Rhymers Rodeer returns to CVI

Staff Reports

After the dust settles and you've properly disposed of (your own) campaign signs, take a load off your mind and enjoy cowboy poetry, cowboy music and some old-time saloon piano tunes at the 21st annual Rhymers Rodeer in the Carson Valley Inn's Shannon Ballroom on Friday and Saturday.

The event features a cocktail show, an open mic session for all comers and a dinner show. Performers include poets Ross Knox, Jim King, Jim and Karen Ross and Dave Bourne on piano. Shows will be emceed by McAvoy Layne in the character of Mark Twain.

A cowboy, horseshoer and mule packer, Ross Knox began writing cowboy poetry as a young cowpuncher. He is a two-time world champion packer and has logged more than 60,000 miles packing supplies into the Grand Canyon. He has been entertaining at the National Elko Poetry Gathering for 25 years.

Jim King has been a cattleman and rancher and brings out the feeling of the cowboy way of life when he shares his experiences herding cattle, riding trails and mending fences during his performances. Growing up on a farm, he had exposure to dairy cows, draft horses and a lot of chores.

"My heroes were Roy Rogers, Gene Autry and Tom Mix. I wanted to rope cows, not milk them. I tend to concentrate on the classics," King said about his performances. "But there is some wonderful contemporary work being done by both cowboys and cowgirls. The best combination is cowboy poetry and cowboy music."

Jim Ross is a third-generation rancher, raised in the Sierra Foothills of Northern California. He started cowboying for wages when he was 12 years old. He left home and buckaroo'd in the Great Basin near Plush, Ore. The bunkhouse had old cowboy poems pasted on the walls, and Ross spent the evenings swatting mosquitoes, playing cards with the Irish haying crew and learning some poetry classics. His wife Karen Ross is a silversmith with a longtime interest in cowboy poetry.

Dave Bourne has played piano professionally since his first job in the Calico Saloon at Knott's Berry Farm in 1958.

He's been featured on albums with his Dawn of the Century Ragtime Orchestra and playing guitar with western singing group Lobo Rangers. Other music by Bourne includes "Saloon Piano" featuring authentic melodies of the old West and player piano saloon music released by QRS Music. His music is heard in the HBO series "Deadwood" where he can be seen as the piano player in the Gem Saloon.

McAvoy Layne is known for presenting the wit and wisdom of Mark Twain, the wild humorist of the Pacific Slope. McAvoy's satire and humor complement the poetry and songs of the other performers.

Friday's show is $25 with no-host cocktails at 6:30 p.m. and show at 7:30 p.m. Saturday's show is $50 with no-host cocktails at 5:30 p.m., dinner at 6:15 p.m. and show at 7:45 p.m. Open mic session is 10 a.m. to noon Saturday. Performances are non-smoking.

Information on special deals for tickets and accommodations for Rhymers Rodeer available at www.cvinn.com/rodeer or 783-6679. Advance ticket purchase required. Phone orders for tickets not accepted.


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