Participating Artists 2016


Floyd Beard
Punkin Center, CO


Floyd Beard and his wife Valerie run a cow calf operation on the High Plains of Colorado near Punkin Center. Floyd began writing poetry while out working his cattle in the late 1970’s. Jotting down his experiences and observations while in the saddle, he “smithed” these thoughts into his stories and songs. Floyd was named the 2015 "Cowboy Poetry Idol" at the Columbia River Cowboy Gathering and Music Festival and he also won the Colorado State Fair Cowboy Shoot-Out in 2006. He has presented as far away as Stony Plains, Alberta, Canada, and is the current President of the WMA Colorado Chapter. Floyd’s stories, which he has recited and presented for 30 years, are inter-woven with his western code of high ethics, integrity and sprinkled richly with humor. His philosophy is simple: “Life is a journey not a destination, and is best viewed from atop a good horse.”


Almeda Bradshaw
Huntley, MT


Almeda is one of Montana’s talented Western singer/songwriters. Her love for the life she lives as a western woman is clearly expressed in heartfelt songs and poetry.

Though born a town girl, all she wanted was to be a cowgirl. When her family moved to the country, a young girls dream of having a horse came true and horses have remained with Almeda ever since.

Almeda raised her family in Big Sandy, Montana, where she also raised and showed AQHA performance horses, ran a hundred-fifty cows, finished hogs and operated a seed and feed business. She and her husband, former Marlboro Man, Merritt Bradshaw, now own and operate the M2B Ranch Bed & Breakfast and train performance horses on the Yellowstone River in Huntley, Montana.

Almeda has produced two albums of original songs: "Voices From The Range": Almeda Sings The Poetry Of Rhoda Sivell" and "Lovers', Wives & Mothers: A Western Woman's Voice". Her poetry album "A Way Of Heart: The Big Sandy Years" received a nomination for Poetry CD of the Year by the Academy of Western Artists in 2012.



Janice Deardorff
Tucson, AZ


Janice Deardorff is a cowgirl at heart, who fell in love with the west, through the ears of a horse, when she was five years old. She is a Arizona Native who grew up immersed in songs of the West. Her newest CD, "Part of the West" contains well loved classics, plus original songs that share the heart and stories of people Janice has met, right here in Arizona. On Janice’s CD "Just a Horse", she shares her love for horses, rescue horses and the west.

Janice has been doing music most of her adult life, as an entertainer, educator and worship leader. She believes that music is a gift from God to be given again...to the listener. She got her start in western music by singing at cowboy cookouts, to barter for horseback riding. Janice enjoys sharing western music, as she travels the west with her husband Kevin. Janice’s warm and captivating western music will draw you into a memorable musical experience.


Joel Eliot
Sonoita, AZ


Joel has been performing Cowboy Music for about thirty years. Cowboy Poetry followed as a natural extension of working on ranches throughout the West.

He has worked on cattle ranches, dude ranches, and as a farrier and horse trainer for almost thirty years. Joel loves riding horses, especially if it involves a real job like gathering or working cattle, packing into the high country, or starting a colt from the back of a saddle horse. He brings a "goal-oriented approach" and lots of experience to the horses and people that he works with.

One of his mentors, Ray Hunt, often says, "See if you can get your ideas to become the horse's ideas. Make the horse's needs, your needs." Joel takes these concepts with him when riding and finds himself using these to illustrate that working with a horse is a two-way street. With this philosophy and years of experience working horses, Joel helps people and their horses and manages to weave some interesting stories.

His colt training philosophy has been highlighted in Western Horseman Magazine.



Many Strings & Company
Salem, UT

Tony and Carol Messerly make their home in Salem Utah at the foot of the Wasatch Mountains. They are “Many Strings and Co.” Their music and songs are often referred to as vintage western with a twist of vaudvillian fun, sometimes quirky and rarely serious. They were among the top five finalists for the 2012 Western Duo of the year by the Academy of Western Artists as well as a 2013 nominee for Duo of the year by the Western Music Association. In 2013, Tony was named the Western Music Association’s Male Yodeler of the Year.

So, pour yourself a cup, toss another log on the fire and enjoy the tunes.


Horse Crazy Cowgirl Band
Ellensburg, WA


Horse Crazy Cowgirl Band is an award-winning trio plumb full of hot licks, harmonizing, and kick-your-cowboy-boots-up Western Music. The band formed in 2000; through the years, they have created an unmistakable sound. They have five albums to their credit, and numerous awards including the Western Music Association’s Group of the Year (2015), Crescendo Award (2009), Harmony Trio of the Year (2010) and the Marilyn Tuttle “Best of the Best” Harmony Award (2014). These girls have performed extensively in the United States and Canada. Judy Coder, Jennifer Epps and Lauralee Northcott share a special chemistry, and you won't want to miss the next "Horse Crazy" performance. Keep up with their escapades on Facebook. Check their website!



Jon Messenger
Sierra Vista, AZ

Arizona singer/songwriter Jon Messenger brings to his audiences a hearty stew concocted from the influences of an eclectic musical background. Jon’s original Folk and Western tunes have been well received by audiences at festivals and gatherings throughout the West. Bringing a unique approach to today’s Cowboy and Western Music, Jon’s vocal and acoustic guitar stylings blend together to bring to all his audiences an authentic portrait of cowboy life, past and present. Interspersed with the fine Western Music are some wonderful selections of Cowboy Poetry, some by traditional authors, and some original poems from Jon’s pen. 

Jon has written some of the most hauntingly beautiful songs of our time. Jon’s songs have been recorded by a number of Western artists; Jim Jones, Allan Chapman, Jean Prescott, Chelsea Beck, Mark Brooks, and Call Of The West, with whom he performs regularly (but that’s a whole different story…)

Jon's music is "A journey through the west" - "A night with the blues"- "Bluegrass Sunday Mornings" - and "The conscience of folk music in the traditions of the troubadours of old." 


Mountain Saddle Band
White Mountains, AZ

"Trail dust, creaking saddles, fire red sunsets, campfires, the smell of worn leather, horses and star filled nights are just a few of the things you will think of when you hear Mountain Saddle Band. Their sound will recall the days of the Old West in your heart. A unique blend of mostly old, some new, cowboy music, gospel music and cowboy poetry with a cowboy touch that will have you swayin' in the saddle and yearin' for more."

The Mountain Saddle Band includes singer, songwriter, and a radio personality Stephen Harrington, western artist, harmonica player, and poet Steve Taylor, and musician Kenneth Bucy, whose mastery includes clarinet, sax, bass, and percussion.  All are proud WMA and AWA members. Stephen and Steve are members of the Western Wordsmiths Chapter and Stephen is the Arizona Territorial Director for the International Cowboy Church Alliance Network. Steve toured with the Trinity Ambassadors Quartet. Between 2006 and 2011 Kenneth played with "Sentimental Journey," which soon morphed into "Journey West." 

They have traveled extensively playing cowboy music and cowboy gospel music throughout the west.



Terry Nash
Loma, CO

Raised in Eastern Colorado on a farm/ranch, Terry Nash now lives in Lom, Colorado, where he and his wife raise horses, cattle and hay.

When he’s not horseback on the mountain with his cattle, Terry can be found at various Cowboy Poetry Gatherings throughout the west

reciting his original poems and many classics.

He has recorded two CD’s of Cowboy Poetry, “Calf Pullin’ Made Simple” and “December Stragglers.”

Terry Nash was a top five finalist for the Western Music Association “Male Cowboy Poet of the Year” in 2013 and again in 2014.


LeeLee Robert
Paradise Valley, AZ


LeeLee Robert, nicknamed “Jewel of the West,” is an Arizona native who started performing professionally at age 16 and eventually worked her way up to singing with a 13-piece orchestra at the renowned Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco.

She is a graduate of Arizona State University and over decades of performing and mastering many genres of music in a wide variety of venues, she developed her original "Cowgirl Jazz" style that takes the colors and textures of jazz and blues and combines it with the lyric strengths of traditional Western Music about laughter, landscape, and love.

LeeLee’s latest CD, “Jewel of the West,” was voted Best Western Album of the Year by the Academy of Western Artists. In addition to being an award-winning singer-songwriter, she is a storyteller, and a writer and media personality who believes in using the power of influence for good.



Washtub Jerry
Fort Davis, Texas


Self taught, Washtub Jerry began ukulele in college and later began designing, building, and playing washtub bass. Jerry regularly performs with many groups, which has led to many recordings and CDs. A sought after sideman, he has backed Yakov Smirinoff, Riders in the Sky, Patsy Montana, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Peter Yarrow, Charmaine Neville, Santiago Jimenez Jr., and Johnny Gimble to name a few. He was a featured soloist with the Midland-Odessa Symphony Orchestra, and participated in cultural exchange tours in Russia, Ireland, and Germany.  Jerry’s conservative playing style and extra low notes greatly enhance the lead musician’s performance.

Washtub Jerry was voted 1999 Instrumentalist of the Year by the Western Music Association and received an American Cowboy Culture Award in 2013.

Take a look at the four books Jerry has authored and published.