Featuring: Dale Burson, Wylie Gustafson, Yvonne Hollenbeck, R.P. Smith, Jessie Veeder.
Driving the Western Trail was a storied route of long stretches, notorious cow towns, serious weather, and all manner of trouble, from Texas up to the burgeoning northern railways and ranches. As the Trail cut through prime grazing land, it also cut through history, leaving its mark on relations between cowfolk and cityfolk, tribes and settlers, longhorns and local cattle. Pass some metaphorical Texas Fever all the way up the line, with music and poetry from Texan Dale Burson, Nebraskan R.P. Smith, South Dakotan Yvonne Hollenbeck, North Dakotan Jessie Veeder, and Montanan Wylie Gustafson, headed up by host DW Groethe.
Hosted by DW Groethe.
From the 38th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering.
"Streets of Laredo" (traditional)
"Goodnight-Loving Trail" (words + music by Utah Phillips)
"Things of This Life"
"A Life More Than This"
"The Other Day at the FSA"
"Where the New Nails Grow"
"A Ride Through Rhyme"
"Song That Has No Tune"
"Rekindling Camp Fires" (poem by Ben Arnold)
"Pioneer Gals Were the Best"
"Windmill on the Prairie"
"Cowboy Soliloquy" (traditional)
"Cowpoke" (words + music by Stan Jones)
"Amazing Grace" (words + music by John Newton)
"Grace" (words by Paul Zarzyski + music by Wylie Gustafson)
"Whoop Up Trail"
"Are There Any More Real Cowboys" (words + music by Neil Young)
"Get Back to Town" (words + music by Gene Veeder + Jessie Veeder)
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Dale Burson is a fourth-generation rancher from the panhandle of Texas who writes and performs music that reflects his way of life. He has been a featured performer at gatherings across the United States, including the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering, the Arizona Cowboy Poetry Gathering, and the Lone Star Cowboy Poetry Gathering, appearing both solo as well as with his family band. Dale’s original compositions focus on ranch life and family values, and he is the recipient of the Wrangler Award from the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum for outstanding original western composition. He has three CDs and is working on a fourth. Dale is also a multi-instrumentalist who frequently plays guitar, banjo, and mandolin on stage as well as in the studio.
Wylie Gustafson is an American original. He was born into a fourth-generation ranching family on the empty sprawl of northern Montana. A singer, songwriter, rancher, horseman, and world-famous Yahoo! Yodeler, Wylie has led the musical outfit known as Wylie and the Wild West for over 30 years. With more than 50 guest appearances on the Grand Ole Opry and performances in 46 states and five continents, Wylie has spread his unique brand of American music worldwide. But it is raising a family, feeding horses, doctoring cattle, changing wheel lines, baling hay, and repairing broken-down equipment that keeps him grounded. His music rings with authenticity and, as one writer quipped, “He is ‘old-school-cool’ without being a tired period piece.”
Yvonne Hollenbeck is a South Dakota cattleman’s wife who writes poetry about her life on a beautiful, remote ranch where she helps with everyday duties–putting up hay, feeding a crew, doing bookwork, or working cattle. Her writing, often humorous, takes a serious side when she reflects upon the hardships experienced by her parents and ancestors. Yvonne is a freelance author, penning a weekly column in the Farmer & Rancher Exchange, an avid quilter (her master quilting and appliqué work can be seen in the Western Folklife Center’s Pioneer Saloon), and the creator of her one-woman show, Patchwork on the Prairie. Most of her writing and quilting is done while waiting on meals for her husband and hired hands, waiting for a cow to safely birth a new calf, or in evenings when the ranch day’s work is done, what she calls her “found time.”
Broken Bow, NE
R.P. Smith is a fourth-generation rancher from Broken Bow, Nebraska. In the ranching game, it never hurts to have a little side gig, and for over 30 years, humor and cowboy poetry have been a creative outlet for R.P. He greatly appreciates the opportunities to entertain that have allowed him to participate in events in 18 states and even a quick trip across the border to the north. R.P. continues to produce a weekly radio program, Homegrown, which airs on several stations across Nebraska and Texas and online. He is a lifelong student of the relationships between water, grass, sunshine, and livestock.
Watford City, ND
Jessie Veeder writes and sings about the Badlands of western North Dakota where she grew up as the fourth generation on her family’s cattle ranch. She released her first original album at 16 and has gone on to tour nationally, releasing three more original albums and two books about rural living. Blending western, rock, blues, and heartfelt, honest lyrics, Jessie sings, writes, and talks about raising cattle, kids, and community. She and her husband work alongside her father on the ranch, raising their two young daughters and Angus cattle. She chronicles life on the land with her popular blog, column, and podcast, all titled Meanwhile, back at the ranch.... Jessie was voted North Dakota’s favorite folk musician and is a recipient of the North Dakota Governor's Award for Individual Achievement in the Arts.
Filmed in front of a live audience at the Elko Convention Center’s Laurena Moren Theater on Feb. 2, 2023.
Made possible by Oniya-Heart Brand Ranch and by the multitude of staff, artists, volunteers, and community members working behind the scenes to make this show happen.
Brought to you by the Western Folklife Center, using story and cultural expression to connect the American West to the world.