Cowboy Poetry & Music Festival 2011

Boot 20112011 was a great year for the Cowboy Poetry and Music Festival!

Performers included:

  • Blue Sage
  • Paul Boruff & Nan Weber
  • Ray Conrad
  • Katy Creek Band
  • Cameron Hallows
  • Brenn Hill
  • Mary Kay & the Duel
  • Dick and Jane Morton
  • Rough Around the Edges
  • Tangle Ridge
  • Vapor Trail Hands

Blue Sage Band

Blue Sage Band is a longtime Wayne County favorite, the Blue Sage Band is led by clawhammer banjo virtuous Mike Iverson. The band, which also includes Shauna Iverson on bass fiddle, and Rob Ricks and Heather Blaisdell on twin fiddles, describes itself as “a high energy folk/bluegrass ensemble whose songs reflect the culture and history of the west.”

Paul Boroff & Nan Weber

Paul Boruff is a musician and painter whose long, colorful resume includes a stint playing big-band music with the U.S. Navy Admiral's Band, Boruff's recordings include Trappers, featuring original and traditional songs dating back to the 1830s. In this performance, he will wind his way down western trails of the past and present, singing songs inspired by the western landscape, people and history.

Nan Weber has been a stage actress since she was a youngster. She loves a good story. Her forte is character acting and loves a writer who loves a character. Weber specializes in history, specifically, women's history.

Nan will be celebrating the art and legacy of Yellowstone Chip. An historic program that explores the life of a real singing cowboy. Chip's own words and music highlight this presentation.

Yellowstone Chip sang his way through the majesty of the western states, working as a ranch cowboy, a U. S. Army remount cowboy and a dude ranch cowboy. Yellowstone Chip achieved what we all wish we could do—follow our dreams.

Nan Weber will read segments from her new book, Singing in the Saddle, The Life and Times of Yellowstone Chip.

Paul Boruff will perform some of Chip's lively songs.

Hear some of Chip's actual vintage recordings that accompany this presentation.

Ray Conrad

Ray Conrad — Born in Minnesota in the year of '27
Got an education through grade eleven
Joined the Navy to defeat Japan
But the atom-bomb boys had a better plan 
So I came back home from a short deployment
To a veteran's bonus, and unemployment
Went to art school, then got a job
As a desk-bound Dilbert-type gummint slob
A genuine eight-to-five cubicle sort
Not too big on wintertime sport
I thought that skiing was some kind of gag
And winter just seemed like a terrible drag
Cold weather might give a man pneumonia
And shoveling snow was a bunch of bolonia
Then I met a girl, I withhold her name
Who showed me that skiing was a valid game
So I got me some skis and I give it a try
And turned to a virtual outdoor guy
I lived up at Alta for years beyond countin'
Then moved to Southern Utah, near Boulder Mountain
That's where you'll find me in my rural home
Working on a painting, or writing me a poem
I hope that you like our little presentation
If not, well, it's kind of hard to change the station

Kay Creek Band

Hailing from Maricopa, Arizona, Katy Creek is a duo comprised of Nancy and Wes Ruybal. Nancy says she is a “country girl from Ohio, [who] began writing and performing folk music at age fourteen.” Mark, a working cowboy, reveals that his songs “reflect his many experiences . . . including the folks he’s met and places he’s worked.” Together, “they present Cowboy Music & Poetry with renditions and recitations about the West from the 1800's to the modern day working cowboy.”

Cameron Hallows

Cameron Hallows — a Wayne County native, Hallows grew up on the family ranch working alongside his dad and two older brothers.  Influenced by his father, Gary, at a young age, he became obsessed with the cowboy life. Later, he began listening to Baxter Black tapes and reciting the poems to his co-workers. He says he was “blessed with the gift of gab and being clear full of BS.” Sounds like the perfect attributes for a cowboy poet.

Brenn Hill

Singer/songwriter Brenn Hill’s bio notes that he “doesn’t just sing about the American West, he reveals its heart to anyone who will take the time to listen.” His latest release, Equine, invites listeners to experience a region that is fast changing. A gifted and widely acclaimed songwriter, Brenn “sings to and about all of us — ranch, rural, or urban cowboys and cowgirls, and about all the ways in which the West is ours.”

May Kay & the Duel

Mary Kaye Knaphus — A self-described “singer, songwriter and professional speaker,” not to mention a mother of 10 children, Mary Kaye Knaphus is fast earning a reputation as an estimable talent in the realm of traditional western music. Her voice is big, robust and reminiscent of Patsy Cline’s. In performance, she draws on a wide span of influences and describes her eclectic approach as “diverse, intimate, raw...more than tumbleweeds and spurs.”

Rough Around the Edges

In March of 2008 a few Wayne County friends decided to retrieve their dusty instruments  from various cellars, closets and attics, and see if they could remember any chords or lyrics from their dark, distant pasts. Thus began the Thursday Night Music Group, which for the last three years has thrived and expanded, providing a recreational music outlet for everyone from rank beginners to accomplished musicians, from pre-teens to nonagenerians. Floating from house to house , the weekly sessions are as much friendly get togethers and potlucks as they are jam sessions. The  two most central communal beliefs are that all persons have music within them, and should have a way to enjoy music without judgement or expectations.  

To everyone's surprise, the group was soon asked to perform at a town event, and the MC needed a name for the introduction. Several alternatives were considered, including The Barely Adequate String Band, and Why Bother?, but the winner was Rough Around The Edges, both catchy and truly descriptive. Rough Around The Edges generally plays older folk, country and traditional tunes, but recent spinoffs include a group called Still Rockin', concentrating on 50's rock songs, and another group whose main interest is pioneer dance tunes.

 A Rough Around The Edges concert is always high energy and enthusiastic, with an emphasis on fun and audience participation.

The makeup of Rough Around The Edges varies from time to time, but for this deal it looks like it'll be Hank and Brenda Winawer, Teri Taylor, Elissa Stevens, Rod and Eileen Frazier, Bob Poulton, Tamie Bagley, Dee Hatch, Linda Ward, and Becky Pace.  You never know....there might also be a mystery artist or two!

Tangle Ridge

Tangle Ridge is one of the finest bluegrass/traditional acoustic bands ever to perform in Wayne County, Tangle Ridge specializes in a genre-spanning blend of old-time and new acoustic music. Appropriately enough, in this performance, the band, made up of Caroline Kueneman, bass and vocals; Gil Hunt, fiddle, guitar and vocals; Paul Eichenberger, mandolin; and Steve Lutz, Dobro, guitar and vocals, will focus on songs of the West.

Vapor Trail Hands

The Vapor Trail Hands founded in Wayne County by several part-time residents, the Vapor Trail Hands will perform a mixture of Celtic and cowboy material, including traditional and songs popularized by old-time silver-screen cowboy crooners, as well as originals.