Then the showcases started! Naomi Bristow was next! A very talented young lady with no place to go but up! At the opening luncheon I sat with Troy Bateson …(who was on stage later with Barry Ward)…and Mustang Mikki! It was so much fun to get to know them. Then I got to see them perform! Mustang Mikki is a talented 16 year old who won the Youth Yoddler contest and the Best Of The Best. Also Thursday afternoon I got to listen to Allan Chapman…Gency Brown…The Red Hot Rhythm Rustlers…and John Bergstrom.
Friday morning found me at the DJ panel and that was one of the best I have been to. It was fascinating to me to find out how diverse our shows really are. What a kick! It was an honor to be in the company of such a group!
After that, I’ve completely lost track of what happened when…but one of the highlights of the weekend was the main stage performances with Dave Stamey, Juni Fisher and R.W. Hampton! It turned out to be a “roast” with incredible music! Unbelievable entertainment!
As the weekend went along I heard my friend Jim Jones signing my favorite songs…Doug Muchmore great singer and father of one of my favorite NM Girl Staters…LeeLee Robert, talented lady whom I have loved getting the know the last 2 years…”V”…what a neat gal and great singer. Looking forward to getting to know here better! James Michael and Call of the West – Jeanne Cahill and Jerome Campbell…there’s a talented group of friends! Buffalo Bill and Dr. Jo…Horse Crazy Cowgirl Band…Almeda Bradshaw…and of course there was Kristyn Harris singing by herself and accompanying various performers.
Another highlight of the weekend was the Youth Stage! James Michael does a wonderful job with these young singers and musicians! Of course had the kids not been incredibly talented when they arrived it would have been a different story…but they were! The youth that you already know were of course Kristyn Harris and Mustang Mikki but they were joined on the Youth Stage by Leah and David Sawyer, both gifted singers and fiddlers (and I think they are 7 and 9). And by singers Mandy Brown and Forrest Mackey. There was also an unbelievable young lady there who played 9 string instruments and sang and I was so mesmerized by her performance that I forgot to write down her name or take pictures. If anyone has that information please send it to me and I’ll add it. It was a spectacular performance! Thank you James Michael for donating your time to this project!!!
The Awards Show Saturday night at the beautiful Kimo Theater couldn’t have been better! It was so well organized by Lisa Hampton, the MCs did a great job and the entertainment was of course…award winning! Congratulations to Dave Stamey, the man of the evening, who won Traditional Album of the Year for Twelve Mile Road, Songwriter of the Year, Male Performer of the Year and Entertainer of the Year! Congratulations also to: Patty Clayton for Western Swing Album of the Year for Dancin’ In Denver; Rich O’Brien, Instrumentalist of the Year; Susie Knight for Cowboy Poetry CD of the Year for Western Wordsmith; Yvonne Hollenbeck for Cowboy Poetry Book of the Year for Christmas On The Range; Les Buffham, Male Poet of the Year; Sam DeLeeuw, Female Poet of the Year; Janet McBride, winner of the Curly Musgrave Award; Marvin O’Dell, DJ of the Year; Kristyn Harris, the Crescendo Award; Les Buffham and Mary Kaye, Song of the Year, No Wilder Place; Belinda Gail, Female Performer of the Year; Red Hot Rhythm Rustlers, Duo or Group of the Year; Mustang Mikki, Youth Yodeler and Best of the Best Yodeler; Miss Devon and the Outlaw, Duo Yodelers and The Sawyer Family, Trio Yodelers!
What a year for Western Music and Cowboy Poetry!!! Thank you for letting me play a small roll in getting it out to the public! See you in Albuquerque next year!!!