Andy Hedges is a songster, reciter, storyteller, guitarist, and collector of cowboy songs and poems. The son of an Italian schoolteacher and a rodeo cowboy turned preacher, Andy was born in Lubbock, Texas, in the spring of 1980. He grew up in the small community of Tokio, Texas, where his family paid rent on an old farmhouse by looking after a few head of cattle. It was there that Andy fell in love with traditional music by listening to his father’s cassettes of cowboy songs.
Andy’s vast and varied repertoire includes classic cowboy poetry recitations, obscure cowboy songs, dust bowl ballads, and blues. He also hosts a podcast, Cowboy Crossroads which features in-depth interviews with fellow musicians and poets. Andy has performed many times with folk legend Ramblin’ Jack Elliott and the duo’s performance at the 60th Newport Folk Festival was named one of the “10 Best Things We Saw” by Rolling Stone.
Jim Jones is a Western/Folk Singer/Songwriter, an author and a native Texan who lives in New Mexico. He was the International Western Music Association’s 2014 Male Performer of the Year and winner of that organization’s 2019 Song of the Year, along with the Academy of Western Artists 2016 Western Song of the Year and the Western Writers of America 2013, 2017 and 2021 Spur Awards for Best Western Song. His songs and books are about the West … cowboys, horses & cattle, cattle rustlers, the coming of the train … songs about people and land, rivers and mountains, the beauty of the Western sky. Jim has produced eleven Western/Folk albums as well as five Western novels, a novella and a Children’s Book in the Western genre. His Western novels include the Jared Delaney series, Rustler’s Moon, Colorado Moon and Waning Moon, and the spin-off series including The Big Empty (2016) and The Lights of Cimarron (2019), published by both Five Star Publishing and Speaking Volumes Press.
Kristyn Harris, a Texas-bred musical powerhouse, is the 4-time currently reigning International Western Music Association Entertainer of the Year (2016, 2017, 2018, 2019), and the youngest person to have received this honor. Her powerful voice brought her all the way onto the 2018 season of ABC’s American Idol, where she sang and yodeled for the judges. This voice is complimented on stage by her swing guitar playing, songwriting, and energetic stage presence.
Now 27, Kristyn tours across the U.S. and internationally. When she’s not playing music, her passions find her trick riding, training horses and raising cattle, which inspire some of the music she writes. She is also influenced by classic western and western swing music.
Kristyn brings joy and passion to her music. She was awarded the 2017 Ameripolitan Music Awards Western Swing Female Artist of the Year and named the IWMA Female Performer of the Year in 2014, 2015, 2018 & 2019. As one venue put it:
"This bundle of energy and talent is 'the rage' on stage from the east coast to the west and if you can stay seated when she finishes her performance you're prob'ly 'bout ready for the grave!!"
Don Cadden lives with his wife Pam Cook in the mountains south of Alpine, Texas. (Yep, mountains. At 5,300’,higher than Denver!) They run a few cows, and enjoy retirement. Since 1990, Don has performed his music and poetry at cowboy gatherings around the west. He received the Heritage Award in 2014, from the Texas Cowboy Poetry Gathering for his dedication to the western way of life. Born in Gonzales, Texas in 1946, Don grew up in the rural community of Del Valle. He graduated from Southwest Texas State University, served in the military, and spent most of his adult life in the Austin and Dripping Springs area. He also spent a lot of time in the brush country of South Texas around Cotulla, and in the Big Bend area of West Texas before finally settling there in 2007.
Valerie is a rancher's wife, teacher, writer, crew cook, quilter and reader. She and her husband, cowboy poet Floyd Beard, live in Southeast Colorado and run Corriente cattle with their daughter and son-in-law. They keep a few Border Collies around to stay humble. Valerie was a top five finalist for IWMA Female Poet of the Year in 2019.
Floyd began writing poetry while out working his cattle in the 1980’s. He would write down lines and verses about what he experienced while out in the saddle and dealing with his livestock and horses. He would then mold these thoughts into stories and songs when he got back to the house that evening. His poetry is about his own experiences and his observations of the western way of life.
Floyd’s stories are inter-woven with his western code of high ethics and integrity and sprinkled richly with humor. Floyd also recites some cowboy poetry classics, from some of the best cowboy poets from the past, keeping the western spirit and history alive.
Doug Figgs is a horseshoer, a day working cowboy, and a Western music singer/songwriter. In more than twenty five years of shoeing horses he has earned the title of “Certified Journeyman Farrier”, the highest level attainable through the American Farrier’s Association. In the last few years he has turned his attention to his love of music with the emphasis on Western themes. His 4th album, "A Cowboy Like Me" received the Rural Roots Music Commission's 2016 "Traditional Western Music" CD of the year award. As a member of the Western Music Association he was named 2018 and 2021 Male Performer of the Year, 2015 Songwriter of the Year, and his song "Socios" was named 2015 Song of the Year.
He has toured the Southwest extensively and continues to turn out his own variety of Western music, from hard driving songs with a tinge of southern rock, to beautiful ballads and everything in between.
Teresa Burleson is an award winning poet whose poems are inspired by her personal experiences, her heritage and the Western way of life. She has an appreciation for the agricultural industries and the people who make their lives in it. Teresa's zest for life is evident in her poetry as well as her ability to make people laugh and touch their lives. With a clear, soft Texas drawl and a voice that Waddie Mitchell once declared was "like silk”, her poetry is beautiful, soulful and aimed straight for the western heart or the funny bone, as she tells of drought, rain, faith, legacy, horses, calving, and all the joys and hazards in life. Her passion for her Western Heritage is also how she makes her living. Her position as Director of the Stockyards Museum, in the historic Fort Worth Stockyards, allows her the opportunity to promote and perpetuate the local history and that of the historic cattle drives that passed through Fort Worth. She is honored to be voted the Western Music Association, 2019 and 2017 Female Poet of the Year and her CD,
The Calf Book, was named 2017 Poetry CD of the Year.
She has been in the Top 5 Nominees for Female Poet of the Year with the Western Music Association (WMA) in 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013. In 2010 she was awarded the Cowgirl Poet of the Year by the Academy of Western Artists.
The farther you live from what some people consider civilization, the more self-reliant and innovative you must be. You have to admire a guy who enters a field and actually creates his own genre by making a musical instrument with which to conquer a niche that any other mortal is afraid to even challenge. That is exactly what Washtub Jerry has done. He is the only “tub-bass” player in the field of cowboy entertainment today. Not only that, but he may also very well be the hardest working man in the business. Go to any show where Washtub is performing, and you’ll find performers lined up to get him to play backup bass for them. I have yet to see him turn one of them down. In addition, he understands more about music theory than any music teacher I know and can illustrate it to you on his unique instrument with the skill of a philharmonic surgeon. And, to top it off, Wash was named "1999 Instrumentalist of the Year"
by the Western Music Association.
Terry Nash has been a top five finalist for the last four years for the Western Music Association Male Cowboy Poet of the Year award. He was raised on a farm/ranch cow/calf operation on the High Plains of Colorado, near Idalia. In the late eighties, Terry drifted to a small ranch near Loma, Colorado, where he and his wife Kathy raise horses, hay and beef, and spend as much time on the mountain horseback as possible. Along with writing and reciting his original cowboy poems, Terry brings classic cowboy poetry to stages throughout the West, and has recently co-written a couple songs. Note: Don’t ask him to sing!
Born in the San Joaquin Valley of California,“Straw” Berry grew up in west central Oklahoma. He was part of the third generation of Berry’s to live and work on the Botchlett Ranch west of Cordell in Washita County. Straw graduated from Southwestern Oklahoma State University with a degree in history. After short stints as a musician and police officer, he later settled on a career in the livestock feed, grain and fertilizer industry, while he and his father partnered in a small cow/calf operation. Straw still keeps a couple of horses around just to smell the” sweat and leather”. He serves on the board of directors of the Washita County Historical Society and is a member of the Cordell Round Up Club. He and wife, Penny reside in Cordell and stay busy following their eight grandchildren. Straw began to write and recite cowboy poetry in about 2000. He has performed at the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko, Nevada, Texas Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Alpine, Texas and The Red Steagall Cowboy Gathering and Western Swing Festival in Ft. Worth, Texas. Local civic groups and Cowboy Churches also invite Straw to speak and perform. His two CD’s are Red Hill Reflections and Strawberry Preserved. He is looking forward to his association with the Salado Cowboy Poetry Gathering.