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Cimarron cowboy music, poetry fest at Philmont

Cowboy music and poetry.

The pairing has drawn dozens of performers to the Cimarron Cowboy Music and Poetry Gathering for a few years.

This year’s event is no different.

Singer-songwriter Dennis Russell is the founder of the annual Cimarron Cowboy Music and Poetry Gathering.

Singer-songwriter Dennis Russell is the founder of the annual Cimarron Cowboy Music and Poetry Gathering.

“Cowboy music came from poetry,” says Dennis Russell, festival founder. “These are songs that have been passed down for generations.”

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The annual event is not only a chance to listen to poetry and cowboy music, but an opportunity to camp at the Philmont Scout Ranch.

Camping will be available for $10, which includes a platform tent, electricity, private shower and bathroom.

The three-day event will feature sets from nearly two dozen performers. Workshops will also be held at various times during the event.

“I’m a poet and a singer-songwriter,” Russell says. “We always have to go to Colorado or Arizona to be in a gathering like this. We’ve been able to grow the gathering into a nice event where audiences can have fun.”

Russell says the event is also a learning opportunity.

“Cimarron has a long history as a cowboy town,” he says. “There are things to learn about life in a cowboy town. It’s a different way of life, one that has stayed pretty low-key compared to how fast life really moves.”

For Russell, the lure of cowboy music to others is simple.

“There’s a mystery and wildness to these songs,” he says. “The stories that are being told are of a time that doesn’t exist anymore. These cowboys were riding the trails from Texas to Montana. They wrote down everything in rhyme. They created stories of the real West and the true trails. They experienced it firsthand, and what we have left are the songs. The songs keep us in tune with the past. It’s incredible to see how the music has lasted.”

More information can be found at cimarroncowboygathering.com.

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