Joy Kills Sorrow
Ray Wylie Hubbard
Tommy Emmanuel
Northern Departure
Travelin’ McCourys
Dale Watson
Tony Furtado Band
Caleb Klauder Country Band
Dan Crary & Thunderation
Cedar Flats
Jackstraw (acoustic set)
Dale Watson
Hot Club of Cow Town
Sierra Hull
David Lindly
Caleb Klauder Country Band
Jim Lauderdale
Steep Canyon Rangers
Geoff Muldaur & The Texas Sheiks featuring Jim Kweskin
The Boxcars
Rodney Crowell
Midnight Serenaders
Everything’s Jake
Los Cowtones
The Bluegrass Regulators
Cedar Flats
Sierra Hull
Northern Departure
Hot Club of Cow Town
Jim Faddis Band
Peter Rowan Bluegrass Band


Charlie Smith – fiddle, vocals
Nicki Lancaster – vocals, percussion
Dave Gauthier – drums, vocals
Curly LaJollla – bass guitar, vocals
Mark Simpson – pedal steel

Los Cowtones blends a mix of cover and original tunes to weave a web of country, western, jazz and swing into a free flowing, fun-filled set of musical excitement we like to call Cowboy Jazz, though others refer to it as country swing. A few of the artists that are covered by the group are (click to visit the website) Merle Haggard, Gram Parsons, Bonnie Raitt, Hoyt Axton, Fats Waller, Gene Autry, Sons of the Pioneers, Emmylou Harris, Harlan Howard, The Hot Club of Cowtown, and Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys. Some of the tunes are taken from the past and were done by many people, but never quite like we do them. We have other songs written by band members and like to think that these are some of our best material. You be the judge.

Los Cowtones has roots that go back as far as 1974, when Charlie, Mark and Curly teamed with others to start what would become one of the Pacific Northwest’s premier country rock bands (back before there was such a thing as country rock), Country Al and His Pals. New members came as other members went, and the band finally disbanded for good sometime in 1977.

Meanwhile, Nicki Lancaster was cutting her teeth with a group named Medium Rore and doing duos and trios with Steve Bradley, one of Portland’s finest rock and roll guitar virtuosos, and Doug Craven, most recently of the Hard Day’s Knights.

The early 80’s saw Charlie, Nicki and Curly come together in a group simply known as The Deal. It also saw Nicki and Curly tying the knot.

Meanwhile, Dave (our Bakersfield connection) was ripping it up, down in California, with bands such as Sloe Gin, Original Soul, and Danny Lee and the Children of Truth. After moving up to the great Pacific Northwest, he hooked up with Nicki, Charlie and Curly in a couple of local worship bands. Fast friendships ensued.

1999 found Nicki, Charlie and Curly in the basement again. Not putting the old band back together, but forming a new one that would eventually become Los Cowtones. After a few different incarnations, Dave came on board, as did Kay, whose band Shorty and the Mustangs had recently called it quits (much to our advantage). The last addition, and a mighty fine one at that, was Mark, who had spent plenty of time on stages around the NW with bands such as Country Al, Trigger’s Revenge and Arroyo.

It’s mighty fine to take 30 years of friendship, family and talent, and put it on stage for everyone’s enjoyment… especially ours. We hope you enjoy the show.

So….. How Many of You Saw It?

Posted: December 10, 2011 in Uncategorized

How many of you saw Tommy Emmanuel, Live at the Balboa on OPB last night? What did you think? Did you support OPB and get tickets to the festival? Are you even more excited about the opportunity to see him perform live at RiverCity?

Meet Jim Lauderdale

Posted: December 8, 2011 in Uncategorized

Jim Lauderdale is a multi-talented performer and songwriter, with successes in both country and bluegrass music. His roots stem from the Carolinas, yet his career has taken him all over the United States and abroad, making him an international recording artist with an ever-growing fan base. Jim won “Artist of the Year” and “Song of the Year” at the first “Honors and Awards Show” held by the Americana Music Association in 2002. Subsequently, he has hosted this same show for the last seven years.

He is among Nashville’s “A” list of songwriters, with songs recorded by artists such as: Patty Loveless, George Jones, The Dixie Chicks, Solomon Burke, Mark Chesnutt, Dave Edmunds, John Mayall, Kathy Mattea, Lee Ann Womack, Gary Allan, Blake Shelton. Vince Gill, and George Strait. He also contributed several songs to the successful soundtrack of the George Strait film, “Pure Country.” Not content to just write hits for the stars, he’s toured with the likes of Lucinda Williams, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Rhonda Vincent and Elvis Costello, among others

OK, all you loyal River City bloggers… let’s get some chatter going about “all things River City”. What do you like most about the festival? Who are you most looking forward to seeing? Will you spend most of your time listening, jamming, learning or ….? C’mon. ‘Fess Up. Inquiring music lovers want to know!!!

Tommy Emmanuel is arguably the greatest living acoustic guitar player and recognized as the elite of the elite. Australia’s “Entertainer of the Year” and two-time Grammy nominee, Tommy Emmanuel delivers a dazzling performance with the flair unforgettable showmanship, flawless guitar skills and voluminous repertoire that never fails to amaze and engage his legions.

Emmanuel has a professional career that spans over four decades and continues to intersect with some of the finest musicians throughout the world.

A household name in his native Australia, Tommy has garnered hundreds of thousands of loyal fans worldwide. Tommy’s unique style – he calls it simply “finger style” – is akin to playing guitar the way a pianist plays piano, using all ten fingers. Rather than using a whole band for melody, rhythm, bass, and drum parts, Tommy plays all that – and more – on one guitar. Guitar legend Chet Atkins was one of the first to inspire Emmanuel to try this “fingerpicker” style as a child. Decades later, Atkins himself became one of Emmanuel’s biggest fans.

In all, Emmanuel’s catalogue includes over 20 musical recordings running the gamut of solos, duets, ensembles, cover tunes, originals, both electric and acoustic guitar. He has made 4 live performance DVDs, 3 additional instructional DVDs, and regularly teaches master classes on the road. At 54, performing live is more important to him than ever and he tours constantly, playing over 300 concerts a year for the last five years. Guitar players of all levels come to his shows to watch the magic hands of the ‘guitar Wizard of Oz,’ but his appeal goes far beyond musicians. His live shows are known for their humor, passion, and infectious joy. The power of his charismatic showmanship will be an enduring part of Emmanuel’s legacy. Tommy Emmanuel’s message is pure love for the music and his delight in sharing it with the world, one audience at a time.

Tommy’s next offering will be a Christmas album entitled All I Want For Christmas, which will be released in early November 2011 world-wide. It will feature time honored favorites and two original tunes.

Don’t miss this amazing performer as he takes the River City by storm, January 2012.

Great News… Rodney Crowell has been added to the 2012 lineup.

Here are some things you probably already know about Rodney Crowell. In 1977, he formed his own group, The Cherry Bombs, and in 1978 released his first album, Ain’t Living Long Like This.

In 1988 he released Diamonds and Dirt, which generated an unprecedented five number-one singles, including “It’s Such a Small World,” with Rosanne Cash, his wife and partner at the time. They split up in 1992, but they are still friends.

His acclaimed autobiographical album, The Houston Kid, in 2001 marked his break from the constraints of mainstream record labels.

There have been some awards along the way: Rodney won a Grammy in 1989 for the Best Country Song: “After all This Time.” He was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2003. After he re-formed The Notorious Cherry Bombs in 2004 with his old pal Vince Gill, the band was nominated for a CMA Top Vocal Group award.

Hundreds of versions of his songs have been recorded over the years.