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.

Jeff Davis – Musician

Jeff Davis is a singer-songwriter from the Northwest. Born in Newburg OR. and later growing up in Southeastern WA. Jeff has always had a passion for music, as he recalls enjoying his mother playing piano for church and singing around the house since a young age. It would be from his mother that he learns to harmonize while singing. William Koenig, Jeff’s grandfather, was a notable musician and minister in the Portland OR. area.

At the age of ten a family friend gave him his first harmonica. Instantly it was apparent that Jeff was a natural as he would throughout his teens and young adult life play harmonica along to Stevie Ray Vaughn and Eric Clapton albums, as well as jam with his oldest brother whom played guitar. It would be years later before Mr. Davis would share his talents with others. In 2000 Jeff began to teach himself the guitar. Though he had written lyrics for songs that were in his head since his youth, it wasn’t until he learned to play the guitar, that his music could be shared with others.

Currently Jeff performs his solo act regularly around the Tri Cities, WA. area and across the Northwest wowing crowds by blending his guitar and harmonica playing with his vocals, while performing great original music. Jeff’s music crosses genera’s from Country, Blues, Americana and Gospel.

If you find Jeff Davis out playing his music or sitting in with a band you won’t be disappointed. Jeff has performed with many bands like Vaughn Jensen Band, Stompin Ground, Bent On Blues, The Retro Actives, Chris Loid and Silver Train, The Wired Band, Blackwater, Tuck Foster and Mossrights and many more.

“Pappa Mac”  - Poet

Geoff Mackay  - Cowboy Poet, Preacher & Storyteller

He was born in Manitoba in 1960 and grew up throughout Western Canada.

While living in Calgary he would accompany his parents to a place called Heritage Park. It showed him what life was in the 1800’s. It’s where he fell in love with the Cowboy way of life, and he still lives this way today. Working as a Hand and Cook on some of the biggest Cattle ranches in Canada convinced Poppa Mac that he and his brother would one day own and operate their own Cattle operation. Not long after the Msquared ranch came to be.

Whenever possible, you’ll find him on horseback in a pasture working cattle, or in a rodeo arena delivering God’s Message.

Working rodeos throughout Western Canada as a wrangler and rodeo clown, provided Poppa Mac with lots of stories

His poetry is 100% true except the parts that are made up. it’s about the experiences he’s had over the course his life.  Sometimes it’s the toughest times in your life that produce the best poems

Poppa Mac has been blessed to perform for audiences at trail rides, rodeos, cowboy churches, concerts and cowboy gatherings all over Western Canada and several States.


  • Ordained Cowboy Chaplain (Cowboy Chaplains of America, Cowboys for Christ)
  • Western Music Association, Western Wordsmiths Chapter (Current President)
  • Alberta Cowboy Poetry Association
  • Manitoba Cowboy Poets


  • CD; Behind the Grease Paint (collection of Original Cowboy poetry) Released
  • CD; Fallen But Forgiven (Collection of Original Inspirational Cowboy Poetry, includes one classic)Released
  • Behind the Grease Paint, Outback Prince poems published on Cowboy Poetry Press
  • Behind the Grease Paint included in Unbridled poetry anthology
  • Multiple time guest poet on World of Horses Radio show
  • Contributing Cowboy poet to Poolville Post
  • Founder and past president of Canadian Rodeo Wranglers Association.

Orvil Sears – Poet

Orvil Sears was ranch raised at Elba, Idaho.  He grew up working cattle with
horses and ropes  After graduating from the University of Idaho he spent 36
years at WSU managing the horse facility and cattle feedlot.  He enjoys
bringing cowboy experiences and observations to life. While known mainly as
a reciter, he does write some of his own.

In younger years he worked all timed events in rodeo and owned and showed a
national champion cutting horse in 1959  Reserve champion in 1961.

Orvil competed in the National Cowboy Poetry Rodeo (NCPRA) in Montrose,
Colorado in 2009 and was the only rookie ever to make the open finals. Also,
2011 found him in Kanab, Utah (NCPR) where he was fortunate enough to win
the first place Silver Buckle in the Rising Star division and place 2nd in
an open division.

Orvil lives in Pullman, WA with his wife Shirley of 53 years where grandkids
and horses run wild.

Janet Bailey – Musician

Music became a big part of Janet’s life at an early age.  She was fascinated with traditional folk music, and mastered several instruments before focusing primarily on the guitar.  Janet first performed publicly at around age 10, and was writing songs soon after, much to the chagrin of her non-musical and introverted parents who soon realized they had a creative show-off as a daughter to deal with.  Despite this, Janet forged on and was often known to break into song at the most inappropriate times.

For the past several decades, Janet’s love of traditional folk and Western music has served as a happy balance in her life as a single parent and police detective.  While serving as a UN police officer in both Bosnia and West Africa, Janet shared her music frequently on US military bases.  She was honored to be asked to perform for thousands of US troops in the Balkans both on 4th of July celebrations and following the 9/11 tragedy.  She has also performed throughout Europe, Eastern Europe, South America, as well as throughout the western United States, at a variety of music festivals and events.  Janet has been a featured performer at the Santa Clarita and Monterey gatherings several times.  Her favorite venue is house concerts, where she can meet and joke around with small groups.  In 2004, Janet was selected to open for country music superstar Brad Paisley at the Britt Amphitheater, where she force-fed the country fans with Western music, whether they liked it or not.

Janet is a multiple award nominee with the Western Music Association and the Academy of Western Artists.  She has been a featured performer on Oregon Art Beat, and her story was highlighted on the OWN television network.  Janet is currently working on her third album project, a tribute to America’s farmers and ranchers.  She lives on a ranch in SW Oregon in the hills above the Applegate Valley.

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