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Dennis Russell
Cimarron Cowboy Poet
©2014-2017 Cimarron Cowboy Music and Poetry Gathering
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4th Annual Cimarron Cowboy Music and Poetry Gathering

Friday - Sunday, August 25-27, 2017

Cimarron New Mexico     "Where the West is Still Wild"

Historic St. James Hotel            The Philmont Scout Ranch
Training Center Auditorium
Friday & Saturday   Friday 7-9:30 PM
sidewalk serenades, breakfast
& Friday lunch
  Saturday 11 AM-4 PM & 7-9:30 PM
jamming after 9:30 PM   Cowboy Church Sunday 9 AM

Tickets at the Door:      $10


2016 Performers

Special Guests: t.b.a.

Floyd Beard   Susie Knight
Valerie Beard   Peggy Malone
Almeda Bradshaw   Terry Nash
Broken Chair Band   Dale Page
Dale Burson   Sandy Reay
Nona Kelley Carver   Dennis Russell
Calvin Danner   J.J. Steele
Janice Deardorff   Tom Swearingen
Doug Figgs   Rod Taylor
Randy Huston   Washtub Jerry
Jim Jones   Jim Wilson
Mary Kaye   Jan Swan Wood
The Kaye Sisters    
 C C M P G  

Floyd Beard and his wife Valerie are ranchers on the High Plains and canyons of Colorado. Floyd writes down his experiences and observations while in the saddle working cattle, then turns these thoughts into stories and songs. An award winning Cowboy Poet, Floyd is the 2006 Colorado State Fair Cowboy Poetry Shoot-Out Champion, 2015 Kansas State Cowboy Poetry Champion both humorous and serious, 2015 Cowboy Idol Poet at the Columbia River Cowboy Gathering, 2015 National Cowboy Poetry Rodeo Champion, and finalist for 2015 WMA Cowboy Poet of the Year. For over 30 years Floyd has been presenting Cowboy Poetry from the Mexico border to Stony Plains, Alberta, Canada. President of the WMA Colorado Chapter, Floyd’s stories are inter-woven with his western code of high ethics and integrity and are richly sprinkled with humor. His philosophy is simple: “Life is a journey not a destination, and is best viewed from atop a good horse.”

Floyd Beard
 C C M P G  

Valerie Beard is best known for her spectacular nature and ranching photography as well as her tireless support of cowboy events. In 2015, she won the first Western Musid Association Colorado Chapter "Branded Western" Top Hand Award.

Recently, Valeried tried her hand at writing Cowboy poetry. She won the 2015 Wesetern Music Association Cowboy Poetry Jackpot Novice Division with her first poem, "No Better Life." Sometimes she performs with her husband, Floyd.

Valerie Beard
 C C M P G  

Almeda Bradshaw is one of Montana's talented Western singer/songwriter/poets. Her love and appreciation for the cowboy life show clearly in heartfelt orginal and traditional songs and poems of the West. Born and raised a town girl, Almeda married former Marlboro Man, Merritt Bradshaw, and now lives her Western dream in Huntley, Montana where they train AQHA performance horses and host Western Music concerts at their M2B Ranch Bed & Breakfast.

She won the 2015 Wesetern Music Association Cowboy Poetry Jackpot Professional Division.

Almeda Bradshaw
 C C M P G  
The Broken Chair Band is Todd, Melinda and Dani Carter. They ride for the brand as beef producers for TM Ranches. Their original music and poetry is branded 'Americowboyfolkgrass', and have delighted audiences on main stages and side venues, but are most comfortable around the campfire. Todd leads on acoustic bass and lead vocals, with Melinda on acoustic guitar and vocals, and daughter Dani joins the two to sing lead and harmony vocals and is playing fiddle! Their latest album "Little Victories" released March 29, 2013 at the Crossroads Gathering in Benson, AZ, and the title song"Little Victories" has been adopted as the ranch theme. Broken Chair Band
 C C M P G  

Dale Burson has spent most of his life on the sections of the Texas Panhandle that he calls home. It is a piece of land that has formed the foundation for his lyrics, which tell tales of his childhood and the surrounding area. This singing cowboy is a mostly self-taught musician to whom Granny Burson tried her very best to teach the finer aspects of music.

Since those early days, Dale has taught himself to play guitar, mandolin, banjo and fiddle. Using these abilities and his beautiful voice, Dale has had the privilege of touring North America with Red Steagall for the past 21 years. In 2004, Dale won the prestigious Wrangler Award, presented annually by the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, formerly the Cowboy Hall of Fame. Making this accolade so much more special to Dale was the fact that his friend Steagall made the presentation at the awards ceremony.

Dale Burson
 C C M P G  
Nona Kelley Carver was born in Colorado, and still lives there. During part of her early years, she lived well beyond the electric lines in a cabin built of logs. She learned to read by the light of a kerosene lamp and rode horseback to school. She married Alfred Carver in 1953. They began ranching at Mesa, Colorado, purchasing land that had been in the Carver family for three generations. They operated a dairy, and also raised beef cattle and their two sons.

Nona's ranching experience shows in her work that she refers to as "fiction with a few facts thrown in." Her work has been published in magazines, newspapers and anthologies spread from Australia to Amsterdam. Her major books in print are Carter Country Christmas; Spoken Songs from My Soul; Cowboys, Cookstoves, and Catastrophes; and Carver Country Cowboys. She recorded two CDs of poetry: “Reflective Moods,” which features her most serious work, and “Carver Country Poetry,” which contains the funniest poetry she has written. She also publishes CarverCards, a line of greeting cards for family and friends.

Nona Kelley Carver
 C C M P G  

Calvin Danner was almost born into the world of cowboy music. At nearly 48 hours old he attended his first concert, hidden under the CD table while mom produced the show, and both dad and grandpa were on stage. He is the six foot tall, 14 year-old son of R.W. and Lisa Hampton, both heavily involved in writing, singing and producing Cowboy Music; one of his older brothers, Colter, writes and sings; his uncle is an author and playwright; and his grandfather is a cowboy poet.

Raised on the family’s horse ranch in Northern New Mexico, Calvin Danner has grown up surrounded by stories of the West, riding horses, raising cattle, and listening to some of the biggest names in Western Music singing in his living room. His first love is singing and he is a favorite at jam sessions but he is also working on song writing, learning the guitar and will be filming his first speaking role in a made for DVD Western this summer. He has already attended almost every Cowboy Poetry and Music Gathering in the country, but has recently become more of a presence on stage than behind his Dad’s CD table.

Calvin Danner
 C C M P G  

Janice Deardorff is a cowgirl at heart, who fell in love with the west, through the ears of a horse, when she was five years old. She is a native Arizonan, who grew up immersed in songs of the West. Her newest CD, Part of the West, contains well loved classics, plus original songs that share the heart and stories of the West. On Janice’s CD "Just a Horse", she shares her love for horses, rescue horses and the west.

Janice was recently appointed program coordinator for Arts Arizona, an American western heritage program for children, through Arts Express, an award winning arts nonprofit entity that's committed to creating opportunities for children and adults to experience the power of the arts. In 2015 and 2016 Janice was a top five nominee for the Western Music Association Crescendo Award.

Janice has been doing music most of her adult life, as an entertainer, educator and worship leader. She believes that music is a gift from God to be given the listener. She got her start in western music by singing at cowboy cookouts, to barter for horseback riding. Janice enjoys sharing western music, as she travels the west with her husband Kevin. Janice’s warm and captivating western music will draw you into a memorable musical experience.

Janice Deardorff
 C C M P G  
Doug Figgs is a horseshoer, a cowboy, and a Western music singer/songwriter. With over twenty years of shoeing horses he holds the title of “Certified Journeyman Farrier”, the highest level attainable through the American Farrier’s Association. Doug also raises Paint Horses on his place in New Mexico. In the last few years he has turned his attention to Western music.

Doug’s long list of awards includes the following:

  • 2014 Western Music Association’s “Harmony Trio Award”
  • 2014 Academy of Western Artists’ Best Western Song, “Socios”
  • 2015 WMA Song of the Year, “Socios” (won the Western Writers of America
  • 2015 “Spur Award” for Best Western Song, “Charlie and Evangeline” Co-written with Todd Carter
  • 2015 New Mexico Music Awards Best Western Song,“Running With the Wind”
  • 2015 WMA Songwriter of the Year.
Doug Figgs
 C C M P G  

Randy Huston is a fourth generation livestock producer, and partners with his father on their ranch in New Mexico. He started breaking horses for wages at the age of 13 and spent many years in rodeo arenas through high school and college. In the early 1990s, Huston pulled from his experiences as a cowboy and former resident of the West to write and record “Keepin’ The New West Wild.” His latest album is, “There’s A Hole in Daddy’s Rope.” Randy was voted one of the top five male entertainers in 2007 by the Academy Of Western Artists, and was 2010 Academy Of Western Artists male vocalist of the year.

Randy Huston
 C C M P G  

Jim Jones tells it like it was, is, and will be in the great American West. Native Texan, student of the West, he lives, sings and writes about cowboys, horses, cattle rustlers and such. He also knows there’s more to the story…how the coming of the train changed the West, how critical water is for survival. Jim’s songwriting, guitar-picking and unique vocal style keeps him in demand on the Western music circuit and at house concerts, coffeehouses, schools and libraries throughout the country.

He now has eight Western Americana albums and three Western historical fiction novels under his belt. His award-winning books, the Jared Delaney trilogy-Rustler’s Moon, Colorado Moon and Waning Moon- are set in northern New Mexico, “loosely based in fact…basically, a pack of lies I made up.” They have educated, informed and entertained readers around the world.

  • 2013 Western Writers of America Spur Award for Western Song of the Year for his “Texas is Burnin’.”
  • 2014 Western Music Association Male Performer of the Year
  • 2015 Academy of Western Artists Western Music Song of the Year, “The Fires of Goliad”
Jim Jones
 C C M P G  

Mary Kaye is a native born Texan and as a young woman ventured off to Utah where she "married her a cowboy.” Her husband’s family has deep western roots that go back six generations. They now reside in the small western town of Escalante, a 140 year old ranching community in southern Utah, where her large family is involved in cowboying, horse training and all things Western. She has been married to her husband Brad for 29 years, they have ten children.

  • 2013 American Cowboy Magazine Top Cowboy Song for her "Jealous of the Moon"
  • 2013 Western Music Association Female Performer of the Year
  • 2013 Western Music AssociationSongwriter of the Year
  • 2013 Western Writers of America Spur Award for Best Western Song for her "Any Name Will Do"
  • 2013 True West Magazine Best Solo Musician
Mary Kaye
 C C M P G  

The Kaye Sisters are Mary Kaye's beautiful daughters Sophia, age 18, and Emelia, age 15. Emelia, aka Millie, sings lead with beautiful unique vocals and her sister Sophia plays rhythm guitar and sings harmony. Mary Kaye rounds out the trio with harmonies, lead vocals, and fingerstyle guitar. Their performances include traditional cattle trail songs such as "The Brazos River Song," "The Colorado Trail," and "Tall Men Riding" in three part harmony. The 2014 Genoa Nevada Cowboy Festival was their debut performance where they received several standing ovations. They have only gotten better since then.

The Kaye Sisters
 C C M P G  

Susie Knight was raised in an entertainment family who also loved the western way of life. She writes and performs her own brand of cowboy songs and poetry since she was a teen. Her passion is to spread the word around the state of Colorado that western entertainment is fun and enjoyable for the whole family.

The 2014 WMA Female Poet of the Year and 2013 AWA Cowgirl Poet, Susie Knight is Colorado’s own All-Around Cowgirl Entertainer!

Susie Knight
 C C M P G  

Peggy Malone is a country, western, pop singer performing at family style venues, large groups and conventions. Ageless audience appeal. Large repertoire of songs. Listen or dance! Crowd participation is her specialty, with her stick horses and maracas. Ghost Riders in the Sky is especially fun, when audience members ride around on her corral full of stick hosses!! "Don't know who has more fun, her or her audience!" - Randy Witte, Publisher, Western Horseman Magazine.

She was one the Top Five Western Music nominees for "Best Female Vocalist of 2001." Her song, "Singin' A Cowboy Song" won an Emmy for Performer/Songwriter in 2001. It is also heard on the PBS Special, "A Night At The Rodeo." She was inducted into the Colorado Country Music Association Hall of Fame on August 20, 2006.

Peggy Malone
 C C M P G  
Terry Nashwas raised on a farm/ranch cow/calf operation on the High Plains of Colorado, near Idalia. In the late ‘60′s, after the farm was lost in an estate battle (the subject of one of his poems), Terry drifted into a thirty-five year career trucking, workin' to pay for his cow habit, and drifted to a small ranch near Loma, Colorado.

He and his wife have cut back to a semi-retired forty hours a week that keeps their horses and cattle in feed, and Terry spends his "spare" time writing and reciting cowboy poetry and spendin’ as much time a’horseback as possible.

Terry Nash
 C C M P G  

Dale Page was born and raised in Oklahoma, the great-grandson of a participant in the Land Rush of 1889. While attending Oklahoma State University, he worked as a horseshoer, bull rider, stable manager, farm and ranch reporter and on the movie set of “The Cheyenne Social Club.” With a degree in English, Page combined his appreciation of poetry with his horseback experiences and began writing cowboy poetry in the mid 1970s. His performances include trail rides, charity events, private parties, church classes, cowboy church services, Friends of the Library, public and private schools, the Indiana State Museum, and cowboy poetry gatherings in seven Western states.

  • 2008 Best Performer at the Oklahoma State University library's Cowboy Poetry and Songs event.
  • 2010 First Place, Rising Star Division, Serious poet, National Cowboy Poetry Rodeo
  • 2015 Western Music Association Cowboy Poetry CD of the Year, “Once We Were Kings”
Dale Page
 C C M P G  

Sandy Reay is a songwriter, poet and website wrangler from Colorado.  When she was 7, she moved to Denver, and brought her family with her.  Her life-long dream was to live on a horse ranch in the mountains which, eventually, she did.  There she learned a lot about horse ranching, most notably that it does not in any way resemble anything she ever saw on TV.

Sandy feels honored that her song "Already Gone" was a Western Music Association 2010 Finalist for Best Original Song.

Sandy Reay
photo by Valerie Beard
 C C M P G  

Dennis Russell blends his original western poems and songs as well as sharing some of the classics at campfires or cowboy gatherings.

Dennis was appointed the first Poet Laureate of Cimarron, New Mexico and won the first Western Music Association (WMA) Western Wordsmiths Chapter Cowboy Poetry Jackpot in the Novice Division in 2014. He was also elected Vice President of the WMA Western Wordsmiths Chapter for 2015 and nominee for WMA 2016 Cowboy Poetry CD of the year.

Dennis is the founder of the Cimarron Cowboy Music and Poetry Gathering held at the Philmont Scout Ranch annually the last week in August.

Dennis Russell
 C C M P G  
J.J. Steele has been entertaining folks for several years with cowboy tales, poetry and song. Native to the Northern Colorado cattle country, JJ’s been writing songs and poetry since his youth and now ranches near Wetmore, Colorado.

JJ has two audio collections: Thinkin’ In Rhyme, released 2011, leans some on classic Cowboy poetry and song mixed with original material. More Rhyme For No Reason, 2013, is almost exclusively original material about the folks, times and places he’s known. In 2016, he released a book of his song lyrics and poems. The most fun of all is to see JJ in person, while he puts you in touch with visions of the West.

J J Steele
photo by Bill Patterson
 C C M P G  

Tom Swearingen tells stories of the people and land of the American West through original cowboy poetry that is often inspired by his own experiences and observations from the saddle. Tom is two-time winner of the National Finals Rodeo Cowboy Poetry Week Contest, and was a 2015 Western Music Association Male Cowboy Poet of the Year finalist. His Horses and Happiness CD is a two-time WMA finalist for Cowboy Poetry CD of the Year. His newest CD Rhyme ‘Em Cowboy! was released in March, 2016. Tom’s poems have been published by the Center for Western and Cowboy Poetry, featured in Cowboys & Indians Magazine, and recognized by such organizations as the National Cowgirl Hall of Fame. Tom and his wife live in Tualatin, OR and can often be found riding their horses in Oregon’s backcountry.

Tom Swearingen
 C C M P G  

Rod Taylor, originally from Lubbock, Texas left his home to pursue the cowboy life and has worked at Vermejo Park, TO, and UU Bar before spending the last 30 years cowboying on the Philmont Ranch.

He has been playing music even longer, both as a solo artist and with regional bands including currently playing with The Rifters. Rod has several albums and other music projects. He lives with his wife Patty on the Philmont Ranch near Cimarron, New Mexico.

Rod Taylor, Rincon Creek Studios
photo by Rincon Creek Studios
 C C M P G  
Washtub Jerry began ukulele in college and later began designing, building, and playing washtub bass. Jerry regularly performs with many groups, which has led to many recordings and CDs. A sought after sideman, he backs head-liners and beginners. He has performed at the New Orleans Jazz Festival, Silver Dollar City, Branson for five seasons, was a featured soloist with the Midland-Odessa Symphony Orchestra, and participated in cultural exchange tours in Russia, Ireland, and Germany. Jerry’s conservative playing style and extra low notes greatly enhance the lead musician’s performance.

Washtub Jerry was voted 1999 Instrumentalist of the Year by the Western Music Association and received an American Cowboy Culture Award in 2013. Take a look at the four books Jerry has authored and published.
Washtub Jerry
 C C M P G  

Jim Wilson is a native Texas who was born in Austin and raised in San Antonio. For nearly 30 years, he served as a Texas Peace Officer in Denton and Crockett Counties. In 1988, he was elected Sheriff of Crockett County (Ozona), Texas, and served in that capacity until his retirement from law enforcement in 1996.

Wilson began playing folk and country music while he attended Texas Christian University, in the 1960s. However, his earliest musical recollections were of his father singing the old cowboy songs, such as “Leaving Cheyenne” and “Streets of Laredo.” With the emergence of contemporary cowboy music in the 1980s, Wilson naturally returned to his musical roots.

Sheriff Jim Wilson
 C C M P G  
Jan Swan Wood is a poet. She can quote bits of verse never written down but passed orally from her great-grandfather, Jake Palmateer. According to Jan, he would “just walk up to somebody on the street and carry on a conversation—all in rhyme.”

Jan was among the original poets invited to the 1986 Gathering in Elko. These days she writes freelance articles, draws a cartoon, “Outtagrass Cattle Company,” and writes a weekly column,“The Outside Circle,” for TriState Livestock News. Her first book, published in November 2010, is a compilation of cartoons, It’s a Great Life if You Don’t Weaken.

Her long poem, “One of Those Days,” makes clear her preference for the cowboy life, and expresses a viewpoint about city dwellers that is often mentioned by cowboy poets–but not necessarily in rhyme.

Jan Swan Wood


For more information, contact us on Facebook 
or call Dennis Russell (719) 330-1797

Co-Producer: Dale Page


Thanks to our volunteers:
Shirley Dale, Kaye Peery, Jack Brugger


The St. James Hotel & Staff
The Philmont Scout Ranch
KRTN Radio

The Albuquerque Journal August 2016

"The Cimarron Cowboy Music and Poetry Gathering: How to Put on a Cowboy Gathering" from the Winter 2015 The Western Way.

Thanks to our 2016 Top Hand Sponsors: The Philmont Scout Ranch, The St. James Hotel & Staff, Express Ranches, C S Ranch, Cimarron Health Center, AcousticByLines; and our performance sponsors:Broken Horn Music, Cabinets by Connie, Cimarron Maverick Club, Cimarron United Methodist Church, Bob Burns, Fred Lambert, Markus Printing & Stationary,  Schwenk's Antique Hall. Please support our sponsors. Be a 2017 sponsor and put your business link here! Contact us on Facebook or call Dennis Russell (719) 330-1797