Monterey, CA, June 13, 2015 - The 17th Annual Monterey Cowboy Poetry & Music Festival is pleased to announce an outstanding line-up of multi-award-winning performers this year that are not to be missed: Michael Martin Murphey, Don Edwards, Sons of the San Joaquin, Waddie Mitchell, RW Hampton, Katy Moffatt, Dave Stamey, Belinda Gail, Bruce Forman & Cow Bop, Sourdough Slim, Jesse Smith, Adrian, Jeff Gore, Pat Richardson, Karen Ross and Jim Ross. The Festival will take place on Friday through Sunday, November 20-22, 2015 at the Monterey County Fair & Event Center. Tickets will go on sale on June 1st including the popular Monterey Cowboy Festival All Event Pass and tickets to each of the individual shows.
The Festival will be held for the first time ever in the beautiful 22-oak studded acres of the Monterey County Fair & Event Center, 2004 Fairground Road, in Monterey, CA, with performances and vendors inside the spacious Monterey and Salinas Rooms. There is free adjacent parking with many hotels/motels, restaurants and stores located nearby in the adjacent North Fremont Business District of Monterey.
About The Monterey Cowboy Poetry & Music Festival:
The Monterey Cowboy Poetry & Music Festival is a popular annual event for all ages. It celebrates Monterey's contribution to our western heritage with cowboy poetry, music and a first class Cowboy Art & Western Marketplace. The festival brings together people from all over the United States and Canada to enjoy and learn more about the "cowboy way of life," including its culturally diverse history, including the Vaqueros, Californios and the Mexican and Spanish traditions, plus its current values and cowboy culture.
The festival has many shows scheduled over the three days plus a Cowboy Happy Hour with a “Meet and Greet” with some of the performers on Friday night. There is a Late Night Jam Session on Friday night, the Cowboy Art & Western Marketplace, and Adult and Kids Open Mic and more. There is a special Sunday morning Cowboy Church, which benefits The Salvation Army and features many of the top performers of the weekend.
There are different performance sessions throughout the weekend that fits everyone’s schedule and interests, with a great mix of cowboy music and poetry. Come out and celebrate the “Cowboy Way of Life.”
About the Cowboy Art & Western Marketplace:
The Cowboy Art & Western Marketplace will be held inside the Salinas Room, located directly across from the Monterey Room, and features over two dozen artisans that offer an array of interesting items for Christmas gifts and collectors, including outstanding Western art, photography and books, clothing, (hats, jewelry, handmade boots, belts, purses, jackets, etc.), custom and antique saddles, Navajo blankets and much more.
About the Cowboys in the Schools Program:
The Monterey Cowboy Poetry & Music Festival has also coordinated the popular “Cowboys in the Schools Program” with a special educational event that was held at the Carmel Valley Trail and Saddle Club in early October, 2014 for hundreds of visiting schoolchildren. During the school year, volunteers worked with local educators to introduce the concept of Cowboy Culture and the influence of the vaquero to a diverse group of elementary school students. The "Cowboy Way of Life" program helps to teach youth self-esteem, ethics, values, writing, art and history. Young people also participate in the "Open Mic" event during the festival weekend. Monterey County has a long historic cowboy tradition that is celebrated at the Festival events.
Sponsors are now being sought to underwrite the costs of the Monterey Cowboy Poetry & Music Festival. Festival sponsors will enjoy a wide array of great benefits described on www.montereycowboy.org.
For more information about the Monterey Cowboy Poetry & Music Festival, to become a valued sponsor, or a volunteer, visit the website at www.montereycowboy.org or call Bob Massaro at (831) 649 6544 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. To schedule performer interviews and jpg photos, contact Wendy Brickman at (831) 633-4444 or email email@example.com.
About the Performers
DON EDWARDS - The six time winner of the prestigious Wrangler Awards for Outstanding Traditional Music from the National Cowboy Hall of Fame in OKC, as well as their Founders Award, sets Don Edwards apart from other western performers. The songster from Hico, Texas is a historian, author, musicologist, songwriter and a true American patriot. Bobby Weaver of the Cowboy Hall of Fame referred to Don Edwards as the “….the best purveyor of cowboy music in America today.” However, he remains a most humble man. Don is also one of the nicest persons you’ll ever meet. A real prince of a guy! The late, singing cowboy of the silver screen Rex Allen, in his opinion, said Don was: “The Best of the best.
SONS OF THE SAN JOAQUIN – The Hannah Boys are simply the best harmony trio to ever come along in western music. Starting out singing songs of the Sons of Pioneers, Joe and Jack added Joe’s son Lon and they formed the Sons of the San Joaquin over 25 years ago. The WMA Hall of Fame trio have won numerous awards including, among others, the Western Music Association’s (WMA) Traditional Group eight times; three Wrangler Awards from the Cowboy Hall of Fame and Jack has won the Songwriter of the Year WMA award six times. They are cutting back on their tours nowadays and sticking closer to home, so this is a rare opportunity to see them perform.
WADDIE MITCHELL – For a guy who spent the majority of his life as a hired man on horseback, Waddie Mitchell has been honored by many in art and culture organizations. Waddie Mitchell, Co-Founder of the Elko Cowboy Poetry Gathering, was named by People as the “Best Known Cowboy Poet.” He was commissioned by the 2002 Cultural Olympiad to compose a commemorative poem. Since then Waddie received the Cowboy Spirit Award by Arizona’s Festival of the West; Nevada’s Heritage Award; American Cowboy Culture Award; inducted into the Nevada Writers Hall of Fame; and an honorary Adjunct Professor from the University of Wyoming. Not bad for a cowboy who talks for a living.
R W HAMPTON – American Cowboy selected RW as one of the Top 50 Country and Western Singers of All Time. The genuine, sure nuff’ cowboy from New Mexico, has been awarded by the Academy of Western Artists (AWA) with the Entertainer of the Year, Male Vocalist of the Year (3 times), and Album of the Year. The Western Music Association (WMA) inducted him into their prestigious Hall of Fame, as well as presented awards for Album of the Year, Song of the Year and Male Performer of the Year. RW has also won 3 Wrangler Awards from the Cowboy Hall of Fame. Dave Stamey once introduced RW at one of earlier shows as “the Voice” of western music; due to his unique baritone sound…it fits.
KATY MOFFATT – Nick Dalton of The London Express, noted: “If ever there was the perfect singer/songwriter, it is Katy Moffatt. Her voice is perhaps the most searingly beautiful thing you’ll ever here.” This Texan has a following around the world. Katy has shared the stage with the likes of Muddy Waters, Everly Brothers, Hoyt Axton and our own Tom Russell, and appeared in four movies. Known for her versatility in music and not selling out to the suits in Nashville to suit the masses, Katy recorded the highly acclaimed Cowboy Girl album in 2001, co-produced by David Wilkie (Cowboy Celtic) and Scott O’Malley. This lady puts more emotion into her music than anyone else in the music business today. We’re glad to welcome Katy to her first Monterey Cowboy Festival.
DAVE STAMEY – He’s one of the most sought out western performers today out on the sawdust trail. Cowboys and Indians called Dave “The Charley Russell of Western Music.” The 4 times WMA Entertainer of the Year, 5 times Male Performer of the Year and 5 times Songwriter of the Year is a remarkable singer/songwriter. True West in 2010 identified him as the “Best Living Western Solo Musician” and Western Horseman said his The Vaquero Song is “one of the greatest Western songs of all time.” How can someone disagree! Dave Stamey has a large following at the Monterey Cowboy Festival. There is a reason.
BELINDA GAIL – Known as “America’s Western Sweetheart”, Belinda keeps racking up the awards from the WMA. Last November, she received the WMA Album of the Year award for her highly acclaimed Granite Mountain CD. Belinda also has won their Female Performer of the Year award a remarkable 7 times!!! They may as well name the award after her. Belinda has won Duo of the Year twice with the late, wonder singer/songwriter Curly Musgrave and the AWA’s Female Vocalist of the Year 2 times as well. Belinda also is known for her wonderful rendition of Amazing Grace, which she performs in her gospel sets. Belinda also was selected by American Cowboy as one of the Top 50 Country and Western Singers of All Time. Way to go gal!!
BRUCE FORMAN & COW BOP – Led by the legendary jazz guitarist Bruce Forman, Cow Bop was inducted into the Texas Western Swing Hall of Fame. The San Francisco Chronicle said: “It’s hot, jazzy and has a drawl.” The late Herb Jeffries, The Bronze Buckaroo, after seeing them perform, commented: “These guys cook! The most fun you can have with your spurs on. Pinto Pammy is a wonderful vocalist and a star in her own right. Bruce of the Bruce Forman Trio has recorded 18 albums, 4 of which were with Cow Bop. He is the resident instructor in Guitar at the prestigious Thornton School of Music at USC. Rich O’Brien, western music producer extraordinaire and popular studio guitarist said: “Bruce Forman is my hero.” That’s good enough for us.
SOURDOUGH SLIM – There is only one Sourdough Slim. He is truly the “Last of the Vaudeville Cowboys”. Relegated to the role of a “sidekick” he takes it in stride and masters the role. The accordion playing songster, who also plays harmonica, guitar, does rope tricks, dances a gig, and yodels, all at the time, well almost, is referred to as a “on-man extravaganza”. He’s performed at venues such as the Elko Cowboy Gathering, Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall. Don Edwards says “He is a master showman and one of the finest musicians I know.” Welcome back to Old Monterey Slim.
JESSE SMITH - He has lived most of his life as the hired man on horseback. Jesse Smith, who grew up in Glennville, CA, called isolated cow camps home for many a year. He started composing poetry at an early age while working on the historic Tejon Ranch. He was invited to the first Elko Cowboy Gathering in 1985. Jesse knows the classics and recites them as well as anyone. He’s also written serious poetry such as High Sierras; however audiences love his sense of humor with poems such as the New Suit of Clothes or Jumper Cables. Jesse and the late Sunny Hancock has a book of their work – COWBOY POETRY Horse Tracks Through The Sage. Chris Isaacs, cowboy poet, calls Jesse “a natural comic and the kind of a guy that makes you laugh just to see that he is on the show.” We can all attest to that. Welcome back Jesse!
ADRIAN - The 24 year old “Buckaroo Girl”, with 3 albums of western music under her belt, returns to the Monterey Cowboy Festival. Truth be told, Adrian Brannan’s first cowboy/girl performance, was at the Open Mic session in Monterey, when she was only 14. Western Horseman identified her composition The Will James Days as one of the 13 Best Western Songs of All Time. Adrian has a powerful voice, infectious laugh, vivacious personality and positive attitude. Her folks raised her right! Bill Reynolds, Publisher of Ranch and Reata, once commented on Adrian: “The new, young artist is a buckaroo’s Taylor Swift.” We like her just as she is!!
JEFF GORE – This is a return visit to the Monterey Cowboy Festival for Texan Jeff Gore. He was recently profiled in an article by Jennifer Dennison in Western Horseman (Jan 2015), entitled A Cowboy’s Mission. Yes, Jeff Gore is an ordained minister, however he rides, ropes and doctors cattle as part of being a “cowboy missionary”. He’s also a popular speaker in public schools on the subjects of the Old West, Cattle Drives and making wise decisions. Jeff also had the role of “Mr. Fox” in Tommy Lee Jones The Good Old Boys TV movie (1995) and in a Maxwell Coffee commercial. He is a gifted songwriter and has a wonderful tenor voice. His album Old Glory contains the song by Sonny Throckmorton – Jesus Always Chose the Weakest Man, which has become Jeff’s personal life story.
PAT RICHARDSON – The Monterey Cowboy Festival just wouldn’t be the same without Pat Richardson reciting his irreverent but always humorous poetry. The former professional Rodeo Bronc and Bull rider….that explains it…..won the AWA’s Best Male Poet (2003), as well as another Will Rogers Award from the AWA for his book of poems Unhobbled. The book also contains some his drawings. Most people probably don’t know he was once the cartoonist for Rodeo Sports News. Baxter Black once said “Pat’s poems are always a treasure trove of cleverness gone awry.” Glad to have you back Pat…..however we’re watching you.
KAREN ROSS - The other part of the Jim Ross family, is his witty wife Karen. Karen is a cowboy poet aficionado and appreciates the classics such as English playwright and theater critic - Frank Desprez’s dramatic Lasca. It was first published in a London magazine in 1882 based upon Desprez’s adventures as a cowboy in Texas in the 1860s. Karen is most known for her amazing recitation of Rinderfella, a comical satire on the Cinderella story, previously recited by the late Alice Hancock, wife of the cowboy poet Sunny Hancock. The story is it was from a Hee Haw skit featuring Archie Campbell. It is worth the price of admission to hear Karen recite it. Priceless!
JIM ROSS – A longtime favorite cowboy poet of the Monterey Cowboy Festival is Jim Ross, from the Jamestown area of the Gold Country. The former working cowboy from the Mt. Shasta area recites the classic cowboy poems as well as own compositions. One of the best is his Hot Shot Wars. If you’ve worked the chutes before, you’ll have an appreciation what might just happen when cowboys play at work and the foreman is not around. Jim also sports one of the best mustaches among the cowboy poets. He has recited his poetry many times at the Elko Gathering.
395 Del Monte Center #250
Monterey, CA 93940