Hello friends! Well, at long last here is a little update from the world of the Gypsy Cowbelle. First off, I’d like to invite you to tune in to Wyoming Public Radio this Friday, June 21st, the Summer Solstice, at 11:00 am MT for my interview with the great music advocate and Program Director, Grady Kirkpatrick. Go to www.wyomingpublicmedia.org, and follow the “how to listen” icon to tune in and hear about some of my recent trappings. In the meantime, here is a little overview of some highlights of the Spring and Summer seasons...
Lots has happened, and lots is about to happen! I have been hiding out most of the past 2 months at my abandoned house in the Wyoming desert, renovating and learning all about what happens to a hundred-year-old house when it sits empty on the lone prairie for 8 years. Still no plumbing or electricity, but at least I have a non-functioning washing machine in my front yard to signify my upward mobility! I am gearing up for the rattlesnake season, building patience with the onslaught of mosquitos, millers and ants.
The Summer Tour schedule has commenced with a sojourn along the old Pony Trail (Express that is), which led me to the wondrous Homestead National Monument in Beatrice, NE and the annual Homestead Days celebration. Where history and agriculture meet, this remarkable festival began over 30 years ago with a concept by the Homestead NM to host a weekend to teach old-time skills and demonstrate antique implements. Now the event has spread throughout the town, attracting thousands of tourists as well as serving as a homecoming weekend for the locals. If ever there were a venue that appeared hand-crafted for my music, stories and spirit, it is the Homestead National Monument! I met so many kindred spirits, enjoyed a wonderfully warm reception, and even made a surprise appearance in the parade through downtown Beatrice, riding on the horse-drawn wagon and strumming my Plank banjo!
This morning I caught the annual Pony Express reride as they travelled, with mail actually in the mocilla, through Northeast Kansas, bound for Sacramento. This was a highly serendipitous event for someone who had resolved to check out the old Pony stations along their odyssey! I will stop off for a Modern Day Homesteader concert at another Pony station on Thursday, in Gothenburg, NE. Then off to my interview on Wyoming Public Radio and ringing in the Summer with my good friends at the Beartree Tavern in Centennial, WY. One quick trip up to the amazing Dahmen Barn in Uniontown, WA will round out the month.
July and August have me flitting about Wyoming and South Dakota, busy doing my Homespun Instruments workshops for the kiddos, more parades, picnics, concerts, cow town honky tonks, and a debut at the legendary Cheyenne Frontier Days. Without wishing away the summer, I am looking forward to embarking on a week-long wagon train around Labor Day, traveling from Buffalo, WY to Medora, ND. After that I will be presenting my music, workshop and signature Plank Banjo in Cheyenne as part of the America's Music Program. This is a six-week series of public programs created by the Tribeca Film Institute® in partnership with the American Library Association and the National Endowment for the Humanities, and in consultation with the Society for American Music. I will ring in the fall by traveling around Wyoming and Montana with my Modern Day Homesteader documentary en route to the 25th anniversary of the Durango Cowboy Poetry Gathering, of which I am so proud to be a part.
Please check out my “Itinerary” page for more details, and as always, I thank you all for tuning in and for your gracious support. I am so grateful for the kindness and encouragement you all have shown over the years. Tata for now, and I’d love to hear from you! Hope your summers are sweet and sassy! All the best, “V” ~ The Gypsy Cowbelle