Cowboy Poetry and Western Life

More about . . .


Events and Festivals

Venues with Monthly and Multiple Dates


Below are descriptions that are linked from event listings on the Events page. 

These items are linked also from here on the front-page news menu.

There are also reports from those who have attended events, 
and those are linked from the Events page, too.

Back to Events page . . .
Back on home . . .


See our complete Events list here.


Submission information:

We welcome your event information about cowboy poetry and Western music events. Information details get posted in our news and in links from our Events calendar.

We regret that we can't list individual performers' or groups' shows or "shows" that have just one or two performers or groups, including house concerts; those are too numerous for us to maintain. (We do welcome information for established venues with a roster of regularly-scheduled programs, even if those programs feature just one or two performers. The season's schedule is welcome, at least several weeks before the season begins.)

We sometimes include other events of interest, such as rodeos and art shows.

Email us if you have questions about the inclusion of your event.

Please send the announcement in plain text, not in graphic or pdf format. You can send a logo, photo or small graphic for our front-page news link. Those will be re-sized and posted at a height from 58-77 pixels.

Please send information at least several weeks before your event.

Be sure to include date, times, ticket information, a description, and performers' names, along with contact information: a phone number, email address, or web link that can be posted.

Email us your announcement.

We do our best to provide accurate information, but please confirm dates directly with gathering organizers.

Venues with Monthly and Multiple Dates


Mavericks Coffee House  Visalia, California

From Gary Brown:

All concerts are at 7 PM. Doors open at 6 (open seating). Call 559 624-1400 for tickets beginning 30 days prior to a concert (Visa/MC). We are located at: 238 E. Caldwell Avenue, Visalia, CA 93277 (corner of court and Caldwell). Additional shows will be added throughout the year.; $25 except where noted


February 6, 2016  DAVE STAMEY  Mavericks 13th Anniversary,   $30.

March 19, 2016   JUNI FISHER   $25     

May 21, 2016    CHUCK PYLE   $25.



January 27-31, 2016  February 5-7, 2016
70th annual Montana Winter Fair  Lewiston, Montana

From the organizers:

There are 28 official events at the 71st Montana Winter Fair this January. A complete schedule of events, registration guidelines, information and overnight accommodation contacts can be found at and Tickets for IDLE RANCH HANDS, Friday night at 7:30 at The Grand Hall of The Eagles are available online or at Don’s Store in Lewistown. The IDLE RANCH HANDS concert will be followed by more music and dancing at The Eagles Bar by the versatile Charlie Denison Band.

Everyone, young and old, ranch and town, is invited to come out to the Montana Winter Fair in Lewistown for innovative agricultural ideas, entertainment, education, competitions, great food and FUN.....”celebrating Montana’s agriculture and lifestyle since 1946.”

Posted 1/5



February 17-21, 2016
16th Annual Saddle Up! Celebration  Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

From Donnette Engebrecht:

Pigeon Forge Celebrates The American West At 16th Annual Saddle Up

Music, storytelling, poetry, dancing and chuck wagon cooking are just a few of the activities that will take place at the 16th Annual Saddle Up in Pigeon Forge, Tenn.

The event is Feb. 17-21, 2016, and will be headquartered at the LeConte Center in Pigeon Forge.

Saddle Up is a mixture of stage concerts, dinner shows, a competitive chuck wagon cookoff, Cowboy Dance and other activities. Also on the calendar are a number of workshops and seminars. Most of the music programs are ticketed, while several other activities are offered free of charge.

Dave Stamey, R.W. Hampton, Western Flyers, T. Scot Wilburn & the Shut Up -N- Playboys, Sourdough Slim and Brigid Reedy will provide the music for the 2016 event, while Andy Nelson, Kent Rollins, Yvonne Hollenbeck, Chris Isaacs and Jay Snider will share cowboy poetry, stories and humor.

The Saddle Up Chuck Wagon Cookoff is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 20 at Clabough’s Campground. Chuck wagon cooks prepare lunch for guests and evaluation by a panel of judges. Tickets for the noon lunch are $12.50. Beginning at 9 a.m., visitors can hear Saddle Up entertainers and participate in cowboy-themed activities free of charge.

The weekend concludes with a chuck wagon breakfast and Cowboy Church on Sunday, Feb. 21, at the LeConte Event Center.

Ticket prices and a detailed schedule can be found at Tickets currently are available online and also will be sold at the event.

Posted 11/17




February 19-20, 2016
10th Annual Mesquite Western Round-Up  Mesquite, Nevada  

From Marleen Bussma:

The 10th Annual Mesquite Western Roundup featuring cowboy poetry and western music has been scheduled for February 19 at 7 p.m. and February 20, 2016 at 1 p.m. at the Mesquite Community Theater, 150 N. Yucca St., in Mesquite, Nevada.

Poets Marc Bradshaw, Marleen Bussma, Lee Kimberlin, Ken Marshall, Mike Prince, Hap Stuart and Russ Westwood will share their stories of the old and new west. Familiar tunes of the cowboy will be sung and played by David Anderson and daughter Jenny from Ogden, UT.

For more information go to

Posted 11/2



February 26-27, 2015
30th Annual Texas Cowboy Poetry Gathering (Sul Ross) Alpine, Texas

From the organizers:

The 30th Texas Cowboy Poetry Gathering Opens February 26 at Sul Ross

The 30th Texas Cowboy Poetry Gathering kicks off on the Sul Ross State University campus in Alpine [February 26-27].

The first session is at 10 a.m. Friday, February 26, with a welcome by Sul Ross President Bill Kibler followed by regulars Chuck Milner, Sally Bates and Andy Hedges. Bill Brooks is master of ceremonies.

The 11 a.m. session is hosted by John Davis and will feature Glenn Moreland and Washtub Jerry, Kay Nowell, Bob Campbell and Jill Jones.

At 1 Friday afternoon, Red Steagall will appear in concert in Marshall Auditorium. The hour long event is hosted by Don Cadden and admission is $10 per person.

Saturday afternoon at 1:30, R.W. Hampton will treat the audience to the traditional cowboy music he is known for. Joel Nelson is the host and admission is $10 per person.
Beginning at 2 p.m. Friday and all day Saturday numerous free sessions will be held at various locations on the campus. A program listing all of the events will be available at the event headquarters on the 2nd floor of the Morgan University Center.

Prior to the opening session, there will be a discussion on poetry led by Joel Nelson at the education room of the Museum of the Big Bend. At the same time, on the second floor of the Morgan building, Linda Kirkpatrick, Jim Wilson and Nika Nordbrock will conduct an open session for poets, musicians and storytellers.
Saturday the same performers will conduct similar sessions at the same time and place except Joel Nelson's session will be about songwriting.

Tickets to various events will go on sale at noon Thursday in the Morgan Center, 2nd floor. Also, sales of CDs, books and memorabilia will go on sale in Room 210 of the Morgan Center at 11 a.m. Friday. The sales room will be open until 5 p.m. Friday and will be open from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Saturday.

Participants in the Texas Cowboy Poetry Gathering are working cowboys and cowgirls as well as ranchers and ranch hands. The Gathering is known for its commitment to the words and music of the working cowboy.
West Texas National Bank is the title sponsor of the Gathering and the City of Alpine is a significant underwriter. Donations by local businesses and sponsorships of performers are important sources of income for the event.
Most daytime sessions to the event are free. These sessions are held in classrooms on the campus. Each session will feature several performers for 50 minutes. Up to 12 concurrent sessions are held at various locations on the campus.

Admission to the night shows Friday evening and Saturday evening is $15 for adults and $6 for children. Lap babies are free. The night shows begin at 7:30 p.m.

Campfire breakfasts will be held at Poet’s Grove both Friday and Saturday mornings at 7:30 a.m. The breakfast includes scrambled eggs, biscuits and gravy and will be served until 8:30 a.m. Cost is $5 per plate. TransPecos Banks sponsors the breakfasts.

The Gathering committee will raffle a beautiful buckle made by Buddy Knight for $10 per ticket. John Davis at Limpia Hat Company in Fort Davis will custom make a hat for a lucky winner and Wayne Franklin has created a silver bracelet that will also be raffled. All proceeds from the raffles go to the perpetuation of the Gathering.
Additional information is available at the Gathering website at

Posted 2/20




March 4-6, 2016
Sixth Annual Cache Valley Cowboy Rendezvous  Hyrum, Utah

From Dale Major:

It’s time to line out the pack string for the  6th Annual Cache Valley Cowboy Rendezvous to be held  March 4, 5, 6, 2016 at Mountain Crest High School in Hyrum, Utah.

Join us as we celebrate our Western heritage with a Friday evening Cowboy Opry featuring
Ernie Sites, Gary Allegretto, cowboy poet Thatch Elmer, and the western duo Tumbleweeds. Saturday afternoon events include a concert with Billy Dean, Doris Daley, and Eli Barsi. In addition, there will be a herd of outstanding cowboy poets and musicians from the surrounding area performing continuously on 3 stages. One stage is dedicated as an "open mic" stage open to all comers.

Local and regional craftsmen and artists will be on hand to display (and sell) their works and wares. Cowboy vittles will be available along with a slew of locally produced ag products. Budding poets can try their hands at reciting their favorite poems at the Youth Poetry Contest and can demonstrate their cowboy skills at the Kids Corral. There is also a Patriotic Poetry Contest for youth and adults. $1000 in Smith and Edwards  (the Man Mall!) gift cards will be distributed to the winners of the youth and patriotic contests. 

Michael Martin Murphey  will top off Saturday’s celebration with a Cowboy  family dance, and we’ll all return home Sunday morning after Cowboy Church, held in the Livery Stable at the American West Heritage Center in Wellsville, Utah.

For ticket and other information go to

And remember, spurs and chaps are optional!

Posted 2/8




April 8-10, 2016
13th Annual Columbia River Cowboy Gathering and Western Music Festival  Kennewick, Washington

April 8-10, 2016
th Annual Cowboy Idol Competition at the 13th Annual Columbia River Cowboy Gathering and Western Music Festival  Kennewick, Washington

From Smoke Wade:

The 13th Annual Columbia River Cowboy Gathering and Western Music Festival will take place April 8 -10, 2016 at the Benton County Fairgrounds in Kennewick, WA. The event is organized by Budd & Judy Massengale along with the Columbia River Cowboy Gathering and Western Music Festival Board of Directors.

News on featured performers, open mic sign up and special events will be forthcoming. Visit the website -

Scheduled daytime performances will be presented on Friday and Saturday, April 8 – 10, 2016, along with open mic sessions. Headliner shows will take place at 6:00 p.m. each evening. A cowboy church will be held on Sunday morning following the gathering.

One of the highlights of the weekend will be the
8th Annual Cowboy Idol competition for both poets and musicians hosted by Smoke Wade. There will be trophies along with $500.00 for first place and $200.00 for second place in both the poet and musician competition. In addition, all open mic performers will be judged throughout the weekend for the People's Choice Award with prize money and a trophy to the winner. Cowboy Idol contest applicants may contact Smoke Wade (435) 215-9675

For information regarding advance ticket sales, RV parking, special Motel rates, or vendor & performer applications, visit the Website: 

Or contact: Budd Massengale :  (509) 851-4288 or Judy Massengale (509) 851-4287.

Posted 1/5


April 23, 2016
Cowboyin', Horses, and Friends Choctaw, Oklahoma  ~ Celebrating Cowboy Poetry Week

From the organizers:

"Cowboyin', Horses, and Friends" a cowboy poetry gathering featuring Oklahoma poet, Jay Snider and friends.  Saturday, April
23, 2016 from 10:00 - 6:00.  At Hope Retreat Ranch 2320 Sandwood  Ave., Choctaw, Oklahoma.  Poetry, music, chuck wagon feed, local crafters. A family event to benefit Hope Retreat Ranch, a 501(c)3 organization that provides free equine therapy to children with disabilities. Facebook

Posted 2/20





June 17-18, 2016
20th Annual Echoes of the Trail Cowboy Gathering Fort Scott, Kansas

From the organizers:

The 20th annual Echoes of the Trail Cowboy Gathering, June 17-18, at Fort Scott Community College in Fort Scott, KS will be celebrated with old traditions and new events. A new event this year is a western dance featuring the music of singer Kinley Taylor Rice & the band Crossfire. Doors will open at 7 p.m. at the Danny and Willa Ellis Family Fine Arts Center. The dance will be from 7:30 to 10:30 on Friday, June 17. There will be a dance floor for those who want to dance and ample seating for those who simply want to listen to the music, watch and enjoy as others dance. Local 4-Hers will sell refreshments.

According to organizers, the schedule for Saturday entertainment on June 18 in the FSCC Academic building (Bailey Hall) includes a virtual “who’s who” of cowboy music and poetry. Jim Hoy, a Kansas Hall of Fame folklorist, and former director of the Great Plains Studies at Emporia State University, will be returning to tell stories that bring the history of the American cowboy to life. Hoy was with the event at its beginning.

Echoes of the Trail President Diann Tucker says that two of the cowboy poets will appear for the first time at this event. One is Jay Snider, Academy of Western Artist’s 2008 “Best of the Best” at the National Cowboy Poetry Rodeo in Utah. She heard him in Texas and says he will make you laugh and cry as he relates cowboy experiences in poetry stories. Jay has recently appeared at similar cowboy gatherings in Texas, Arizona, British Columbia, and Nevada. In addition he appeared on CMT’s “Christmas in Cowboy Country”, hosted by Clint Black.

Also appearing will be Trey Allen, renowned performer, who has appeared all over the U.S, and won the Kansas State Cowboy Poetry Competition in 2011.

Tucker continues to say “Joining Echoes in our 20th anniversary celebration for an ‘encore performance’ will be Geff Dawson. Geff is returning to sing and recite stories and poetry as he wins the hearts of his audience. A true cowboy entertainer, Geff has appeared at Silver Dollar City, MO in its Salute to the Great American Cowboy numerous times, has been the legendary winner of “Best of the West Shootout, Best of the Best Silver Buckle Champion”, and in 2012 was inducted into the Kansas Cowboy Hall of Fame.”

Organizers say that, featured at the Saturday evening performance will be co-founders John Kendrick and Arnold Schofield, along with Geff Dawson and Del Shields. Del Shields has won numerous awards, is a singer-songwriter and recording artist, and is featured on RFD TV’s “Best of America by Horseback” in a weekly series. Del told fellow Echoes committee members that he has written a new song that is currently being considered as the theme song for a soon-to-be released movie about the life and legendary rodeo champion, Casey Tibbs.

This is only the beginning of the line-up of talent to be found at the 2016 Echoes of the Trail Cowboy Gathering, according to Secretary-Treasurer Judy Howser. She says to see their web site,, for a more complete list of the entertainment.

Howser invites area young and old to “a week-end filled with affordable entertainment for the entire family, the 20th anniversary celebration of Echoes of the Trail. She says it will be a year to remember. Other features will include the Gary Wimmer Children’s Cowboy Poetry Contest, with the top 3 winners reciting their poetry; a pie baking contest with proceeds going to area 4-H youth; a chuck wagon lunch; and western vendors. Half price tickets will be offered to our active military and veterans, to “honor and salute” those who serve or have served our country. Mark your calendars, say Howser and Tucker.

Find our feature about the event here.

Posted 5/26




July 17, 2016
29th Annual California Rodeo Cowboy Music & Poetry Gathering 
Salinas, California

From the organizers:

29th Annual California Rodeo Salinas
Cowboy Music & Poetry Gathering
Sunday, July 17, 2016 ~ Sherwood Hall

Howdy Friends!

Our event continues with wine tasting and a BBQ prior to the show along with a silent auction offering a wide variety of treasures to bid on and a live dessert auction during intermission. Our success is directly attributable to the generosity of our sponsors in bringing this show to the public and we thank them profusely.

As you know this entertainment forum began around the campfires and in the bunkhouses of the Old West and we are proud to keep this great American tradition alive. We are pleased to bring great American Music and Storytelling to this year’s event as well as performances from Youth Orchestra Salinas (YoSal) and the winners of our kid’s poetry contest as a portion of our proceeds go to the Foundation for Monterey County Free Libraries. Entertainers include:

Master of Ceremonies, Clem Albertoni, South County’s poet laureate and funny man.

Los Vaqueros Hunting Club Traveling Band, a local country and western band that was born of campfire smoke, camaraderie, a love of tales and songs where creativity is not hindered by fact or truth. Featuring close friends, Randy Handley, Terry Handley, Rich Casey and Roger Hill.

Country Western Entertainer, Chyrle Bacon. Chyrle performs a variety of acts that includes Trick Roping, Whip Cracking, Target Whip Work and Gun Juggling, which has won her the “Showmanship Award Trophy” in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Larry Maurice from Palomino Valley, Nevada, the Academy of Western Artists Cowboy Poet of the Year and American Cowboy Culture Award lifetime achievement in Cowboy Poetry.

We are pleased to welcome back singer and song writer Dave Stamey. He has been voted seven times Entertainer of the Year, six times Male Performer of the Year, five times Songwriter of the Year by the Western Music Association. Joining Dave on stage will be lovely Annie Lydon.

Reserved tables are being offered at the Diamond level, first come first served closest to the stage.

Regular ticket sales begin in May and can only be purchased online at 

or by contacting Clem Albertoni at (831) 678-3297 or Lydia Miranda at (831) 320-5939.

Individual tickets are $30.00 in advance or $35.00 at the door.

Wine Tasting and BBQ tickets may be purchased at the event for $10.00 each.

We look forward to seeing you there.

Posted 2/21


July 23-24, 2016
Running of the BULL  Cristoval, Texas

From the organizers:

Dennis Gaines returns to headline “Running of the BULL” in Christoval

The more things change, the more they remain the same!!! Even though the “Running of the BULL” festival has moved to Christoval, Dennis Gaines will return as its featured speaker. Dennis is the national champion cowboy poet who has performed at every ROTB thus far. Those unfamiliar with cowboy poetry would do themselves a favor by coming to hear him expound on his cowboy experiences in the most unusual way. But be forewarned that you may become hooked on the genre. Another act that has been a constant with the festival is the “hoofing heifers” from San Angelo. These gals dress as cows and clog their way around the stage to the delight of the audience. This “open mike” gabfest welcomes all speakers, young and old, and often launches fresh faces into the Texas entertainment world.

The “running your mouth with a bunch of BULL” festival resided in Eldorado for many years but outgrew the facilities and has been in remission for several years, but is back by popular demand. Long time attendees hounded the promoters to resume the show in a more compatible environment. The heavily shaded City Park in Christoval is the perfect venue for this famous statewide event. The San Antonio Express News named it as one of the ten experiences Texas visitors should have before leaving the state. It has also been featured in AAA Journey magazine, the Fort Worth Star Telegram, San Angelo Standard Times and the Eldorado Success. The late Elmer Kelton said, “Running of the BULL is anything but professional, but that’s what gives it its charm. For a small town, that’s the way it should be!

Arts, crafts and other vendors spread out on the lush grassy grounds, plus the overall welcoming environment of the South Concho River adds pleasure to this “bull shooters convention.” This year’s subtitle is “a gathering of the nuts” and usually includes many different varieties! Unique trophies await the most popular talkers. The dates are July 23 and 24 and new events have been added, including a “punning of the bull” contest which invites punsters to strut their stuff on the ample stage with their best pun stories. Costume contests include awards for the best matador outfit, best bull costume and the best garb mimicking those commonly worn at the inspirational running of the bulls in Pamplona, Spain. Group skits are also welcome.

Saturday’s times are from 10 AM until 5 PM and on Sunday; events begin at noon and end at 5. Musicians and listeners can linger after 5 on Saturday for an informal jam session, and at dusk a snipe hunt will be held for the uninitiated…bring the youngsters. A snipe hunting seminar will be held at 7 to acquaint listeners to the nuances, techniques and dangers of serious snipe hunting. Guests should bring their lawn chairs and/or prepare to stay the day with food vendors available to satisfy your taste buds. And one of the best parts is that admission is free.

FMI or for vendor ap, contact Jim Runge at or 325-650-2827. Speakers are encouraged to notify early, but impromptu, spur of the moment urges are also welcomed.



August 18-21, 2016
31st Annual Montana Cowboy Poetry Gathering  Lewistown, Montana 

From the organizers:

The 31st Montana Cowboy Poetry Gathering & Western Music Rendezvous is proud to announce confirmation of the incomparable, Western comedy and singing quartet, RIDERS IN THE SKY to star, Saturday, August 13, 2016, at the Grand Stage Show at the Fergus Center for the Performing Arts.

Doors will open at the Fergus Center at 6:00 p.m. and the curtain will open at 7:00 p.m. Tickets go on-sale Thanksgiving weekend, on Friday, Nov. 27th online at and at Don’s Store in Lewistown......a SELL OUT is anticipated!

RIDERS IN THE SKY (RITS) starred at the 26th Gathering in 2011 and gave a “red-hot” performance! Those in the audience will recall the flawless 4-part traditional western harmonies of the RITS and their zany humor and on-stage antics! Dressed to the 9’s in vintage cowboy garb, the award-winning quartet brings back the nostalgic harmonies first sung by Roy Rogers and the Sons of the Pioneers.

Dave and Arlene Mari, longtime Lewistown residents had this to say about RIDERS IN THE SKY: “We first heard Riders in the Sky in 1983 on a public radio station in Washington. D.C. The DJ, who played old-time western music every Saturday afternoon, got the Riders to do a live performance from a cramped studio at the station. We were hooked and now qualify as full-blown “groupies”. Our rule of thumb...if they are performing anywhere within a day’s drive, we will go see them. We have probably seen them perform about 20 times now in at least 7 states. We even scheduled a trip that we had to make to Illinois to coincide with one of their appearances. We took our daughters to Riders’ performances before they even started school, and as adults they felt obligated to drag their husbands-to-be to a Riders performance just so they knew what kind of crazy family the were about to marry into! The Riders make their performance fun with their quick wit and sense of humor. Their “dude” outfits play right into their comedy routines. But, if you like Tex Ritter, Rex Allen, Gene Autry, Roy Rogers and all the other great cowboy singers, their music is seriously good!”

RITS have been “blazing a trail” across the planet for 35 years. The RITS have performed over 7,000 concert appearances in all 50 states and 12 foreign countries. They have entertained at the White House for both Democratic and Republican administrations and made multiple USO tours to entertain US men and women serving in uniform on foreign shores.
As for awards and accolades? You name it, they’ve won it! RITS have won two Grammy awards: the first for “Woody’s Round Up” in TOY STORY 2 and the second for “Monsters, Inc./Scream Factory Favorites” the CD to Pixar’s award-winning movie.
RITS have been honored with the highest awards and recognition in the industry. They have been inducted into the Grand Ole Opry, are in the Western Music Association’s Hall of Fame, the Country Music Foundation’s Walkway of Stars and the Walk of Western Stars in Newhall, California, along with Gene, Roy, John Wayne and other cowboy legends. Billboard Magazine touts RIDERS IN THE SKY as one of “the most historically significant acts in the history of American music.”

What’s in a name....well the names of the RITS quartet tell it all: Ranger Doug (Idol of American Youth) plays arch-top guitar and sings baritone vocals, Too Slim (A man Aging Like Fine Cheese) plays on bunkhouse bass and sings tenor vocals, Woody Paul (King of the Cowboy Fiddlers) plays fiddle, sings tenor and does rope tricks, and last, but not least, Joey the Cowpolka King plays accordion and belts out baritone vocals. For more information, please check out the RIDERS IN THE SKY website at

The 31st Montana Cowboy Poetry Gathering & Western Music Rendezvous is the 2nd oldest gathering in the country.....just one year younger than the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko, Nevada. Montana Cowboy Poetry Gathering was a 2015 inductee into the prestigious Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame. The mission of the non-profit gathering is to “celebrate and preserve the heritage of the American Cowboy of the Upper Rocky Mountain west.” For more information about Montana Cowboy Poetry, please go to or call 406-538-4575.

Posted 11/3






November 18-20, 2016
18th Annual Monterey Cowboy Poetry & Music Festival and Western Art and Gear Show 
  Monterey, California

From the organizers:

7 PM, Friday, Nov 18
WLS IS ON THE AIR (2 hrs.+)
From Appalachia to the Oklahoma Hills
CONNIE DOVER with Tom Sauber

WLS, the powerful 50,000 watt radio station in Chicago, stood for the World’s Largest Store – Sears, Roebuck & Co. The popular National Barn Dance, played Western music from the 20’s through the 40’s. People like Gene Autry got their first, big break there.In 2002, the MCPMF, featured this same lineup, to play early Hillbilly/Cowboy music. The concert was a huge crowd favorite.SKIP GORMAN and his Waddie Pals opened. Skip is an old time cowboy singer and master mandolin, fiddler, guitar player. This year, Skip returns and is joined by his Wyoming Pals, featuring Emmy award winner, Celtic folk singer CONNIE DOVER and fiddler TOM SAUBER. America’s Consummate Cowboy Singer DON EDWARDS, is joined by Bluegrass legend PETER ROWAN. The two, previously released High Lonesome Cowboy, which was nominated for a Grammy. Peter played with Bill Monroe & His Bluegrass Boys. It will be a special evening again!

8:30 AM, Saturday, Nov 19

This Cowboy Poetry session is to pay homage to the classic poems, written by those who’ve crossed over the Jordan. We’ve added a poet for 2016, based upon feedback. We have two, very good, wordsmiths returning from 2015 – JIM ROSS and KAREN ROSS. They were also big hits in our Cowboys in the Schools program. Joining them is ROSS KNOX. He is a legend in cowboy circles. Ian Tyson wrote a song about him; Tom Russell, an essay for Ranch and Reata; Jennifer Denison an entire article in Western Horseman. Ross has had more wrecks than can be imagined!! He’s been medevacked out of the Grand Canyon; and quit a wrangler’s job because he was told he must give up his well-worn, cowboy hat for a safety helmet! JOEL NELSON is a highly respected horse trainer, and one of the finest Cowboy Poets in the USA. RANDY RIEMAN, like Joel, have many fans here in Monterey. He broke horses for many years in Hawaii, and is a master leather braider. If Hollywood was casting for the lead in The Virginian, they would most likely select Randy for the role. He looks and sounds the part. All poets will be on stage at the same time and take turns reciting.

10:30 AM

We had a successful “all gal” show last year. So this is similar, in that all female vocalists will be on stage at same time, taking turns. This time, they will sing an old song; a new one; followed by one, someone else wrote; and conclude with a blue color song (or a blues number). Our Host is the multiple, award winning JUNI FISHER. Juni got her start at the Monterey Cowboy Poetry & Music Festival, not that many years ago. However, she has won every award there is to be had since then. PAMELA “Hubba, Hubba” FORMAN, Is a wonderful singer that can capture a Western Swing number, Big Band Standards, Torch Songs and the Blues. Resident Guitarist Bruce Forman will join the ladies. Yes, he really is having fun up there with all the ladies. The Boston Globe said: CONNIE DOVER “is the finest Folk Singer America has produced since Joan Baez.” This will be JANET BAILEY’s second visit to the festival. Besides being a fine singer/songwriter from Ashland, Oregon. Her day job was a Police Officer, until recently, when she finally retired. Janet has been in law enforcement in garden spots like Bosnia and Liberia. Yes, Blue Lives Matter!!

1:00 PM

Our cowboy poets return to do their own poetry or some from other contemporary poets. They all will be on stage again. Poems may be serious or humorous, the truth or damned outright lies!

3:00 PM
Gene, Roy, Tex, Rex to Coop and the Duke

It has been several years since we paid tribute to our Singing Cowboys and/or songs featured in Western films. Most of us oldsters will recollect our youth, spent in the theater watching double feature Cowboy movies and the next Chapter, out of a 15 chapter Western Cliff Hanger (serial). Cowboy and Old Country tunes were featured. Those in their 50s and 60s, remember the theme songs from TV Western series. We thank them all, especially the Durango Kid (Charles Starrett). Charley Starrett was not a cowboy who sang; however, he was the first to feature the Sons of the Pioneers in the mid-thirties. He went on to invite numerous Western music entertainers from Bob Wills and his Texas Play Boys to Elton Britt, in the early fifties . Much obliged Durango Kid! We are pleased to welcome back, award winning Singer/Songwriter/Movie Star/Male Model R.W. HAMPTON, as our Host, who is referred to as “the voice of Western music”, for a reason. Joining him is REX ALLEN, JR., a first time performer at the Monterey Festival. Rex is a great entertainer, who has a melodic, baritone voice just like his father, our Saturday afternoon, Silver Screen, Arizona Cowboy at the Bijou, Rex Allen on Koko, the Miracle Horse of the Movies. Anchoring this concert is everyone’s favorite Singing Cowboy DON EDWARDS. Don was privileged to play for Gene Autry’s 90th birthday. The concert was recorded and is a must for Cowboy music fans. Quiet on the set, Ready, Action!

7:00 PM
with Pinto Pammy

This evening’s main show is a Western swing session with some of the best musicians in that genre. Time to resin up the bow and forget your troubles. Monterey tonight will be the town Austin, Republic of Texas. Our Host will be BRUCE FORMAN with PINTO PAM. Bruce is a world class jazz guitarist and adjunct resident Guitarist at USC’s Thornton’s School of Music. However, he wants to be a cowboy when he grows up. THE HANSON FAMILY hails from Central Oregon. They are all musically inclined. Lisa, Daniel and Theresa Hanson make up the trio. They play the fiddle, accordion and guitar and their harmonies blend perfectly……….it’s genetics! We are pleased to welcome our headliners back to Old Monterey for this show THE HOTCLUB OF COWTOWN. Elana James, an award winning fiddler, who once opened for an entire season for a Bob Dylan concert tour, joins Whit Smith a hot Western Swing and Gypsy Jazz guitarist; and Jake Ervin, a slap style, upright Bass player. One of our most memorable moments took place in 2001. The late, Larry McWhorter, a wonderful Cowboy Poet from Texas, came and saw the Pacific Ocean for the first time. Larry performed his poetry. However, a surprise to us all, was when HotClub of Cowtown was in the middle of their set and Larry came out playing a hot clarinet and joined right in. Yes, Larry was a master musician, as well as a working cowboy. The timing for Hotclub of Cowtown to join us once again is perfect, as their latest album is: What Makes Bob Holler? A tribute to Bob Wills. The theme of this show is from the tribute song written by the late Waylon Jennings. It has been recorded by many different groups from the Rolling Stones to Asleep at the Wheel.

10:00 PM
Band members: Hot Club of Cowtown, Bruce Forman, Mike Beck, Connie Dover, The Hanson Family,
Skip Gorman and Tom Sauber. Guest Vocalists: R.W. Hampton, Juni Fisher, Calvin Hampton, Janet Bailey and Pamela Forman.

This a special dance. The master Western Music Resident Guitarist, Rich O’Brien presides over an All Star Cowboy Band. Rich has played on 600+ albums, often as Producer and Musical Arranger. Badger, his nickname, was referred to by American Guitar:
“…….the house guitarist for the cowboy music revival.” The band contains some of the finest musicians ever assembled in one place. The music will include not only Western and Old Country; it will feature songs made popular by the likes of Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett and Julie London, among others. It would be fun if you dance, however if you just want to just set and listen, that’s fine with us too.

8:30 AM, Sunday, Nov 20
Don Fuselier, Sky Pilot with Randy Rieman, R.W. Hampton, Karen Ross, Calvin Hampton, Don Edwards, Ross Knox, Rex Allen, Jr., Jim Ross, The Hanson Family and Rich O’Brien (offertory).

This is the 18th Cowboy Church. All performers belong to different denominations, so they will not advocate their particular church home, where they worship. However, if at home, they would be attending a church where followers of Christ worship. As such, they appreciate being able to worship together out on the sawdust trail. Reverend Don Fuselier, is an ordained minister. before that Don served as Chief of Police of Carmel by the Sea. His Mayor was the Outlaw Josey Wales. He also does a wonderful one man show as a Northern Medical Officer in the Civil War for the Yankees. A hat will be passed during the service. All monies raised go directly to our wonderful partners for the past 17 years – The Salvation Army. We’ve raised approximately $55,000 for the local Salvation Army since 1999. All performers volunteer their time for Cowboy Church as does the Sky Pilot. Please thank them for doing so at the end of the service. However, please do it quickly and exit after the worship service is over, so we can let people in for the 10 AM show. If you want to carry on a conversation, please do it outside and support our food court.

10:00 AM
Celebrating the Release of a Companion Album - Guitars Only……No Vocalists Allowed!
With Special Guests:

In 2004, we hosted the first of its kind of program. Up to that time, Cowboy/Cowgirl crooners and the Cowboy Poets got all the accolades and stage time. The backup side men, were just that. As such, it was determined it was their time to shine. The show was entitled GUITARS ONY: No Vocalists Allowed. Four of the best guitarists in the country, happened to be coming. Rich O’Brien, Bruce Forman, Dennis Agajanian, from the Billy Graham Ministries and the “Fastest Flat Pick Guitarist in the Country”; and the incomparable Andrew Hardin, sideman for Tom Russell for 20 years. There was no rehearsal. Rich O’Brien was asked to Host the show. 4 stools were on stage. Rich asked them each to share from whom they picked up their particular style of picking. He then asked them to select a tune, start off playing it and then pass it down the line, so each could jump in one at a time, to see what they could do with it. It was wonderful!!! They choose all kinds of instrumental selections such as Take the A Train, San Antonio Rose and How High the Moon, among others, and kept it going for a hour. They were loose and having fun. The audience connected with them, and on the last note of the last song, where they all played together on, the folks in the seats jumped to their feet in unison, with a roaring, spontaneous standing ovation!! Never seen it before or since. After the Show ended, Bruce and Rich got together and sad they had so much fun in the session, they should make an all instrumental album and call it - Guitars Only. They thought which contemporary guitarist in the field of Western Swing and Gypsy Jazz would be the best fit. They selected Whit Smith, from Hotclub of Cowtown. The three acclaimed pickers recorded a great album of various selections of music. That was 11 years ago. The album was never released. Dixie Dixon of the MCPMF, had the master for a few years, and then sent it to our Founder, hoping he’d get it produced. It was been played for only a few people, over the years, however the musicians who heard it, said it is a classic and must be released. So on November 2016, at the 18th MCPMF, the three guitarists will release the album for the first time. BRUCE FORMAN, RICH O’BRIEN and WHIT SMITH will perform Guitars Only live, for the first time. Since No Vocalists are allowed, an accomplished guitarist in his own right, will open for them. Monterey’s favorite son MIKE BECK.

1:30 PM
DAWN and the DONS: The Romance of Monterey (2 hrs.+)

The classic book by Tirey Ford, of early California, with illustrations by Jo Mora, covers the period of the Mission era, when large ranchos, were over seen by patriarch Dons. When the gold miners came to California, that particular sanguine life style changed forever, not necessarily for the good. Our state is special, especially its early history. We have three of the best story tellers about Old and Contemporary California. Our Host JUNI FISHER, MIKE BECK and the multi award winning Singer/Songwriter DAVE STAMEY. What a great theme and a great lineup to close out the 18th Monterey Cowboy Poetry & Music Festival.

Find more at and at Facebook.

See our feature on the event here.

Posted 2/20




 What's New | Poems | Search

 Features | Events  

The BAR-D Roundup | Cowboy Poetry Week

Poetry Submissions 

Subscribe | Newsletter | Contact Us

  Join Us!


Authors retain copyright to their work; obtain an author's
permission before using a poem in any form. is a project of the Center for Western and Cowboy Poetry, Inc., a Federal and California tax-exempt non-profit 501 (c) (3) organization.  


Site copyright information