Sunday, June 28, 2009

A great Virginia City Weekend

John Westbrook and I got to work together at the Virginia City Cafe Friday and Saturday. It's always fun to have John to work with as his input and lead guitar really enhance any show. We've been working together for several years now and we often know what song the other is going to do without talking about it.

I left early Friday to go to West Yellowstone but I was back Friday night. We played all day at the VC cafe; had a lot of fun and made good money.

Today, I played at the VC Cafe on my own and did very well. I'm trying to decide if I am going over to Ennis tonight, preparatory to going to West Yellowstone tomorrow afternoon or if I'll stay here and play at the Cafe again tomorrow for a couple of hours. decisions, decisions. My life is just sooooo complicated!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Test your sense of Fair Play

If George W. Bush had made a joke at the expense of the Special Olympics, would you have approved?

If George W. Bush had given the Queen of England an iPod containing videos of his speeches, would you have approved?

If George W. Bush had bowed to the King of Saudi Arabia, would you have approved?

If George W. Bush had visited Austria and made reference to the non-existent "Austrian language," would you have brushed it off as a minor slip?

If George W. Bush had filled his cabinet and circle of advisers with people who cannot seem to keep current on their income taxes, would you have approved?

If George W. Bush had ordered the firing of the CEO of a major corporation, even though he had no constitutional authority to do so, would you have approved?

If George W. Bush had a Republican Congress allocate 5.6 Billion dollars for a civilian volunteer security force, as strong and well equipped as the regular Army and under his personal authority, would you have been concerned?

If George W. Bush had proposed doubling the national debt, which had taken more than two centuries to accumulate, in one year, would you have approved?

If George W. Bush had then proposed doubling the debt again within 10 years, would you have approved?

If George W. Bush had promised detailed tracking of the spending from a $785 Billion Stimulus Bill and then postponed that oversight until 2010, would you approve or would you think something "smelled fishy"? If Bush had promised 48 hour advance posting of the same bill on the internet and only released it two hours before congressional approval, would you wonder what was being hidden from the public?

If Bush's White House Staff had spent over $300,000 flying Airforce One low over New York (for a publicity photo flyby with the Statue of Liberty) frightening the city, wouldn't you have expected Bush to make the pictures public? Would you have approved? Obama won't give them up, but he will release the secret "torture memos".

If George W. Bush had been "addicted" to using a TelePrompTer, and was afraid to give a speech without having one, would you have approved ? Would you think he was intellegent?

If George W. Bush had pre-approved/pre-picked the list of reporters allowed to ask questions at his press conferences and refused to call on the correspondent from MSNBC (FOX with Obama), would you have approved? Is that a Fair and Balanced news conference?

If George W. Bush and a Republican Congress had given hundreds of millions of dollars to a group (the right-wing equivalent of ACORN) after its members had been convicted of voter registration fraud, would you approve of them to doing the 2010 Census, which will determine congressional districts for 10 years? Will you trust ACORN in 2010?

Would you have approved of George W. Bush moving the Census from the Dept. of Commerce into the White House and putting his Chief of Staff in control of the counting?

He's done all this in 14 weeks -- so we still have three years and eight-and-a-half months full of surprises.

Weather got me again

Westbrook and I were playing at the Virginia City Cafe yesterday and doing quite well. At 2PM, I packed up and drove out of town to where the phone would work (no cell coverage in VC) and called Parade Rest. Everything was a go for the cookout! Hurray!!

About an hour later, they called me and told me that a really bad storm had moved in and they had to cancel. I was only about 8 miles away by then so I went on in and had dinner before I turned around and went back to VC.

Incidentally, I had an unexpected companion on my trip to West Yellowstone yesterday. There is (was, I hope) a mouse in the cab of my pickup. I left the doors open for an hour or so while I got a few things done and hope he found his way out.

Today was a good day at the VC Cafe. Westbrook and I played all day long and did well. Lots of fun but I'm tired, almost as if I had worked for a living today. Think I'll skip the pool games and go to bed early tonight.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

On the road update

Ok, Sunday it was raining constantly and cold so I tried playing at the Bale of Hay Saloon for a while then gave up and went over the hill to Ennis. Ennis is the same distance from Townsend as from West Yellowstone so I figured I'd hole up there until I got the word on whether or not the Cookout would be held a Parade Rest.

Sunday night I played pool in the Longbranch Saloon in Ennis. I made a few little dollars as no one would play for more than $2 a game and one guy was very good so I had to get out my best game to stay with him. That showed everyone else my best game! Oh well.

It was 40degrees in West the next day so the cookout was cancelled and I went home to Townsend, got the yards mowed, laundry done and resupplied the grub box. Tuesday was gorgeous without a cloud in the sky but I had a bunch of stuff left to do so I stayed in Townsend.

Wednesday I was here in Virginia City by 12:30 and played until about 6, doing very well in tips but very few CD sales. Today was the opposite. I had good crowds all day but not much for tips. I sold a bunch of CDs though and so had a very good day. I even treated myself to a Margarita at the Bale of Hay.

Hopefully, John Westbrook will join me tomorrow and Saturday and we'll put on a great show for the Virginia City Cafe.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Patch of blue sky

Here is a picture I took this morning from the Alder Gulch area near Virginia City, Montana. This is evidence that; somewhere above us, there is still blue sky and sunshine. This serves to reinforce my forlorn hope that someday we will again be blessed with a ray of sunshine instead of steady rain.

Incidentally; a word of warning. Anyone trying to sell me on "Global Warming" is in danger of a black eye!! Especially after a night of listening to the leaks in my camper growing larger with each passing gallon.

African Banjoist

On Thursday, June 18, 2009, I was in the Stagecoach Inn in West Yellowstone. A young man from Africa was setting up to play his banjos that evening. His name is Essau Pwelle.
He is from Africa and plays a mean African style banjo!

I had a great time talking with him and we wound up trading microphone time all night as I played my regular stuff and then he'd get up and play and sing the African style. All together, a very fun evening.

He has a banjo that he made from a kerosene can that actually sounds as good as his "normal" banjo. The kerosene "canjo" even has an electric pickup so he can run it through his sound system. Very cool.

Essau Pwelle
Box 757 Bozeman, MT 59711-0757

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Press Release from Smoke Wade

San Juan Western Heritage Festival &
National Cowboy Poetry Rodeo.

Montrose, CO: The San Juan Western Heritage Festival will be held September 11 and 12 at the Montrose Pavilion , 1800 Pavilion Drive in Montrose, Colorado. The Festival will feature the 12th Annual National Cowboy Poetry Rodeo, live entertainment and western Colorado arts and specialty products.

Friday, September 11, highlights the world's only Cowboy Poetry Rodeo from 8:00 am to 5:00 p.m. Thirty Cowboy poets from 13 western states and Canada will compete for $6000.00 in prize money, silver buckles, trophies and a year's worth of bragging rights. Poets compete, on stage, in a stock rodeo format. With numbers on their back, judges and a rodeo announcer, the poets spur their "rides," (their poems), as they compete in 9 different events. There will be a Friday night show featuring cowboy poets and musical acts, many from western Colorado.

Saturday, September 12, the top 50 percent of the competing cowboy poets advance to the final round starting at 8:00 a.m. at the event center. Following the finals, a Cowboy Poetry Shoot-out will be held, as top ranked cowboy poets compete for the title, "Best in the West." Poets interested in registering for the NCPR may contact Sam Jackson, (435) 644-5459 or (435) 899-1100
A headliner and awards show will take place on Saturday evening featuring the winners of the National Cowboy Poetry Rodeo along with country singer, Gary Lear and his Nashville Band.

While in Montrose, participants will enjoy the Western Colorado Experience ( Black Canyon, Ute Indian Museum, Ouray - Switzerland of America. Many will take home memories and local hand made products. There will be a raffle on a Western Quilt. And no rodeo or western festival would be complete without taking home a hand made stick horse made and painted by a local artist.

The San Juan Healthcare Foundation is the major sponsor and the fund-raiser proceeds will go to Caring Friends Fund for patients at the San Juan Cancer Center.

For more information go to, , or call Francie Smiles, (970)-252-2814.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Still in Virginia City

I'll be staying here until Friday afternoon, probably and then over to West Yellowstone to do my Parade Rest Ranch cookout.

Play music all day, hang out at the Bale of Hay Saloon all night and do it all again tomorrow.

It's tough, but I'll hang on!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Finally back on the road

The weather has been pretty Montana typical. Lots of rain, some snow and pretty cold for all the southern type tourists. So, Parade Rest hasn't been able to run the cookouts, meaning I'm out of work for a week so far.

Instead, I've been in Virginia City, playing at the VC Cafe. That only works when the weather is decent, too as it's an outdoor gig. The rain doesn't cause as much concern in our tourists as the cold. When it gets to 50 degrees and lower, they tend to stay inside and shiver!

What a gorgeous morning today, though. Cloudy and cool but not cold. A slight breeze that smells of mountains and pines. I camped on Alder creek last night and awakened to this wonderful Montana morning. After breakfast, I took a short walk and enjoyed the sights, sounds and smells. What a great way to make a living.

The Vc Cafe expects a large group this morning and, hopefully, they will be outside where I can sing to them and sell them numerous CDs!

The stagecoach is coming by me as I type this. I'm sitting on the boardwalk in front of Bandido's cafe in VC. Tourists are starting to move around and it looks like things will go well today.

Saturday, I got into a pool match with a former Montana 8 Ball champion. We traded games back and forth for a final of four games to four. But, since we played the last one for $10 instead of $5, I actually came out $5 ahead on the night. Considering the quality of my competition, I am seriously proud of myself!

Anyway, time to get to work. Get out the guitar and CDs and get some playing time in. Hope all you conformist types with real jobs enjoy your day. I know I will.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Montana-based singer-songwriter Myra Pearce will begin hosting an hour long weekly radio show on KGHL 790 in July.

The show, "I've Got Montana," offers a range of Americana Music: traditional country, cowboy western, honky tonk, native, bluegrass and gospel. Candid interviews with special guests featuring Montana songwriters, musicians, rodeo stars, cowboy poets, celebrity recording artists and entertainers. Adventure into the heart and soul of the high country with unique glimpses into the stories behind the songs, the tales from the trail.

I've performed with Myra before and I think she's a wonderful talent. I'm looking forward to hearing her show as I'm sure the energy she brings to the stage will be reflected on this radio show!

Smart move, KGHL!

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Balmy Montana weekend

We haven't had any snow here in Townsend today...yet. Helena had snow and sleet and we are all watching the trees bending in the wind. I figure that if it keeps up like this my trailer house will wind up in Kansas with Toto!
It's a good thing we are all here at the school, entertaining each other with music, poetry and stories. The dayshows are going very well. Smooth, organized and effective. Basically, the opposite of yesterday!

Patty Clayton, from Colorado, has been wonderful for us. Lots of Day-show appearances and she took Wayne Nelson's place last night.

The High Strung Band, from Oregon, is over at the local rest home now, entertaining the residents there. Things are looking up.

All things considered, even with all the little glitches (!!!) we had a great time. Here's Billy Rose doing his thing.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Townsend's Friday Night Show

I swear, you'd think we've never run one of these before!! It's been a very interesting Friday. First, when we tried to turn down the house lights, swe found that, since last years show, the school has installed motion sensors in the gym! So, when we turned the lights off, they came right back on again. Short of shooting out all the lights, I was thinking of telling everyone to just sit really still...

We finally got ahold of one of the custodians who told us how to override the sensors.

Then...remember, our show is a fundraiser for the local fire department. As a consequence, most of our helpers are volunteer firemen. Abouot 3PM today, they all got paged to a house fire so all our helpers ran out the door! We'd have been ok but we use the basketball timer to time the performers sessions and the guy who usually runs that for us is on the fire. None of us could figure out how to make the buzzer NOT work when the time ran out. We're still playing with that.

As usual, though, having excellent performers makes for a good show, even with these kind of problems. Since Wayne Nelson couldn't make it, Patty Clayton filled his slot for us. We're making her work twice this weekend.

Anyway, back to work. Things have got to smooth out eventually!

Silent Auction and raffle at the Gathering

We have several items on our silent auction again this year. One is a set of Crescent tools, donated by Rock Hand Hardware in Helena and the other is this Resin cast Moose, donated by Dan Norvell of Townsend, MT.

We also have a raffle this year with a Maple top, handmade coffee table from Ron Cheevers of Townsend; a feather painting from Laura Obert, of Townsend and a hand done picture from Joy O'Hern.
I'll post more pictures of auction and raffle items when I get them.
If you'd like to buy raffle tickets, they are $1 each or 6 for $5. the drawing will be held during the intermission Saturday June 6th and you need not be present to win.
I can take bids by e-mail or phone. or 406-266-3946.

Townsend Cowboy Entertainer Gathering begins

Well, we set up the stage, bleachers and chairs last night. John Westbrook and I are finishing up the sound setup this morning while I check in the Art/Craft vendors and get the other little periferrals together.

Billy Rose drove all night to get here. He's asleep in his van while a friend of his is snoring on my living room floor.

Wayne Nelson hurt his back really bad a couple of days ago so he won't make it this year. This will be ther first year that Wayne doesn't perform for us and we will all miss him.

I will try to keep a running account of who is here and what is going on as the event progresses. Keep tuned in!