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"Cowboy Poets: Minstrels of the West" makes you want to pack a
bag and head north. The video's beautifully filmed performances and stunning
scenery make for great armchair traveling to three top Canadian gatherings in
Manitoba, Alberta, and British Columbia. The film opens with lush
panoramas graced by "When Cowboys Rode as Kings" by Ben Crane (written by
poet Bryn Thiessen); the song itself is worth the price of the video. The opening
gathering scenes show Manitoba professor and poet Dale (Doc) Hayes
reciting his "Shorty," with performances of the poem at all three
gatherings artfully spliced together. And it just gets better in this professional,
well-edited production that has aired on Canadian television.
You have a front row seat and a free ticket to shows that include American
and Canadian AWA-nominated poets Chris Isaacs, Mike Puhallo, and Thiessen,
all giving polished performances of classics and their own work. Puhallo's
recitation of his "Sacred Orb" as he saddles his horse is
unforgettable. There is plenty of humor and a good selection of serious poetry. Excellent
musical talent includes performances by Juanita Clayton (with an autobiographical yodeling song), Ray Martin (award-winning Manitoba
musician) and Ed Brown (also an artist and poet).
There's a wonderful growing trend of poets, musicians, and fans crossing borders among gatherings in the U. S. and Canada, and this video should go
a long way toward encouraging those migrations. The video is
available postpaid for $25.00 (US); Shadowland Productions, 51070 Range Road 221,
Sherwood Park, Alberta, Canada T8E 1G8; 866-269-2698 or from www.SilverCreekMusic.com.
Review by Margo Metegrano,
From the filmmakers:
COWBOY POETS: MINSTRELS
OF THE WEST
A Video Collection of Cowboy
Poetry and Music – Volume 1
What is the definition of
cowboy poetry? Dale (Doc) Hayes explains it best: He recalls being in a
poetry competition at a gathering in Alberta, Canada. "I felt I had
the competition aced. Though the fellow sitting next me was feeling pretty
confident, too. A mutual friend of ours got up and did a couple of poems.
He wasn't a very dynamic poet, but a darn good one. Then he started doing
this poem about having to put down his 14-year-old blue healer dog. I tell
ya, a minute into the poem, and every woman in that audience was crying
and most of the men were blowin' their noses, and I hit my friend in the
ribs and said I think we just lost this poetry competition. Because he was
talking about the everyday experience of a person’s life and that's what
cowboy poetry is all about."
Cowboy Poets-Minstrels of
the West is a video collection of cowboy poetry and music. It is
volume 1 of a series featuring some of Canada's finest, with a visit from
an American icon. Forty-eight minutes of laughter and tears with poetry by
Dale (Doc) Hayes, Mike Puhallo, Will Rogers Award Nominee and rancher-
turned-poet, Bryn Thiessen.
This production was produced
in the summer of 2001, over the course of 10 days and three poetry
gatherings. We visited the 2nd Annual Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Brandon,
Manitoba; the Pincher Creek Gathering in Alberta (largest in Canada); and
a Cowboy Festival held at the Historic O'Keefe Ranch located near Vernon,
While producing this video,
Hired Gun Productions put together a documentary, also titled Cowboy
Poets-Minstrels of the West. This documentary will air across Canada
in early 2002 on the Global Network. The US broadcast date is pending.
of the West
A Collection of Cowboy Poetry and
Music - Volume 1
is available now for only $25.00 (US)
includes shipping and handling and
1-866-269-2698 to order by
or mail a certified check
or money order to:
c/o Shadowland Productions
51070 Range Road 221
Sherwood Park, Alberta, Canada T8E 1G8
And you can....