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!


2016 Cowboy Idol and Open Mic People’s Choice Winners!

 Orvil Sears 2nd Place Idol Poet; Jim Hamilton 1st Place Idol Poet, Randy Berg & John Lazzarini – “Last Ride” won People’s Choice; Almeda Bradshaw 1st Place Idol Musician; Susie Knight 2nd Place Idol Musician.

2017 Contestents!

Linda Nadon – Poet

Linda Nadon and her husband, who she refers to as “My Larry”, own and operate the N7 Ranch, a commercial cow-calf operation, located near Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan, CANADA. Her poems are the “Real Deal” as they reflect her experiences on the Ranch including, perhaps, a humorous twist or a tiny bit of embellishment. The critters and calamities that come with day to day life on the Ranch provide a never ending supply of poetry material.

Linda is a Veterinarian Technician and has a deep love for animals and for Nature.  She is passionate about horses and much of the ranch work is done on horse back. They have two grown children, Lacey Thiessen (Jared) and Landon.  Landon is a “rodeo man” who began riding bulls and then moved to bareback broncs.

Linda has been writing poetry for 20+ years and has performed at many local functions and a number of Cowboy Poetry Gatherings. She is starting to venture further from the local scene including performing at “open Mic.” in Elko, NV a number of times and attending the WMA convention in Albuquerque NM in November 2015.

Linda has a number of poems published on and one of her poems “A Quarter of a Century” was published in the fall edition of the Western Way Magazine.

Linda also sings and plays guitar. She began performing at a very young age and is no stranger to the stage. Her debut CD “North of 54” was released in September 2015

Pat Threewit – Musician

Pat Threewit is a Kooskia, Idaho, resident, who has written many songs and poems in genres such as country, cowboy, and bluegrass.

Pat’s only cowboy contact, growing up, was TV star, Roy Rogers, his boyhood hero, but at the age of nine, Pat’s family moved from Buttonwillow, California, to a piece of raw land near Friday Harbor on Washington’s San Juan Island.  From there, as a teenager through college, he would spend partial summers in Alaska as a commercial fisherman on his brother’s boat that Pat had named at the age of 12, and in the small fishing village of Pelican, Pat learned to play the guitar, while singing in one of the town’s two saloons.

Although Pat enjoyed watching TV Westerns, he never saw much chance on the horizon of learning cowboy life.  But, while attending college, he met and married a girl whose family ran cattle on Washington’s Horse Heaven Hills.  Maybe opportunity would come knocking!  On the family ranch, he tried to mount a horse, was bucked off before even settling into the saddle, and resolved right there to give up any cowboy ideas.  But eventually, as a young adventurous school teacher, Pat was able to ride, one morning, in a cattle truck and take pictures he could later use in his classes.  While watching all the excitement of the beginnings of a cattle drive, a cowboy rode up to talk to the truck-driver about having to go to town and needing a replacement to finish the drive.  Long story short, Pat took his horse, finished the drive, well sort of, and later wrote one of his best songs, “I Was A Greenhorn Goin’ On A Cattle Drive.”

Pat has performed with his guitar on open mic at cowboy poetry gatherings in Montana, Idaho, and Washington, and has played accompaniment for a country singer in Oregon, Washington, California, and Idaho. He was the lead singer in a bluegrass band performing in western Montana, southern and north central Idaho, and eastern Washington.  Pat’s performing highlights were when he accompanied one of his guitar students of year’s past, at two one-hour concerts at Death Valley Days Encampment and in one year, accompanying that same student and his wife, as Joshua Crosby won the  trophy for the Columbia River Cowboy Gathering  Idol contest, using a banjo both times.

Pat sings and plays mandolin swing rhythm to cowboy and old country music, including originals, adding an occasional yodel.

Pat can be reached at: 125 Hawthorn Lane, Kooskia, ID; 208-926-4140

Dick Warwick – Poet

Dick Warwick 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.

A.K. Moss – Poet

A.K. Moss (Kathy) is a western woman from Eastern Oregon, steeped deep in the roots of western living. From working as a girl on their ranch, calving heifers with her parents, to workin with wild mustangs and helping troubled horses , A.K. has dedicated her life to understanding and communication of animals.

A.K. has spent a life time around livestock bucking brush and feeding calves.  She has written about the people that she meets. Whenever she put pen to paper it came out as poetry. Back in the nineties, A.K. learned what she had been writing was cowboy poetry. And for the first time was introduced to Baxter Black who’s comment drew her to step up on stage.

She is not a gal to sit idol. If she is not helping push cattle out on the desert, or working with her colt, or butchering beef at their meat shop,  then she is reciting poetry  and keeping the western traditions alive by putting hers and other people’s experience in rhythm and rhyme. Which now has her fingers busy punching keys on her third novel. In her Unspoken trilogy, A.K. brings to life the trials and challenges of western living in her Cozy Contemporary Western novels. Check out her website at  or read her blogs at akmosshorses for her colorful adventures of horses, healing and western living.

Paul Larson – Musician

Paul Larson acquired many talents before makes his home in the sacred Black Hills of South Dakota, just a bit outside the small community of Rochford.  He’s spent several years on the road  competing in and judging rodeos. He qualified and competed in Charlotte SC at the Worlds finals Rodeo in 1997 in the team roping event.  His talent serves him well in the South Dakota as many a neighbor call upon him for round ups and brandings.  He is also a talented carpenter and  takes much pride in custom building. Whether it be a patio or log cabin in the hills or remodeling an 1800 building in Deadwood all are impressed with his artisanship, honesty, and commitment.

His history of performing in rodeos and creating with a hammer and nail made following his passion for music a seamless fabric of a cowboy.  Known for his baritone voice and cowboy yodel, he was once introduced by an announcer as a man with the voice he’d hire to ride circles around a rangey herd of cows to keep them quiet through the evening.

Paul is grateful to have the opportunity to write and play his music in many places, but likes most to sing with his good friends on the radio, at Gatherings, at The Moonshine Gulch Saloon in Rochford, in Hill City and the area that surrounds him.  There’s also a good chance you could catch him on the front porch of his cabin with his guitar and his dog, Rascal.

“Last Ride”  - Musician

Cowboy Idol – last year’s People’s Choice Award Winners!

John Lazzarini and Randy Berg met a little over 2 years ago through playing music with a mutual friend and began playing together. After a short time of getting together and jamming, the idea was cast to start a band.

The two started to play at “organized jams” and “open mic’s” to improve their play and to gain mic experience. Last year John and Randy went to the 2016 Cowboy Gathering for the first time to help get comfortable playing in front of crowds. To their surprise they had a great experience and came away with “Peoples Choice” Award. Since then they have played at the Kamiah Spring Super Jam last May and live on KRLC radio twice. They also have made appearances on the “Valley Bluegrass Stage” in Clarkston WA. a couple of times. They have been playing at their local nursing homes, and doing private parties and Family reunions and anywhere they can find an audience to play for.

Terry Raff – Poet

Terry Raff, known as The Singing Mountain Man, is a balladeer, storyteller and cowboy poet from Kooskia, Idaho. Before he retired, he traveled around the country for 20 years performing at RV resorts, rallies, fairs, rodeos, festivals, cowboy poetry gatherings, schools, community concerts and performing arts events, home concerts, conventions, churches, funerals, weddings and private gatherings.

He was named top entertainer on the Rio Grande Valley RV circuit in 2000 and was inducted into America’s Old Time Country Music Hall of Fame in 2005. He performed for three seasons in Branson, Missouri at the Hughes Brothers Theatre and nearby resorts. He also produced the weekly Taney County Opry Show in neighboring Forsyth, Missouri.

In 1988 Terry attended his first Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Boise, Idaho, dressed as a mountain man. This created quite a sensation! While the clothing was unusual, his western songs and stories fit right in. He joined the Cowboy Poets of Idaho soon after. The mountain man clothing was difficult to keep clean and looking good, and as the leathers wore out, they were time-consuming to replace, not to mention their discomfort in the heat and humidity of Snowbird-Winter Texan country. The logical thing to do was trade mountain man for cowboy, but the name stuck.

Terry has produced 18 albums and has authored two books: “Stories Behind the Songs,” and “Miracles of the Lewis and Clark Expedition: Evidences of Divine Intervention.” A native of Nampa, Idaho, Terry is a Brigham Young University graduate and former school teacher of 20 years. He is a member of the National Traditional Country Music Association, Death Valley 49′ers, and Cowboy Poets of Idaho, being the recipient of their 2000 Golden Note Award. He has been active in the Kooskia Chamber of Commerce, promoted the Lewis and Clark Bi-Centennial, and founded the Upper Clearwater Valley Frontier Music Festival (1995-2003).

He and his wife Barbara are parents of seven children and have 27 grandchildren. When not traveling, he homesteads 40 beautiful mountain acres near Kooskia, Idaho.   Website:

Ed Wahl - Musician

Ed Wahl 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’ centres, 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.


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