Participating Artists 2015


Marci Broyhill

Dakota City, Nebraska

Marci Broyhill, Prairie Poet and Storyteller, was raised in the hills along Highway 12, Nebraska’s rugged Outlaw Trail. Marci writes from her rural experiences growing up on the Cedar-Dixon County Line. She enjoys researching and writing about people and historic events of Nebraska. Deep agricultural roots tap a reservoir of material for Marci's pen and presentations. Marci researches the men and the women who lived and traveled the trails west of the Missouri River. She marvels at the determination and courage; honoring their efforts by giving them a voice through verse and story.

Marci's performances address nature, dilemmas in society, and family life. Her topics tug at our heartstrings and rekindle memories. Her expressive delivery draws the audience into shared experiences, generating reflection and laughter. Marci invites others to look back through their windows of time. Each personal view is unique revealing bygone moments of humor, tenderness, and courage.

Marci has recorded two CDs, Window of Memories and Mending Fences. Marci and her husband, Kent, live along the Missouri River in Dakota City, Nebraska.


Call of the West

Strang, Oklahoma

Exquisite harmonies, top-notch musicianship and on-stage fun add spice to lively tunes and pop standards from Rosemary Clooney, Les Paul & Mary Ford, Anne Murray, The Ink Spots, and Santo & Johnny. They throw in a classic country numbers, sprinkle in a little cowboy poetry, and add humor. They play western swing favorites, and always impress singing lead and harmony of their original music - a diverse offering of instrumentals and songs covering a variety of topics. Performing together since 1989, they possess formidable instrumental skills on guitars, mandolin, steel guitar, concertina, and harmonica.

Jerome is the 2006 Merle Travis National Thumbpicking Champion, Jeanne is the 2008 WMA Instrumentalist of the Year, was nominated for the 2008 WMA Female Vocalist of the Year, was a finalist for 2009 and 2010 WMA Instrumentalist of the Year, and both were nominated for 2008 WMA Duo/Group of the Year.

Their own recording projects include three duo albums, two classic country albums with their good friends, Tex & Mary Schutz, two solo original music albums by Jeanne, a gospel album and a solo thumbpicking album by Jerome.



Van Criddle

Eugene, Oregon
website soon

Van Criddle is an award winning Cowboy Poet, Storyteller and Western Humorist. Coming from a farming and ranching background, Van’s poetry has the sound and feel of one who’s been there and done that. He worked ranches in Pinedale, WY and in Utah, started breaking colts and training horses as a teenager, and competed in rodeo rough stock events in high school. He rode saddle bronc, bareback and bulls. He tried his hand at steer wrestling but as he says he “could never figure out how to get to the horns and I wasn’t very good at tackling them from behind.”

He and his wife Kathy managed a feed lot and a backgrounding operation early in their marriage. His real life poetry like Sixteen Horses and The Cowboy Ain’t Dead Yet will bring a tear and a smile. His stories will have you waiting for the punch line with a belly laugh sure to follow. His pleasant voice is easy to listen to and he draws you into the story. You to see the picture in your mind as if you were there.


Janice Deardorff

Tucson, Arizona

Janice Deardorff is an Arizona native. “I’ve always loved the old cowboy songs we sing around the campfire.” Being true to her roots, she sings songs she was raised on and songs inspired by her western adventures. On Janice’s CD Just a Horse, she shares her love for horses, rescue horses and the west. Janice's brand new CD Part of the West will be available at the gathering" 

Janice has been doing music most of her life, as an entertainer, educator and worship leader. Janice got immersed in western music when she started singing at cowboy cook-outs to barter for horseback riding. Now, from ranches to restaurants, from schools to equine therapy, horse training, rescue horse events and a variety of other venues, Janice’s warm and captivating presence draws her audience into a memorable musical experience, as Janice and her husband travel the Southwest.



Miss Devon and the Outlaw

Fort Worth, Texas

From Fort Worth, Texas, Miss Devon & the Outlaw are the 2013 WMA ‘Duo/Group of the Year’, two-time winners of the WMA Harmony Duo competition, and the recipients of the 2013 ‘New Horizon’ Wrangler Award.

Miss Devon, is noted for her vintage 'sock-rhythm' guitar style, warm 'swingtime cowgirl' vocals, and lively persona, a style perfectly suited to her ‘secret’ singing voice of Toy Story 2’s “Jessie” on the Grammy-winning Disney CD Woody's Roundup featuring Riders in the Sky.  Miss Devon and the Outlaw have been recently named the 2014 Duo of the Year and awarded the 2014 WMA Duo Harmony Award. Miss Devon is the 2009 AWA ‘Western Music Female Performer of the Year’. She has made appearances at Pixar Studios, the Grand Old Opry in Nashville, done shows with Radio Disney, Riders In the Sky, Michael Martin Murphey, The Texas Playboys, Starz-Encore's "Western Channel", and RFD-TV.

When Outlaw Jessie Del joins Miss Devon with his fine, classic western tenor-to baritone vocals things get more fun.  Like all outlaws, Jessie has been known to disappear into a dozen alias personalities, including his role as the bartender, Jessie Banks, on Bob Terry’s original western webisode series, SUNDOWN (seen at, so watch him close! 


Purly Gates

Driftwood, Texas

Whether she’s thumping the upright bass, strumming the guitar, jazzing out on the bamboo saxophone or regaling the audience about the virtues of bailing twine, Purly Gates entertains and educates buckaroos large and small at cowboy festivals, schools and other venues across the country. The multi-instrumentalist was playing harmonica by age 5, and just never stopped picking up new instruments and learning tunes. In her mid-twenties, she began traveling throughout the US and abroad as a professional musician and teaching artist.

Her passion for history, traditional songs and stories led Purly on research junkets to the Library of Congress Folk Archives and the University of Texas Folklore Center Archives. There she discovered cowboy poems, and soon began reciting some herself. During her 4+ decades performing nationally, she has shared stages with many legendary musicians. She has performed here at the Gathering with Ken Moore, Joe Green and Alan Chapman.

Purly writes poems and songs, while homesteading in the hill country outside Austin. Her latest release, The Call of the West, showcases her wry wit and original and traditional repertoire.



Larry Harmer

Buckeye, Arizona
website soon

Larry Harmer is a historian, storyteller, lecturer, and writer, performer of cowboy poetry, and purveyor of tall tales. Larry’s voice and expertise have been shared with audiences at historical events for over 25 years. His interests include early American History and the history of the West. His enthusiasm for the West and the preservation of its lifestyle is infectious. It’s said that Larry’s “got a true cowboy heart.” He works hard to live up to that compliment.

Larry’s participated in Cowboy Poetry Gatherings and performances throughout the West; including the Arizona Cowboy Poets Gathering, the Cochise Cowboy Poetry and Music Gathering, the Festival of the West, and the Durango Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Colorado. His dedication to cowboy poetry is evident, in the mastery of his craft and his commitment to the western lifestyle. His CD There's a Poem in There … Somewhere contains original works and several older and sometimes obscure poems. Larry’s work is also included in a collection of Cowboy Poetry titled Cowboys Are Part Human and the Commemorative Collection for the 20th Arizona Cowboy Poets Gathering.


Kerry Grombacher

New Orleans, Louisiana

Kerry has performed on stages as varied as the Durango Cowboy Poetry Gathering, the Newport Folk Festival, the Arizona Cowboy Poets’ Gathering and the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. He’s packed a guitar into Yellowstone National Park to entertain riders on backcountry trail rides, and he performed a concert on the parking lot of the Sands Motel on old Route 66 in Grants NM, where the owner put his name on the door of Room 104. In 2010, his “Highway 281 Troubadour Tour” traversed the Great Plains, following the 1800-mile highway from the Canadian border to South Texas.

Kerry’s recordings include It Sings in the Hi-Line, Sands Motel, Riding for the Brand, Dreams of New Orleans and Home to the West, and he has a song on the 2012 children’s album Cowboy Playground, from Putumayo World Music. His songs have been recorded by western artists The Texas Trailhands, Duke Davis, Trails & Rails, Earl Gleason, Ed Stabler, and Gary Prescott. Kerry Grombacher is a member of the WMA and the North American Folk Alliance, and he endorses Elixir Guitar & Mandolin Strings and TKL Guitar & Mandolin Cases.



JoLynne Kirkwood

Sigurd, Utah

Jo Lynne Kirkwood, who grew up in the high desert country of southern Utah and northern Arizona, now lives with her husband, Mike, on their farm in Sevier County. Her poetry reflects memories and lessons learned from her years growing up on the Arizona Strip, and from the day to day events of rural life in central Utah. Jo’s words have received numerous awards and have been published in American Cowboy Magazine and in I.M. Cowgirl, and in many on-line publications and elsewhere. Of her poetry collection, Old Stories, The Editor of, Margo Metegrano, writes “With her rare talent, she builds quiet yet captivating poems. Strong underlying structures give way to masterful expressions and explorations of place and character.”

Jo Lynne draws you deeply into the stories with their complexity of humor, longing, truth, pain, warmth, beauty, plain talk, hope, the bittersweet, and more…” Jo Lynne has been a Lariat Laureate on, and has been named Female Poet of the Year by the Academy of Western Artists.


Jim Jones

Albuquerque, New Mexico

Jim Jones tells it like it was, is and will be in the great American West. Native Texan, student of the West, he lives, sings and writes about cowboys, horses, cattle rustlers and such but he knows there’s more to the story…how the coming of the train changed the West, how critical water is for survival. Jim’s songwriting, guitar-picking and unique vocal style keeps him in demand on the Western music circuit and at house concerts, coffeehouses, schools and libraries throughout the country.

Among his many awards, he has been named WMA 2014 Male Performer of the year and shares the 2014 Trio Harmony Award with Doug Figgs and Mariam Funke. He was the AWA 2008 Male Western Artist of the Year and his song, Texas is Burnin’, received the 2013 Western Writers of America Spur Award for Best Western Song. His award-winning Western historical fiction novels are set in northern New Mexico, “loosely based in fact…basically, a pack of lies I made up.” They have educated, informed and entertained readers around the world. With seven Western albums and three Western novels under his belt, he is currently working on his eighth Western Americana album and his fourth novel.



CarolynMartin2015Carolyn Martin

Nashville, Tennessee

Carolyn is a Texas born, Nashville based swing singer and member of the Texas Western Swing Hall Of Fame. She was the 2008, 2010, and 2014 recipient of the AWA Will Rogers award as the Western Swing Female Vocalist of the Year.

The WMA named Carolyn’s Cookin’ With Carolyn CD the Western Swing Album of the Year. Carolyn’s Tennessee Local CD topped the Western Swing charts for 6 months and was in the Top 10 Western Swing Albums for more than a year. Her Tennessee Local composition Swing On was named Swingin’ West radio show’s 2013’s Western Swing Song of the Year. In addition to these awards, the Cowtown Society of Western Swing has named Carolyn a “Hero of Western Swing” and the Northwest Western Swing Music Society inducted Carolyn into their Hall Of Fame in 2014. Her recent appearance on RFD’s Larry’s Country Diner has allowed Carolyn to introduce western swing to more music fans.

Carolyn’s latest CD, A Platter Of Brownies: The Music of Milton Brown, pays homage to the Father of Western Swing, Milton Brown and his Musical Brownies band.


CarolMarkstrom2015Carol Markstrom

Clarksburg, West Virginia

Carol is a Western singer/songwriter who divides her time between Arizona and West Virginia. She hikes and explores remote trails and back roads. She takes inspiration from remarkable people, places, and events and loves to tell stories through her music.

Carol is a Professor at West Virginia and writes non-fiction articles and books about American Indian history and culture with this knowledge serving as inspiration for creative songwriting endeavors. She is also a children's author having released a book in 2014 called Dance of the Desert through Tate Publishing. This book includes Carol's recorded song that she wrote for the 2013 Cochise Gathering and performed for children at a local school! Carol’s first CD, Vision Across the Range, was released in 2012 and has garnered some favorable reviews. She is currently writing and recording songs for her next CD with an expected release of Fall 2014. Carol is a member of the WMA, Secretary of the East Coast Chapter of WMA, a member of the Academy of Western Artists, and a member of the Western Writers of America.



Dale Page

Monrovia, Indiana

Dale Page was born and raised in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. While attending Oklahoma State University, he worked as a horseshoer, bull rider, stable manager, dude wrangler, and on the movie set of “The Cheyenne Social Club.” Page majored in English, but after graduation in 1970, worked as the farm and ranch reporter for the Amarillo Globe News.

Combining his learned appreciation of poetry with his experiences riding and packing in the Rocky Mountains, he began writing cowboy poetry in the mid 1970’s. He writes mostly narrative poems and inserts both real and fictional characters into plots taken from actual experiences.

Page was named Best Performer event in 2008 at the Oklahoma Cowboy Poetry and Songs in Stillwater. In 2010, he won First Place in serious poetry, Rising Star Division, at the National Cowboy Poetry Rodeo in Montrose, CO.

He has performed at trail rides, charity events, private parties, church classes, cowboy church services, Friends of the Library, public schools, and the Indiana State Museum. In addition, he has performed in cowboy poetry gatherings in New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, Arizona, Colorado, Washington, and Montana.”


Trinity Seely

Martin's Cove, Wyoming

Trinity Seely's life has taken her to many places- from the British Columbia cattle country, to the California Ojai Valley, to the majestic peaks of Utah's Wasatch front, and finally to the high desert plains of Wyoming where a sea of sagebrush and granite peaks have stolen her heart. Each place that she has called home has embedded a love for the Cowboy, Western, and Buckaroo lifestyle and appreciation of a bygone era.

"A Cowboy Hat" written and recorded by Trinity was awarded the 2014 WMA Song of the Year. Her 2011 self-titled CD received outstanding reviews from Western Horseman, Ranch and Reata, Cowgirls in Style, Working Ranch Magazine and True West. She was one of True West's 2012 favorite western artists, nominated for the 2012 and 2013 WMA Crescendo Award, and the 2012 AWA Female Western Singer and Western Album of the year. The title track Trinity's 2013 CD, Old Poly Rope was nominated for the Western Writers of America Wrangler Award. She performed at the 2014 National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko.

Western Way’s Rick Huff says, “Trinity grew up in the genuine western life and tradition, so she knows whereof she sings…and writes…and does both very well.”



Jim Wilson

Alpine, TX

“My music is for people who live on gravel roads, and the ones who have always wanted to.”

“Cowboy music is a great way to keep in touch with our traditions, and reaffirm our freedom as western people.”

Jim Wilson was born in Austin, Texas and raised in San Antonio. For nearly 30 years, he served as a Texas Peace Officer in Denton and Crockett Counties. In 1988, he was elected Sheriff of Crockett County (Ozona), Texas, and until1996.

Wilson began playing folk and country music in the 60s at Texas Christian University. His earliest recollections are his father singing cowboy songs like Leaving Cheyenne and Streets of Laredo. Wilson returned to his musical roots in the 80s.

Jim’s 2002 Border Bravo received the 2003 WMA award for Best Traditional Album. It is a collection of original and classic cowboy songs and border ballads that focus on the American Southwest and the changing frontier.

Jim performs at country wide at music festivals, house and ranch concerts. He supports the WMA and has served on the board and as an officer for several years.


Keeter Stuart

West Linn, Oregon

Keeter Stuart comes by his skill at singing and writing songs naturally; It’s in his blood. His great-uncle, Stan Jones, was one of the finest songwriters of Western music to ever ride down the trail. His most popular song, “Ghost Riders in the Sky”, became one of the most enduring and memorable American ballads of all time.

Keeter was born in Woodland, California, just west of Sacramento. He has lived and worked in Oregon, California, Arizona and Mexico most of his life. He began to play music professionally at the age of sixteen while living in Tahiti. After returning to the U.S., Keeter continued to play and sing wherever folks were willing to listen. Over the years, he has opened shows for Emmylou Harris, Doc Watson, and Asleep at the Wheel. He has worked as a ranch hand, general contractor, and vineyard foreman.

 His most recent CD, Ghost Riders, Searchers & Cowpokes, is a tribute to his Uncle Stan. All of the songs were written by Stan Jones, and sung by Keeter. This album is generating a lot of excitement in the Western music community.



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, 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.