Well my friends, I'm back home after a whirlwind week in Elko playing the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering. People keep saying, "How was it?" and I'm honestly having a hard time putting my feelings into words. Adjectives like "life-changing", "amazing", "indescribably awesomely amazing" keep coming to mind. (Although that last one makes me sound like a Miley Cyrus fan who's had too much sugar.) I'll try and break down the experience in categories, and do some different blogs about them:
Some of the folks I was rubbing elbows with in the Pioneer Bar have been on my radio, iPod, in my CD case, and influencing my own music for my entire life! I loved meeting Mike Beck and talking horses. He also had the craziest stories of Elko in the 70's when he was a young buckaroo on the Spanish Ranch... I'm telling you, hair-raising rough stories about murders etc! And what a guitar player! Man that guy can pick. I've decided I need guitar lessons. A truly nice guy! I really appreciated Mike introducing me to Ian Tyson as "a good singer". Ian Tyson! It was just so cool... I also got to chat with Corb Lund after his show!
Some really great folks who made me feel welcome and at ease were Andy Hedges and Chuck Hawthorne from TX, Charis Thorsell from OH (sounds like "carrots" without the T), and Gail Steiger and Amy Auker from AZ. Really talented people who are so down-to-earth and fun!
And of course my amazing friends and family! I road-tripped out with Mom and Cameron, and we met my aunt Sue as well! I hung out with the Outside Circle: Daron Little, Justin Reichert, and Shandee Allen. Great people and GREAT friends!
I just can't say enough about everyone I met. Literally everyone I talked to was truly interesting. I met silversmiths, braiders, leatherworkers, and bootmakers at the trade shows. I met poets and singers. I met vaqueros from Baja California Sur. I met Facebook friends I had never met before. I met new awesome people! My gosh! I'm planning on these being lifelong friends!!
If you'd like to check out the people I have mentioned here are some websites!
Mike Beck: www.mikebeck.com
Ian Tyson: www.iantyson.com
Andy Hedges: www.andyhedges.com
Chuck Hawthorne: www.chuckhawthorne.com
Charis Thorsell: charis-thorsell.com
Gail Steiger: www.gailsteigermusic.com
Daron Little: www.ranchcowboymusic.com
Outside Circle: www.facebook.com/pages/Outside-Circle.com