Straight Chutin' Champions
Native Voices • 1h 21m
FEATURING: Henry Real Bird, Cat Clifford, Miko Marks, Paul Zarzyski
These rodeo pros steer an evening of entertainment from the chute to the dirt, bringing you stories, poems and music from far-flung arenas and the roads in between.
Hosted by Debbie Fant.
From the 36th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering.
"Bucking Horse Moon”
“LSD (Long Sagebrush Drives) - An Adrenaline-Induced, Testosterone-Fueled, Buckin'-Hoss-Twister, Roughstockaholic Jabberwocky Rap” “Nobody Gets To Be A Cowboy Poet Forever—UNLESS Thy Virtue of Thy Defiance Rides In To Thy Rescue”
“Reason" (about the love of the game)
“Seasons Come and Go”
“Ride All Day”
Henry Real Bird
“The Darkness Before Dawn”
“Just One More Kiss”
Miko Marks, accompanied by Victor Campos and Sam Schwartz (seated) “Kickin’ Back”
“Landslide" (by Stevie Nicks)
“He Oughta Know That by Now" (by Lee Ann Womack)
“Tennessee Whiskey" (composed by Dean Dillon and Linda Hargrave)
“Honky Tonk Side of Town" (words + music by Randy Travis)
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Great Falls, MT
Paul Zarzyski, veteran of 34 consecutive Gatherings and recipient of the 2005 Montana Governor’s Arts Award for Literature, has written poetry for two-thirds of his lifetime, so far, on this planet alone. Even before his short 15-year stint as a rodeo bareback bronc rider, he wrote, unbeknownst to him at the time, Rodeo Poetry, as his approach to the page has always been to “take that extra tuck and let the lingo buck.” Along with his ten books and 6 spoken-word CDs, Paul, thanks to Ian Tyson’s encouragement in the early Elko years, has co-written numerous songs, most recently with Hal Cannon of 3hattrio and Gail Steiger. His latest book and companion double-CD are both titled Steering With My Knees—which Paul deems “thee definitive metaphorical image of living a wild-West life as a wild writer writing/riding wildly into the far-out wilds of the Cowpoke Cosmos mind.”
Cat Clifford, born and raised on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation is an enrolled member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe. Cat grew up surrounded by artists, musicians and rodeo cowboy legends, which inspired the dreams and aspirations of who he is today. As a rodeo cowboy, Cat has qualified 5 times to the Indian National Finals Rodeo, twice in the Bareback Riding and three times in the Bull Riding. In music, Cat began writing songs about rodeo in 2008 and released the single "Outlaw Bucker" in 2011. In 2013, Cat did some acting in the feature film "Songs My Brothers Taught Me" directed by Chloe Zhao which was shot on the Pine Ridge Reservation. A few of his songs were included in the movie as well as the ending credits. Most recently, Cat has opened business at Flying High Leather, making custom rodeo chaps, horse tack and other western leather products.
Henry Real Bird
Henry Real Bird, a native Crow Indian, grew up ranching on the battlegrounds of the Little Big Horn on the Crow Reservation in Montana. A former rodeo cowboy, now renowned poet, Henry lives in and draws inspiration from the land of the Little Big Horn Valley. Horses picture large in Henry's creative work, and he rides eight to nine hours daily. His latest book is "Wolf Teeth." He also mentors youth, recently teaching poetry reading and writing at the Wind River Reservation Arapaho Rand Safari summer field program.
Originally from Flint, Michigan, this graduate of Louisiana’s famed Grambling State University is also a prolific songwriter who wrote 7 of the 10 songs on her award-winning debut album, Freeway Bound. These days Miko continues to perform and evolve as an artist, rather than be stereotyped or pigeonholed by genre or past success. As she moves forward, it’s no doubt that listeners will continue to be amazed and delighted, all while witnessing one of the most beautiful and illimitable singer-songwriters of our time. Miko is accompanied by Victor Campos (rhythm guitar) and Stan Schwartz (lead guitar).
Filmed in front of a live audience at the Western Folklife Center’s G Three Theater in Elko, NV, on Feb. 1, 2020.
Made possible by KNPB 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.
Up Next in Native Voices
Healing The Warrior's Heart
Healing the Warrior’s Heart examines the emotional trauma of war through the prism of Native American tradition and ceremony. The program reveals the central role that military service plays in Native life and explores the spiritual traditions that help returning American Indian soldiers reintegr...