Join us February 18, 2023 for an afternoon of authentic cowboy poetry and music. From 2-4 PM, nationally renowned poets and long-time cowmen Mike Dunn and Rolf Flake, along with local ranchers Todd, Melinda and Dani Sue Carter of the Broken Chair Band will immerse you in the tradition and landscapes of the working cowboy — past and present. Cowboy boots not required.
Mike Dunn’s Arizona ranching heritage dates to the 1800s along the Whetstone Mountains in southern Arizona, where much of his granddad’s ranch, the Rail “A” brand, is still in the family. It was there he learned how to cowboy, reflected in his book of poetry “Somewhere Between Earth and Heaven,” the recipient of the Academy of Western Artist’s Will Rogers Medallion Award.
Dunn received the Gail I. Gardner Award as an Arizona Cowboy and Poet and was nominated as Cowboy Poet of the Year by the Western Music Association. Dunn says there’s real value in sharing cowboy poetry as entertainment and to educate people about a lifestyle few will experience. When not entertaining, he trains horses in the San Tan Valley area.
Rolf Flake, born and raised on the family ranch in Snowflake, is a fourth-generation cowman. Flake worked as a livestock auctioneer, sold cattle for the Navajo Nation, was a farm and ranch appraiser and a ranch manager. He manages an outfit south of Apache Junction where, until recently, he rode fence and worked cattle.
Flake has written well over 200 cowboy poems and recited throughout the West. His cowboy poetry CDs were nominated as best albums by the Academy of Western Artists. He was chosen as one of Arizona’s 100 Culture Keepers in celebration of Arizona’s Centennial.
The Broken Chair Band
Local ranchers Todd, Melinda and Danielle Carter ride for the Broken Chair Band and perform their unique genre of “Americowboyfolkgrass.” Todd is an award-winning songwriter, garnering a Silver Spur Award for the Best Western Song by the Western Writers of America. Melinda is a multi-instrumentalist. Daughter Danielle plays fiddle and mandolin and sings lead and harmonies. Focused on responsible stewardship, they write songs from a ranching perspective and their role to protect and preserve their land.