Brigid is an important singer, songwriter, fiddler and poet carrying forward classic cowboy music, poetry, and rich Montana fiddle traditions with exceptional musicianship, a distinctive approach to repertoire, and her strong sense of place. A charismatic performer since the age of two when she first yodeled at the Pioneer Saloon, Brigid (now nineteen) has traveled widely, carrying with her boundless enthusiasm, grace, passion, and soul. Brigid will be joined by her little brother, Johnny “Guitar,” who at only fourteen has transcended the role of sideman, becoming a full-fledged collaborator, possessing a phenomenal gift for rhythm and extraordinary musical sensibilities. Brigid and Johnny are thrilled to be returning to Elko to share their love of Montana, Western culture, and a voracious appetite for good music. http://www.brigidreedy.com
Randy Rieman - Choteau, MT
Randy Rieman has had a love affair with the spoken word for over 40 years. He has shared his passion for poetry with audiences as a regular performer at the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering, where he is considered one of the foremost reciters of both classic cowboy poetry and traditional Australian bush poetry. He has also been known, on occasion, to pick up his guitar and share a song from his life with horses and stockmen. Randy is currently headquartered on a ranch at the base of the Big Belt Mountains, near Cascade, Montana. He spends a fair bit of time conducting horsemanship, ranch roping and cattle-handling clinics around the United States and Europe. When the snow flies, you'll likely find him inside braiding fine rawhide reatas and hondos. Randy has released two CDs as well as the DVD Four Strands Of Rawhide featuring legendary horseman and braider Bill Dorrance. http://randyrieman.com/
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/
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 northeastern corner of Tulare County, and the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains begin just outside his back door. http://www.davestamey.com/
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/
Michael Stevens - Alpine, TX
Michael Stevens grew up on a farm near the little town of Newcowerstown, Ohio. His father cowboyed for the Scharbauer Ranch in Midland, Texas from 1934 to WWII. Later, Michael, his father, and his brother—a farrier and major Ring Steward in the Ohio AQHA—roped, trained, contested, and traded horses till college and the service. Since then he’s been in the horse business as a trainer as well as a guitar builder and player. He was hired in 1986 to start the Fender Custom Shop in California, and in 1991 moved to Alpine, Texas with his wife and ran into the Texas Cowboy Poetry Gathering. He was on their Steering committee for 16 years, including about 10 years as president. In 2013 he was the recipient of the Texas Cowboy Poetry Gathering’s Heritage Award, and considers himself lucky to have had Buck Ramsey, J.B. Allen, and Joel Nelson as tutors.
Jessie Veeder - Watford City, ND
Jessie Veeder writes and sings about the badlands of Western North Dakota, where she grew up on the family ranch. She released her first original album at sixteen and went on to tour nationally, write a book and release three more albums. Blending western, rock, blues and heartfelt honest lyrics, Jessie sings about the buttes and creeks of her family’s working cattle ranch and her experiences of the huge oil mining boom in the region. Since 2010, Jessie, her husband, and their two young daughters have worked alongside her father as the fourth generation stewards of the Veeder Ranch. She chronicles life on the land on her blog “Meanwhile, back at the ranch…”, as well as through a weekly column for Forum Communications newspapers and as a commentator on Prairie Public Radio. Jessie was voted North Dakota’s favorite folk musician in 2016 and 2017 and was a 2019 recipient of the North Dakota Governor's Award for Individual Achievement in the Arts. https://veederranch.com/
Lloyd Wright - Crockett, TX
Lloyd Wright is a fourth-generation Texan. He and his family were introduced to dulcimers and old time string band music in the summer of 1994. In 2000 he won the National Mountain Dulcimer Championship at the age of 18. Now settled down with his wife and three kids in the heart of the Davy Crockett National Forrest, Lloyd regularly performs Old Time and Country Gospel with his wife, mother and brother. Having first heard Guy and Pipp Gillette perform as a teen, he followed their music over the years. Lloyd combined forces with Pipp after the passing of Pipp's brother, Guy. This seemed to follow a natural progression as he was familiar with Pipp's repertoire. Lloyd and his family run two music festivals in East Texas including his very own Old Mill Music Festival. Lloyd is appearing at the Gathering with Pipp Gillette as well as presenting the Banjo 101 and Banjo 202 workshops this year.
Wylie and The Wild West - Conrad, MT
Singer, songwriter, rancher, horseman, and the original, world-famous Yahoo!® yodeler, Wylie Gustafson is a real-life cowboy born into a fourth-generation ranching family on the empty sprawl of Northern Montana. He proves himself a never-boring entertainer as well as a highly adept songwriter. When not performing, Wylie raises and trains cow horses on his family ranch near Conrad, Montana. He is especially known for his songs that celebrate America’s culture of ranching and farming. Wylie & the Wild West have performed worldwide since 1989 and are considered a “national treasure” by the American Folklife Center in Washington, D.C. http://www.wyliewebsite.com/
Marinna Mori - Tuscarora, NV
Marinna Mori is an 11-year-old singer, guitarist, and poet who lives
and works on her family’s ranch near Tuscarora, Nevada. A fourth-generation rancher, Marinna brings her youthful perspective and personal experiences of ranch life to her original songs and performances. Music is a family affair, and Marinna learned to play guitar and sing from her grandfather. She has been performing at the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering since she was eight years old. She loves roping, branding, and working cows on horseback. She won the Junior Branding Champion title at the 2018 Carlin Bronco Bash in Carlin, Nevada.
Banner image: Jessica Brandi Lifland