Spend An Intimate Afternoon with Paul Zarzyski and Wylie Gustafson at the Western Folklife Center


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 4, 2009

Contact: Darcy Minter 775.340.4240
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 Spend an Intimate Afternoon With Paul Zarzyski and Wylie Gustafson
at the Western Folklife Center

Stay for a Complimentary Dinner in the Pioneer Saloon

Elko, NevadaThe Western Folklife Center is ushering in the 26th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering season with an intimate afternoon concert featuring National Cowboy Poetry Gathering favorites poet Paul Zarzyski and singer/songwriter Wylie Gustafson of Wylie & The Wild West. Paul and Wylie will perform a concert in the G Three Bar Theater, Sunday, November 15 at 3:00 pm, followed by a free soup dinner, provided by Biltoki and The Star Hotel and Restaurant.

This will not be your typical concert. Paul and Wylie will not only perform, but will also share songwriting tips and talk about their work together. Paul and Wylie have been writing and performing songs together for several years and recently performed at the National Folk Festival, the Library of Congress and the Kennedy Center. They collaborated on a groundbreaking new Wylie & The Wild West CD, Hang-n-Rattle, which was produced in Nashville by John Carter Cash. Don't miss this intimate afternoon with two supremely talented artists and friends. Tickets are $18 or $15 for Western Folklife Center members, seniors and students. Children under 12 admitted free. Tickets can be purchased at the Western Folklife Center Gift Shop or by calling 775-738-7508 ext. 2.

Wylie Gustafson and his band, Wylie & The Wild West, have played thousands of gigs around the world, including more than 50 appearances on the Grand Ole Opry, a segment on Late Night with Conan O'Brien, a guest spot on A Prairie Home Companion, bookings at the Lincoln Center and the Kennedy Center, and 10 appearances at the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering. Whether playing for a crowd of 50 or 5,000, Wylie's goal is always the same: "To win a crowd with good music and make 'em feel like they got their money's worth." He says, "There's really nothing like putting a smile on someone's face ... taking them to a place they haven't been before with your music." An accomplished horseman, Wylie also trains and shows cutting horses. He admits having two full-time jobs can get intense at times, but that's what creates the inspiration behind his music. He is trying to preserve traditional music and a traditional way of life.

Paul Zarzyski calls himself a Rodeo Poet, a title earned from, and informed by, the 35 years he has spent "spurrin' the words wild across fenceless/open range of the blank page"—15 of those years in which he rode bareback broncs on various rodeo circuits, including the PRCA. Paul's been selected as a featured performer for every National Cowboy Poetry Gathering since 1987, explaining that he was disregarded for the first two because his poems "rhyme a skosh more in the middle than they do out on the jagged ends of the lines." Paul's collection of poems, Wolf Tracks on the Welcome Mat, received the 2004 Spur Award from the Western Writers of America. His All This Way for the Short Ride (the rodeo poems) won the 1997 Western Heritage (Wrangler) Award from The National Cowboy Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City. In addition to writing songs with Wylie Gustafson, Paul has co-written song lyrics with Ian Tyson, Tom Russell, David Wilkie of Cowboy Celtic and Don Edwards.

The afternoon will also include a drawing for free tickets to select National Cowboy Poetry Gathering shows. All you have to do to enter the drawing is buy something in the Western Folklife Center Gift Shop, provide your e-mail address or buy tickets to the Gathering while you're at the Folklife Center on November 15. The more you buy, the more chances you'll have to win. It's also your last chance to see the exhibition The Lingo of our Calling: The Legacy of Cowboy Poetry in the Wiegand Gallery, before it is taken down on November 16. The Gift Shop will open at 11:00 am and the drawing will take place at 6:00 pm. So come celebrate with us at the Western Folklife Center and get geared up for the 26th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering.

Special thanks to the Nevada Arts Council for supporting the concert and the exhibition. Curated by the Western Folklife Center, The Lingo of Our Calling is part of the Nevada Arts Council's Nevada Touring Initiative, sponsored by National Endowment for the Arts American Masterpieces: Three Centuries of Genius Initiative. Special thanks also to Paul Zarzyski and Wylie Gustafson for donating their time and talent for this concert, to First Presbyterian Church for helping with the soup dinner, and to Biltoki and The Star Hotel and Restaurant for donating bread and soup.

Our Mission

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.