FEATURING: Daniel Bybee, Janette Ferguson, Jack George, John & Joanne Lowell, Kara Nicola, Ava Nielson, Vic Ruggiero & Lauren Napier, Giselle Ruiz, George Ray Russell, Chris Ryden, Miss "V" The Gypsy Cowbelle, Denise Withnell.
Every year poets, musicians, and storytellers overcome time, travel, and cost to sign up for the Gathering’s Open Mic sessions. From inspirational newcomers to impressive old hands, amateurs to professionals, the stirring voices of the Open Mic speak to the spirit of the Gathering—the spirit of self-expression. Expression of life and land. Expression of the people. The Open Mics draw dedicated wordslingers and tunesmiths who share their voices with us during three days of camaraderie and creativity. These performers demonstrate the value of process and participation, underscore the vitality of the tradition, and produce moments of sheer delight and enlightenment. As that magic moved to the G Three stage for the evening, the highlights were raw and polished, entertaining and thought-provoking, occasionally imperfect yet absolutely just right. The people will be heard.
Hosted by Waddie Mitchell and Gail Steiger
"Greed" Poem by Philip Schultz
"Rabbits and Fire" Poem by Alberto Ríos
"What the Oracle Said" Poem by Shara McCallum
John & Joanne Lowell
"Sarah Hogan" Words & Music by John Lowell * Ben Winship
"Angus MacKenzie" Words & Music by John Lowell
"An Old Western Cabin" Poem by Daniel Bybee
"Propane Tank Cowboys" Poem by Daniel Bybee
Vic & Lauren
"Dirty Water" Words & Music by Lauren Napier
"Walkin' After Midnight" Words & Music by Alan Block & Donn Hecht
"Sierry Petes" Poem by Gail I. Gardner
"The Cowboy and the Cross" Poem by Tracy Banks
"Southern Plains" Words & Music by Chris Ryden
"Say Goodbye to Montana" Words & Music by Alex Harvey & Tim Rouillier
"The Family on the Ranch" Poem by Janette Ferguson
Miss "V" The Gypsy Cowbelle
"Cliche Song" Words & Music by Miss "V" The Gypsy Cowbelle
"Little Old Sod Shanty" Traditional
George Ray Russell
"Sound Check" Words & Music by George Ray Russell
"Free Verse" Poem by George Ray Russell
"Turtle Soup" Words & Music by George Ray Russell
"Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man" Words by Oscar Hammerstein II & Music by Jerome Kern
"Calico Fever Blues" Words & Music by Paul Zarzyski
"Cowgirl's Lullaby" Words & Music by Andy Wilkinson & Bob Livingston
From the 36th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering.
Filmed in front of a live audience at the G Three Bar Theater at the Western Folklife Center in Elko, NV, on Feb. 1, 2020.
This show was 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.