Cowboy Idol Contest & Open Mic


Trophies sponsored by Sandy’s Trophies!

Open Mic Sign-up  -

Sign-up will  be at the event by each stage (Ranch & Home Building and Van’s Jewlery Building).   Come and sign-up if you are interested in telling your tall tale, reciting your poetry or singing!  Love to have you!  PS:  You could win the “People’s Choice Award”!

Cowboy Idol Contest

Contact Smoke Wade (435) 215-9675  if interested in participating


This is the eighth year Smoke has put on the “Cowboy Idol” Contest for us.  It has become a big part of our event and brings in some really good talent to all three of our stages!   I know you will enjoy the talent he has brought to our event this year plus his own poetry and storytelling!   Enjoy!


2015 Cowboy Idol and Open Mic People’s Choice Winners!

Panhandle Cowboys, Dave McClure, Doug Figgs, Floyd Beard, Jill & Allen Kirkham.

2016 Contestents!

As they are approved

Susie Knight – Musician

Susie Knight (from Conifer, Colorado) performs full-time as a singer and cowgirl poet for kids of all ages from classrooms to campfires to concert halls.  She presents a woman’s view on ranch life, rodeo, remudas, and romance.

With professional singers for parents, she was on stage singing and dancing at the wee age of three (the same age when she first rode a pony). She learned to play the guitar at age 13, and started writing “cowboy songs” by age 15.  Most of her adult life, she worked on ranches in Illinois, Wisconsin, South Dakota, and Colorado, and continues to guide trail rides in the summer and fall. Some of her original cowboy songs from those early years have been recorded on CDs in recent years and are currently being enjoyed on western music radio stations around the world.

Although Susie has been performing professionally as a singer, storyteller, and children’s entertainer since 1999, most fans of western entertainment know her as a cowgirl poet because…she admits…she didn’t want to put her guitar in the belly of an airplane when invited to Cowboy Poetry Gatherings far from home!  The 2014 WMA Female Poet of the Year, 2013 AWA Cowgirl Poet, and 2013 Cowboy Idol-Poet, Susie Knight is ready to take the plunge and start traveling with her guitar…preferably by car!

Almeda Bradshaw – Musician

Almeda Bradshaw is one of Montana’s talented Western singer/songwriters. Her love and appreciation for the cowboy life comes through in heartfelt expressions of the west. A life time of writing and music places her work above the ordinary, and Almeda’s clear vocals, compelling stage presence and musicianship guarantee her to be an audience favorite.

 Though born and raised a town girl, all she wanted was to be a cowgirl. Almeda spent hours riding the range of her imagination in a swing set saddle and when tall enough, she threw a leg up on the family’s trusty propane tank and rode off into many a backyard sunset. Her family’s move to the country brought horses into her childhood and they have remained with her ever since. Almeda raised a family in north central Montana while raising and showing performance horses, running 150 cows and operating a seed and feed business. She now owns and operates M2B Ranch Bed & Breakfast on the Yellowstone River in Huntley, Montana, with her husband, former Marlboro Man, Merritt Bradshaw.

 A multi-instrumentalist, Almeda studied violin, cello and piano through college, has a BA in Elementary Education and is self-taught on the mandolin and guitar. She has taught dozens of students of all ages to play stringed instruments.

 Almeda has written poetry, journals and songs since her teen years and has been performing at cowboy gatherings throughout the west for over two decades. She has produced three albums. Voices From the Range: Almeda Sings the Poetry of Rhoda Sivell preserves the poetry of a pioneer ranch woman who is considered to be Canada’s first cowgirl poet. A Way of Heart: The Big Sandy Years is a collection of original poem and songs that received a 2012 nomination for Poetry CD of the Year By the Academy of Western Artist. Almeda‘s most recent release, Lovers, Wives and Mothers: A Western Woman’s Voice, is a collection of original songs mixed with others by some of Western music’s best song writers.

 RECOGNITION                                                                                                                              2009 Rookie – Made the finals in 3 of 4 events and placed in the money in Serious Reciting – National Cowboy Poetry Rodeo, Montrose, CO.                                                    2010 People’s Choice Musician – Lee Earl Memorial Cowboy Poetry Gathering, Lewiston, ID                                                                                                                                                        2010 Voices From The Range – Spent seven months on Joe Baker’s Backforty Bunkhouse chart of Top 20 Western Albums                                                                                                 2010 Best of 2010 – Song The Range Call made Stan Howe’s Best of 2010 Montana Public Radio’s Bunkhouse & Honkytonk Folkshow                                                                               2011 Voices From The Range – #15 on the Western Music Association chart of Top 20 Western Albums                                                                                                                               2011 Rising Star Finalist – Kamloops Cowboy Festival, Kamloops, BC                                 2011 2nd Place Poet Serious – National Cowboy Poetry Rodeo, Kanab, UT                        2012 Top Five Nomination A Way of Heart: The Big Sandy Years – Academy of Western Artists Cowboy Poetry Album of the Year                                                                                   2013 2nd Place Poet Serious – National Cowboy Poet gathering, Kanab, UT                     2015 Pro Division Champion – WMA Western Wordsmith Chapter Poetry Jackpot, ABQ, NM

Jim Hamilton – Poet

Jim is a lifetime rancher on the east slope of the Wolf Mountains in southeast Montana.   He says he’s been married to Marge for a long time!  They have three grown children, a son, Mike, with them on the ranch, and two daughters, successful in their own endeavor’s, but take an interest in the ranch and come and help when possible.  

They do their work horse back and try to preserve the old cowboy ways.  His poetry is about what he knows, ranching and the cowboy way of life.  He strives for authenticity and he is highly flattered if a real cowboy or rancher tells him, “I could sure see that happening when you told about it.”  Most of his poetry is humorous, but he has several serious ones that he likes to do in the right setting.

Jim has written and recited poetry for thirty years or more and performed in many venues throughout Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, and for the last ten or so years, at several gatherings in Alberta and Saskatchewan.  He has recorded three CD’s and is currently starting to work on another one.

His CD’s Are:    The View from the Head of the Creek                                                                                 The Way it Really Is                                                                                                                    Thinkin’ About Life

Ned Bodie, Poet

Ned’s journey to being a Cowboy Poet started when he was a little boy in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, where he was born as Robin Freerks.  He and his family immigrated to the United States in 1957.Even as a youngster he was enamored of cowboys and the wild west.

While growing up in San Francisco, the dream of becoming a cowboy was always in the forefront.  In time he learned to ride and rope, but it wasn’t until he started writing poetry that he realized he would never become a cowboy.  He had always been one!

Ned Bodie came into being on the Bishop to Bodie ride in the California desert near Mono Lake, where he performed around the campfire.  Since then he has performed at Mule days, as a guest, and the Klickitat (Washington) County Fair, Fiddelin Under the stars in Goldendale Washington, and Aniche Vinyards in Underwood, Washington.

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