August 18, 2009

Montana’s Ole time Fiddlers August 2009………

Montana’s Ole time Fiddlers Celebration August 2009………

Once again I had followed the signs that initially lead me to Montana after meeting an art curator in Big Sur a few months ago. She mentioned that her family had a guest ranch in Steamboat Springs, Colorado called The Boyer YL Ranch which has been a favorite to many prominent and recognized guests since 1926. It is located along the Savery River in Southern Wyoming close to the Colorado border in Wyoming's Historic Dude & Guest Ranch. I was supposed to stay and work with the owners but the timing was off and I was already on my way out west. After emailing other hotels and resorts I did land three unique and amazing jobs in Montana over the past month.

One of which was for the Best Western in Livingston Montana. After completing my final day of shooting for the Best Western hotel, I found myself following a sign that read “The 35th annual Fiddlers celebration turn here”… The road was bumpy with rocks and dirt which lead up to an open grass field filled with campers and tents surrounding it. Off in the distance Erin and I could smell baby back ribs, burgers, hotdogs and a few other unrecognizable scents being cooked. Parking and grabbing my camera I was welcomed by all. The first person to approach us was a guy named Scott, a native New Yorker who had found himself in Montana a few years earlier. Shirtless and a little drunk walking with his dog in tow. Scott took us to the entrance of a huge barn where both doors were removed and the sound of the many guitars, fiddlers and a piano could be heard and seen. We were introduced to all the musicians and then sat down on the tall grass while listening to the music. Welcoming us in were the host and gate keepers of the Fiddlers ho’ down. I was lead behind the musicians and up a set of stairs which used to be an old hay loft. Cindy the sponsor/ host organizer lead me to an open window that overlooked the event and said “have fun, take great pics and don’t fall out of the window” lol…. For over 8 hours I ate and drank in the hot sun while shooting pictures of all participants and musicians that I had the pleasure of watching and meeting. I came away with many new friends, some cool memories, and a few great images. I now have a new respect for folk /country / western music. Although, I will never again in my life experience this type of day all I can say is thank you to the people that made it a One Of A Kind Day!

On a side note…..Erin who knows nothing about folk, western or country music took it upon herself to jump on the piano and jam with the musicians just picking it up as it went… Her childhood lessons paid off and she was the toast of the ho' down and carried the rhythm…..

August 16, 2009

Cody Wyoming The Rodeo Capital of the World

Cody Stampede Rodeo and Cody Nite Rodeo! Saturday August 15th 2009

After meeting Dusty and Timber Tuckness through a friend or new acquaintance named Mary Lou Bunting who is the manager of Zapatas Mexican restaurant in Cody, we had no choice but to go to the Cody Stampede Rodeo & Cody Nite Rodeo although it was a few weeks after we met them.

I had just wrapped up my last assignment in Montana and Erin and I were heading home to Miami via New York City. A slight detour a few last minute adjustments and we were at the gate. Arriving at 7:30 just a half hour to fine our friends…. Running to the gate and hearing that both Dusty and Timber were off this past Saturday night we had spoken to the gate keepers who directed us to Maury the producer.

We explained that we were invited to come experience our first rodeo by way of Dusty and Timber… He replied come on in and enjoy yourselves we had full access to the event. The cold night air only heightened the mood and starting to enter the gate we made our way over the entrance: Where we found some of the rodeo clowns, doing what they do best: treating all the fans to that special entertainment that could not be matched at any circus it can only be found on the circuit of the professional rodeo here in Wyoming! We were allowed to capture images behind the scenes and up in the score box that overlooked the ring…

Meeting most of the rodeo stars, the host, the judges, the score keepers and the handlers of the bulls and the handlers of the bucking horses. Some of the faces are posted here, other who’s faces are obscured by the rain, the motion of the horses that were throwing them off and into the mud of the ring. This was one of the coolest nights on this journey……It was just another crazy night in Wyoming:::::