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Saddle Up!

Polish your boots and don your Stetson hat. Saddle Up! Pigeon Forge is right around the corner.


Celebrate Tennessee cowboy culture at the 15th Annual Saddle Up! event in Pigeon Forge. This event gives folks from all walks of life a chance to embrace the ways of the wild west while taking in beautiful Smoky Mountain scenery!

Pigeon Forge Saddle Up! - a western-themed event

The 2015 Saddle Up! event will take place February 18-22 at the new LeConte Center at Pigeon Forge. By attending, you'll have a chance to take in legendary country-western concerts, hear old cowboy tales and poetry, and savor local flavor by dining on cowboy cuisine right off the chuck wagon.
Performers slated to appear at this year's Saddle Up! includes national favorites. Confirmed entertainers include:
  • Baxter Black
  • Wylie and the Wild West
  • Brenn Hill
  • Chuck Pyle
  • Jean & Gary Prescott
  • Andy Nelson
  • Skip Gorman
  • T. Scot Wilburn and the Shut-up-n-Playboys

Additionally, other cowboy-themed activites on tap for Saddle Up! include the Buckaroo Roundup, cowboy dance, chuck wagon cook-off, special cowboy church service, storytelling workshops and history lessons.
Tickets for the 2015 Saddle Up! Pigeon Forge event are available for purchase on October 20, 2014. Start making plans now to attend this annual favorite.

Baxter Black is a cowboy poet, former large animal veterinarian and entertainer of the agricultural masses.  As he puts it, “he has a narrow following, but it’s deep!”  For over 25 years he has traveled the U.S. and Canada, scattering his wit and observations to folks looking for a bright spot in their day.

When asked how many books he has written, he quotes the late Franklin Delano Roosevelt, “Altogether, too many.”  Over one million books and audios sold, a weekly column, a weekly radio program, a weekly television program …there’s no place to hide if you live in the country!

He has poked his head above the horizon long enough to attract urban followers (gentiles, he calls them), through National Public Radio, public television, Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show, Random House and USA Today.

Baxter says his life has been blessed, “I like what I do.  I have a great home to come home to, a couple good horses, a few cows, a good dog, and friends everywhere I go.  I’m square with God and I make a living entertaining people I care about.

“My audience is my inspiration,” he says, “Every cowboy, rancher, vet, farmer, feed salesman, ag teacher, cowman and rodeo hand has a story to tell, and they tell it to me.  I Baxterize it and tell it back to ‘em!  It doesn’t seem fair, does it?”

If you look around, you’re not more than one or two degrees of separation from his omni-cowboy presence!  He’s kinda like a good pair of boots, a faithful cowdog, or even the flu.  Try him out, he’s contagious!

You can find him in Benson, Arizona at baxterblack.com.  He’s the real thing.  Because, as he says, “You can’t be what you aren’t!”

Wylie and the Wild West
Wylie Gustafson is a native Montanan singer/songwriter who lives the songs he writes. With 3 decades of writing, recording and performing under his belt, Wylie has matured into a dynamic talent, and has become one of the few authentic voices of the West.  One critic called him, “…the coolest cowpoke around. Forget everything you hate about modern country, this guy is old-school cool without being a tired period piece”.  His friendly demeanor is born from his unpretentious life as a working class cow-horseman on the remote rangelands of the American high-plains.

Wylie and the Wild West
photo by Bill Watts, Bill Watts.com

Despite his successful career in music and yodeling, when not touring he still gets up every day and tends to the livestock on his Quarter Horse ranch near the town of Conrad, Montana. It grounds him and is the backbone of his art. The secret of Wylie’s honest, uplifting and soulful music isn’t in any musical formula or flashy gimmick. Its purity lies in Wylie’s character: earnest and hard-working, beaming with friendly vigor, topped off with a smile as welcoming as the Big Sky sunshine.  

Like Traditional Country and Bluegrass; Cowboy music comes from a real place in America that often gets overlooked by the corporate music machine.  Its depth, breadth, emotion and rhythms are what inspire listeners to seek what has been missing in the industrial push for the lowest-common-denominator styles of song.

For over the last 25 years, Wylie and his band, The Wild West, have performed their refreshing blend of cowboy, swing, folk and yodeling music worldwide. They are hugely popular on the festival and theatre circuit.

Brenn Hill is a singer/songwriter who doesn’t just sing about the American West, he reveals its heart to anyone who will take the time to listen. His most recent release is “Ode To Selway”. Like each of his prior recordings it serves as a pathway into and through his own personal journey. Brenn is not just an observer or narrator of our Western story, but one of its strongest interpreters. Life’s trials and tribulations are his raw material.

Brenn Hill

Brenn’s career spans ten recordings of mostly all self-penned music and nearly two decades on-the-road.  He has won numerous industry awards and accolades and resides with his wife and three children in Hooper, Utah. He is a dynamic solo performer though is often surrounded by some of the industries most talented instrumentalists.

Brenn Hill is an artist that gives great insight into the West he calls Heaven.

Chuck Pyle has won high praise from both fans and peers alike throughout an inspired performance career of over 40 years. When reviewers first gave him the "Zen Cowboy" moniker, he decided to, as he says, "Always ride the horse in the direction it's going," and took the nickname to heart, shaving his head and blending his upbeat perspective with old-fashioned horse sense. He mixes infectiously hummable melodies with straight-from-the-saddle poetry, quoting bumper stickers, proverbs, world leaders and old cowboys.

Chuck Pyle

Chuck Pyle came from Iowa in 1965 when, "Boulder was mostly gravel streets", and resides on the front range of Colorado. He does 100 dates a year all across the country, playing festivals and theaters, coffeehouses and house concerts.

His 11th CD, THE SPACES IN BETWEEN is twelve all-new songs, each with finger-style guitar out front of a crackerjack rhythm section. The embellishments are elegant, with everything from fiddle to uilleann pipes, grand piano to ukulele; each song's a hummable melody guaranteed to make you tap your inner feet.

Jean & Gary Prescott - With her roots firmly planted in Texas, Jean Prescott was Jean and Gary Prescottborn in Amarillo and grew up on a ranch in West Texas.  But for the past twenty years she has hung her hat just a little bit south of Abilene with her husband, singer/songwriter Gary Prescott.  Jean says she’s a singer, songwriter and once and only once a wild bronc rider. The Western Music Association has just released the finalists for their annual awards presentations.  Jean Prescott is nominated for Female Entertainer of the Year and her latest CD, “Traditions” is nominated for Album of The Year! 

Andy Nelson, a second generation farrier, has the experience and the talents and humor to bring authenticity and entertainment to an audience. Raised in Oakley, Idaho, Andy traveled the Great Basin of southern Idaho, northern Utah and northern Nevada with his father on farrier jobs, from the time he was a child until he went off to college. While in college at Utah State University, he continued to shoe horses for the USU Horsemanship Program while studying in the Pre-Vet curriculum. He also spent many years working as a hand on a southern Idaho ranch, caring for cattle, from calving through selling and helped with the ranch's hay operation. Now Andy lives in Pinedale, Wyoming, where among other things, he and his wife Jaclyn raise horses and children.

Andy Nelson

In 2006 and 2013, Andy Nelson was named the Western Music Association's "Male Poet of the Year" and was also awarded the 2009 "Skinny Roland Humor Award" from the Academy of Western Artists. He performs frequently throughout the U.S.

Skip Gorman brings back to life the workaday world of the cowboys of the American West. His music is not the music of the Hollywood cowboy, but rather the simple, yet beautifully poignant music that was performed around campfires by cowboys and westward settlers in the 19th century.

Skip Gorman

Gorman brings to the music a scholar’s knowledge of the cowboy’s Celtic, Spanish and Afro-American roots as well as the personal experience gained by working as a cowboy on a ranch in Wyoming, along with an exquisite touch as a singer, guitarist, fiddler and mandolinist.

T. Scot Wilburn and the Shut-up-n-Playboys is a western band which is based in Nashville, TN and includes the following: T. Scot Wilburn, Bobby Black, Rick Bryceson, Eugene Jablonsky, and Andrew Wilson. This talented band plays outstanding hillbilly swing music at concerts and dances throughout the U.S. They debuted at Saddle Up! in 2013, and they are back for another year of exciting music and cowboy fun.

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