P R E S S R E L E A S E S 2001
July 23, 2001
MASS MoCA Brings a Taste of the West to the Berkshires August 23
According to Waddie Mitchell, "Twenty-five years as a working cowboy on some of the most desolate spreads in Nevada will give a man time to think." With all that time on their hands, it was natural that cowboys would perfect the art of spinning tales in rhyme and meter. "When you live in close proximity like that with the same folks month after month, one of your duties is to entertain each other, and I suppose that's where the whole tradition of cowboy poetry started," explains Mitchell.
Don Edwards, who has been entertaining audiences with Western songs and history for more than 30 years, first got together with Waddie Mitchell, the country's premier cowboy poet, in 1984. They have been touring the country bringing the Old West to a new generation ever since including a concert with the San Angelo Symphony and four sell-out performances with the Fort Worth Symphony.
When Robert Redford was looking for the right person to play Smokey in his major motion picture The Horse Whisperer he turned to Don Edwards calling him "the real deal." Songster, guitarist, and composer, Don Edwards' career has spanned more than three decades, enriching audiences worldwide with his authentic Western music and his knowledge of cowboy lore. In 1997 Edwards was presented his second prestigious Western Heritage Wrangler Award from the Cowboy Hall of Fame. His recording Saddle Songs received the Indie Award for the best traditional folk recording of 1998. He was the Western Music Association's Performer of the Year in 1996, '97, '98, and '99. James Earl Jones called him "a singing scholar of the old West." According to USA Today Edwards is "one of the country's most popular cowboy singers".
Waddie Mitchell grew up on remote Nevada ranches surrounded by cowboy culture. He was making his living as a cowboy by age 16, but eventually he had to choose between being a full-time cowboy (he managed a 36,000 acre ranch in Lee-Jiggs, Nevada at the time) and the art form that he loved so much. In 1984 he helped organize the now internationally recognized Elko Cowboy Poetry Gathering and gave his first public performance. Since then Mitchell has performed from Los Angeles to New York, from Zurich to Melbourne, and on a range of television shows including The Tonight Show, Larry King Live, Good Morning America, TNN, The History Channel, PBS, and Country Music Television. Mitchell has been featured in People, Life, USA Today, Fortune and National Geographic.
Combining the popular feast events and concerts, MASS MoCA will offer lessons in range cooking as part of this celebration of the modern day Wild West. Restaurateur, rancher and award-winning author of Texas Cowboy Cooking, Tom Perini will give cooking lessons and share stories of growing up in Texas.
Texan Tom Perini, former rancher and author of Texas Cowboy Cooking, will reveal the secrets to cooking the perfect steak - selecting the cut, preparing it, knowing when to turn it, and when to call it done. Along with his cooking class he'll share his own dry, Texan wit bringing to life the romance, adventure, character, and humor of life as a cowboy giving the Texas lore that gives the food context. Perini's authentic "chuck" bridges the gap between life on the trail and in the backyard. As Perini whets appetites, Hickory Bill's Bar-B-Que will be at the ready to satisfy hunger with traditional Texas fare before and during the show.
Tom Perini grew up in Abilene, Texas, and spent years ranching before starting his catering business and later opening the Perini Ranch Steakhouse - now a world-famous destination for travelers seeking the ultimate experience of authentic regional cuisine. Perini has since taken his chuck wagon and cowboy cooks all over the world to spread the gospel of good, old-fashioned, Texas-style grub like Texas Chili, Winter Squash Soup, Grilled Sourdough with Texas Onion Butter and Carrots with Bourbon Sauce.
Cowboy Poets and Chuckwagon Tales is sponsored by Credit Suisse First Boston and Sky Meadow.
Tickets to Cowboy Poets and Chuckwagon Tales are $15 for adults and $8 for kids. MASS MoCA members receive a 10% discount. Tickets are available through the MASS MoCA Box Office located off Marshall Street in North Adams from 10 A.M. until 6 P.M. daily. Tickets can also be charged by phone by calling 413.662.2111 during box office hours or purchased on line at www.massmoca.org. Doors open at 6:00 P.M. for barbecue before the show.
MASS MoCA, the largest center for contemporary visual and performing arts in the United States, is located off Marshall Street in North Adams on a 13-acre campus of renovated 19th-century factory buildings.
For Immediate Release