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The Inaugural Texas Hill Country Cowboy Gathering: Music & Poetry

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The Texas Hill Country Cowboy Gathering also boasts an impressive and diverse lineup. Hedges said, “The lineup represents a lot of great things, just some of the facets of cowboy culture. We have the band Cowboy Celtic, from Canada. They really represent the Scottish and Irish influence on cowboy culture and have done a lot of research. They play examples where they play the old Irish version of a song, and then the cowboy version and then mix all that together really beautifully with their band. It’s really wonderful. We also have Don Flemons, who just released his new record ‘Black Cowboys.’ It just came out on Smithsonian Folkways, and he really highlights the African American influence, the trail-driving era, and the earlier part of the twentieth century – music that would eventually become the blues. His record highlights that influence on cowboy music and cowboy culture.”

Hedges went on to say, “One other interesting example is Amy Hale Auker.  She cowboys on a ranch in Prescott, Arizona, and writes poetry and essays and novels that are really flowing out of her experiences and life so she’s a very modern, fresh voice that’s coming out of the culture. Trinity Seeley works on a ranch in Montana and she writes songs. And then people like Waddie Mitchel, one of the best-known cowboy poets of all time, really, just a real legend in cowboy poetry circles.”

The Inaugural Texas Hill Country Cowboy Gathering: Music & Poetry
Facebook/Texas Hill Country Cowboy Gathering

The lineup also includes a featured presentation of Charles M. Russell’s artwork and letters on the first night of the event, presented by Randy Rieman. C.M. Russell was an artist who lived and worked on ranches in the late 1800s and early 1900s. His art is a revered representation of the history of the west today. “This is a show that Randy Rieman has presented at the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko and other places,” Hedges said. “He has several versions of this show, but he’s done a lot of research and put together a program where he’ll be projecting images of these letters and Russell’s artwork, reading these letters, and offering his own commentary on them. It’s a riveting look at that time in history. Randy brings a really great perspective on it. Having the images of Charlie Russell along with the words of Charlie Russell immerses you in that time period and brings all that to life.”