Saturday, August 3, 2024

Join cowboy songster, Andy Hedges, for a day of Western storytelling, song and poetry at the 2nd annual Ranch Verse on Saturday, Aug. 3 in Lubbock, TX!

Daytime events with special guests, Ed Ashurst, Waddie Mitchell, Brigid & Johnny Reedy, and Gail Steiger will occur from 10:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. at the National Ranching Heritage Center. Enjoy special performances, poetry readings and discussions, and an onstage interview with Ranching Heritage Association Working Cowboy Award recipient, Ed Ashurst, for Western podcast, Cowboy Crossroads.

A special evening performance at the historic Cactus Theater will take place from 7:30 – 10 p.m. with Andy Hedges, Waddie Mitchell and Brigid & Johnny Reedy. Tickets for the evening concert start at $35 and are now on sale!

Purchase Tickets For Evening Performance

Free Daytime Events to be held at the National Ranching Heritage Center

3121 4th Street | Lubbock, TX

10:30 – 11:30 a.m. – Welcome to Ranch Verse
An opening performance of cowboy poetry, range ballads, and storytelling with Brigid & Johnny Reedy and Gail Steiger. Hosted by Andy Hedges.

1:00 – 2:00 p.m. – Cowboy Crossroads Interview with Ed Ashurst
An onstage interview with RHA Working Cowboy Award recipient Ed Ashurst to be recorded for broadcast on the Cowboy Crossroads podcast with Andy Hedges.

2:15 – 3:15 p.m. – The Life and Times of Gail I. Gardner – Gail Steiger
Working cowboy, filmmaker, poet, and songwriter Gail Steiger shares images, videos, stories and songs from his grandfather Gail I. Gardner of Prescott, Arizona, who wrote the beloved cowboy song “Tyin’ Knots in the Devil’s Tail.”  

3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Classic Cowboy Poetry
A performance and discussion of poetry from the cowboy canon with Waddie Mitchell, Gail Steiger, Brigid Reedy, and Andy Hedges.  

Evening Performance to be held at the Cactus Theater (Ticketed)

1812 Buddy Holly Ave. | Lubbock, TX

Evening Performance to be held at the Cactus Theater

7:30 p.m. – 10 p.m. – Ranch Verse Evening Performance
An evening performance at the historic Cactus Theater in downtown Lubbock featuring Waddie Mitchell, Andy Hedges, and Brigid & Johnny Reedy.

Ticket prices start at $35 and are on sale now.

This event is made possible in part by funding from the Ranching Heritage Association & Helen DeVitt Jones Adult and Secondary Education Endowment.

Purchase Tickets

Special Guests

Andy Hedges

Cowboy Songster | Lubbock, TX

Andy Hedges is a songster, reciter, storyteller, guitarist, and collector of cowboy songs and poems. The son of an Italian schoolteacher and a rodeo cowboy turned preacher, Andy was born in Lubbock, Texas. He grew up in the small community of Tokio, Texas, where his family paid rent on an old farmhouse by looking after a few head of cattle. It was there that Andy fell in love with traditional music by listening to his father’s cassettes of cowboy songs.
Andy’s vast and varied repertoire includes classic cowboy poetry recitations, obscure cowboy songs, dust bowl ballads, and blues. He also hosts a podcast, Cowboy Crossroads which features in-depth interviews with fellow musicians and poets. Andy has performed many times with folk legend Ramblin’ Jack Elliott and the duo’s performance at the 60th Newport Folk Festival was named one of the “10 Best Things We Saw” by Rolling Stone.

Waddie Mitchell

Working Cowboy & Buckaroo Poet | Elko, NV

From his earliest days on the remote Nevada ranches where his father worked, Waddie was immersed in the cowboy way of entertaining, the art of spinnin’ tales in rhyme and meter that came to be called cowboy poetry, a Western tradition that is as rich as the lifestyle that gave birth to it. Within his stories, told in a voice that is timeless and familiar, are the common bonds we all share, moments both grand and commonplace, the humorous and the tragic, the life and death struggles and triumphs that we each recognize. And yet, Waddie presents his material with personal insights and the lessons learned during his life spent as a buckaroo.

Waddie has performed internationally with television appearances ranging from The Tonight, Larry King Live, Good Morning America, TNN, The History Channel, PBS, and BBC, Waddie has also been featured in People, Life, New York Times, USA Today, Fortune, National Geographic, Wall Street Journal and the Official Program for Super Bowl XXX, along with numerous other appearances, performances, articles and books.

Ed Ashurst

Working Cowboy & Author | Rodeo, NM

Ed Ashurst is the author of twelve books. He is also a working cowboy who has ridden and gathered cattle and horses on over seven thousand square miles of the American West, accumulating over fifty years of experience as a big ranch cowboy. He currently manages a large cattle ranch in southeastern Arizona. He has also been involved in producing rodeos and horse shows, as well as horse sales, and has competed in the rodeo arena for over fifty years. His books are about his life's experiences covering different aspects and scenes that race across his vivid memory and water a fertile imagination. All that he has written originates from stories that are well worn from being told many times. Ashurst believes that storytelling is an art form that is no less important than painting or sculpting, and people say that his books read as if the storyteller is there in person.

Brigid & Johnny Reedy

Western Singers & Songwriters | Waterloo, MN

Brigid & Johnny are a sister and brother duo from Southwest Montana whose unique style and sensibility energizes the wildly eclectic music they play and write. From Cowboy tunes to Western Swing, Rhythm, and Blues to the Unclassifiable. Both Brigid and Johnny are currently full-time students at the University of Montana Western in Dillon, MN, where Johnny is studying English and Music while Brigid is pursuing a double-major in English and Natural Horsemanship. Brigid & Johnny have recorded two albums together, Handmade (2018), and most recently, Next ‘Go Round (2020). Their enthusiasm and passion for music propel their ever-evolving sound forward.

Gail Steiger

Cowboy, Songwriter, Filmmaker & Poet | Prescott, AZ

Gail Steiger comes from both a ranching and songwriting background. While growing up, he worked on his father's ranchea and later worked full time on the Cross U and Spider Ranches in Yavapai County, AZ for several years.

In 1987, Gail, along with his brother Lew and friends he had worked for and with made a film about cowboys called Ranch Album which was released as a national PBS special. The film was awarded a CINE Golden Eagle.

Since 1995, Steiger has been foreman of the Spider Ranches, and he continues to work part-time with Lew on various film and multimedia projects. He sings songs and tells stories at cowboy poetry gatherings around the southwest.

Gail has traveled with the Western Folklife and is working on a documentary project about cowboys around the world. Recently, the State Department invited Gail to travel to Afghanistan and Turkmenistan to work with the US Embassies in Kabul and Ashgabat to connect American cowboys with Afghan and Turkmen horsemen and herders.