An outstanding cowboy singer, song writer & musician, that has become an area favorite is Paul Larson of Rochford, South Dakota. Larson's cowboy heart beats a steady rhythm in the Black Hills of South Dakota. His singing and songwriting, coupled with a rich baritone voice, are anchored to authentic cowboy music. Paul's incredible talent has been enjoyed at festivals, gatherings, ranch brandings, saloons, and campfires. If a cowboy's heart and soul has a voice, it belongs to Paul Larson.
The 2009 AWA Top Male Vocalist, Daron Little is a working ranch cowboy, guitar picker, and singer/songwriter of contemporary cowboy music. Daron grew up in Central Louisiana. When he was 11, his family made a trip to Wyoming and he fell in love with the West, and after college he became a fulltime cow puncher in Wyoming, Montana, Nebraska and Colorado. He continues to cowboy for a living and feels that it is what gives his music an authenticity.
Raised on a ranch in Southwest South Dakota, Slim and his wife, Darlene, have operated a custom leather shop for nearly 40 years. Slim has translated a lifetime of cowboy experiences into award winning poetry and has been featured at many festivals throughout the West, appeared on televeision and produced a number of books and CDs, the latest “Reminiscin” being selected as the AWA CD of the Year. Over the years, Slim has written articles for agricultural magazines and writes advertising material for various cowboy poetry venues.
Back by popular demand, the Old West Days will be treated with the talents of Mountain View, Arkansas’ Glenn Ohrlin. The one-time rodeo cowboy is thought to be one of the most knowledgeable presenters of old-time cowboy songs. Ohrlin authored “The Hellbound Train”, a University of Illinois Press book that was the 1985 National Heritage Award fellow. His dry humor and hilarious presentations has made him a favorite of folk festivals, cowboy gatherings, art councils and Garison Kielor’s “A Prairie Home Companion.”
Returning to Valentine’s Old West Days is Pat Richardson of Merced, California, one of the best cowboy poets in America. In addition to winning multiple awards, Pat has performed in the Lincoln Center in New York; Las Vegas’ NFR Cowboy reunion, nearly every major cowboy poetry gathering and is a popular banquet entertainer. The retired cowboy once rode bulls and broncs professionally, ranched, and trained horses throughout the West. The multi talented cowboy is also an accomplished artist and a former cartoonist for the Rodeo Sports News.
One of the new faces in the Western entertainment genre is Trinity Seely lives with her husband and children on the Handcart Ranch in a beautiful valley near Alcova, Wyoming. Raised in ranch country in British Columbia, Canada, Trinity grew up in a musical family rich in western tradition, which is translated into the beautiful music she now produces. Trinity is an accomplished horsewoman and spent several years, along with her husband, training performance horses. She is fast becoming one of the most sought after cowgirl singers in the western entertainment business and recently completed a CD produced by Brenn Hill & Ryan Tilby.
R P SMITH
One of the most popular cowboy entertainers in the West is Nebraska’s own R P Smith. R P is the 4th generation to raise cattle on the Pine Crest Ranch near Broken Bow. He says, “it still isn’t a real big place but I come from a long line of stubborn and persistant people.” Over the past few years, R P has been supporting his ranching habit by entertaining at many civic functions, cattleman conventions and cowboy poetry gatherings throughout the United States. R P literally cut his teeth in presenting cowboy poetry at the first Nebraska Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Valentine, and has consistently been one of the most popular entertainers since that time.
YAMPA VALLEY BOYS
Anyone who has ever owned a horse or enjoyed an old-time cowboy movie loves the Yampa Valley Boys. Their easy, down-home cowboy humor really connects with their audience, and the music and poetry that they produce is second to none. Steve Jones and John Fisher, the Yampa Valley Boys, are now in their 13th year entertaining audiences and have performed over 1700 shows together. They are continually award finalists by the Western Music Association and are always a hit wherever they perform, giving their audience a good dose of humor combined with outstanding original and classic western material. Steve plays guitar, sings many lead parts and is the group’s primary songwriter; John plays banjo, mandolin and guitar; and the duo also presents excellent cowboy poetry along with their music.