Cowboy Idol Contest & Open Mic

Open Mic Sign-up  -

Sign-up will  be at the event by each stage (Ranch & Home Building and HAPO Building).   Come and sign-up if you are interested in telling your tall tale, reciting your poetry or singing!  Love to have you!

Cowboy Idol Contest                                                                            Contact Smoke Wade (435) 215-9675 


This is the sixth 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!


2014 Contestents are:

Keith Ward – Poet

Keith grew up on a farm in the mountains of North Carolina near Boone.  They raised beef, hay, tobacco, pepper and various other vegetable crops.  They also saw milled.  Horses have always been a part of his life although they didn’t have much time for “pleasure horses” as his Daddy called them.  Just about everybody around had work horses or mules, used for working the crops.  After he was grown and had married that pretty little red head, he quit farming and went to work in law enforcement.  He kept cattle and horses as a supplement to his income (Policemen don’t get paid much around here he says) but mostly because he loves them. (Cattle and horses don’t pay much around here either.)  He quit police work after twenty years and now makes his living as a “dude wrangler.” He owns and operates a guided trail ride business called Dutch Creek Trails.

   He has been writing poetry since his childhood.  His background has given him lots of inspiration for his poems.  Some are purely fictional and some are based on true events that have happened to him.  He says: “I think I like the fictional ones best because I am always surprised by the ending.   An example is “Drifty” which you can read on  I didn’t know why Clay was crying till I was writing the last four or five verses”.

  He’s been attending gatherings for a few years now, participating in open mic sessions.  In 2011 he entered the Cowboy Poetry Rodeo and won a first, second and third place in the silver buckle division.   After much encouragement and prodding by friends and peers, he finally started applying to gatherings.  He has since performed at the Heber City Gathering in Utah, the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko, the Texas Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Alpine and the Arizona Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Prescott.  In addition, he is working at several events around his home.

 Beargrass – Musician Duo

Playing a unique mix of folk, bluegrass, western and country, this husband and wife duo has been enchanting crowds in venues from coffee shops to concert halls and county fairs. Their fan base just keeps growing.

On mandolin, guitar, and dobro Shayne Watkins sings and plays everything with a country twist, influenced by such artists as Marty Robbins, Merle Haggard and Buck Owens.  Alane Watkins draws on her background working ranches in Eastern Oregon and she lightens the mood with humorous, quirky songs. (Does anything funny happen on a ranch?)  She is influenced by artists such as Nancy Griffith, Patty Loveless, Joni Harms, and John Prine.

Their original tunes are getting international radio play and the songs reflect humor and passion for everyday events. Their cover of diverse artists will make you smile with recognition and pleasure.  They provide honest harmonies and bring unique, fresh songs, many of them originals.  At any given time, you may want to dance, laugh or drown in the melancholy of an old ballad. BEARGRASS will charm and please you.

Geoff “Poppa Mac” Mackay – Poet

Geoff is a Cowboy Poet / Storyteller/Rodeo Clown/Entertainer.

Geoff’s love for all things Cowboy began at an early age tagging along with his parents who worked at Heritage Park in Calgary. There he was exposed to a way of life he still embraces today. Ranching and roping with his brother in the foothills of Alberta started a lifelong obsession. He still rides, ropes and works as a ranch hand whenever possible

Geoff is the founder and president of the Canadian Rodeo Wranglers Association and works as a wrangler at rodeos throughout the country. Most recently he travels the rodeo circuit entertaining audiences with his stories and antics as “Poppa Mac” rodeo clown.

 “Farmer” Dave Fulfs – Musician

Dave is a songwriter & singer, and likes the old western style of music.  He is a third generation Whitman County (Palouse area) wheat farmer, husband, dad & grandfather. He enjoys fishing, hunting, and snowmobiling, ATV riding in the mountains & horseback trips into wilderness areas.

Most things have slid away and music has come to the forefront, after a 30-year lay-off.  He is now writing and singing in Washington & Idaho.  He has recorded one CD of his original music with another on the way and has recently partnered with JB Barber, a cowboy poet extrodinaire, and they perform as the “Panhandle Cowboys.”

Now he likes to write about the old cowboy days when your horse was your best friend and a handshake was your word.  He is a member of: Western Music Association, Columbia Chapter, Montana Dakota Chapter and Utah Chapter. Cowboy poets of Idaho (CPI) and Palouse Country Cowboy Poets Association (PCCPA)

Dave McClure – Musician

Dave McClure is a Nespelem, Washington cattle rancher.  A cowboy poet, songwriter and one who sees the humor in living the life of a cowboy.

He says “He can fake playing the guitar but his first love is the piano so his horse is a big one to carry it out on the cattle drives.

Been doing cowboy shows for a few years and he has mooo-ved his branding weekend up a week to come to Kennewick for the Columbia River Cowboy gathering”!

Rusty Feathers – Poet

Rusty lives In Southern Oregon on a commercial cattle ranch. He says he is 53 years young and has a lovely wife and two great kids!

He says “I grew up listening to stories from my Grandpa and my dad about the way the west was in the good ‘ol days and it somehow shaped the cowboy way of life I live today.  And gives me the drive to write the word of the west in rhyme and meter!”

He says “I enjoy riding horses, bulldogging a few steers and working cattle, hunting, fishing and mining for gold.  I’m on a mission to put my salsa company, “Cowboy Poets Salsa” back together”.

Lynn Kopelke –  Poet 

Lynn Kopelke, AKA The Comic Cowboy of Cumberland, started out singing and playing guitar around campfires on both sides of the Cascade Mountains.

He took his act to Guest Ranches and County Fairs,  Retirement Centers to Biker Bars.  All have enjoyed his blend of traditional, classic and contemporary cowboy music, original poetry, goofy humor, and really big hats.

Lynn’s thriving ragwort farm and cat ranch sits just two miles south of Enumclaw, Washington.      Stop on by.

Natalie Pyle – Musician

My name is Natalie Pyle. I was born and raised in the Tri-Cities.

At the age of 8 years old I was singing to my entire family, Mom, Dad, Sister, Brothers, Grandparents, and really anyone who would listen! By age 10 I had entered various local Singing/Karaoke contests held at the Mall and the Fair.

My passion for singing grew when my Grandma Pyle introduced The Judds and Patsy Cline to me and we would sing together. I continued singing at local events such as weddings, holiday events, fundraisers, and parties.

Now at the age of 32, I continue to enjoy singing. My family and friends who have been great supporters of my talent encouraged me to record albums so they could enjoy hearing me sing anytime. I recorded two albums one titled “Simply Country” that features some of my favorite artists and songs and the second is titled “Classic Christmas a Natalie Pyle Collection” an album that includes a coming home tribute to the Troops in honor of my brother who served and returned from Iraq.

I recently had a small taste of fame while visiting Nashville with my brother and sister in law. I was given the opportunity to sing a song on Music Row.   That was one awesome Experience!

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