34 Photos - Jan 31, 2014
Photo: Caleb Klauder
+Caleb Klauder performing at the 2014 National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko, Nevada. He brought the whole Caleb Klauder Country Band, and they put a mighty fine honky tonk show.

Here's a video of the band playing "It's All Your Fault," a classic Western swing tune written by Cindy Walker:
Caleb Klauder - It's All Your Fault (Live @Pickathon 2013)

+Western Folklife CenterPhoto: Fred LaBour
aka Too Slim from Riders In The Sky

Riders In The Sky have been a staple at the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering for 30 years. But this year we got a bonus performance from Fred LaBour (Too Slim).

He has a new solo record out, Say No More It's Fred LaBour, where he pulls out some of the best songs he's written over the years for the Riders and does solo versions of them. He brought quite a few poems too.

Most of these songs I've heard dozens of times, and I still was laughing my butt off during his show. "Salting Of The Slug" had me rolling on the floor.

He also got out his iPhone and had the audience record a Happy Anniversary message to his wife. They were married in Elko 24 years ago during the Gathering.

Here's a video of Riders In The Sky, singing one of their classic songs, this one written by Ranger Doug:
Riders In The Sky - That's How The Yodel Was Born

+Western Folklife CenterPhoto: Mike Beck
Another from the 2014 National Cowboy Poetry Gathering. Mike Beck is a horse trainer by day and a singer-songwriter by night. He's written some of the finest songs about the contemporary West, and he's a great interpreter of folk music.

Here's a mighty fine rendition of a Robert Allen Zimmerman tune:
Don't Think Twice _ Mike Beck __ Dylan Night

And here's a photo I took of Mike at a house concert in Eagle, Idaho last summer:

+Western Folklife CenterPhoto: Paul Zarzyski
+Paul Zarzyski at the 2014 National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko, Nevada.

This photo was taken at a session celebrating the life, art, and poetry of Charles M Russell who was born 150 years ago in 1864. Zarzyski was reciting a poem he wrote about Russell and the Russell museum in Great Falls, Montana.

I couldn't find a video of this poem, but I didn't find a less somber poem entitled "Sadly—Oh-so-Sadly—I Have to Explain The Sopranos to Someone Who Just Does Not Capice."
"Sadly, Oh So Sadly, I have to Explain the Sopranos..." -Paul Zarzyski

That video was filmed in the Pioneer Saloon with Dave Bourne playing saloon piano in the background. I know this because I have spent plenty of time in the Pioneer Saloon listening to Dave Bourne playing piano.

The poem itself can be found online here:

And getting back to the topic of Charles M Russell, here's a photo I took of his studio last fall:

+Western Folklife CenterPhoto: Don Edwards
There's no better interpreter of traditional cowboy songs, nor is there anyone who knows more about the history of cowboy music, than Don Edwards. I got to see him perform a couple of times at this year's National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko.

Here's a photo I took at last year's Gathering:

There are many great Don Edwards videos on YouTube. Here's one with one of my favorite cowboy songs, "I'd Like To Be In Texas For The Roundup In The Spring."
Don Edwards - I'd Like To Be In Texas

+Western Folklife CenterPhoto: Cowboys with Banjos - Part 3
Dan Wheetman

Dan Wheetman is a member of Marley's Ghost, who performed at the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko this past January. He also plays bass, rhythm guitar, fiddle, harmonica, Dobro, and lap steel. And sings, both lead and harmony. And writes songs. And loads the bus.

There weren't many banjos in Elko, at least not when compared to the number of guitars, but every banjo player I saw played clawhammer style. No three-fingered Scruggsers in sight.

I dug around for quite a while and never could find a video with Dan playing banjo. But I did find this video, a great cover of Levon Helm's "Poor Old Dirt Farmer."
Marley's Ghost - "Poor Old Dirt Farmer" (eTown webisode #296)

+Western Folklife CenterPhoto: Kristyn Harris
Kristyn Harris made her Elko debut in 2013 when she was 17. I missed her that time around, but I got to see her this year. Her yodeling brought down the house.

Here's a video from a couple of years ago of her performing the Johnny Rodriguez tune, "Across the Alley from the Alamo."
Kristyn Harris on The Shotgun Red Show

+Western Folklife CenterPhoto: Cowboys with Banjos - Part 2
Pipp Gillette

Here's Pipp Gillette from this year's National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko, Nevada. He played banjo, guitar, and bones.

Here's a video of Pipp and his brother Guy playing "Cowboy Annie" with Pipp on banjo and Guy on bones. Guy passed away this past September.
Gillette Brothers Pickin' on the Porch

+Western Folklife CenterPhoto: Cowboys with Banjos - Part 1
Lloyd Wright

Lloyd Wright was new to me. He played at Elko this year with Pipp Gillette. He also had his guitar and his fiddle with him.

I found a few of his videos on YouTube. Here's one where he's playing dulcimer, performing the Stephen Foster classic, "Hard Times Come Again No More."
Lloyd & April Wright

+Western Folklife CenterPhoto: Jon Neufeld & Martha Scanlan
From the 2014 National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko. I saw Martha Scanlan play three times, more than I saw anyone else. I got to see her twice with Jon Neufeld and once solo at a session highlighting songwriters.

Martha had the one of the bests line of the festival. "People ask me to play at their weddings, and I have to ask, 'Are you sure?' Because I only sing about eastern Montana and mortality."

For those of you who can't get enough of Martha's music, here's a great video of Martha and Jon performing "Seeds of the Pine."
Martha Scanlan and Jon Neufeld at Bub's in Winona

+Western Folklife CenterPhoto: Jessie Veeder
I wasn't familiar at all with +Jessie Veeder's music until I learned she was coming to Elko this year. I really like her record Nothing's Forever, and I thoroughly enjoyed her live show.

Here's an interesting video of her singing and talking about the changes in her part of the West.
Jessie Veeder's Boomtown

+Western Folklife CenterPhoto: Jeffery Broussard's Accordion
Here's a closeup of Jeffery Broussard's accordion. I got to see The Creole Cowboys a couple of times in Elko at this year's National Cowboy Poetry Gathering.

For more music, try this video.
Jeffery Broussard & The Creole Cowboys ~ It's So Hard To Stop

Here's another photo of Jeffery Broussard.

And here's a photo of his rubboard player, Bernard Vonte Johnson.

+Western Folklife CenterPhoto: D'Jalma Garnier III
I took this photo of Garnier performing with Jeffery Broussard & The Creole Cowboys in Elko at last month's National Cowboy Poetry Gathering. Most of the time he was on electric bass, but he did get out the fiddle for a few tunes.

Here's a video of him playing a solo version of "Blue Runner."
Blue Runner Performed By D'Jalma Garnier

Here's a link to his fiddle book, Louisiana Creole Fiddle Method.

And here's a link to his radio show on +KRVS Public Media, "Passport to Modern Jazz."

+Western Folklife CenterPhoto: Jeffery Broussard
Leader of The Creole Cowboys. From Elko, at the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering. For most of the set he played accordion, but he also played a little bass and some fiddle. This was the best shot I got that evening.

There are quite a few videos of Jeffery Broussard & The Creole Cowboys posted. Here's one of the few where he's playing fiddle:
Jeffrey Broussard & The Creole Cowboys - Oh Ma - Freight & Salvage, Berkeley, CA, July 2010

And here's a photo I snapped of his rubboard player:

+Western Folklife CenterPhoto: Bernard Vonte Johnson
Rubboard player with Jeffery Broussard & The Creole Cowboys.

I got to see them play a couple of times in Elko at this year's National Cowboy Poetry Gathering. The band made it to Elko for the first time, coming up from Opalousas, Louisiana.

There's a video here, and while there is a lot of background noise, it's a a good recording, both sound-wise and visually, of the rubboard:
Jeffery Broussard Medley, "I'm Coming Home" and "Bring It On Home To Me"

+Western Folklife CenterPhoto: Sam Platts
For whatever reason, performers from Idaho were rare at this year's National Cowboy Poetry Gathering. But I will say that Idaho was extremely well represented by Sam Platts.

This year he appeared most often in a duo with +Wylie Gustafson, and that's where I snapped this photo.

I saw him for the first time at last year's Gathering with Wylie & The Wild West. I liked his Junior Brown vibe then, and I enjoyed it even more this year.

Sam and his band, The Kootenai Three, headlined at Stockmen's during the Gathering. I hope he got some well-deserved exposure.

Take a listen to "Guitar."
Sam Platts and the Kootenai Three - Guitar

+Western Folklife CenterPhoto: Wylie Gustafson
My photo of +Wylie Gustafson performing at the 2014 National Cowboy Poetry Gathering. Wylie's music has been a staple of my radio show since the very first episode.

I wrote a brief review of his new record Relic for +RootsWorld magazine. The review and a link to the song "21st Century Blues" are here:

I saw Wylie perform at last year's Gathering too. Here the photo I posted a year ago:
https://plus.google.com/u/0/+GregHarness/posts/Qivzw55JQPGPhoto: Bobby Black
The great steel guitar player. He's played with +Asleep at the Wheel, Commander Cody and his Lost Planet Airmen, and so many more. He's also a member of the Steel Guitar Hall of Fame. I could have listened to him play all night.

I got to see him playing live last week at the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering, as part of the Trail's End Ranch Hand Band. I'd seen him at last year's Gathering too, performing with The Saddle Cats.

To hear him play, try this video of "Steel Guitar Rag"

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