By Linda Parker
Special to The PREVIEW
The wagon was packed with all it would hold of the family’s dearest possessions. Each child was allowed one item to take on the long journey west. Most of the space would be occupied with necessities like food and clothing, and the family album or a doll would be considered luxuries. The trip would be a long, hard trail with many trials and tribulations, and the family prepared as best they could.
As families rode west, their music came with them. It told of the adventures of traveling and the hopes and dreams of the promise of a new life. It was music of the land and the people, as well as their stories of survival along a rugged trail. It served as entertainment around the evening campfire, it was a favorite pastime and it accompanied their dance in celebration of their arrival to their new homestead. It was music about the pioneers, the wagon trains, the cattle trails and the landscape.
Cowboy Jubilee is a concert of music that will take the audience back in time. The music will remind us of a way of life that contributed to the development of our state, which in many ways has not changed. There are those among us who still live the “cowboy way” and live by the “code of the west,” the unwritten rules that center on hospitality, fair play, loyalty and respect for the land.
The Pagosa Springs Girls Choir is hosting this unique event as a fundraiser on Wednesday evening, Sept. 23, beginning at 7 p.m. in the high school auditorium.
The Girls Choir will join Western Music Association (WMA) performers Judy James, Peggy Malone, Terry Nash and the duo Call of the West. These entertainers will bring to the Pagosa Springs audience a new experience guaranteed to not only make them smile, but also to reminisce about the past.
James, “Lady Balladeer of Texas,” is at home on the concert stage, as well as in schools. A former touring artist with the Texas Commission on the Arts, James is a West Quest Award recipient, a past nominee for Female Vocalist of the Year by the WMA and Academy of Western Artists, and also Western Music 2013 DJ of the Year/Show of the Year and is currently listed as a WMA top-five finalist for her weekly radio show, “Cowboy Jubilee,” which can be heard on QXFM.com and at www.judyjamesradio.com.
With a voice that is rich, clear and mellow, James combines history with song, appearing in concerts, schools and festivals from Donna, Texas, to Great Falls, Mont.; and from Joplin, Mo., to Elko, Nev. Many of the songs James sings are songs of our heritage concerning the American cowboy, his principles and his way of life. Included are songs about the “Women of the West” and their special place in history. These songs are included in every performance along with a little bit of history she gives to her audience about the songs. You walk away singing to yourself and knowing what you are singing about. At each concert, James does all she can to “keep our western heritage alive.”
Call of the West
Jeanne Cahill and Jerome Campbell make up the duo Call of the West.
Exquisite harmonies, top-notch musicianship and on-stage fun add spice to lively tunes, western classics and current western favorites. The duo may throw in a classic country number or two, if the crowd wants it, and sprinkle in a little cowboy poetry from Campbell in western finery that he’ll put on just for the occasion.
The pair can also play a few western swing favorites, and will always include some of their original music — a diverse offering of instrumentals and songs covering a variety of topics. Besides both singing lead and harmony vocals, they possess formidable instrumental skills.
Cahill and Campbell have performed together since 1989 and they will play a variety of instruments including guitars, mandolin, steel guitar, concertina and harmonica. All instruments are played live on stage.
Campbell was the 2008 Merle Travis National Thumbpicking Champion and Cahill was the 2008 WMA Instrumentalist of the Year. She was also nominated for the 2008 WMA Female Vocalist of the Year and was a finalist for 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 WMA Instrumentalist of the Year. They were both finalists for the 2011, 2012 and 2013 WMA Instrumentalist of the Year, and Cahill is once again a finalist for the 2015 WMA Instrumentalist of the Year.
Cahill and Campbell are members of the Oklahoma Arts Council and Mid-America Arts Alliance touring rosters, and travel the country and the world, entertaining and teaching youngsters of all ages with their music.
Tickets for this unforgettable musical evening are $15 for adults and $5 for kids under 18. They are available at The Buck Stops Here, Goodman’s Department Store or from any member of the Pagosa Springs Girls Choir, and will be available at the door.