An Evening of Cowboy Poetry
Bulleit Bourbon, the Frontier Whiskey, and the Western Folklife Center
Grand Junction, Colorado
by Margo Metegrano, CowboyPoetry.com
Wylie and the Wild West stole the show at the Mesa Theatre in Grand Junction Colorado on June 14th. Hotter than the wildfires blazing around the state, they treated an enthusiastic audience to a great selection of tunes that were delivered with their customary vocal and musical wizardry at “An Evening of Cowboy Poetry, sponsored by Bulleit Bourbon, the Frontier Whiskey, and the Western Folklife Center.”
Wylie Gustafson and his band are true ambassadors of Western music, and to paraphrase Will Rogers, surely they never met an audience who didn’t like them. Wylie would be the first to say that the band is more than Wylie, and each of the band’s three other outstanding musicians — Ray Doyle (guitar, baritone guitar, mandolin, harmony vocals); T. Scot Wilburn (guitar, fiddle, steel); and Dave Reynolds (drums) — get ample opportunity to display their talents.
The band has an enormous range of material, and the show included “Saddle Bum,” “Yodel Boogie,” “Buffalo Gals,” and an amusing and rousing “Act Naturally.”
Wylie performs with an unaffected sincerity and he is clearly rooted in his ranching community. His love of Western life and respect for the past — his own and that of Western music and Cowboy Poetry — resonates with his audiences. He devoted a song to the man who was the best man at his father’s wedding over 50 years ago. The man and his wife were in the audience and Wylie had met them for the first time that night. He later honored his own parents with his “Swinging on a Star.”
Wylie’s admiration for the classic Cowboy poets comes through in his rendition of Curley Fletcher’s “Bad Brahma Bull” and in the sweet love ballad he created with Badger Clark’s “To Her.”
Visit Wylie and the Wild West’s web site for more information about him and the band. Their latest CD, Paradise, is a BAR-D favorite. Their email newsletter says this event “kicked off the ‘Bulleit Bourbon Round Up’ sponsored by Seagram & Sons and the Western Folklife Center.