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.
A three-time winner of the Academy of Western Artists "Will Rogers Award", Chris Isaacs is a poet and storyteller who has lived the life that he writes about. He has seen life from a cowboy's point of view for all of his 60-plus years, and his poems and stories are alive with the heart and humor of life from a cowboy's point of view. He can usually find the funny side of any situation, and is considered by many to be one of the finest humorists in the country. Chris has been published in numerous magazines, including American Cowboy, Western Horseman and Cowboy Magazine. He has two books of his work published, Bringing it Home, and Rhymes, Reasons & Packsaddle Proverbs. The latter was nominated for the "Western Heritage Award" by the Cowboy Hall of Fame and winner of the "Will Rogers Medallion Award for Excellence" by the Academy of Western Artists. He also has five albums of his poetry recorded. His album "Both Sides" was voted "Poetry Album of the Year" for 1997, by the Academy of Western Artists. In 2002, his album "Out With the Crew" was voted the same honor. 2005 found him the recipient the Western Heritage Award by the Wickenburg Az C of C, the Gail I Gardner Award from the Arizona CPG and in 2009 he was inducted into the Arizona Culture Keepers.
Diverse influences ranging from Gene Autry and Michael Martin Murphey to Sons of the Pioneers and Guy Clark have shaped Fuller’s interesting texture and twist to his music. He performs old-time country and cowboy melodies, folk songs and original ballads at venues throughout Texas and the U.S.A. Fuller entertains at trail rides, private parties, schools, art fairs, restaurants, coffeehouses, fundraisers, festivals and several Central Texas monthly Oprys. For more than thirty years, Freddie has performed before thousands from house concerts to larger venues such as the famous Broken Spoke and Nashville’s Bluebird Cafe. In 2007 Freddie entertained the troops in Iraq at the request of the then Commanding General. Fuller is also a frequent performer for Swan Songs, a non-profit that brings the gift of song to people at the end of life, one of these concerts was featured in Reader’s Digest November 2018 issue. No stranger to the stage, Freddie has performed musical theater and appeared on local and national television and radio.
The Singing Cowboy created an historical one-man show that he brings to classrooms. During the show, “The History of the Texas Cowboy ~ circa 1850-1900,” he not only entertains but provides live instructional and interactive social studies/history to our school children.
A Bell County native, Freddie Fuller’s music is also influenced by strong country roots (hometown - Salado, Texas) and his mother’s gospel tunes. His heartfelt, rich baritone voice resonates while singing songs about western folklore and original ballad themes. His first CD, “To Sing Once Again ” and his latest composition of originals, “Down The Road ” have earned him the title, “The Singing Cowboy”.
Gary Allegretto is the 2019 International Western Music Association (IWMA) Male Performer of the Year. Western Horseman Magazine raves; “Gary's music transcends genres, generations and cultural barriers, yet is so professional, engaging and core to the cowboy that listeners can’t help but want to ride along.” Not only is Gary the best harmonica player you will likely ever hear, he is a remarkable singer, songwriter, guitarist and a masterful entertainer. His talents have also earned an IWMA Award, AWA Will Rogers Award, a Best of the West Award and the #1 spot on the Western music radio charts. His music is featured in major motion picture soundtracks. Gary’s engaging and often laugh-out-loud songs tell stories drawn from his rich and diverse life experience in the West (including ranch hand, forest firefighter as a USFS Hotshot, and bouncer in a couple of rough honky-tonks).
GARY ALLEGRETTO’S LEARN TO PLAY COWBOY HARMONICA INSTANTLY WORKSHOP
Be fully entertained as you receive a shiny new harmonica on which you’ll easily learn to play four songs in lightning speed - guaranteed. Family fun for adults and kids (ages 5 - 105). No musical experience necessary and all materials including songbooks and Hohner harmonicas provided. Tickets only $20 (harmonica provided). Advance purchase suggested.
Ol’ Jim Cathey is a native Texan and his young bride Stella is his number one fan. Listening to his Granddad, Papa Hop, tell stories about growing up in the Texas Panhandle in the late 1800s and early 1900s gave him his love for storytelling and he uses this material in his tales and poems. He won the Silver Buckle and the All-Around Championship Award at the 2012 National Cowboy Poetry Rodeo in Kanab, Utah. He writes a weekly column for his local newspaper, the Marlin Democrat. Most of his work is in rhyme with a Texas western flair and a natural Texas twang, garnished with a love and
appreciation for God’s bounty.
Gary is an accomplished Cowboy poetry writer and reciter with who has been showcasing his poetry and harmonica skills since 2008. He has performed at many retirement centers and churches around the central Texas area and beyond. Some of his more notable performances include appearances at major Cowboy poetry gatherings around the Southwest including shows in Lubbock, Ft. Worth, and Alpine, Texas, Durango, Colorado, and Prescott, Arizona. Gary also won “The Best of the West” award as the top money winner at the 2017 National Cowboy Poetry Rodeo in Abilene, KS.
Although Gary and his wife Donna are not cattle ranchers, they stay busy maintaining a modest herd of Boer goats in Lorena, Texas. His love of livestock and the Cowboy Way led him into sharing his thoughts on the lifestyle of the American cowboy through his poetry and old cowboy campfire harmonica tunes. Through his experiences and imagination he attempts to capture and share the Cowboy Way by making you smile or by touching your heart.
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.
Jay Snider was born into a ranching and rodeo family in southwest Oklahoma. Today, he makes his home in Cyril with his wife, Sandi. His dad was a top roper and rodeo cowboy; his granddad was a brand inspector for the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association. Jay rodeoed during his early years. He now stays busy raising cattle and ranch horses and team roping.
Writing and reciting cowboy stories in verse since 1996, Jay says he's not sure his English teacher would consider it poetry. Explaining the reason behind the pursuit, he says: "I've been researching the cowboy way of life for nearly 60 years. I felt a need to preserve some of the stories I heard from the old timers, and I wanted to try to relive some of my own experiences. Fortunately, cowboy poetry seems to appeal to most people. I thank God for the greatest super-hero of all times: the American Cowboy."
Glenn fell in love with cowboy songs at an early age in Manchaca, Texas. In the late 1960's, he took up the fiddle and guitar to learn the favorite tunes of the cowhands. After receiving his degree from Southwest Texas State University, he worked for the USDA as a cattle inspector in the feed lots near El Paso. After only a year, he moved to Fort Davis, Texas. There, over the past 30 years, Glenn has worked on many area ranches and taken a part in family ranching interests. While working as a cowboy in West Texas, Glenn added many songs to his repertoire including some of his own. His quick wit, wry humor, and knowledge of cowboy history made him a favorite among crowds.
Raised on the family ranch near Bryan, Texas, Gary grew up helping with the cow/calf operation and working in the family hay fields in the summertime. As an adult Gary worked cattle in the deep South Texas brush when he was not drilling oil wells, and now runs a cow/calf operation south of Abilene in West Central Texas.
Gary has three CDs to his credit. As a songwriter, Gary’s songs have been recorded by artists throughout the United States and Canada. His song “Fair Blows the Wind”, sung beautifully by his wife, Jean, received Song of the Year honors from the Academy of Western Artists. The song was then recorded by a recording artist from Ireland and numerous artists in the US.
Christian is 18 years old and a graduate of Harker Heights high school.
He helps his family with their cows, building pens and loading the cattle.
He plays guitar and sings at Agape church in Belton, Texas and Heritage Country Church in Salado, Texas
Born and raised in West Texas, Jean Prescott grew up horseback living and loving the rural western lifestyle. This way of life and her love of music came together over the years and led to the best of both worlds for her. Jean’s music is referred to as “The spiritual essence of the west”. With that in mind, the Texas Legislature recognized Jean for her contribution to the preservation of Texas history through her music. Jean’s songs and her beautiful delivery of them paint vivid musical pictures of the way of life in the real west of yesterday and today.
2018 marked the 25th anniversary of Jean’s full-time music career and she loves to share her songs with her fans today just as much now as she did in the very beginning. This multiple award-winning singer/songwriter is widely appreciated for her rich, alto voice and her warm stage presence that draws her audience into each song she sings. Sometimes called “The First Lady of Western Music”, Jean is proud to have the opportunity to entertain and mentor young musicians and singers who also love the western lifestyle and its music.
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.
Jeff Gore has been performing since he was 4 years old. He has spent the last 30 years traveling and singing Cowboy and Gospel music all over the US and abroad. He is the recipient of the Male Vocalist of the Year award in Cowboy Music from the Academy of Western Artists (1997), and a lifetime achievement award winner for Western Music by the American Cowboy Culture Association (2005, the youngest ever to receive this award). Gore has also produced and acted on television, appeared in film, and is currently producing, directing, and starring in a film based on his 2010 novel, Jingle In The Horses. Jeff also serves on the Executive Committee for the Western Heritage Classic.
From Fort Worth, Texas, two-time recipients of the International Western Music Association‘Duo/Group of the Year’ (2013 & 2014), recognized with the 2013 New Horizon Wrangler Award, five-time winners of the IWMA Harmony Duo competition, 2020 Academy of Western Artists duo group nominees, and creators of a stunning new CD, “Plains, Trains, and Also BobWills" a 2019 IWMA album of the year, Miss Devon & the Outlaw could be stirrin' up the most dust between here and the chuckwagon camp!
Miss Devon, the 2020 Academy of Western Artists ‘Western Music Female Performer of the Year’ is noted for her vintage 'sock-rhythm' guitar style, warm 'swingtime cowgirl' vocals, and lively persona, engaging kids and adults in her audience with a style perfectly suited to her ‘secret’ persona as the singing voice of Toy Story 2’s “Jessie” on the Grammy-winning Disney cd “Woody's Roundup featuring Riders in the Sky'. She has made appearances at Pixar Studios, the renowned Grand Old Opry in Nashville, done shows with Radio Disney, Riders In the Sky, Michael Martin Murphy, The Texas Playboys, and has popped up on Starz-Encore's "Western Channel", RFD-TV, and American Idol 2018. She is a 2019 inductee into the Sacramento Western Swing Society Hall of Fame.
Meet Robert Isaacs. To his coworkers and friends he is Bud. To his nine children, he is Dad. His wife knows him by many different names (most of them good). To his students, he is simply Mr. Isaacs.
Bud is a sixth generation Arizonan. He was born and raised in Mesa, and moved to the white mountains his senior year of high school. He currently teaches Junior High English in Taylor, AZ, where he lives with his wife Ronda.
Bud loves telling stories, writing stories, reading stories, and listening to stories. He is an avid photographer and outdoors-man, and loves to build and create new things. Truth be told, he has a hard time sitting on the sidelines. "I want to be an active participant. My friend, Mr. Eilertsen once said of me, 'Don't dare Mr. Isaacs.' That's probably good advice."
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 25, 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!!"
Born in Nocona, Texas, in January 1950, Rick spent most of his childhood in Ringgold, Texas, where he learned about the Cowboy Way of Life from his grandfather who raised cattle ‘n hogs. His brothers Ronnie L. ‘n Jim L Mahaffey inspired ‘n motivated him to start writin’ Cowboy Poetry. He always respected ‘n admired cowboys that made/make their livin,’ ridin,’ ‘n ropin.’ His older brother Ron was one of those cowboys that rode bulls back in his prime and now he rides in the hills of Heaven. Both Jim & Rick always wanted to be like their big brother Ron. They tried ridin’ one of Grandpa’s steers once with the help of brother Jim. Rick discovered one Saturday at Grandpa’s farm that his butt was too round to ride bulls so instead of makin’ a livin’ ridin’ ‘n ropin.’ He chose teachin,’ coachin,’ ‘n writin’ cowboy poetry. That career choice was the smartest decision he made.
Some of his poetry’s written from true events. Some from his vivid imagination which has brought him many hours of pure enjoyment. The poems he’s created are original…when a song title’s used…credit’s given to the author/s. He self-published his first book of poetry titled, “Baseball, Beaches, ‘n Cowboys…These Are a Few of My Favorite Things” in 2020, just before the Pandemic hit.
Rick lives between Cache ‘n Lawton, Oklahoma with his wife, one dog ‘n two cats on “The Farm.” where he continues to write.
Richard Paul Thomas (his friends call him RpT) is a free-thinking dreamer and Texas based singer songwriter with decades of love, life and laughter to share. His songwriting spans a wide range of musical genres and emotional experiences ranging from light hearted fun to challenging one's convictions about life and our place in the world. His writing and performance style encompasses elements of Folk, R&B, jazz, ballads, country and good old rock n' roll. RpT's soulful voice ranges from thermal to edgy reflecting the musical influences of a lifetime. His thought provoking lyrics speak to the heart and soul of the listener while thoroughly entertaining his audiences.