Nothing to do in Wichita Falls?  Oh yes there is, particularly this Thursday thru Saturday.  Several months ago, Carol Sales from the Kemp Center for the Arts approached me about joining a committee that was working on a new kind of art exhibition about the life of the working cowboy.  “Cowboy True” was envisioned by Dan Shores as a way to bring together some great artists whose work exemplifies what the life of the working cowboy is really like.  It’s been a pleasure working with the Kemp and the Cowboy True committee and this weekend, it all comes to fruition.

The kick-off for the event is an acoustic concert featuring Mike Blakely, a cowboy, songwriter, singer and author.  He’ll be performing at the Kemp Center at 1300 Lamar Thursday, March 29.  The doors open at 7:30pm and the show gets under way at 8:00pm.  According to his bio at

“At age 52, Blakely has written 16 novels and released 11 albums of original TexAmericana music. For about six years, the Buchanan Dam, Texas, resident has performed three musical gigs a week, or roughly 150 per year. He plays mainly in Texas but has ventured to Europe with his lead guitar player, Larry Nye, and bass player, Donnie Price, 12 times in the last 13 years.  This year, Blakely released a new album, “Homemade Serenade,” and is working on two novels. He has a contract for another after that.”

Blakely has ventured to Texoma once before.  Years ago he was a featured artist at the ‘Late Week Lazy Boy Supper Club’ in Archer City.  I’ve talked to several people who were at that show and they were blown away by Mike’s talent.

“Cowboy True” continues Friday and Saturday at the Kemp at the Forum (formerly the Woman’s Forum) at 2120 Speedway Avenue.  Performer Earl Bates will appear onstage as humorist Will Rogers.  His Rogers tribute performance is spot-on and just plain funny.  Bates hails from Nebraska but is currently calling Denton, Texas his home and his Rogers performance will make you laugh, cry and smile all at once.  Friday’s offering also includes a steak dinner by the Kiowa Cooks.  If you’ve never had the pleasure of enjoying a meal prepared by Kiowa’s, you don’t know what you’ve missed.  Here’s your chance to play catch-up!

Saturday is the ‘round up’ of Cowboy True.  The public can come by the Kemp at the Forum and, free of charge from 10am to 5pm, admire all of the great paintings, photography, bits, spurs and more that will make up this inaugural event.  There’s a chuck wagon dinner at 6pm for which you will have to purchase a ticket, but the price is right and it will be worth every cent for the entertainment and food.  Local cowboy/western singers ‘Prairie Moon’ will be performing, along with cowboy poet Ed Harvill.

Call the Kemp Center today and reserve your tickets and let’s make a three-day weekend of it all!  940-767-2787 or purchase online here.

We’ll see ya at the Kemp Center and the Kemp at the Forum!