The Buckaroo Stops Here

Waddie Mitchell grew up in the rarefied atmosphere of the Nevada ranchlands near Elko and spent years wrangling — and sitting around many a campfire, listening to stories — before finally hanging up his boots to become a bona fide cowboy poet in the ’80s. That’s when he helped found the nationally known Elko Cowboy Poetry Gathering.

Ranking right up there in the cowboy-poetry circuit with favorites like Baxter Black and Don Edwards, he’s pretty much the definition of the term — philosophical and homespun in demeanor, and imbued with an air of authenticity that comes out in his readings and the way he leads his life.

“I can’t ever remember ‘finding’ cowboy poetry,” Mitchell says in his official bio. “It was always there. The cowboys sure never called it poetry. I know I wouldn’t have liked it if they would have. Seems like an oxymoron, don’t it?”

Mitchell, along with Western-music brother act Sons and Brothers, will take the stage tonight at 7:30 p.m. at the Lone Tree Arts Center, 10075 Commons Street in Lone Tree, for a Cowboy Christmas show that mixes favorite holiday-themed songs with the poetic lore of the open range. Tickets range from $33 to $51; lasso yours online at or call the box office at 720-509-1000. You’re in for a sweet and laid-back ride.
Wed., Dec. 3, 7:30 p.m., 2014

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Susan Froyd started writing for Westword as the "Thrills" editor in 1992 and never quite left the fold. These days she still freelances for the paper in addition to walking her dogs, enjoying cheap ethnic food and reading voraciously. Sometimes she writes poetry.
Contact: Susan Froyd