FEATURING: Randy Rieman, Jay Snider, Michael Stevens
Fortify yourself with a healthy dose of tradition! Expert reciter, traveling horseman, and Montana legend Randy Rieman infuses vitality, inflection, and life into the cowboy poetry canon. Master poet Jay Snider shares his Oklahoma wisdom, reflecting the experiences of cowboys and rodeo riders of the past and present. And cowboy and master luthier Michael Stevens makes his Elko debut, bringing his special brand of Texas style to Nevada. They brush the dust off any metaphorical bruises, shake out any symbolic wrinkles, adjust their wild rags, and move on down the trail. These cowboys know that sometimes the simplest-seeming remedies–the traditional remedies–are the most powerful. You don’t need to go to the doctor to know this show would be just what the doctor ordered.
"Hooves of the Horses" - Randy Rieman (poem by William Henry Ogilvie)
"Cowboy's Lament" - Michael Stevens (traditional)
"The Good Old Cowboy Days" - Jay Snider (poem by Luther A. Lawhon)
"Boomer Johnson" - Randy Rieman (poem by Henry Herbert Knibbs)
"The Brazos River Song" - Michael Stevens (traditional)
"The Bronco Twister's Prayer" - Jay Snider (poem by Bruce Kiskaddon)
"When You're Throwed" - Randy Rieman (poem by Bruce Kiskaddon)
"I'd Like to Be in Texas for the Roundup in the Spring" - Michael Stevens (traditional)
"The Bear Tale" - Jay Snider (poem by Sunny Hancock)
"Ridin'" - Randy Rieman (poem by Charles Badger Clark)
"A Letter From Home Sweet Home" - Michael Stevens (traditional)
"The Old Night Hawk" - Jay Snider (poem by Bruce Kiskaddon)
"Horses Versus Hosses" - Randy Rieman (poem by S. Omar Barker)
"A Bad Half Hour" - Michael Stevens (words by Charles Badger Clark + music by Tom Russell)
"The Sheep-Herder's Lament" - Jay Snider (poem by Curley Fletcher)
"Jack Potter's Courtin'" - Randy Rieman (poem by S. Omar Barker)
"Goodbye Ol Paint" - Michael Stevens (words + music by Charley Willis)
"A Prayer" - Randy Rieman (poem by Frank Dempster Sherman)
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Randy Rieman has had a love affair with the spoken word for over 40 years. For 35 years, he has shared his passion for poetry with audiences at the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko, Nevada. Randy lives with his partner, Jenn Swanson, on their place near Choteau, Montana, where she is a professor at a local university and Randy continues to start and train young horses at home. He also spends a fair bit of time on the road these days conducting horsemanship, ranch-roping, and cattle-handling clinics around the U.S. as well as Switzerland, France, and Germany.
Jay Snider was born and reared in southwest Oklahoma and calls Cyril, Oklahoma, home. Born to a ranching and rodeo family, his dad was a top roper and rodeo cowboy and his granddad was a brand inspector for the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association. Jay rodeoed throughout most of his early years and now stays busy raising ranch horses and cattle, and team roping. Jay has appeared at many of the major poetry gatherings around the country including Elko, the Texas Cowboy Poetry Gathering, the Arizona Cowboy Poets Gathering and the Cochise Cowboy Poetry and Music Gathering. His CD, The Old Tried and True, is a compilation of many of his favorite classic poems written by many of the great cowboy poets of the past.
Michael Stevens grew up on a farm near the little town of Newcowerstown, Ohio. He’s been in the horse business as a trainer since he was 19, he’s also a guitar builder and player. In 1986 he was hired to start the Fender Custom Shop in California, and in 1991 he and his wife moved to Alpine, Texas, and ran into the Texas Cowboy Poetry Gathering. He was on their Steering Committee for 16 years, including about 10 years as president. In 2013 he was the recipient of the Texas Cowboy Poetry Gathering’s Heritage Award, and he considers himself lucky to have had Buck Ramsey, J.B. Allen, and Joel Nelson as tutors.
From the 36th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering.
Filmed in front of a live audience at the Elko Convention Center's Laurena Moren Theater on Jan. 30, 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.