The 14th Carrying Stream Festival 4-11 November 2015

Western Song









A Presentation

by Sara Grey and Kieron Means


Sunday, 8 November 15, 2.30-4.30 pm Pleasance Cabaret Bar 6


This presentation is a unique look at songs in the oral tradition of people who migrated and took them into the Panhandle, the Great Plains and the Western States.

There was so much happening in the west between the 1800s and the 1920s, and songs evolved to reflect all this activity, including the gold rush, the outlaws, the ranchers, the cattle drives, the railroad, the Mormon tradition and the isolation, particularly of women, in the prairie.

With westward migration, people began to create songs that reflected the regions they settled in. They also sang the old songs that had come with them and these began to evolve due to their new environment. Black music and songs also had a great influence

This is not just a random collection of well known western songs. A great deal of research has gone into the songs and their background. It is a unique and rare collection of old songs and ballads from many sources.

Sara and Kieron sing these songs from the heart. Some are stark and unaccompanied and others are with Kieron on guitar and Sara on old-time banjo. They chat about the songs and their history, but not in a scripted narrative, they have good fun, playing as well as discussing their vast knowledge of traditional songs and encouraging audience participation.

This will be illustrated throughout with a Power Point presentation of wonderful old photographs that bring to life the stories behind each song.

CDs of the songs with background notes will also be available.

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