Snake River Outlaws CD Release Concert

Contact: Darcy Minter, 775.340.4240
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New CD of Vintage Montana Music Launched
at River City Roots Festival
Wylie & The Wild West Pays Tribute to Snake River Outlaws
in Missoula, Montana

 Missoula – The Western Folklife Center will launch its latest Deep West Records CD, a tribute to the 1950s cowboy band the Snake River Outlaws, in a concert with western swing band Wylie & The Wild West, Sunday, August 24, in Missoula, Montana. The concert is part of the River City Roots Festival, a free event in downtown Missoula, and will take place from 1:45 to 3:15 pm.

The concert and CD pay tribute to the Snake River Outlaws, one of the hottest honky-tonk bands in the Northwest during the early 1950s. Members of the original band will join Wylie and Wild West lead guitar player Scot Wilburn, whose father and uncle were original members of the Outlaws. Jimmy Widner of Darby, Montana, will be there with his fiddle, and Orval Fochtman, the original lead singer for the group, will travel to Missoula from Weiser, Idaho.

The Snake River Outlaws played live every Saturday night from the Sunshine Bar on the corner of Woody and Alder in Missoula, and were broadcast live on KXLL radio. The Western Folklife Center’s new CD includes these rare digitally re-mastered live radio broadcasts that create a sound capsule of a time when cowboys, railroaders, college students, society ladies and vagabonds all hoisted mugs of beer to fine music and western sociability.

"While juke boxes and radio and television could bring music to these more rural areas, there was still a great demand for live music, particularly for dances," explains Western Folklife Center Executive Director Charlie Seemann. "In many cases this role was filled by local journeymen musicians who learned and performed the current hits. These hardworking community musicians, often overlooked by country music historians, were the bedrock of the genre and deserve much more credit and attention than they have received."  

The Snake River Outlaws CD is available in the Western Folklife Center gift shop. Following the concert, from 3:30 to 5:30 pm, the Missoula Art Museum will host a beer and lemonade reception with informal dancing and music featuring Wylie & The Wild West. Marth Jane Newby of the Missoula Art Museum will teach the basics of 1950s western dancing from 3:30 to 4:00 pm.

Montana Public Radio will also present a special half-hour radio documentary, A Snake River Outlaw Retrospective, Monday, August 18 at 8:30 pm.

This concert is presented by the Western Folklife Center and its Deep West Records label in conjunction with the River City Roots Festival and the Missoula Art Museum, and is supported generously by the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation.

The mission of the Western Folklife Center is to enhance the vitality of American life through the experience, understanding, and appreciation of the diverse cultural heritage of the American West.