Friday, February 23, 2007

Jam Session Benefit in Dallas; from Bobby Newton

Benefit And Jam

Local musician Kelly Hickey was killed in an automobile accident on his way to a gig
February 10, 2007. He leaves behind a family of three. His wife, Brandi, his daughter
Katelyn and his 3 month old son, Harrison.
A Benefit and Jam will be held at The Saddle Club In Dallas, Texas on Sunday February
25, 2007 at 2 p.m. Proceeds from the event will go to Kelly's family.
Come join us to honor his life and enjoy lots of friends, family, live music and food.
In lieu of a cover charge donations will be accepted at the door. Entertainment will be
non-stop with several local bands playing and track singers between bands. If you are
interested in performing at this event as part of the tribute please call Brad Swiger @
817 905-0429. The event will go until approximately 6pm (later if needed) and will
conclude with an all-star jam! Saddle Club, 14010 C F Hawn Fwy Dallas TX 75253 (972)

Thanks for your time
Brad Swiger & Marcus Lindsey

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Just another "Montana Day"

Happy Valentines Day y'all.

Take a look at this picture, see a little news about New York and Chicago's record snowfalls and the freezing of oranges in Florida and California; then take a deep breath and warn me again about Global Warming!

We've had a very cold winter but not much snow until this week. Even this isn't what we used to get. Actually, what we are seeing back East is what I used to see in West Yellowstone all the time when I was a kid. but our temperatures don't seem to be any better. We've had an awful lot of sub-zero this winter.

Otherwise, not much going on in the Western Music World apparently, as no one has sent me anything new to post. I've had some good comments about my website article at but no one seems to have anything in particular to add.

Billy Rose, Doc Quam and Jamie Parker-Frank had a good time in Wyoming last week, doing a show at a Holiday Inn as well as several house concerts. I wish I could have joined them but duty called me here. Many computers needed my personal attention!

Well, enough for now. Give thanks if you are warm, dry and fed. Many aren't.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Sorry, but this is a political post

I never planned on doing anything this far off subject but I couldn't help it.

Notice!! Info about the American Community Survey!
ACS is a huge violation of privacy

Last week, I got a call from someone claiming to be with the US Census Bureau. This lady asked why I had not returned
my American Community Survey form which had been mailed to my physical address. When I explained that I don't receive
my mail there, then she told me we could fill out the questionaire over the phone. I refused to answer her intrusive
questions as I really had no idea who she was. She asked me to call an 800 number for verification and told me that
my answers were "mandatory". Since anyone can have an 800 number and have someone there to "verify" identity, that is
a stupid suggestion and the idea that it is mandatory for me to answer the kind of questions she had was enough to
make me tell her to go away.

I looked up the ACS information at
and learned a lot about it, including thatit is statutorily mandatory, according to
US Code Title 13.

I got another call today (Feb 11, 2007) from another woman with the same requests and responses. I still was not happy
with answering any of her questions over the phone and the idea of the "suspect caller" giving me a phone number to verify their identity is ludicrous at best. Anyway, I had answered my name, date of birth and number of people in
the household when my phone battery gave out and thus she probably thinks I hung up on her. I should have. I have
further researched this ACS thing and it's likely that a protective spirit killed my phone battery!

I recommend the following blog site.
Read the whole blog from beginning to end. Afterwards, you will likely do exactly as I intend.

I will not respond any further to the questions on the American Community Survey. If a representative of the Census
comes to my door in an effort to cooerce me so to do, I will politely order them off of my property. If they do not
immediately leave, I will call the Sheriff and request that trespass laws be enforced. I have already written snail-mail
letters for my Congressional Representatives in protest of this intrusive and offensive survey.

I have read the questions from the sample form that is available on the internet:
and I don't believe any of this is the business of the United States Government. I urge anyone out there to research this
issue carefully before filling out this survey. If you feel, as do I and many others, that we taxpayers should not be paying
for this survey, nor should we be "required" to answer such invasive questions, then please write your Congressmen and
make your voices heard.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Saturday YouTube videos available

Howdy All:

Well, I didn't get far yesterday. Billy Rose, Jamie Parker-Frank, Toni McGuire and I all sat around Billy's house and talked over the weekends events until after 5PM. I then got started on the road but was so tired that I gave up at Wells, a whopping 50 miles down the road!

Now, after a good nights sleep I'm ready for the rest of my trip.

Anyway, I have two videos of the Reddington family here for you. The first is of the whole family doing a song which features each in turn.

The Reddington family from Cove, Oregon

and the next is a video of Landen and his mother, Jennifer, playing El Cumbanchero. This video is better than the one taken at the Dos Amigos restaraunt as there isn't any crowd noise to interfere.

Landen and Jennifer Reddington

Once I get back home I will sit down and organize a comprehensive report of my trip to Elko this year. I learned a lot and I'm eager to share it with the world.

Anyway, I'm out of here and back on the road. 4 hours to Wayne Nelson's house!

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Saturday in Elko: The last night to shine

Once I managed to become concious after the late Friday night (actually, late Saturday morning) bedtime, I headed to the Junior High School across the street from the Elko Convention Center, where the music day-show is held. I had managed to get signed up for one of the coveted Day Show slots, as had Jamie Baker from Alder, Montana. We were in the same session and Jamie asked me to come up on stage and give her some guitar back-up.

She did a really nice job and managed to get out a couple of her original songs before her time ran down.

Afterward, there was one other group and then I would be up for my set. I went to the back of the audience and talked with the Reddington family and had a sudden inspiration! Landen Reddington and I borrowed a guitar from Valerie White and raced to the tune-up room for some quick practice. He has listend to my CDs many times so he at least knew the songs a little so we practiced "X" for a few minutes and then they called us for the stage.

Landen played a flawless lead for me when I did "X" and, of course, instantly stole the show! Then, we did "Ghost Riders in the Sky" and he of course did a wonderful lead with that also. I had him do an instrumental called "El Cumbanchero", which I just love. Even though he didn't have a rythm guitar to back him up (no WAY I can keep up with him on this song!) he did a great job. The audience wanted more and we had a little time so I had him do another instrumental. What a blast! It was great being on stage with such an outstanding talent.

I played at Corral West again and then on over to Duncan Little Creek for our Night Show.

Such a great show Billy Rose presented there. "STAMPEDE" was there and, as usual, we enjoyed their show. It's significant that Steve Taylor, the President of the Western Music Association, was not at the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering night show. He was at the Elko Rejects Gathering!

Billy hosted many great talents last night and I have no intention of trying to list them all. As a matter of fact, some of the best entertainers I got to watch in Elko this year were at the Duncan Little Creek Gallery open mic show.

One of my new friends (actually, we became friendly last year at the DLC Gallery show) is Ron Christopher from (sorry, but somebody has to be) Los Angeles, CA. Here's another example of a fantastic talent, singer, guitar player and, most significantly, songwriter, who has to seek out a good place to play while he's here.

That reminds me, the Reddington Family story needs to be mentioned. Here, now and probably in other places later.

During the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering of 2006, the Reddingtons (the "High Strung Band") were unable to find a place to play for any audience. Essentially, they were walking the streets, looking for someone who would listen. they heard about the Open Mic show hosted by Billy Rose so they asked Billy if they could play. We were absolutely floored by the talent in this family. you have to see them to believe it. But they couldn't get on the stage at the "Big Show" and still haven't. They got on at Duncan Little Creek, though and have a permanent invitation to the Townsend Montana Cowboy Entertainer Gathering and will dominate any show on which they appear.

I went to the Stockmen Casino to check out the jam sessions there. There were a few performers playing for a crowd of about 100 people and I joined in for a while. It was fun and I got to meet and greet a few more folks but I soon wandered back to the Gallery show.

I helped Billy break down the equipment after everything was done and we didn't get to bed until 6:30AM!

Ok. As soon as the youTube videos are available, I will post them here. I have a couple of good videos of the Reddington family and you'll see some of what I mean.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Friday events in Elko, Nevada

Friday was a great day for Western Music in Elko, Nevada! The day-shows at the Elko convention Center were awsome, the other venues we were playing around town were great and we all had a grand time.

At 1:00, I played at Corral West with Billy Rose, Jamie Baker, Jamie Parker-Frank, Valerie White and Ron Christopher. Lots of people came through to listen while they shopped and everyone seemed to enjoy the entertainment. I got a good video of Billy and you can see it at:

A Short Billy Rose video on YouTube

Later we went to Mountainview School and entertained a room full of elementary school kids. They loved what they heard and we loved playing for them.

I went to the Montana Show at the Elko Convention Center and watched Stephanie Davis, Paul Zarzisky and several other great Montana performers; after which we had a Montana Performers party. I had brought Montana made beer and wine with me when I came down to Elko. There was Elk salami, Cowboy Poets salsa, Rocky Mountain Oysters, Huckleberry candies and Giant Cookies along with Montana coffees. Some of the attendees were; the Ringling Five, Stephanie Davis, Paul Zarzisky, Henry Realbird, DW Groethe, Buzzy Vick, Jamie Baker and many other really great entertainers. We had a lot of fun and got to know each other a little.

Later, I went to Dos Amigos restaraunt where the High Strung Band was playing. This family consists of some of the best musicians you could ever see. The father and mother are both talented musicians but you'd never notice them because you'll be busy watching and listening to 8 year old Morgan and 11 year old Hunter play the fiddle while 13 year old Landen amazes you with his lead guitar picking. Watch Landon pick a song at this Youtube link:

The Reddington family at Dos Amigos in Elko, NV

There's my quick report for this morning. Keep tuned for more later.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Some things I've learned about "Elko"

Ok. I've been talking with some of the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering staff, volunteers and even a couple of Board members. For all you aspiring Western Entertainers out there I have some bad news.

First, a little background on my perspective. I am an entertainer and I would like to be featured at Elko. I have not been chosen to although I know John Westbrook and I are every bit as good the entertainers as anyone on the Elko Night Show. But I also organize a small Cowboy Entertainer Gathering in Townsend, MT and I have to select the night show participants, juggle the requests for attention and all that. Yes, on a much smaller scale but still the stress exists. I've experienced some of that here this weekend as a matter of fact.

All this to tell you that I believe the selection process at the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering is as fair and honest as it can be. I'm sure there are personality issues and even maybe some political issues but by and large I can't see what they could do to change it.

They get over 200 applications each year for only a very few slots. The selection board ( a top secret organization!) has to go through all these apps, reading bios, listening to Demo CDs (tapes? Videos? 8TRACKS?), asking each other: "Does anyone know this one?" "Has anyone seen him perform?" Sometimes one of the board members knows an applicant personally and can vouch for him. sometimes even that doesn't mean they get on.

Yes, there are people who are on the main show every year. But, are they performers who are requested by the public? I have this same thing in Townsend. I'm often asked about specific entertainers and if we are bringing them back.

I've performed with Bob Peterman, of Wiboux (Weebow), Montana before and I've known him for several years. He applied and was selected for the "Elko" Night Show. He doesn't "know anyone" in particular, didn't do any politicking or anything like that. Just submitted his application material like every one else and got "the call".

My access this year has given me a new perspective on this whole thing and my attitude is changing for the better here.

New business. If you think the selection process for the Night Shows is should talk to the guy who sets up the Day-Shows! I only checked out the music Day-show but I'm sure the Poetry area is much the same.

There are a total of 24 15 minute Day-Show slots for the entire weekend. At present, performers sign up for these slots on a "first come, first served" basis. Sign-up for the Thursday show was scheduled for 11AM. When Mike got there at 9:45 there were already 9 people waiting to sign up! I was there at 10:45 and there were over 20 people waiting for the process to begin.

Stan Howe was there with me and he had what I thought was a great idea. Assign everyone a number and then do a lottery for Day-Show slots. That might help. And I'm thinking as much for the volunteer here as for performers. Imagine how much abuse the poor guy gets in a weekend from people who feel that the process is unfair!

Anyway, for all of you who want to perform at Elko: Follow the process, send in your applications and keep on trying. If you are only able to sign up for Day-shows, however they may do that in the future, give the guy at the door a little break. He's not trying to personally ruin your career or get his friends in ahead of you. If you didn't make it in time to sign up...try again next time.

Wednesday begins the weekend!

Ok. first, Wednesday afternoon and evening were busy! After getting here and getting settled in, we headed for the bar at the Western Folklife Center to meet and greet all those others who've come to Elko for the Big Show!

I got a chance to talk with Bob Peterman, from Wibaux, MT and the guys from the Ringling 5. All of these are featured in the Night Shows this year and are great entertainers. Jinny Lowe of "Happy Trails" and Cowboy Troubador fame was here along with Smoke Wade, who writes for both her magazines, Rope Burns and for cowboyentertainer.

Later, we went out to JRs Bar and Grill to listen to Ernie Sites, a very entertaining musician who does a mix of Western and Country much like the shows I do. I especially enjoyed his Rap version of "Strawberry Roan".

At 7:00 this morning (Thursday and far too early for me!) we interviewed at KRJC Radio in Elko. Billy Rose, Jamie Parker-Frank, Jamie Baker, Toni McGuire and myself all got a chance to talk with the Elko area via FM radio and either perform or have played some of our material. It was a lot of fun and very productive.