WestFest a modern version of Wild West of Buffalo Bill’s time | PostIndependent.com

WestFest a modern version of Wild West of Buffalo Bill’s time

Staff Report

Cowboy country artist Michael Martin Murphey presents an authentic slice of American music and “Old West” culture with the 19th annual WestFest today through Sunday at Snowmass Village.

Described as a modern-day version of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West, WestFest features acres of premium art exhibits, Western arts and crafts and horseman workshops, landscape photography, Indian pow-wows, cowboy and cowgirl poetry, rodeos, western swing dances, and one-hour trail rides with a chuckwagon breakfast.

Musical and literary performances include No. 1 Billboard artist Craig Morgan, best known for his hit single “That’s What I Love About Sunday,” which recently topped the music charts for five straight weeks.

Also appearing will be Dan Seals, former member of the ’70s rock duo England Dan and John Ford Coley, whose three-decade music career features multiple industry awards and nine No. 1 hits. Grammy nominee Don Edwards, a cowboy music balladeer and two-time winner of the Cowboy Hall of Fame’s Wrangler Award whom Robert Redford called “the real deal” and cast in “The Horse Whisperer,” will also entertain WestFest concert-goers.

Cowboy poet Waddie Mitchell, one of the top 20 Nevada artists, authors, and entertainers of the 20th century, is also scheduled for the event. Co-founder of Elko Cowboy Poetry Gathering, Mitchell has appeared on “Larry King Live,” “Good Morning America,” the History Channel and “The Tonight Show” ” an appearance for which he received more fan mail than any other guest in the NBC show’s history.

Setting an international tone, Ian Tyson, Canadian Country Music’s Entertainer of the Year and one of the first Canadians to break into the American popular music scene in the early ’60s, will also appear at the festival. Artists such as Neil Young, Judy Collins, Gordon Lightfoot and Ramblin’ Jack Elliot, among others, have recorded Tyson’s songs.

The three-day family event has been a launching pad for country music superstars including the Dixie Chicks, Toby Keith, Clint Black and Chris LeDoux. WestFest is distinctive in its full-scale cultural portrayal of the history of the American cowboy.

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