Ridin’ back to Genoa
by Sharlene Irete
The Old West Trio returns to close the season on the Genoa summer concert series with a free performance, 4-6 p.m. Sunday, in Genoa Community Park.
The trio played in last year’s concert series and in the Genoa Cowboy Poetry & Music Festival in May this year.
The Garden Valley, Calif., band is Steve Ide, Leslie Ide and Steve Johnson, who sing and play cowboy classics from the Sons of the Pioneers, Gene Autry, Ian Tyson and Tom Russell, and their style of original music they’ve been honing for 15 years.
“Expect three-part harmonies, yodeling, and we’ll play some new old songs like ‘Take Me Back to My Boots and Saddle,'” said Leslie Ide about Sunday’s concert. “We’ll play more good traditional stuff and will throw in a lot from our new CD.”
Their 2009 CD, “Ridin’ Back to Yesterday” – featuring yodeling and fiddling, close harmonies, guitar and mandolin picking, cowboy ballads and trail riding songs – was recently nominated for Album of the Year by the Academy of Western Artists.
“That was a surprise,” said Leslie Ide. “I don’t know how we got nominated into the top 5, but it’s a nice validation that what you do resonates with people.”
While dancing is encouraged at Old West Trio concerts, there’s a request on their Web site, http://www.oldwesttrio.com: “Please don’t ask us to play line dance tunes.”
“There’s a difference between country and Western music,” said Ide. “It used to be hillbilly music and then went to county-western. Now ‘country’ means the Nashville-controlled music they play on the radio.
“We play the Randolph Scott-Roy Rogers kind of Western music,” she said. “A lot of people want to associate Old West Trio music with something like Billy Ray Cyrus, but we strive to be associated with Gene Autry.”
The Old West Trio makes summer appearances at Scofield’s Cowboy Campfire in Fiddletown, Calif., and plays in Western music and cowboy poetry events in Montana, Wyoming, Sacramento, Nevada City, Virginia City and the Rhymers Rodeer in Minden. They honor American heritage and cowboy music playing traditional and contemporary Western music.
Ide said the band’s contribution to the cowboy culture is to capture the spirit of the West in song.
“Bands like Riders in the Sky and events like cowboy poetry festivals have kept Western music in the forefront of the American consciousness,” she said.
Bring a picnic and the family for the free concert, 4-6 p.m. Sunday, in Genoa Community Park. The summer concert series is sponsored by the Town of Genoa Recreation and Events Committee. Information, 782-8696.