Sunday, September 23, 2007

Music Ranch Montana

Howdy Folks!

First, a history lesson.

When I first met John Westbrook, he was running the sound and most everything else at a pretty neat little facility in Belgrade, Montana called Music Ranch. This was the brainchild of Frank and Karen Smith and what a great idea it was!

They had a small stage area and enough room to seat around 160-200 people, a small kitchen, bathrooms and showers, a good sound/recording room and video recording/sound recording equipment set up already. At the time, most of the sound/recording equipment belonged to John but he had semi-permanently installed it for it's most effective use.

We had several good shows there over the years and a regular monthly "Hootenany". John produced my first two CDs there as well as CDs for several other performers.

A couple of years ago, Frank needed the building for his regular business so Music Ranch went on hold while he built another one. Well, the new one is almost complete and we even did a "housewarming" show there on September 15th. It's located on te Smith property in Paradise Valley, about ten miles south of Livingston, Montana. Frank has built a really nice barn-like structure, with a great kitchen/serving area, performers lounge and dressing rooms, good stage, great sound system and seating inside for about 300-400 people. The south side wall consists of Garage doors which can be opened to a natural ampitheater which will seat another 400 people when he is all done.

The stage is nicely set up with direct access from the upstairs performers lounge to the wings so that you can wait in the lounge until almost time for your appearance and then go down the stairs and be waiting in the wings.
The kitchen is very nice and food can either be prepared right there or brought in and placed on the serving counter.
Lots of bathrooms for audience and performers with dressing rooms/showers on the upper floors.
All this will make a facility that is comfortable and useful for performers and audience and creates a very intriguing venue for anyone who wants to do a show in the Livingston/Bozeman area.

Frank and Karen would like to see performers out there whenever we are traveling through. They would like to set up frequent shows and say that if you are travelling through, you are welcome to stop in and say "howdy".
When we did the little event on September 15th, people were there from as far away as Spokane, Washington and we had a little crowd of about 100 people, including performers. I had a chance to see several local entertainers whom I hadn't met before as well as those who had always been a big part of Music Ranch in the past.
John Westbrook played guitar for most of those who got on stage including Kostas, a well known Nashville songwriter. Dave Brackett, Ed Marsh and myself also did a few songs as well as several other great performers (As usual, I'm not going to try and give a complete list as I always forget someone).
Karen and Frank don't have a website up yet but you can contact them at 406-581-2509 or . Let them know you heard about Music Ranch here and you'd like to be included in any mailings or promotions. I'm sure Karen would be happy to let you know once they have everything built and the events start.

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