Better Part of Living
National Cowboy Poetry Gathering Shows • 1h 22m
FEATURING: Ned LeDoux, Jake Riley, Jessie Veeder.
An evening of sonic indulgence, Great Plains inflections, and ramblers’ observations infused with a love of home and a penchant for verse. Hailing from Kansas by way of Wyoming, country music heir Ned LeDoux honors his father’s legacy while blazing his own lyrical trail. From the prairies of Nebraska, poet Jake Riley writes and recites with a philosophy of life—in all its ordinary ups and downs—that’s all his own. And, from the badlands of North Dakota, Jessie Veeder—songwriter, photographer, columnist, speaker, rancher, mother, road warrior—joins with her father to spin their own folk music sound. Sustained by the wind, wheat, wide highways, and whirling hawks of the open grasslands, these performers exemplify a road-tested, home-rooted, rising generation coming into their own.
Hosted by Doris Daley.
From the 36th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering.
"Some People Do" (words & music by Mac McAnally & Ned Ledoux & Will Ledoux)
"Dance With Your Spurs On (words & music by Ned Lane LeDoux & Corby Clark Marinus Lund)
"Cowboy Life" (words & music by Chris LeDoux & Ned LeDoux)
"Photo Finish" (words & music by Chris LeDoux)
"This Cowboy's Hat" (words & music by Jake Brooks)
"Any Given Spring"
"My Friend Bill"
"Horses and Home"
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Ned LeDoux is a musician and the son of singer-songwriter and rodeo icon Chris LeDoux. He got his start as a drummer in his dad’s band, Western Underground, in 1998, and he knew from an early age that he no Plan “B,”—he had to play music. When Chris passed away in 2005, Ned continued to tour with his father’s band and picked up the guitar and tried his hand at some of his dad’s songs. He has continued where his dad left off, finishing songs that Chris started and recording and performing. With Ned next in line, there is a new voice to carry on the LeDoux sound.
Jake Riley grew up, for the most part, in the Upper Arkansas Valley of the Colorado mountains and graduated from high school in Buena Vista. He began roping and rodeoing as a kid, and was introduced to cowboy poetry as a young teenager. Jake has always loved rhyming, publishing some of his first cowboy poetry for a high school project. Ever since, poetry has been one of his passions, but only recently has he resumed finishing poems and sharing them with others. Much of Jake’s work involves first-hand ranch and rodeo experiences, often chronicling the contemporary "cowboy" who may not cowboy for a living but has ties to cowboy culture. He recently released an album of original poetry entitled Western Errors, which runs the gamut from cowboy wrecks to humor to philosophical observations and reflections on life.
Watford City, ND
Jessie Veeder writes and sings about the badlands of Western North Dakota, where she grew up on the family ranch. Blending western, rock, blues, and heartfelt honest lyrics, Jessie sings about the buttes and creeks of her family’s working cattle ranch and her experiences of the huge oil mining boom in the region. Since 2010, Jessie, her husband, and their two young daughters have worked alongside her father as the fourth-generation stewards of the Veeder Ranch. She chronicles life on the land on her blog “Meanwhile, back at the ranch…”, as well as through a weekly column for Forum Communications newspapers and as a commentator on Prairie Public Radio. She is joined on stage by her father, Gene Veeder, and Mike Enrud.
Filmed in front of a live audience at the Elko Convention Center’s Laurena Moren Theater in Elko, NV, on Jan. 31, 2020.
Made possible 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.
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