Cowboy poets and musicians are coming to the county fair in force for the first Cowboy Gathering of the Four Corners and two longtime performers will be stopping in Mancos.
Singer and songwriter Peggy Malone, the Colorado Country Music Hall of Fame's entertainer of the year for 2013, and Terry Nash a Colorado cowboy poet will be performing a concert at Barb Richhart's house Sunday afternoon. Richhart is the host of the Cow Trails show at KSJD and hosts an annual summer concert series. She said she has an affinity for cowboy music because it focuses on the stories of the people, places and cowboy code of the West.
"House concerts give you that extra-special connection," Malone said.
Malone plans to invite the audience to participate and act out the stories in the songs, if someone is willing. For example a song called El Paso by Marty Robbins calls for a lady to dance with maracas.
"I run a very loose ship because that's what entertaining is about," she said.
Nash may join in if a song has a speaking part, but he plans to perform some classic and original poems.
Nash, a rancher from Loma near Grand Junction, draws inspiration from personal experiences such as gathering the last few cows from the mountains in the winter.
"You just have to write what you know, you can't fake it," he said.
He was inspired to start writing poetry after he stumbled upon cowboy-poet legend, Gary McMahan, performing in a bar.
"He was speaking to my heritage and speaking to my heart," Nash said.
The house concert will be held Sunday at 4 p.m. at Barb Richhart's house 32229 Road P. For directions call 882-1413.
Montezuma County's first cowboy gathering will be held July 31-Aug. 2 at the county fair ostages.
The headline event will be on Friday, Aug. 1, at 7 p.m. featuring national musicians and poets. Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for ages 8-14, and children 7 and under are free.
3 Trails West is steeped in cowboy tradition, singing songs about cattle drives, riding horses, pretty girls back home, and nature's splendor.
Kristyn Harris,19, is the 2014 Academy of Western Artists female performer of the year. Malone who is committed to preserving western music said that performers like Harris guarantee it will be carried forward.
Susie Knight will perform her cowboy songs and poetry about true life experiences. Inspired by rodeo legend Chris LeDoux, Knight's style captures a woman's perspective on rodeo, ranch life, remudas, and romance.
Many more poets and singer-songwriters will perform throughout the day including poets Nash, Yvonne Hollenbeck, Thatch Elmer, and singers Ken Stevens, Janice Deardorff and Deb Bukala.
Free performances by headliners will be held at the Cortez Cultural Center amphitheater on Thursday and Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. to draw in more locals and tourists to the Saturday night concert.
For more information about Cowboy Gathering of the Four Corners, go to www.cg4corners.com.l.com