By Carson Vaughan
Cowboy poetry gatherings have been drawing thousands for decades, bringing together Americans from the left and right and all pastures in between.
|Annual Benefit for The Willits Library|
Join Us for an Afternoon of Stories, Songs and Poetry!
“I’m not a songwriter,” he says. “I’m a song collector or song interpreter. My creative process really involves me immersing myself in this old-time music.”
He calls himself a songster.
“Those old songsters were really guys who were not known for being songwriters, necessarily, but more for having a repertoire of traditional songs and playing in a wide variety of styles.”
Now, at 35, Hedges is among the younger generation assuming the mantle of traditional folk music songster. He believes authenticity is key to the art form’s survival. He’s appeared at the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko, Nevada, numerous times, as well as festivals, concerts, workshops and events throughout the United States.
“I really think it’s the same thing it’s been all along since these gatherings were started,” he says. “That is to present these authentic voices from the West and these true stories. As cliché as it sounds: the real thing. People are drawn to that, it’s never going to be outdated.”
In October 2000, the United States Senate designated the Elko, Nevada, gathering the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering, acknowledging the gathering’s keen ability to serve “as a bridge between urban and rural people by creating a forum for the presentation of art and for the discussion of cultural issues in a humane and non-political manner.”
As Hedges, a shy conservative, told one interviewer, “You know, if you tell a story, there’s nothing to disagree with. It’s just what happened. If you sing a protest song that’s got a political agenda, then you’re just kind of singing to the choir. People disagree, blow up, and feel uncomfortable. If you tell a story, it just helps people understand, and I think that’s what can really change things and change people and change their perspective.”
“One week shy of his 88th birthday, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott provided a lucky few with a precious performance, exchanging cowboy songs and swapping stories with one of his young disciples, the Lubbock, Texas Western song collector Andy Hedges.”
“With precious few performers from Newport’s Sixties heyday still around to play the 60th anniversary of the historic festival, Ramblin’ Jack’s showcase was an urgent reminder of folk music’s storied history as the genre continues to expand and progress.” Go Andy!
Andy has expanded his study of the western song and poetry tradition with his well-informed podcast called Cowboy Crossroads in which he speaks with cowboy poets and songwriters. Here’s a link that you may enjoy perusing: Cowboy Crossroads
“I was especially inspired by one (podcast) called Thanks For Giving a Damn that Otis Gibbs produces. I just had the thought that man, somebody should do this with cowboy poetry and cowboy music….. and it kind of occurred to me that hey, maybe I’m the guy to do that!
Saturday, August 29th at Emandal – A Farm on a River
Festivities Start at 2pm…. Concert at 3pm
|Food||Tickets||Drinks and Ice Cream|
Because it’s too early in the season for apple…….
Any Pie Throwdown!
Most Delectable Filling
The Perfect Crust
Most Aesthetically Pleasing
Best Over-All Pie
People’s Choice Award
Most Creative Pie
Firefighters and Families: FREE!
Kids under 12: $15
Tickets available after August 1, at the Willits Senior Center, Willits Library, at the gate or by calling 707.459.9252.
|A Variety of thirst-quenching libations for your pleasure sold by Friends of the Willits Library
Hand-cranked, homemade Vanilla Ice Cream to make your Pie a la mode!
Pie Tasting: $5
Ice Cream: $5
HOW TO ENTER A PIE!
Bake a Pie, any kind of pie….. Don’t buy it at the store!
Bring it to the farm by 1:50pm
You will be given a number, and a place to put your pie.
Judging will commence at 2pm. Judges decide who gets which rolling pin for which category.
PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARD is given to the person whose pie gets the highest number of votes by the people who buy tasting tickets.
Awards are presented during concert intermission.
Pick up your pie plate at the end of the show!
|Concert ~ Featuring an impressively talented troubadour from Texas!|