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Ticketed Shows


Ticketed Shows and Events

These hottest performances at the 35th Gathering, January 28-February 2, 2019, showcase a combination of western bands, singer-songwriters and poets, some of whom only perform on ticketed shows!

Age 35 or younger? Don't forget our Next Generation discount offers!
Please Note: The Elko Convention Center Auditorium has tiered pricing, with the first 10 rows of seating the most expensive. There's not a bad seat in the house at this intimate venue! Also, other than the dances, most performances are 90 minutes.

Monday, January 28

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Anchoring the Tradition

Jan 28, 7:00pm - 8:30pm
G Three Bar Theater
$20

Two penmasters who were born to the ranching life open the gate to a week-long herd of words. The inimitable Waddie Mitchell, a Gathering founder, pairs perspectives with singer, songwriter and ranchwoman Trinity Seely. This evening promises a pairing of old and new, words and music, songs and stories, and features their award-winning number "The Hand," winner of the 2016 Spur Award for Best Western Song. Young local cowgirl Marinna Mori makes a special guest appearance!


Tuesday, January 29

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Old Time Good Time

Jan 29, 7:00pm – 8:30pm
G Three Bar Theater
$20

What could be better than an evening of favorite songs, tunes and classics from the cowboy poetry and old-time music canon? And what's on the menu for this aural feast? Sourdough Slim shares new takes of old gems from his latest album, Jamie Fox brings her youthful spirit to Métis fiddle tunes; square dance caller and fiddler Alex MacLeod and the Hobb Dye String Band (Harry Liedstrand on fiddle, Cary Lung on mandolin, Cindy Liedstrand on guitar) stop in from the local grange hall; Marek Bennett frails westward-looking banjo tunes from the 1850s and 60s; and renowned reciter and horse trainer Randy Rieman tops it all off with classic poems and songs.


Wednesday, JANUary 30

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Western Jukebox

Jan 30, 7:00pm – 8:30pm
Elko Convention Center Auditorium

$40 / $30 / $25
Next Generation
Discount Available!

Wednesday night's high-energy concert showcases the wit, wisdom and yodels of Gary McMahan, the King of Cowboy Singers; the smooth, sultry tones of Western swing from Carolyn Martin and her Nashville-based band; and the get-up-outta-yer-seat Louisiana zydeco rhythms of Geno Delafose & French Rockin' Boogie. Sure to keep you on your toes, just like the jukebox at your local watering hole, these artists draw on an eclectic catalog of tunes. There's sure to be a selection for everyone!


Thursday, January 31

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Keynote Address

Jan 31, 9:30am – 10:30am
Elko Convention Center Auditorium
Free with 3-day Deluxe or Day Pass

This year's celebratory keynote features founding director Hal Cannon's personal journey into the fieldwork and exploration that brought an extraordinary cast of characters together to create the Cowboy Poetry Gathering in 1985. Filled with voices, images and transcendent moments from the Western Folklife Center's archive, Hal's keynote is both about preserving tradition and about the quest to find truth and beauty in the creative voices of everyday people.
Sponsored by Nevada Humanities, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and Great Basin College.


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Members' Show #1:
Family Ties

Jan 31, 12:00pm – 1:30pm
Elko Convention Center Auditorium
$40 / Free to members with ticket

An afternoon in celebration of families who have honed skills in working together and playing together. Not always easy! Montana-based songwriters Rob and Halladay Quist have successful individual performing careers but relish the opportunity to share the stage together as father and daughter. No strangers to the Gathering, the Reedy family just gets better and better, currently featuring the singing, guitar picking and fiddling of Brigid Reedy, her brother Johnny and their father and mentor, John. Partners in the saddle and on stage, Gail Steiger and Amy Hale Auker deepen their ties through poetry, prose and song. Ryan Fritz and his son Hoss travel to Elko from their ranch home in Alberta, Canada, where their music making strengthens family and community.


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Muses Don't Need No
Stinkin' GPS

Jan 31, 6:00pm – 7:30pm
G Three Bar Theater
Sorry, this show is SOLD OUT

Stories and songs float on the wind, and those anointed by the Muses hear them, translate the words and music, and offer them back to us. This magical night features: songs from horseman, guitar wizard and storyteller Mike Beck, the cosmic alternative reality of words interpreted by participle wrangler extraordinaire Paul Zarzyski, haunting desert music channeled by 3hattrio (Hal Cannon, Greg Istock and Eli Wrankle), and the enchanting lyrics, melodies and harmonies of father and daughter, Rob and Halladay Quist.


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Chronicling the West

Jan 31, 6:00pm – 7:30pm
Elko Convention Center Auditorium
$40 / $30 / $25
Next Generation
Discount Available!

It takes walking the walk to talk the talk — a keen eye and a discerning ear to interpret the almost-unseen and frequently unappreciated challenges, sorrows and joys of daily life. Joshua Dugat draws verses from his everyday exploits teaching, firefighting, ranching, beekeeping and two-stepping. Ned LeDoux, heir to the LeDoux family sound, lays down a record in music full of rural flavor and touring know-how. Californian Dave Stamey documents the fine-grained nuances of Western life in his proliferate songwriting, while Trinity Seely logs life and miles from British Columbia to Montana. The performers on this show have beautifully caught the rhythms and cadences of Western life.
Sponsored by Stockmen’s Casino & Ramada Hotel.


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Bull-Slingers, Braggarts &
Blowhards

Jan 31, 8:00pm – 9:30pm
G Three Bar Theater

Sorry, this show is SOLD OUT

The title says it all! Good-natured jabs, artful nonsense, boasts so good you'd be a fool not to believe them... it may be winter, but the hot air emanating from this bunch will keep you toasty. Henry Real Bird delivers an entertaining ride through Crow Country, joining up with classic poet Rodney Nelson, who'd tell a joke as soon as draw a breath. To top it all off, they'll match wits with Sourdough Slim, a true Western character. Watch out for this raucous crew. They come off as polite, but they're just cowboyin' around. Before you know it, you'll be sucked into an evening of bravado, balderdash and... well, you-know-what. Best check your gullibility at the door.
Sponsored by Wells Fargo Foundation.


Friday, February 1

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Members’ Show #2:
A Consternation of Critters

Feb 1, 11:00am – 12:30pm
Elko Convention Center Auditorium

$40 / Free to members with ticket

A cowboy's life is all about critters. Four-legged, six-legged, even eight-legged (for all you arachnophobes out there) — and they're all out to get ya and show you who's really in charge. Ride along with us as poets Dick Gibford, Joel Nelson, Maria Lisa Eastman, DW Groethe, Paul Zarzyski and musician Brenn Hill try to explain for you just why this is so.


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After a Night on a Cowboy Town

Feb 1, 3:00pm - 4:30pm
G Three Bar Theater
Sorry, this show is SOLD OUT

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Descending from the desert, the mountains, and the plains, these three fellows really tear up a town. But, after the walking-around money's been spent and the two-steps have turned to "sleeping on the blacktop," what's a cowboy to do? Recount the exploits, of course. Fess up. And, face up to the afterglow, when days return to routine and cowboys return to work, retelling tales of the evening's triumphs, stunts, escapades, hangovers... and all the regular days in between. This is the stuff of life. Told in rich timbres and rabble-rousing tones of "genuine article" Arizonan troubadour and foreman Gail Steiger, "cut ya to the quick" Montana poet extreme Paul Zarzyski and "retro outlaw" Saskatchewan songwriter Colton Wall.


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Gimme Open Roads & Fresh Air

Feb 1, 6:00pm – 7:30pm
Elko Convention Center Auditorium
$40 / $30 / $25
Next Generation
Discount Available!

This is a journey through the Great American West you won't want to miss! The tour bus is outfitted with a sassy and classy crew, fueled by a high octane mix of music and poetry, and headed to western places you'll never forget. Carolyn Martin and her powerhouse band will convince you that "It Don't Mean a Thing if it Ain't Got That Swing." Tish Hinojosa's wanderlust spirit and soaring songs will invite you to "lose yourself to the moon," chase sunsets and the scent of a rainstorm, and "rise from the highway and into the sky and leave all your sorrow behind." With roots firmly planted in northern New Mexico soil, Olivia Romo writes poetry through the eyes of a young woman and delivers it with the passion and hopeful spirit of her generation. A roving party isn't complete without Montana father-daughter duo Halladay and Rob Quist. Both love the open road and their powerful original songs pay tribute to the people, places and experiences encountered along the way.
Sponsored by Red Lion Hotel & Casino.


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Homes on the Range

Feb 1, 8:00pm - 9:30pm
G Three Bar Theater
Sorry, this show is SOLD OUT

In the winter of 1985, over 25 poets left their ranch homes to meet up in Elko to share their brand of poetry. Thirty-five years later, Elko remains a destination. Though miles away from home, deep feelings of life back at the ranch — from nostalgic to tragic to magic — are ever present in the verse and song heard in Elko. Travel home with South Dakota ranch poet Yvonne Hollenbeck, Utah singer/songwriter Brenn Hill, Montana songwriter Trinity Seely and Michael Martin Murphey, who makes his ranch home in northern Colorado. There's no place like....


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Ride & Write 'em Pretty

Feb 1, 8:00pm – 9:30pm
Elko Convention Center Auditorium
$40 / $30 / $25
Next Generation
Discount Available!

There are skills that good riders acquire over years of being a-horseback, but the best riders also develop a sixth sense that enables them to communicate with the horse. So when the ride 'em pretty, there's poetry in motion. Paul Zarzyski, Halladay Quist, Ned LeDoux and Corb Lund definitely can ride 'em pretty. But each also writes their musical lyrics and poems thoughtfully and purposefully. Each has transcended the merely skillful to reach the artistic — their goal is to form that delicate link with the audience that results in deep understanding. You'll hear how they write 'em sooooo pretty. So very pretty.
Sponsored by NV Energy.


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Friday Night Dance with Geno
Delafose & French Rockin'
Boogie

Feb 1, 10:00pm - Midnight
Elko Convention Center - Turquoise
$20

When he's not harvesting 200 acres of grass, Geno is coaxing couples to the dancefloor with his low-slung accordion and killer backing band. From grass-cutting to rug-cutting, these Creole cowboys know how to pass a good time. With their red-hot rhythms and noveau zydeco style, Geno Delafose and French Rockin' Boogie bring you bayou-soaked boogie beats all the way from Louisiana. Melding Cajun and blues with a good dash of soul and country and western, this band is sure to spice up your two-steps, waltzes and swing. Learn how to jig and jitterbug at the Cajun and Zydeco Dance Workshop earlier this day, or just bring your best boogie spirit to the dancefloor — your feet will follow!
Sponsored by NV Energy.


Saturday, February 2

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The Western Trail

Feb 2, 11:00am – 12:30pm
Elko Convention Center Auditorium
$30

You know of the Ol' Chisholm Trail, but do you know of the younger, longer, parallel trail that was the backdrop for the epic, Lonesome Dove? At the tail end of the cattle drive era, herds drove up The "Great" Western Trail from Texas to railyards in Kansas and Nebraska, and north to Canada. Joining trodden soil to steel tracks, drovers along The Western Trail faced red dirt, infrequent saloons, grazing tolls and risk of stampeding. Traveling the Trail meant plenty of time to croon to the cows. These three present-day trailbosses will croon to you instead. Nevada poet Waddie Mitchell and Texas songsters Michael Martin Murphey and Andy Hedges drive a herd of trail songs and poems honoring The Western Trail.
Sponsored by Newmont Mining Corporation.


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Ranch Family Show

Feb 2, 3:00pm – 4:15pm
Elko Convention Center Auditorium
$30 / Free to ranch families with ticket

Some might say this show is wholesome, family-friendly entertainment... and it is that... but we like to think the Ranch Family Show is where it gets real. Every year, the performers bring a hard-working, big-thinking sensibility to the stage, along with a desire to share their creative perspective with all generations. This year is no exception. Canadian Ryan Fritz is the kind of songwriter, and guy, whose fellow cowboys pitched in to fund his first record. He is joined by his son Hoss. New Mexico rancher and poet Deanna McCall comes from a long line of Texas ranchers and herself raised a family "off the grid" in remote Nevada. And songwriters Daron Little and Matt Robertson tap into a genuine musical inspiration that stems from living the life. Joining them on stage will be this year's scholarship recipients. This whole ensemble brings you a real experience to delight the entire family.
Sponsored by the Elko Convention & Visitors Authority.


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Words Growing Wild in the West

Feb 2, 6:00pm – 7:30pm
G Three Bar Theater
$35

A tremendous body of well-written poetry has emerged over the 35-year history of the Gathering. "Words Growing Wild in the West" celebrates the poems that are widely considered to be our strongest writers' best efforts. We invite you to join us as some of our oldest and youngest artists give voice to the powerful writing that has come to define the genre of contemporary cowboy poetry. Featuring Andy Hedges, Joel Nelson, Vess Quinlan, Brigid Reedy, Randy Rieman, Paul Zarzyski and other special guests.


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Laugh Kills Lonesome

Feb 2, 6:00pm – 7:30pm
Elko Convention Center Auditorium

$40 / $30 / $25
Next Generation
Discount Available!

Charlie Russell was right. After long hard days on the trail you needed something to cheer your spirit. Might be a knowing little grin or it might be a grand knee-slapping guffaw, and a good poem or song was just the thing to bring it on. Join us for an evening of campfire chucklin' with DW Groethe, Rodney Nelson, Gary McMahan, Waddie Mitchell and Dave Stamey.
Sponsored by McMullen, McPhee & Company, LLC.


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The Big Accordion

Feb 2, 8:00pm – 9:30pm
G Three Bar Theater
$35

Mightier than a noisy honkey tonk, sturdier than a precious fiddle, and (arguably) as beautiful as a Garcia saddle, the accordion is the unsung hero of the dancehall. In its many incarnations, this flexible instrument is a staple of not only cowboy music but rural music throughout the Americas. From norteño to zydeco to Western music and the songs in-between, this evening is dedicated to sonorous squeezebox splendor. Geno Delafose is a master on both the diatonic and piano varieties, while Sourdough Slim's antics are rooted in vaudevillian virtuosity, and Chip Dolan (of the Tish Hinojosa band) knows the acordéon inside and out. These three musicians, along with their bands, bring you a show that — like their instruments — is quintessentially cowboy: big on sound, big on versatility, and big on bedazzlement.


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Bridging the 49th

Feb 2, 8:00pm – 9:30pm
Elko Convention Center Auditorium
$40 / $30 / $25
Next Generation
Discount Available!

A border by cartography standards, the 49th parallel north distinguishes Canada from the United States. On maps, anyway. But, try telling these musicians that as they sing themselves from side to side and back again. Jamie Fox's fiddling heals a formerly-fading Métis fiddle tradition. Sid Marty's poetry, storytelling and songwriting travels like the Albertan wind. Corb Lund's musical diplomacy bridges the country and the city. And Colter Wall's songwriting blends the real and the magical. Making beauty out of coexistence, proving that lines are never quite what they seem, these four bards of the borderlands epitomize the artist as ambassador.
Sponsored by Barrick Gold of North America.


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Saturday Night Dance with
Carolyn Martin's Swing Band
and More!

Feb 2, 10:00pm - Midnight
Elko Convention Center - Turquoise
$20

Renowned for a smooth voice with subtle but irresistible inflections, Western swing singer Carolyn Martin has made a name for herself as a songstress of throwback sounds delivered in a thoroughly up-to-date manner. She fronts an all-star band that can drop a groove in the pocket like a work truck finds a rut. Driving hard down the traditional Western swing road, Carolyn Martin's Swing Band takes some scenic detours into big band, blues, even Broadway. A shuffle here, a syncopation there... it's a surefire combo to have you dancing until you drop. As Carolyn would say, "Swing on!" When the band takes a short break, don't stop moving: we've invited Alex MacLeod to call a quick set of square dances to the lively tunes of the Hobb Dye String Band. Never square danced? No worries, Alex can guide everyone through the moves and guarantees big grins all along the way.
Sponsored by NV Energy.


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Midnight Dance with Geno
Delafose & French Rockin'
Boogie

Feb 2, Midnight - 2:00am
G Three Bar Theater
$20

Don't pack your bags yet! Give your boots one last shine and your mustache one last was. After a week of hard work and hard play, it's time for one last stroll around the dancefloor. Make some memories (or shake some memories) at the Midnight Dance. Geno Delafose and French Rockin' Boogie ramp it up for one more zydeco and cowboy-infused hurrah, inviting you to dance all night and stay a little longer. Lassez les bon temps rouler — or "let the good times roll" — before you roll out of town.

 

 

Banner image: Charlie Ekburg

Performance images: Kier Atherton, Charlie Ekberg, David Garr, Meg Glaser, Jessica Brandi Lifland, Sydney Martinez, Natalie Rhea, and artist-provided.