“The West” In Story and Song is about how the west came to be. The life of the Cowboy on the Frontier. It will come alive through story and song, being told by Carol Heuchan, the Emcee all the way from Australia, and being sung by world-class artist. They will walk you through the life of the cowboy out West, and in Durango. Each week new musical guests will travel to Durango to join Carol on the quest to re-create the West. This fun show is for the whole family.
DATE AND TIME
July 5 – September 16, 2017
Doors Open at 7:00 p.m.
Show Starts at 7:30 p.m.
Children (12 and younger): $19.00
Seniors (55+): $19.00
Box Seats: $28.00
We will have a diverse cast throughout the summer with a new show and set of world-class entertainers each week keeping the entertainment fresh, exciting, and memorable.
CAROL HEUCHAN: Emcee for All Performances
Australian Champion Bush Poet, nine times Laureate Award winner and also the winner of the richest prize in poetry writing history – a thirty four thousand dollar tractor! A fair dinkum Aussie horsewoman, she has been riding, competing and working with horses all her life – including many years on a sheep and cattle station in ‘Man from Snowy River’ country. She is also an International horse judge and events commentator. But poetry has taken over, with five books and five CDs (all award winning) to her credit. Her writing runs the gamut –- from true life experiences, from quaint to quirky, from heart wrenching to hysterical! And her on stage performances are why she is being asked back to the U.S./Canada for the ninth year in a row. Tighten your cinches! In the words of her peers “a great Ambassador for Bush Poetry, Australian traditions and culture.” www.carolpoet.com.au/bio.html
GARY ALLEGRETTO: July 5 – 8
American Cowboy Magazine exclaims that Gary Allegretto is “Amazing. You’ve never seen — or heard anything like him.” Indeed, he is quite simply one of the best harmonica players you’ll ever witness. As if that wasn’t enough, Gary is also a remarkable singer, songwriter, and guitarist. His jaw-dropping talents have earned him an Academy of Western Artists Will Rogers Award, a Best of the West Award, the Blues Foundation’s prestigious KBA award, two GRAMMY and eight Western Music Association Award nominations. His captivating music has charted at very the top of the Western, Blues, and Roots music radio charts. He has performed on stages around the world and as been featured on soundtracks for television and major motion pictures from Johnny Depp to Disney blockbuster productions. Gary’s unique brand of music draws heavily from the very roots of Western music and Blues. His imaginative and sometimes laugh-out-loud funny songs paint pictures from his diverse life experience (including work as a ranch hand, forest firefighter, and bouncer in a couple rough honky-tonks). Don’t miss a rare opportunity to witness the world’s top “Harmonicowboy”! Websites: www.garyallegretto.com and www.allegrettoespinoza.org
KRISTYN HARRIS: July 12 – 15
Texas-bred musical powerhouse, Kristyn is noted for her shimmering vocals, solid swing rhythm guitar style, unique songwriting, award winning yodel, and captivating stage presence. At 22 years, she is the youngest person in history to be awarded the Western Music Association Entertainer of the Year (2016) and only the 2nd woman to have received this honor. In 2017, she was honored with the Ameripolitan Music Western Swing Female Award at the AMA started by Dale Watson in Austin, TX. She is also a 2-time recipient of the WMA Female Performer of the Year (2014, 2015). Her singing has been praised as “timeless” with “the warmth and power of Texas sunshine”. Kristyn began singing and playing at age 14 when she felt strongly inspired to pick up a guitar – and it has rarely left her hands since. Songs of the western lifestyle have also gone hand in hand with her passion for land, livestock, and horses. In June of 2015 Kristyn released her 3rd solo album, “Down the Trail”, which went on to be named the WMA Western Album of the Year a few months later, as well as the Rural Roots Music Commission Pure Country & Western CD of the Year, and charted #1 on the western music DJ charts for Fall 2015. She has many additional awards including the 2013 Cowboy Swing Album of the Year for “Let Me Ride”, the 2012 Crescendo (Rising Star) Award, and 2012 Female Yodeler of the Year from the Western Music Association. National television appearances include RFD-TV’s “The Penny Gilley Show”, “The Shotgun Red Variety Show”, and Nickelodeon’s popular game show, “Figure It Out”. www.kristynharris.com
YAMPA VALLEY BOYS: July 19 – 22
The Yampa Valley Boys are in their twelfth year of delighting audiences together. They have logged over 1,500 shows together. Their friendly, infectious stage presence reaches out to any audience-—no matter the size-—to make their show seem as intimate as a campfire sing-along. www.yampavalleyboys.com
JOHN FISHER (Yampa Valley Boys): July 19 – 22
John Fisher has been involved in folk and old time music for over 25 years. He has been performing cowboy songs and poetry for over 20 years. John, aka The Banjo Buckaroo, is a master of the 5 string, frailing, banjo with a style described as “clear, bright, and melodic”. He currently plays an Ome Golden Minstrel Jubilee banjo, a Tennessee Crafters Model TN – 9.5 Resophonic Guitar, and a Johnson Octave Mandolin. He performed with several folk/bluegrass groups during the 60’s and 70’s, and briefly traveled Northern Minnesota, and North Dakota with a troupe of independent folk music acts called Folk North. He was an Official Musician for the prestigious Lander, WY One Shot Antelope Hunt. John was involved with the Wyoming Old Time Fiddlers Association in the 70’s and 80’s, the Douglas, WY High Plains Old Time Music Festival and the Grand Olde West Days in Craig, Colorado throughout the 90’s.
STEVE JONES (Yampa Valley Boys): July 19 – 22
Steve Jones is a singer-songwriter. Recently, several fellow performers dubbed him the “Cowboy Irish Tenor”. Before joining John Fisher to form the Yampa Valley Boys, Steve performed a variety of folk and western music, including many John Denver songs. In 2001, he was one of the top performers at the John Denver Memorial Celebration in Salida, Colorado. Steve worked with The Prickly Pair from Dubois, Wyoming during the summers of 2000, 2002 and 2003, playing guitar and bunkhouse bass. Steve has a new solo CD, That Irish Kid. The general theme is about emigration from Ireland because of the potato famine to a new home in the American west and some things that may have happened. It includes three of Steve’s original songs. More recently, Steve has developed an Irish theme in many of the songs that he writes and performs, sometimes as a solo act.
KG AND THE RANGER: July 26 – 29
Discovering KG & The Ranger is like turning back the pages of time as they transport you back to the days of the dime matinees and the Silver Screen heroes like Roy Rogers, Sons of the Pioneers and Gene Autry. There is no doubt about their “mission” to keep these wonderful songs alive. Karen Gogolick and Rick Roltgen are known for their creative harmony arrangements plus award-winning harmony yodeling. From familiar songs to the less well-known rare gems, they give them all their own unique sound. Whether being funny or serious, nostalgic or original, they always put on a great show! “Outstanding Entertainer – Duo” of the Western Music Association and three-time “Harmony Yodeling Champions”, this duo has musical roots that range from folk to barbershop. They met at a community barn dance in Madison, Wisconsin, and teamed up as “KG & The Ranger” (and husband and wife) in 1989. Since then they have performed over 2600 shows and traveled across the United States with their classic cowboy show. www.kgandtheranger.com
R.J. VANDYGRIFF: Aug 2 – 5
R.J. Vandygriff (his friends call him “R.J.”) is an award winning singer/songwriter, playwright and actor not to mention a pretty darn good cowboy. He’s at home on stage, in front of a camera or horseback in the big pasture. R.J. grew up ridin’ horses and strumming an ol’ guitar, competed in Saddlebronc and Bareback as well as working as a rodeo clown and bullfighter. Whether he’s performing as a solo artist or starring in the highly acclaimed musical “The Cowboy Ain’t Dead Yet!” R.J. has the God given talent to walk on a stage in front of any audience and connect with them. He is one of those performers who “creates” a moment when he steps to the microphone, a moment remembered by all. He has appeared on stage with George Strait, Garth Brooks, Alabama, The Judds, George Jones, Merle Haggard, Moe Bandy. Jerry Lee Lewis, Fats Domino, Andy Williams, Jerry Lee Lewis, The Sons of the Pioneers, Red Steagall, Michael Martin Murphy, and Baxter Black just to name a few. Some performers sing the songs, but R.J. has lived them. He lives his life by the cowboy code on and off the stage. He earned his spurs and has the scars to prove it. “The Cowboy Ain’t Dead Yet!” is the most successful cowboy show touring! His extraordinary talent has also been widely recognized in the field by his peers and has received some very notable honors for his work. www.cowboyaintdeadyet.com
BELINDA GAIL: August 9 – 12
Belinda Gail was raised on ranches in Nevada’s Carson Valley and in the California Sierra Nevada foothills near Sequoia National Park. Her rich ranching heritage and love of the West runs deep in her music and evoke the character of the people, as well as the beauty, majesty, and deep connection to the land that only those who have lived the ranch life can truly capture. Ranching and the ‘cowboy life’ are very much part of the essence of this dynamic Western Performer. Belinda is honored and humbled to not only be counted among the top female Western Music performers of this era, but she was recently listed as one of the top 50 Country and Western Entertainers of all time by American Cowboy Magazine in their collector edition entitled “Legends”. She has committed her full-time effort to this music for nearly two decades and crisscrosses this country taking her special brand of Western Music to the masses. Her numerous awards are evidence of the level to which she has risen not only with Western Music fans, but with her peers as well. Along with being a gifted singer/songwriter her warm and vibrant personality beautifully captures the ‘Spirit of the West’ and easily wraps itself around her audience. Belinda Gail is one of the most sought after women performing Western music today. A vibrant and natural entertainer with a dynamic and captivating voice, Belinda stirs the emotions and visions of the West in the heart of every audience she embraces. She truly is “America’s Western Sweetheart”. As a professional western entertainer Belinda continues to capture the attention of national venues. She tours the Midwest and Western United States extensively and has also performed in Iowa, Michigan, Florida, New York, Ohio, Illinois and Tennessee, as well as Canada and Austria. www.belindagailsings.com
ED PEEKEEKOOT: August 16 – 19
Multi-instrumentalist, singer-songwriter, and story-teller, Ed Peekeekoot is a skilled and seasoned performer. He has a timeless kind of cool that appeals to audiences of all ages. Ed’s performances go from blazing guitar work to foot stomping fiddle and haunting Native flute – all sprinkled with his Cree humor and philosophy. He takes people on a wildly varied musical journey from country folk to a touch of classical and jazz. From the Ahtahkakoop Cree First Nation in Saskatchewan where he grew up in a musical and supportive family, Ed now lives on Vancouver Island. He has been a solo musician for over three decades – cutting his musical teeth in the bars and clubs of Vancouver and now appearing in concerts, festivals, school performances, corporate events, dances, and retreat gatherings across western Canada and into the US. Ed was twice nominated as the BC Country Music Association’s “Instrumentalist of the Year” and his CD “in the key of cree” was nominated as “Best Country CD” in the Aboriginal People’s Choice Music Awards. www.peekeekoot.ca
CLAUDIA NYGAARD: August 30 – September 2
Straddling the fence between folk and country, with a voice like amber honey that is impressive for both its power and intimacy, Claudia Nygaard delivers songs that are heartfelt, humorous, scrappy, and sensual. And so are the stories in between them. She is a captivating storyteller, with a twinkle in her eye that makes everyone in the audience think she is sharing a secret with them alone. Emotionally fearless, she shares her deepest sorrows with a rare vulnerability and tenderness one moment, then a quick wit and an outlandish, irreverent sense of humor the next. Her latest CD “Let The Storm Roll In” rose to #1 on the Cashbox Roots/Country chart and #8 on the Folk DJ chart. Two of the songs, “Georgia Boy” and “J.C.” won the Kerrville, TX Folk Festival “New Folk” songwriting competition. “Storm” was also highly praised by the press. It received five stars from Americana benchmark magazine “Maverick”, and legendary folk music magazine “Sing Out” claimed the songs “rival the likes of Guy Clark or Ian Tyson”. Claudia has appeared at over 200 fairs & festivals, including the Kerrville Folk Festival and the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival in New York where she was chosen an “Emerging Artist” in 2009. Endorsements from merchandisers attest to her strength as a guitarist, and she accompanies herself in performance with a Tacoma JK50 Jumbo guitar, an Eastman 605CE hollow body archtop, and her tiny but bravado-drenched Lanakai ukulele. Nygaard performs solo, with multi-instrumentalist Moe Dixon as “Nygaard-Dixon Line”, and as a trio or band for larger venues and festivals. She is currently recording a children’s musical, and working on a new CD for release of original songs. www.claudianygaard.com
BROOKE RYAN TURNER: August 23 – 26
Brooke is a real life working cowboy who owns and operates a working cow calf outfit along with the help of several dogs, several horses, three kids, Nevada, Kordell and Chance, and a top hand wife Pallin. Brooke spends every day of his life ridin’, ropin’, rhymin’ and tending to their herd, all the while taking care of their small part of God’s vast earth. He started his first herd before he even left school and continues to raise cattle, crops and kids…although not precisely in that order. Brooke’s poetry is guaranteed to make some people laugh, some people cry and everyone think. He draws inspiration for his poetry from all areas of his life, from bull riding, to fishing with his kids, to calving in a blizzard or just riding out across his ranch in the morning light. In the past year though his greatest inspiration has been his sister Jyl, who was paralyzed in a ranching accident. To help her…he cowboyed his way to Nashville by riding over 730 miles on horseback to perform a song he wrote in tribute to her as well as raise awareness and money for Spinal Cord Injury Research. For the past eight years Brooke has taken advantage of every opportunity to perform his poetry–from large national conventions to small county fairs. He loves interacting and performing for all audiences but holds a special place in his heart for young folks. He counts it a huge honor to have shared the stage with fellow cowboy poets Jessie Smith, Sunny Hancock and many others. Brooke has been featured in numerous magazines and television shows both in Midwest and across the nation. Brooke continues to divide his time between cowboying, performing and raising his family on their Southwest Iowa working ranch. No website
RICHARD ELLOYAN/STEVE WADE: September 6 – 9
Richard Elloyan and Steve Wade have been writing and performing together for most of the past 45 years. They bring a unique perspective to contemporary Western Music based on their shared experiences. Richard with a degree in Range Management, Steve as a bronc rider, farrier, and respected horse trainer. Richard and Steve have been featured performers at festivals across the west. Their newest CD “Forty Miles of Famous” was released to critical acclaim. https://soundcloud.com/richard-elloyan
RICHARD ELLOYAN (With Steve Wade): September 6 – 9
Richard Elloyan grew up in the historic mining town of Virginia City. A life-long resident of Nevada, Richard uses his love of the state, its rich history, and its magnificent vistas as a constant source of inspiration. Richard has been writing poetry and short stories for as far back as he can remember but it wasn’t until he began playing guitar that he truly found his niche. Richard has performed at many of the major western music festivals across the west including: The National Cowboy Poetry and Music Festival in Elko, Nevada, the Colorado Cowboy Poetry and Music Festival in Denver, The Genoa Cowboy Poetry and Music Festival in Genoa, and many, many more. Richard has had many of his songs recorded by other artists and has been a finalist for song of the year by the Western Music Association and along with new playing partner, Steve Wade, has just completed his 8th studio CD, FORTY MILES OF FAMOUS. www.richardelloyan.net
STEVE WADE (With Richard Elloyan): September 6 – 9
Steve Wade has always prided himself as a man that has ridden his own path. Steve grew up in Reno, Nevada, where he began playing guitar as a teenager and has spent the last 40 years perfecting his craft. Never a 9 to 5’er, Steve has made his living playing in many successful bands including: The Breeze Brothers and Saddallic. Steve has been a wrangler and buckaroo on the Flying M Ranch and the Willamonte Ranch. Steve is an excellent finish carpenter with an eye for perfection, a Ferrier, a bronc rider, and has developed a dedicated following as horse trainer. Recently Steve has gotten together with longtime friend, Richard Elloyan, to perform at western music festivals across the west and together have recently completed a new studio CD, FORTY MILES OF FAMOUS
DOUG FIGGS: September 13 – 16
Doug Figgs is a horseshoer, a cowboy, and a Western music singer/songwriter. In twenty plus years of shoeing horses he has earned the title of “Certified Journeyman Farrier”, the highest level attainable through the American Farrier’s Association. In the last few years he has turned his attention to his love of music with the emphasis on Western themes. His 4th album, “A Cowboy Like Me” received the Rural Roots Commission’s 2016 “Traditional Western” CD of the year award. As a member of the Western Music Association he was named 2015 WMA songwriter of the year and his song “Socios” was named 2015 WMA song of the year. He received the Academy of Western Artists “Will Rogers Award” for 2015 Western Male Performer of the Year. His song “Socios” also won the Academy of Western Artists “Will Rogers Award” 2014 best Western song, and a co-write with Todd Carter “Charlie and Evangeline” won the Western Writers of America 2015 “Spur Award” for best Western song, both songs from his “Partners” CD. A third song (also from the “Partners” CD), “Running With the Wind” won the New Mexico Music Awards 2015 best Western song. He has toured the Southwest extensively and continues to turn out his own variety of Western music, from hard driving songs with a tinge of southern rock, to beautiful ballads and everything in between. www.dougfiggs.com