FEATURING: Dick Gibford, Annie Mackenzie, Sam Platts + the Plainsmen, Matt Robertson.
Setting roots and setting routes, the evening reflects on voices we've featured virtually and the real-life paths they're taking to continue on tradition's road into the future. Join dayworkin' cowboy and smokin' songwriter Matt Robertson, family ranch and poetry tender Annie Mackenzie, moonlightin' musical ag workers Sam Platts + the Plainsmen, and established ranch crew fixture with a fix for everything (including sending poems via text) poet-cowhand Dick Gibford. Whether they cut their teeth before the Gathering-inspired cowboy poetry renaissance, these time-traveling poets and musicians lean into the hard job of carrying traditions forward.
From the 38th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering.
"A Glimpse at the Life'
"Taste of Green"
"The Old Cowman"
"The Slow Chase"
"Sonny, You Were a Cowboy"
"The Blind Calf"
Sam Platts + the Plainsmen
"Choo Choo Ch’Boogie" (words + music by Denver Darling, Milt Gabler + Vaughn Horton)
"Just In Time"
"Whoopie Ti Yi Yo"
"Seven Times a Day"
"All For The Love of Lil" (words + music by Jerome Jerry Bresler + Larry Wynn)
"The Wild West Show"
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
New Cuyama, CA
Dick Gibford was raised on a small cow outfit on the central coast of California and, at age 13, began starting two-year-old colts for his dad. Upon graduation from high school in 1968, Dick left for Tuscarora, Nevada, where he rode for Willis Packer as a “rep” on the 25 Wagon. He has been influenced in every facet of his life by that first experience as a “sagebrush buckaroo.” These days, he cowboys out of an isolated cow camp for the Walking R Ranch in Maricopa, California. He also makes slick fork saddles, braids rawhide, paints, and starts an occasional colt. In 2013, Dick released Trail Dust, a limited-edition, hand-bound book of poetry and real-life stories about his packing experiences.
Jordan Valley, OR
While known as the family rambler, Annie Mackenzie has her roots planted firmly at the fourth-generation family ranch in southeast Oregon, 30 miles north of the small town of Jordan Valley. She spends her days assisting her two brothers and father in tending cattle, starting horses, and managing the unruly pack of border collies that inhabit the place. She has taught agriculture, served as the local high school FFA advisor, and worked with Sun J Livestock, contractors who gather wild horses across the western states. Though Annie competed in college rodeo, she found herself continually returning home to help out. She is now back where she feels she belongs–on the range with her brothers–writing poems and songs in her beloved High Desert.
Sam Platts + the Plainsmen
Silver Star, MT
Sam Platts & the Plainsmen is an energetic Americana band that brings traditional country and western swing to modern audiences. Sam got his start in music on the windy plains of southern Wyoming, and today he and his wife, Lilly, call southwest Montana home. Sam’s songwriting is in the vein of “old” country music, and much of his inspiration comes from rural life. Sam fronts the group on vocals and archtop rhythm guitar, with Lilly Platts on fiddle, Kenny Williams on upright bass, and Bill Dwyer on electric guitar. The group keeps a busy schedule and has had the honor of opening for acts like Asleep at the Wheel, Wayne Hancock, Corb Lund, and Dale Watson. The group released their full-length album, West Side, in December 2022.
Raised in Wheatland, Wyoming, Matt Robertson roams the West cowboying and training horses. Since the age of 16, Matt has been writing and playing music for friends, family, and audiences across Canada and the United States. He grew up on the back of a horse, starting colts as a young teen and riding broncs in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association throughout his youth. He currently enjoys ranch rodeos and working with young horses. Matt credits Chris LeDoux and Ian Tyson for inspiring his career as a songwriter. His experiences both on and off a horse have influenced him and his music. Matt’s heart is in the open country where a person can still feel inspired and free.
Filmed in front of a live audience at the Western Folklife Center’s G Three Theater in Elko, NV, on Feb. 2, 2023
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.