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Artistic Experience   |  Puttin' Up The Hay | Homespun Instruments Video

 

Miss  

"Good humored laughter curled her lip, a spark of deviltry lit her eye; before we knew it, she'd brought out her homemade banjo and guitar. She sang songs into the night, old favorites we could hum to. We all lingered on bewitched by ageless, timeless "V."
- Helena James,  Lilliwaup, WA

Miss Whether she's building a banjo, riding the Divide, singing around a campfire, floating the Grand or hitchhiking across America, this little gal is doing her best to seize Life's Rich Pageant. "V" has balanced her back-country experiences with countless asphalt tours, seeking enlightenment through solitude as well as through her interactions with people from all walks of life. A knack for recognizing the humor in everyday life, an appreciation for history, a hunger for adventure and a ceaseless sense of creativity collectively establish Miss V's unique perspective and personality. Her experiences, free spirit, clever lyricism and classic rhythms on the guitar and her homemade banjo, blend together to create her signature "Genuine Cowbilly" music. This Gypsy Cowbelle and her music possess a universal and timeless allure that has charmed fans from coffee houses and campfires to festivals and honky tonks across America for nearly two decades.

 


 

”We selected “V” ~ The Gypsy Cowbelle because she has a fascinating personal story that is reflected in her music and presentation…audiences’ understanding of Wyoming history is enriched through her music…’V’ is the quintessential Wyoming singer/songwriter, and Wyoming is lucky to have her as a cultural ambassador…”
- Virginia M.  Wyoming PBS

 


 

 

 


Listen to "V"s 2008 radio interview on "Hear It Now" with with Merrill Piepkorn on North Dakota's "Prairie Public Radio" (KDSU)

Prarie_Public_Interview

 



 

NoWoodstock2014My artistic experience is a reflection of the folk process. My father taught me my first chords on a Sears Stella guitar. With a history degree and hunger for adventure I boarded the Greyhound with the Stella, bound to discover America.

I learned songs and style from musicians at festivals and campfires and along deserted highways as I worked and hitchhiked across America. I picked up the banjo walking across Portland; the washtub bass on the streets of New Orleans.

A four month job in Wyoming turned into a fifteen year stay, caretaking a remote ranch with no amenities and few visitors. The setting was perfect for writing, practicing and building mountain banjos.

Occasional gatherings would find me distributing my washboard, washtub bass and assorted ‘homespun instruments’, encouraging my guests to “join the band”. These old-time hoedowns were planting the seeds for my next career. 

I started picking up gigs and recording my songs. In 2001 and 2004 I released my first two CDs and by 2007, I was taking my musical career more seriously. In 2008, I was accepted onto the Wyoming Arts Council Artist Roster and began marketing my shows and my Homespun Instrument Workshop. Inspired to share the concept that nearly anything can be used to make music, I now realized my mountain hoedowns had a niche in society’s youth.

My adult performances grew as I continued to hone my guitar and banjo playing, as well as my song writing and singing. Music now allows me to teach audiences of all ages about the rich culture and history of our country and I am currently producing my fifth CD of original music. I have performed in 25 states for audiences of one to one thousand, running the gamut between Ivy League schools and Wyoming’s first lady to county fairs and county jails. I believe, through it all, my roots of travel and the folk tradition are what enable me to connect with a wide range of audiences.”


 

 


 Watch Miss "V" discuss "Homespun Instruments"
and Plank Banjos

 

This website was supported in part by a grant from the Wyoming Arts Council,through funding from the Wyoming State Legislature and the National Endowment for the Arts.