2018 Entertainers

 Dion Pride

Friday Night Concert Headliner!  

 He’s the son of legendary Country Music Hall of Famer,     CHARLEY PRIDE, and has inherited his father’s talents.

Dion started singing and playing guitar by the age of 5. He began five years of classical and modern piano when he was eight years young, drums at 10, bass at 12 and started performing when he turned 14.

Dion attended North Texas State Music College and engineered for Cecca Sound recording studio for 4 years. His demos are legend, playing and singing all of the parts himself.

Dion is a committed singer, songwriter, musician and stage performer who seems to be coming into season just in time for a world of new listeners. Today’s fans have shown their hunger for exciting, new music and a memorable live performance. This is precisely what Dion delivers. His studio recordings are also solid proof that he is gifted with the tools needed to sustain his place in the hearts of Country Music fans all over the world.

Dion connects with audiences of all types and works feverishly to win the same approval ratings and strong reputation his father has enjoyed for years. Adoring Charley fans have quickly jumped on board with Dion and show no signs of wavering as they have helped him to become a mainstay entertainer.

Dion played lead guitar for his father, and entertained our troops on USO tours in Panama, Honduras, Guantanamo Bay and the island of Antigua. He has sung and performed for crowds around the world including England, Ireland, Scotland, Canada and across the United States.

Dion Pride is a breath of fresh air with great artistic talent and an endearing personality on and off stage. With that combination, it’s easy to see why audiences all over the globe have become true Dion Pride fans.

You will enjoy his show for sure!

Georgette Jones

 Saturday Night Concert Headliner!

Georgette  was born to the only Hall of Fame husband and wife country artists, George Jones and Tammy Wynette. She’s been singing with one or both parents since the age of three. She recorded her first single with her Dad, “Daddy Come Home” when she was ten years old and performed it on an HBO special.

Georgette also worked as a backup singer for her Mom. Georgette recorded a duet with Mark McGuinn that was included on his “One Man’s Crazy” CD and has appeared on TV shows such as Crook and Chase, RFD-TV and The Grand Ole Opry. Georgette is a songwriter and member of SESAC and the CMA.

Georgette tours Ireland twice a year, where she has developed a very loyal fan base. She also tours Europe and Asia.

A duet entitled “You and me and Time”, which Georgette co-wrote for her Dad, was released as the first single from her Dad’s CD, “Burn Your Playhouse Down”.

Georgette has filmed a TV series entitled “Sordid Lives” starring along side Emmy award winner Leslie Jordan (Will and Grace) and many other big stars such as, Olivia Newton-John, Bonnie Bedelia (Die Hard), Margaret Cho and others. Georgette re-recorded three of her Mom’s songs included with five songs from Olivia Newton John in the soundtrack.

More recently Georgette has recorded 2 CDs with Heart of Texas Records – “A Slightly Used Woman” and “Strong Enough to Cry”

Also Georgette has just released “When Tractors Fly” with LENNON RECORDS

James Carothers – Duo

Saturday Night Sub-Liner

Mixing together Tennessee twang, southern storytelling, and a big, booming baritone, James Carothers makes throwback country music for modern times.

It’s an old-school sound that ignores the trends of contemporary radio. You won’t find any bro-country songs here. No Auto Tuned vocals, either. Instead, Carothers dishes up a reminder of country music’s golden years ― a time filled with fiddle solos, analog production, and slyly simple songs about heartaches and hangovers. His first full-length album, Relapse, released in 2017, offers plenty of all three.

If Relapse bears similarities to classic releases by George Jones, Waylon Jennings and Merle Haggard, it’s because Carothers wrote most of the songs between daily gigs at the George Jones Museum in Nashville. Since its opening in 2015, he’s performed several hundred times at the museum, playing acoustic duo shows throughout the week with loyal sideman Jerry Lee Combs on bass and a weekly Saturday night band show on the George Jones rooftop. George Jones’ own widow, Nancy, personally hired Carothers for the gig, giving him the opportunity to do something he’s thankful for and that most aspiring artists that move to Nashville only dream of doing – making a living that allows him to support his family playing country music.

Performing daily at the George Jones Museum has helped Carothers build a large fan base of fiercely supportive followers ― fans who are drawn through the museum’s doors by the booming voice echoing down 2nd Avenue and his spot-on impressions of several of country music’s greatest icons. The gig has also allowed him to sharpen his stage show ― not to mention his rare ability to entertain and interact with fans in a way that leaves most people feeling like they’ve made a new friend.

“My whole life, I’ve always loved those legendary artists,” he says, “I’ve really learned how to sound like them, too. My Willie Nelson sounds like Willie Nelson. My Johnny Cash sounds like Johnny Cash. When I do the Highwaymen, it sounds like all of them. People really do want to hear all these old classic songs and I guess singing them is kind of what has made things happen for me here in Nashville. I see a lot of folks doing double takes when they first walk by – the impressions definitely get their attention. Then they stop and hang out with us for a show or two, buy a CD, and a lot of them keep coming back. It may sound cliché, but I really have made a bunch of lifelong friends just ‘sittin’ on a bar stool actin’ like a darn fool.’”

Raised in rural Tennessee, Carothers grew up leading acappella singing every Sunday in the Church of Christ. His father was a hobby songwriter who landed a song on the Grand Ole Opry before moving the family out west for work while his son was still in grade school. Inspired by his dad, Carothers always toyed with songwriting and began playing his own shows in local honky tonks around New Mexico during his teenage years. Meanwhile, he got married, started a family, and paid the bills as a technician at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, working in the same place the atomic bomb was created.

Carothers visited Nashville in 2014 and recorded Honky Tonk Land (an EP released the same year), but the music gig remained a side project until 2015, when he ― encouraged by his wife ― left the lab for good and returned to Tennessee, this time settling in the country music capital of Nashville. The opening lines of his new project’s title track “Relapse,” although seemingly penned through a relationship lens, may also elude to the stone-cold country crooner’s true feelings about returning to the south.

   Relapse

Feels so good to be back home again                                                                                                    Runnin’ my old beat bath                                                                                                                        Don’t care if it’s the wrong track                                                                                                            Second chances blowin’ in the wind

Joined by bass man Combs and other all-stars like guitarist Phil Valdez, fiddle player Ross Holms, mixer Andija Tokic, and multi-instrumentalist Jon Estes (who pulls triple duty as Relapse‘s producer and engineer, too), Carothers recorded his newest album over seven days. The goal was to keep things from sounding too polished. The band captured 12 songs during a handful of live takes at Nashville’s Bomb Shelter studio, bringing the music ― fueled with lyrics that veered from booze to breakups, in classic country style ― to life. Although steeped in the swagger of country music’s greatest stars, most of the album was written by Carothers, from the topical “Can’t You Feel That Spirit (“a song that tells a redneck’s viewpoint on all the social divide in the country right now,” he explains) to the Celtic-influenced, fiddle-driven “Frost.” His father, James Carothers II, Jerry Lee Combs, and J.R. Banks are also included in the songwriting credits.

A couple of well-chosen covers were tossed into the mix, too. There’s a revised, fiddle-fueled version of George Jones’ “Choices,” a song Carothers once performed alongside its original writer, Billy Yates, while Nancy Jones sat in the front row. There’s also an updated take on Waylon Jennings’ “I’ve Always Been Crazy,” which showcases Phil Valdez as one of Nashville’s unsung guitar heroes.

On an album filled with the ghosts of country music’s late legends and the sounds of Nashville’s A-list players, though, it’s James Carothers ― singer, songwriter, and storyteller ― who shines the brightest. He’s a fresh cut from an old cloth. An old soul in a new world. A native Southerner with a wider perspective on the world. And when a Relapse sounds this appetizing, who would ever want to get back on the wagon again?

Joni & Olivia Harms 

JONI HARMS:  Once upon a time, Country Music was known as “Country & Western”.  It was called this for a reason.  That’s where listeners found songs by such greats as Marty Robbins, Patsy Montana, Tex Ritter and Gene Autry – artists who favored the “western” sounds and values.  Somewhere along the way, the “Western” was dropped.  Over the past decade the Country Music industry has increasingly focused on more 70’s and 80’s pop flavored sounds, in an effort to attract a younger audience.

“I personally can’t live without Western Music,” says Joni Harms.  “I like a lot of today’s country music, but the truth of the matter is that I’m very serious about keeping the western side of country music alive.”  The sincerity in her voice is clear.

“The majority of my songs include lyrics of the west, because I love to write about things I’ve experienced,” she says.  “Rodeo, cowboys, and the ranch way of  living shows through a lot in my music.”

Indeed, Harms has been praised for her pure country voice since she signed her first record deal with the famed producer Jimmy Bowen, of Capitol Records in the early 1990’s.  Since that time, Joni has released eight more outstanding albums.

Joni Harms is no stranger to success.  She has been a winner of multiple Academy of Western Artists Awards including top honor for Entertainer of the year in 2002.  In 2003, Harms was named Female Vocalist of the Year and accepted the award for Song of the Year from the Western Music Association.  Harms continues building audiences through appearances on the famed Grand Ole Opry and even an appearance at New York City’s Carnegie Hall.

“Growing up, I learned to sing and write songs by listening to Emmylou Harris, Dolly Parton, Merle Haggard and George Strait,” says Harms.  “I remember seeing Emmylou Harris, and, after playing a while with the famous Hot Band, she returned to the stage with just her black Gibson guitar and proved that yu don’t need all the electronic equipment to entertain your audience.”

Harms lives on a ranch in Oregon with her family that was homesteaded by hewr great, great grandfather in 1872.  This has been an inspiration for many of her songs.  Joni says, “I always want the songs I sing to be a good representation of who I am.”

Joni has been given a wonderful gift from God and represents it well in her music.  With less frequently used words like “God” and even “Cowboy,”  Joni is not afraid to sing about what she truly believes in.

OLIVIA HARMS:  I love Country/Western music, the stuff with the twin fiddles, the twangy steel guitar, the acoustic upright bass, and a little bit of harmonica. I love windows down backroad driving songs and rounding up your cattle horseback songs. To me there is still a genre called country and western music and thats what I strive to be. I was raised on classic country music and started singing as soon as I could talk. My momma is Joni Harms (if you don’t know who that is you should go look her up, she is a really great western singer and songwriter). She always encouraged me to do what I love and to not be afraid to share music with strangers who will shortly become friends.

When I was 9 I got my first guitar from Santa Claus, it was a baby Taylor. I vowed right then and there to figure out how to play the dang thing so I could work toward my dream. After I started to figure it out I traveled with my mom even more, singing at her shows and really getting the “I want to sing for you” bug. With time I started writing songs and testing them out on my friends and family. In 2011 I had written and co-written enough music to put out my very first album!

Since then I have had the privilege and honor to play at many different events. When I was in FFA (yes, I am a very passionate ag kid #foreverblue) I went back to the National FFA Convention in Indianapolis and sang for over 50,000 people! I have sang at the National Finals Rodeo and at the Miss Rodeo America Pageant in Las Vegas, The Denver Stock Show, The Corral Boot party, traveled and sang internationally in Europe and opened for several country acts including Dan+Shay, Old Dominion, Mark Chesnutt, and Jerrod Niemann.

I am SO thankful that I get the opportunity to do what I love and share it with the greatest people. If you have ever lent an ear to my music I appreciate you and we are already friends!                                                                    

Tom Swearingen

Tom Swearingen is an Oregon horseman whose original cowboy poetry is often inspired by his own experiences and observations from the saddle. A 2015, 2016, and 2017 Western Music Association Top-Five Male Poet of the Year, four-time finalist for WMA Cowboy Poetry CD of the Year, and two-time winner of the National Finals Rodeo Cowboy Poetry Contest, Tom brings his stories to life with rhythm and rhyme and a style that makes him a popular performer not only at cowboy gatherings and horse camps, but wherever else you find folks who appreciate the heritage of the West. For more on Tom visitoregoncowboypoet.com.

Tom was highly recommended to us to come and perform for you this year!  Enjoy!

Ed Wahl

Ed Wahl was our Cowboy Idol Musician Winner last year!  We brought him back to perform for you – without pressure – this year!

Ed has been playing the guitar and singing most of his life, growing up in a very musical family in Prince Rupert, BC.  Ed loves to sing and has a very vibrant voice and stage presence. He has competed in various karaoke contests over the years and has taken first place several times. He competed in the BC Talent Search in 2006, making it to the semi-finals, and was a Vancouver finalist in the CMT Karaoke Star Show which was televised across Canada in 2008.

Ed’s musical preference has always been classic country, bluegrass, traditional local music and more recently, cowboy music. He released his first CD in January 2009, entitled “Off The Wahl – Country Classics by Ed Wahl” and in May 2013 released his second CD called “Keeping The West Alive”, a collection of cowboy tunes. This CD is at #13 in the Top 30 Cowboy/Western Albums listing in the Winter 2017 issue of Western Way Magazine.

He has performed on the main stage at the Kamloops Cowboy Festival, Cariboo Country Night, the Annual 100 Mile Cowboy Concert, the 108 Mile Canada Day celebration the Barriere Fall Fair & Rodeo, and for the past six years, at the Annual Cowboy and Drover Jubilee in Barkerville.

Ed retired his five-piece country band called “Off The Wahl” at the end of 2016, so he could devote more time to pursuing his cowboy/western music. He also plays and sings (sometimes with a bass player) at seniors’ centers, many functions at the Scandinavian Centre and at private parties, and loves to jam with his friends at the Legions. In his spare time he makes a living building and repairing commercial fishing boats.

The Panhandle Cowboys

The Panhandle Cowboys were our Open Mic People’s Choice Winner for 2015!  They will be handling the stage and sound in the Ranch & Home Building this year for us.  They will also be performing for you again! They were here as Idol contestants in 2015 and then came back to perform in 2016.We are pleased to have them back this year to perform for you!

They are a unique blend of Western Music and Cowboy Poetry.  A pair of seasoned western country performers!  JB Barber is the poet fro Genesee, ID and Farmer Dave Fulfs is the song writer and singer from Pullman, WA.  Mixing original Western Music & Cowboy Poetry for a one of a kind pleasurable listening experience!

Dick Warwick

    Dick Warwick was our Poet Idol Winner last year and is back to perform for you this year as a performer and not a contestant!

Dick was raised amid the rolling Palouse Country hills of Eastern Washington, and still lives on the home place. Although they almost always had animals, this is mostly farm country, producing fine dry land crops of wheat, barley, lentils, and peas. Though he has tried out places like California, Pennsylvania, New Mexico and the wet side of Washington, the Palouse will always be home. “The landscape is ingrained in his brain and its rhythms are as familiar as his heartbeat”, he says.

He has written poetry of one kind or another since his school days, but did not happen onto the cowboy variety until 1990, when he heard that some Australian poets were coming to Elko, Nevada. He had become a fan of Australian bush poetry suddenly, one evening in 1981, in Perth, Western Australia, while on a rain break from a job driving “header” in the wheat harvest. Then later, in Elko, he heard some cowboy poets and decided that he was one, since he had been writing similar material for some time. And so it goes.

He shared his poetry with audiences at the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering, Australia’s National Folk Festival, and loads of other places, but somehow have not managed to stem modern culture’s flood tide of folly, flummery and foolery. Could be he’s “simply a contributor to it”, he says. He has participated in thousands of conversations about the weather, politics, commodity prices and punctuation—but again, to little effect. He says, “I shall have to be content with my role as Barnyard Yarnbard, optimist and prognosticator of doom”.

Although he has spawned a few CDs and a couple of books, his best writings were penciled onto the bulk tank of a John Deere 55H combine which, unfortunately, was eventually sold for scrap. And at a pretty low price, too.

 

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