Thursday, June 07, 2007

High Strung Band "Not Western Enough" for Elko!!

Ok. I'm having a hard time with something I learned today and I'm about to seriously insult some people. Tough. In case no one has noticed, there are idiots in our world and I plan to point one or two of them out today. It's kind of too bad, too as I have made some friends at the Western Folklife Center in Elko and they will probably be mad at me after reading this.

First, let's recap what we already know about the Reddington Family (the High Strung Band). they are some of the best musicians you will see anywhere anytime, adult or child. Landen's youtube video of El Cumbanchero has the highest viewing numbers of any on our youtube site. Every Gathering they attend, they are far and away the big CD sellers, all the performers love them, they are constantly in demand from the audiences at every show and, above all, they are really nice people.

At the Townsend Cowboy Entertainer Gathering, held last weekend, we got so many requests for them that we had them do an encore performance after the Saturday Night Show and only about 10% of the audience thought is was too late to stay. Almost everyone was still in their seats and the only reason the Reddingtons aren't still playing on that stage is because I called a halt to it at 11PM.

I'm trying to get across to the world that this is an exceptional entertainment group. Look at the youtube videos and you'll get a tiny taste of what I mean.

Today, I learned that not only did they get their Elko Rejection Letter but it had a handwritten note on it that they weren't "WESTERN" enough!! I'm so amazed at the colossal stupidity of that that I don't even know what to say. I've been one of the few who has come out on the side of the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering selection committee as I truly believed that they are doing their best to be fair about choosing performers. This, however, is enough to make me lose breakfast. a note to Elko...FIRE whoever wrote that letter!

A quick history lesson for the letter writer. When the cowboys of the 1800s were composing their poems and eventually putting some of them to music, much of it was done to a bluegrass or celtic style. Many of the early settlers of the West were from the hills of the Southeast and had their roots in those music styles. When you hear bluegrass music, you hear WESTERN music. In addition, very few cowboys carried guitars with them. Have you ever actually ridden a horse? It's not very comfortable to put a guitar on there with you! The musical instruments were in the bunkhouse or maybe carried on the chuckwagon. And what were the most prevelant instruments? Guitars, fiddles and harmonicas. I can't imagine a more Western scene than a couple of fiddles and guitars being played around the campfire or at the barn dance or whatever. Not Western Enough?!

I don't even know what else to say. Let's let a couple of videos speak for me.

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