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Johnny Campbell Cowboy Gathering

Date: Nov 05, 2016
Time: 11:00 AM - 02:00 PM
Location: Live Oak County Courthouse

John N. Campbell, In February of 2014, the cowboy poetry and storytelling world lost one of its finest fellows: John N. Campbell of George West. John was the only performer to participate on stage at all 25 of the first 25 years of Storyfest. He recited his original poetry and told stories about his experiences as a South Texas Brush Country cowboy, revealing a love and respect for the land and the particular breed of men who were and are known as cowboys.

To honor John—the poet, the storyteller, the cowboy, the man—the cowboy time at Storyfest will now be called the “Johnny Campbell Cowboy Gathering.”

Long-time friend Gil Prather penned these lines upon hearing of Johnny’s death:

Hey Johnny Campbell,
you finally went wandering,
seeking and trying to find
A green pasture to ride in,
on a horse that is your friend.
You are leaving memories behind,
A memory to cherish,
that leaves all of us sharing,
Your heart, your soul and your rhyme.
Tho tears are falling,
You made our hearts stronger,
By touching us in so many ways.
I have nothing left now to say,
Just another treasured one,
gone his way.

This year’s cowboy entertainers include the following poets, storytellers, and musicians:

Don Cadden
Clifton Fifer
Gil Prather
Luke Reed
Jill Jones & 3 Hands High

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Don Cadden

Don Cadden is from Alpine, Texas. He and Pam live in the mountains south of Alpine. He runs a small cow/calf operation on leased country, and day works on several local ranches. A regular at the Alpine Gathering since 1990, Don and Pam now both serve on the Gathering committee. Don was the 2014 recipient of the Heritage Award. He has performed his music and poetry at numerous other gatherings in Texas, Canada, and Arizona. He performs songs and poems that he has written, as well as the cowboy classics. He also wrote and published “Tied Hard and Fast – Apache Adams, Big Bend Cowboy”, a book on the life and adventures of Adams.

For more information about Don Cadden, visit www.dcadden.com

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Clifton Fifer

Clifton Fifer is a teacher in the Kerrville Independent School District. He's in his 29th year of teaching Social Studies, and was a football, basketball and track coach. He won the first Golden Apple Award as Teacher of the Month in Kerrville, presented by the Kerrville Daily Times, and was Daughters of the Republic of Texas Teacher of the Year for 2000-2001. In December 2001 he won the Earnest T. Player Award for Best Actor in a Drama for his role as Hoke the driver in the Playhouse 2000 staging of Driving Miss Daisy. In 2003 he won the Mirabeau B. Lamar Award for excellence in teaching history; and in 2005 won the Region 20 Teacher of the Year award. For his performance as Tom Robinson in To Kill a Mockingbird for Playhouse 2000 he won his second Earnest T. Player Award as Supporting Actor in a Drama. He has also starred recently in Big River where his gorgeous voice, coupled with Austin Owen's tenor in the Huck role to Clifton's Jim won critical raves.

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Gil Prather

Pure Original’ describes Gil Prather. Known by his musician peers as “The Man from the Rio Grande,” Gil offers a unique style of self-penned Cowboy/Western music with a Tex-Mex border flavor. His music reflects his younger years of growing up on the Mexican border as a working cowboy in the Big Bend Country of West Texas. Early in his career, Gil’s versatility was recognized by major producers. He has written and produced several award-winning radio and TV commercials and, in 1996, he wrote the award winning song “I’ll Be Back in Texas by the Fall,” which was voted Song of the Year by the prestigious Academy of Western Artists.

From 1990 -1997, Gil was “the other brother” in the nationally acclaimed “Jose Brothers” comedy act which toured the southern United States. In the mid 1990’s, he teamed with Robert James Waller (The Bridges of Madison County) to co-write several selections from Waller’s Border Music album. Gil’s writing talent and unique style have made him well-known from Mexico to Canada, with performances throughout the US, Canada, and Mexico. In 2014, Gil was inducted into the Cowtown Society of Western Swing Hall of Fame.

Gil has been a working cowboy since birth, spent time in the cattle and ranching business, and dabbled in the construction business.Last year, he appeared in Robert Duvall’s film Wild Horses.Currently, Gil can be seen on CNBC’s new hit reality show West Texas Investors Club as “The Tenderizer” with Rooster McConaughey and Butch Gilliam.

Listening to Gil’s musical performance, you will experience true Americana music from a unique grass roots artist who has written a lifetime’s worth of songs reflecting the cowboy way of life he has experienced first-hand.

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Luke Reed


According to his website, chances are that you may have already heard Luke Reed’s music. His original songs have been recorded by George Strait, Gary Allen, David Ball, and Gene Watson, as well as Hank Thompson and Johnny Bush. Luke’s original cowboy songs have been covered by Michael Martin Murphey, Red Stegall, Don Edwards, and more. Introducing Luke at a performance, Murphey called Luke “one of the finest contemporary western songwriters we have.”

Not only have his songs been recorded and covered by famous artists, Luke and his compositions have been nominated for prestigious awards. His “Corridos” was nominated for a Grammy in the Best Contemporary Folk category. Luke was nominated for a Tony award for his original song that was featured in the Broadway musical version of Urban Cowboy. He won the Will Rogers Award from the Academy of Western Artists for excellence in the field of western art.

Luke grew up in Oklahoma close to where the Chisholm Trail passed. He has a degree in vocational agriculture and taught agriculture and was a county extension agent in Oklahoma before moving to Nashville, where he spent a number of years as a songwriter. He left Nashville for New Mexico, where he founded the Learning Horse Program at the Santa Fe Indian School for at-risk Native Youth. He has appeared on Ask This Old House, demonstrating the ancient art of Zuni waffle gardening.

Luke recently moved to Carrollton and accepted a vocational agriculture teaching position in Richardson.

Luke will also be bringing a Special Guest this year!
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3 Hands High

Elliott Rogers - Guitar/Vocals

Elliott Rogers, lead and rhythm guitar and vocals, is an award winning songwriter whose roots are in Austin Texas and New Mexico. Elliott recorded on Robert Earl Keen's first album with Nancy Griffith and Lyle Lovett, and he gambled with Townes Van Zandt while in Van Zandt's band. Elliott also performed with Blaze Foley, Darden Smith, Calvin Russell and George Ensle.While in New Mexico he had a great bluegrass band for 26 years that led to joining The Alan Munde Gazette and now 3 Hands High.

Jill Jones - Guitar/Vocals

Jill Jones, lead vocals and rhythm guitar, was founder and lead singer of The Hays County Gals and The Lone Star Chorale,recipient of the 2002 Academy of Western Artists Cowboy Group of the Year Award. A veteran of cowboy gatherings across the country, 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.She has several recordings of western music and she tours the nation with Ray Benson and Asleep At The Wheel in “A Ride With Bob,” a play about the life and music of Bob Wills.

Janice Rogers - Bass/Vocals

Janice Rogers, upright bass and harmony vocals, raised in the Texas Panhandle, this natural born singer could sing three part harmonies starting at age four. Her vocal abilities have shared the stage with Texas songwriters Townes Van Zandt, Blaze Foley, Darden Smith and George Ensle. Janice has also performed with bluegrass greats Alan Munde, Cathy Chiavola and Steve Smith. She has been performing with singer/songwriter husband, Elliott Rogers for 28 years. Her life-long love of finely tuned music, the purity of her fine harmonies and rock solid bass playing are the backbone of this dynamic band.

Jeff Hogan - Percussion

Jeff Hogan, acoustic percussionist, this Texas native is a master of drums and percussion with a history of exotic sounds and effects. He lived for years in Jamaica and worked with many of reggae’s greatest artists including members of The Wailers and Peter Tosh's band. For over fifteen years he has performed with bluegrass great, Peter Rowan, and has appeared before audiences of thousands at music festivals around the country. Jeff has also performed with Jimmy Carl Black (Mothers of Invention), Shake Russell, Kimmie Rhodes and many others. His latest CD, Udu Swamp, with Slim Bawb is on the charts and has found popularity in Japan. Jeff brings the heartbeat of the soul to this very talented group.

© 2016 3 Hands High

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