Elko, NV— The 26th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering welcomes cowboys from the southeast United States to Elko, January 23-30, 2010. Among them will be Geno Delafose, zydeco musician and Creole cowboy from Eunice, Louisiana, deep in the bayou country in the southwest region of the state. As the son of zydeco legend John Delafose, Geno started playing the rubboard in his father's band, The Eunice Playboys, when he was seven years old. He later picked up the button accordion and, upon the death of his father in 1994, he started his own band, French Rockin' Boogie. Geno is known for playing traditional Creole zydeco music, but he also likes to play more contemporary arrangements as well. He relies on his traditional Creole sensibility for guidance in music, and divides his time between touring and operating his Double D Ranch where he breeds cattle and raises American Quarter Horses.
John Delafose was key in re-launching the current upsurge of zydeco, and Geno is poised to crossover zydeco to a wider country music audience with his charismatic cowboy spirit and lively presentation. In 2007, Geno's CD "Le Cowboy Creole" received a Grammy-Award nomination for "Best Zydeco or Cajun Music Album."
Nick Spitzer, host of public radio’s American Routes will travel to Elko to present Geno on stage and to deliver a lecture about Creole cowboys: “Zydeco Trail Ride: Creole Cowboys at Work and Play.” Geno Delafose and French Rockin' Boogie will perform several shows during the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering, including the Friday Night Dance.
Geno Delafose will join other special guests from the Southeast United States including “Cracker” and Seminole cowboys from Florida at the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering, the nation’s largest annual celebration of cowboy culture. For eight days the small community of Elko will welcome thousands of cowboys and cowgirls, poets and musicians, artisans and scholars, rural and city people—all of whom share a love of the American West. For more information about the Gathering and to purchase tickets, visit www.westernfolklife.org or call 888-880-5885.
The mission of the Western Folklife Center—producer of the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering— is to enhance the vitality of American life through the experience, understanding, and appreciation of the diverse cultural heritage of the American West.