2018 CCMPG Performers


Floyd Beard

Floyd has been a cowboy most of his life. He and his wife, Valerie, currently run a cow calf operation on the Eastern Plains of Colorado near Kim. Floyd began writing poetry while out working his cattle in the 1980s. He would write down lines and verses about what he experienced while out in the saddle and dealing with his livestock and horses. He molded these thoughts into stories and songs when he got back to the house that evening. His poetry is about his own experiences and his observations of the western way of life.


Valerie Beard

Valerie shares the ranching chores and grandparent duties with husband Floyd.  Their cattle operation in the canyons and mesas of southeast Colorado is next in line to their family as their great love. In 2015, she made a smashing debut onto the cowboy poetry scene when she won first place and a silver buckle in the Novice Division of the Western Music Association’s Cowboy Poetry Jackpot. You’ll likely find her photographing brandings out there. You’ll see her work in “Valerie’s Gallery” on Floyd’s website. 

Broken Chair Band

The Broken Chair Band is Todd, Melinda and Dani Carter. They ride for the brand as beef producers for TM Ranches. Their music and poetry is branded ‘Americowboyfolkgrass’, which has delighted audiences on main stages, but is best heard around a campfire. Todd leads on acoustic bass and lead vocals, with Melinda on acoustic guitar and vocals. Daughter Dani joins the two to sing lead and harmony vocals and plays fiddle! Their latest album, “Little Victories,” was released March 29, 2013, and the title song “Little Victories” has been adopted as the ranch theme.

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Dale Burson

Dale has spent most of his life on the sections of the Texas Panhandle that he calls home. He and his wife, Becki, ranch in a land that has formed the foundation for his lyrics. His songs tell tales of his childhood and the surrounding area. This singing cowboy is a mostly self-taught musician to whom Granny Burson tried her very best to teach the finer aspects of music. When you see and hear his finger picking, you’ll agree that Granny did a fine job. He’s at home with mandolin or guitar, solo or in a group.

Janice Deardorff

A two-time Top 5 Crescendo Award Nominee by the Western Music Association, Janice is a singer/songwriter and a native Tucsonan, from Arizona, who shares songs that touch the heart and refresh the spirit. Janice fell in love with the west, through the ears of a horse, when she was five years old.

Audiences throughout the west are enthralled by Janice's rich low voice and easy listening style: Here's what they have to say about Janice and her music:

~ “Janice is not just a performer, she's an entertainer, who engages you and makes you feel included, as she draws you into the story, the song and the musical experience.”

~ “As a songwriter, Janice's inspiring lyrics are well crafted, not trite or cliché.”....“Janice's exquisite guitar playing shows fine mastery of her instrument.”

Her songwriting reflects a love for her homeland, her Maker and deep insight into the human condition. Janice's vocal quality and style have been compared to Diana Krall, Karen Carpenter and Anne Murray. She has released three well received CD's: two western CD's and one inspirational CD. Janice performs at a wide variety of music venues throughout the west: cowboy poetry and music gatherings, restaurants, guest ranches, wineries, coffeehouses, festivals and concert settings.

Doug Figgs

Doug Figgs. Doug is a horseshoer, cowboy, and Western music singer/songwriter. As a member of the trio “The Cowboy Way”, he shared in the Western Music Association’s 2014 “Harmony Trio Award”. His song, “Socios,” won the Academy of Western Artists’ 2014 “Will Rogers Award” for Best Western song, and a co-write with Todd Carter, “Charlie and Evangeline,” won the Western Writers of America 2015 “Spur Award” for best Western song. A third song, “Running With the Wind,” won the New Mexico Music Awards 2015 best song. He and his wife, Cathy, live in the Socorro, New Mexico area. 



Purly Gates

Purly accompanies herself and her friends with  guitar, banjo, accordion, ukelele, harmonica, and umpteen odd or home-made instruments. Her musical styles range from mostly folk and swing, to country, a touch of blues, and bluegrass. She has given hundreds of performances at schools, libraries, children’s’ museums, camps, recreation centers and festivals from Austin to Boston, ‘Frisco to Maui and beyond. She also conducts workshops for children in instrument-making, songwriting, and multi-track recording as well as Staff-Training Workshops for teachers, counselors and others involved with young folks. 


Danner Hampton

was almost born into the world of cowboy music. At nearly 48 hours old he attended his first concert, hidden under the CD table while mom produced the show, and both dad and grandpa were on stage. He is the six foot tall, 14 year-old son of R.W. and Lisa Hampton, both heavily involved in writing, singing and producing Cowboy Music; one of his older brothers, Colter, writes and sings; his uncle is an author and playwright; and his grandfather is a cowboy poet.

Raised on the family’s horse ranch in Northern New Mexico, Calvin Danner has grown up surrounded by stories of the West, riding horses, raising cattle, and listening to some of the biggest names in Western Music singing in his living room. His first love is singing and he is a favorite at jam sessions but he is also working on song writing, learning the guitar and will be filming his first speaking role in a made for DVD Western this summer. He has already attended almost every Cowboy Poetry and Music Gathering in the country, but has recently become more of a presence on stage than behind his Dad’s CD table.

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Jessica Hedges

Among the rocks and sage of Oregon, the traditions of a high desert cattle operation still live on. Jessica Hedges captures its stories through cowboy poetry, photography and social media interaction. As wife to a full time cowboy and mother to two little buckaroos in training, her writing provides a unique perspective into the function of a modern ranch family. With epic country as her background, her life is shaped by the cattle, horses, gear and people she's privileged enough to work along side.

Randy Huston

If you were to post a photo in Webster’s Dictionary under the word, “cowboy,” one of Randy Huston would be most appropriate. Randy’s mellow voice will take you to quiet pastures and noisy branding corrals. He can stand alone in songs such as his “Cattle Rest Easy” or as an integral member of a group. You may have seen him in our banner photo wearing the red shirt and sawing on a fiddle. Randy’s the kind you don’t want to stop singing, and you’ll see him several times this weekend. randyhuston.com


Washtub Jerry

You have to admire a guy who enters a field and actually creates his own genre by making  a musical instrument. Washtub Jerry is the only “tub-bass” player in the field of cowboy entertainment today. Not only that, he may very well be the hardest working man in the business.  Go to any show where Washtub is performing and you’ll find performers lined up to get him to play backup bass for them.  Because of his skill with this unique instrument, Washtub was named “1999 Instrumentalist of the Year” by the Western Music Association.



Jill Jones

Jill was founder and lead singer of The Hays County Gals and The Lone Star Chorale, the recipient of the 2002 Academy of Western Artists Cowboy Group of the Year Award. She has appeared with Willie Nelson on TNN’s “Legends of Country Music” and Ian Tyson at the Elko National Cowboy Gathering. She has also been featured on NPR’s Prairie Home Companion and Texas Country Reporter. In 1994 Jill won the Western Music Association’s Grand National Yodeling Championship and the 1998 Academy of Western Artists Yodeling Award.

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Jim Jones

The Cimarron Cowboy Music and Poetry Gathering welcomes back Western singer, songwriter, and author Jim Jones. He was honored in 2016 with a Will Rogers Award from the Academy of Western Artists for the Best Western Song of the Year, “The Fires of Goliad,” co-written with Bruce Huntington. His song, “Texas Is Burning” won the 2013 Western Writers of America Spur Award for Western Song of the Year. The 2014 Western Music Association’s Male Performer of the Year is also an accomplished author with a trilogy set in New Mexico, which Jim describes as “loosely based on fact...basically just a pack of lies...” 


Susie Knight

Susie Knight hangs her hat in Conifer, Colorado. Known for her enthusiastic stage presence from campfires to concert halls, she is the 2014 & 2016 WMA Female Poet of the Year, 2013 AWA Cowgirl Poet of the Year, and recipient of the 2012 WMA Cowboy Poetry CD of the Year Award for her album, Western Wordsmith, and the 2016 WMA Cowboy Poetry CD of the Year for her album, Fillin' Tanks.  Fillin' Tanks was the #1 Cowboy Poetry CD on radio in 2016 bumping Susie Knight to be the #1 performer of Cowboy Poetry on Radio in 2016.  Celebrating 50+ years on stage and in the saddle, Susie Knight is Colorado’s own All-Around Cowgirl Entertainer! 


Peggy Malone

Peggy Malone first got her start Colorado’s KLAK Radio station’s version of the “Grand Ol’ Opry,” called “The Rocky Mountain Jamboree.” She was nicknamed, “The Little Girl With The Big Voice.” Out of 30 contestants, Peggy won the “Patsy Cline Sing Alike Contest” and had her own live bi-weekly radio show based out of Castle Rock, Colorado. In 2006, Peggy Malone was inducted into the Colorado Cowboy Country Music Association. She was nominated for “Best Female Vocalist” by the WMA and won an EMMY for Performer/Songwriter in 2001.


Deanna McCall

Deanna currently ranches in the Sacramento Mountains of southern New Mexico with her husband, Dave. She is from a long line of ranchers, people who revere the land and livestock, and love their livelihood. The stories she writes are generous slices of this life. They are tales of gritty existence, simple honest love, a code of honor still upheld, and beating overwhelming odds. They are about the people and land of today’s West. Her voice of experience cannot be mistaken as you read and are drawn into her writing.


Terry Nash

Terry has the distinct ability to put words together and deliver them in a captivating way. He’s performed at just about every cowboy poetry gathering in the southern Rockies. Terry was nominated for Cowboy Poet of the Year by the Western Music Association and was selected to perform at Elko, Nevada, at the biggest cowboy poetry gathering in the country. A cattle raiser from the Grand Junction, CO, area, Terry knows what he’s talking about. He lives the Western life he writes about, and he’s a master at showing it to you.  


Claudia Nygaard

Claudia’s voice alone could have provided her with a successful music career, but the slash between singer/songwriter is a very thin line when describing her. After her years in the bars and riding the corn dog trail, she made the move to Nashville, and landed a job as a staff songwriter for Greenwood Music on Music Row. The job allowed her to focus on the craft of songwriting, and she learned it well. In 2011 when “Let The Storm Roll In” hit #1 on Roots Music Country Chart in July and Maverick Magazine gave it five stars in October.


Dale Page

Dale Page Dale worked as a horseshoer, bull rider, and vet lab assistant while majoring in English at Oklahoma State University. He writes mostly narrative poems with plots taken from personal experiences. Page was named Best Performer in 2008 at Oklahoma State’s Cowboy Poetry and Songs. In 2010, he won a First Place buckle at the National Cowboy Poetry Rodeo in Montrose, CO. Dale was awarded the 2015 Cowboy Poetry CD of the Year by the Western Music Association for his collection of original poems, “Once We Were Kings.” 


Ramblin’ Rangers

The Ramblin’ Rangers was formed in October, 2006, to present musical interpretive programs at the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in Utah.  The theme for these sing-along campfire programs centered on the life and times of the old-time cowboy, cattle drives, and the history of the chuck wagon. They often broaden their performances to include various festivals, restaurants, Senior Centers and venues such as the annual Western Legends Festival in Kanab, UT, and the Western Arts Festival at Grand Canyon, AZ.


Dennis Russell

Dennis Russell shares his original poems and stories as well as some of the classics at campfires or cowboy gatherings. A local cattle rancher, his Hereford-cross cattle carry the blood of the herd at the historic Chase Ranch outside Cimarron. Dennis, who was proclaimed the First Cimarron Poet Laureate of Cimarron, won First Place and a silver buckle in the Western Music Association’s 2014 Cowboy Poetry Jackpot, Novice Division. He is the founder and producer of the Cimarron Cowboy Music and Poetry Gathering.



JJ Steele

JJ Steele has been entertaining folks for several years with cowboy tales, poetry and song. Native to the Northern Colorado cattle country, JJ’s been writing songs and poetry since his youth and now ranches near Wetmore, Colorado. The most fun of all is to see JJ in person, while he puts you in touch with visions of the West.

Rocky Sullivan

Rocky Sullivan. The Champion Cowboy Poet from the 2015 National Cowboy Poetry Rodeo joins us as one of our Spotlight Entertainers. Rocky is a ranch manager in the Sedona, AZ, region who is looking to make New Mexico his home. In the mold of classic cowboy poets Bruce Kiskaddon and S. Omar Barker, he carries on the traditions of storytelling and keeping the cowboy alive. With the camaraderie and fellowship of like-minded folks, Rocky brings his tales of the West to audiences across the Southern Rockies.

Rod Taylor

Rod Taylor cowboys at the Philmont Scout Ranch south of Cimarron. He’s a seasoned hand who has worked cattle on several big ranches but has put down roots here. This prolific songwriter has several CD’s to his credit and sings with a local band who call themselves The Rifters. Shut your eyes and be taken back with Rod as he sings about the life of the American cowboy.  His baritone voice is just right for the stories he tells of the horses and men of the West in his songs. His newest album, “Here, There, or Anywhere,” is a must-have CD for enjoying real cowboy music.


Get in Touch

For more information, contact us on Facebook or call Dennis Russell (719) 330-1797
Co-Producer: Dale Page