Bellvue poet and yodeler Gary McMahan to teach at the 31st National Cowboy Poetry Gathering

Gary McMahan of Bellvue has been invited to participate in the 31st National Cowboy Poetry Gathering, Jan. 26-31 in Elko, Nevada. McMahan is appearing for the 15th time (give or take) at the Elko gathering.

McMahan is known for his award-winning songs, captivating stories, uproarious humor and national championship yodeling. His songs have been recorded by artists such as Garth Brooks, Ian Tyson, Chris LeDoux, Riders in the Sky and Dave Stamey. His songs, stories and poems embody what many believe to be the heart of the new West.

Gary comes by his cowboy heritage naturally. He was born into it in Greeley and has ridden, wrangled and roped all over the West, all the while collecting reflections on cowboy ways. Those reflections are the backbone of all his songs, stories, and poems. He moved to Bellvue in 1985.

The National Cowboy Poetry Gathering is an annual celebration of the ranching and rural West. Through poetry, music and stories, ranch people express the beauty and challenges of a life deeply connected to the earth and its bounty. Every year, thousands travel in the heart of winter to rural Elko to listen, learn and share.

The 31st National Cowboy Poetry Gathering will celebrate the rich ranchero culture of Baja California Sur, Mexico. The gathering will welcome Baja’s vaqueros, who will share with their American cowboy counterparts the traditional acoustic music, ranch cuisine, local art and craftwork, traditional lore and humor of their Californio roots.

McMahan will join more than 55 poets, musicians and musical groups from the U.S., Canada, Australia and Mexico who perform on seven stages at four different venues. The gathering also features hands-on workshops in traditional Western arts such as rawhide braiding, silversmithing, Western swing music and yodeling. McMahan will be teaching the yodeling workshop. It also offers three western dances, film screenings, panel discussions and open-mic poetry and music sessions. Tickets to the 31st National Cowboy Poetry Gathering can be purchased at www.westernfilklife.org, by calling 775-738-7508 or toll-free 888-880-5885.

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