Features

Feeding Laramie Valley

For the second year in a row, the Higher Ground Fair is set to celebrate the Rocky Mountain region’s unique lifestyle. Organizer Gayle Woodsum said this year’s events will be even bigger than last year’s with music and dance on three stages both days of the fair, including the Patti Fiasco, Whiskey Slaps, The Hazel Miller Band, and J Shogren Shanghai’d.

There will also be more than 70 vendors and presentations, including one by the Black American West Museum about African American history in the West.

H. Michael Roberts — Roberts Imaging

 

The classic 1950s musical Guys and Dolls gave us Frank Sinatra throwing dice and crooning “Luck Be A Lady Tonight” in a fedora. The comedy is a staple of community and high school theater, and has seen numerous Broadway revivals over the years. 

Playwright Mark Saltzman is now looking to add to that legacy with his companion musical Another Roll of the Dice, which premiered at the Wyoming Theater Festival this week, and has performances running through September 17.

Atlanta Pop Singer-Songwriter Lia Menaker On Wyoming Sounds

Sep 5, 2017
Mary Grace Bedwell

Lia Menaker live on Wyoming Sounds recorded on 9/05/17.

Martirene Alcantara

The artist residency program Ucross in north central Wyoming has created a new fellowship for Native American visual artists. Ucross President Sharon Dynak said they decided to pursue the fellowship because they haven’t seen as many applications from Native artists as they’d like, even though their ranch is located near both the Wind River and Crow reservations.

Melodie Edwards

Jill Tarter is a woman who struggled her entire career with a double whammy.

Not only she one of just a handful of women in her scientific field, but that field was the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI), something most people consider the stuff of comic books.

Tarter’s daughter works for the National Outdoor Leadership School or NOLS in Lander and, while she was visiting her, she spoke to a sold out audience at the Lander high school the night before the solar eclipse. Wyoming Public Radio’s Melodie Edwards sat down with her.

With permission from Rock Springs Main Street/Urban Renewal Agency

Urban Renewal Agency Director Chad Banks was leading a group of Rock Springs residents through a tunnel beneath the train tracks that break the downtown business district in half. The underpass doubles as an art gallery, meant to advertise local artists and lure people to explore both sides of the railroad.

 

The railroad gave Rock Springs its start as a coal town. Local mines fueled the trains that reached the area in the 1860s. Public Services Director Amy Allen said the city’s layout matches the scatter of those original mines.

Maggie Mullen

People have been making preparations for years to travel hundreds of miles to see the 2017 total solar eclipse. In Casper, where thousands of people showed up, skies were clear and views under the path of totality were once in a lifetime.

The day before the eclipse, and downtown Casper was hard to recognize. Second Street had been closed off to traffic and hundreds of pedestrians were checking out the food vendors and the many different kinds of eclipse swag on display. Resident and vendor Brooke Hopkins said the most coveted item was going fast.

Goshen County is not used to being a major destination. But thanks to the eclipse, it was. Over 100,000 people visited the county to set up tents and campers as well as visit local festivities.  Reporter Cooper McKim flew over the county, saw downtown Tor
Cooper McKim

Goshen County is not used to being a major destination. But thanks to the eclipse, it was. Over 100,000 people visited the county to set up tents and campers as well as visit local festivities. Reporter Cooper McKim flew over the county, saw downtown Torrington celebrate, and witnessed the eclipse with hundreds of others in Fort Laramie. Here’s what it felt like to be there:

University of Wyoming

  

With the start of school comes the start of a number of cultural programs at the University of Wyoming. Janelle Fletcher is the Director of UW Presents. She told Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck that they have tried to put together a diverse set of programs. 

Heart Mountain Interpretive Center

The Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation is spearheading an effort to improve communication between 10 former Japanese American Confinement Sites.

The All Camps Consortium is a group of Japanese-American advocates and people in charge of historic sites like Heart Mountain near Powell.

Studio Sessions: The Lonesome Heroes

Aug 23, 2017
Anna Rader

  

Melding the two-step shuffle of Austin, Texas with bandleader Rich Russell’s fondness for Gram Parsons, The Lonesome Heroes call their blend of indie rock and country “cosmic American music.”

Here’s a live performance of their new single, released in June 2017, shot at Laramie's NU2U thrift store.

Total Solar Eclipse: Wyoming Sounds Playlist And Live Coverage

Aug 21, 2017
GreatAmericanEclipse.com

Thanks for requests on Wyoming Sounds Solar Eclipse playlist today.  

Courtesy of the National Museum of Wildlife Art

The National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson is celebrating 30 years this weekend. The museum first opened in 1987 and has grown into an important tourist attraction. One of the founding board members was Maggie Scarlett. She tells Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck that it’s been fun to watch the museum grow. 

For more information on the museum go to www.wildlifeart.org

Darrah Perez

Today in Riverton, a class full of Native American jewelry makers are learning how to screen print. Eastern Shoshone member Hope Abeyta wants to screen print her logo on a child-size tepee. The Central Wyoming College course was created specifically for the eclipse since Riverton and much of the reservation falls inside the eclipse’s shadow. The goal is to get these artists the business skills they need to be ready for the event. Abeyta says she found the class on Facebook and signed up.

Studio Sessions: Redbush

Aug 16, 2017
BHP Imaging

Redbush is a 3-piece rock band out of Laramie, Wyoming comprised of Ev Bruhnke on drums and backups, Larson Lind on bass, and J.D. Korpitz on guitar and vocals. The band recently released their album Gaslight Lockdown in December of 2016.

Here’s a tune from that record.

Alabama-Based Guitarist Joe DeVita Live On Wyoming Sounds

Aug 14, 2017
Anna Rader

Joe DeVita live on Wyoming Sounds recorded on 8/14/17.

Leslie Shakespeare

Northern Arapaho Chairman Roy Brown and Eastern Shoshone Chairman Leslie Shakespeare both attended the world premiere of the new movie Wind River on July 26 at the Ace Hotel Theatre in Los Angeles. The film depicts hardship and violence on Wyoming’s Wind River Reservation.

Chairman Roy Brown said Wind River tells a fictional story of a missing and murdered woman in the Wind River Reservation. Only seats away from the film’s actors at the Los Angeles premiere, he was glad to see a film that focused on social issues that are not often talked about.

Studio Sessions: David Wax Museum

Aug 8, 2017
davidwaxmuseum.com

Husband and wife duo David Wax and Suz Slezak form the core of the band David Wax Museum. Known for their energetic performances and tongue in cheek lyrics, David Wax Museum calls their musical blend Mexo-Americana. On their 2015 album Guesthouse, the band moved into uncharted musical territory, tackling parenthood, marriage, and the challenges of life on the road.

Here's a tune from that album. 

Anna Rader

Shane Henry and Maggie McClure live on Wyoming Sounds recorded on 8/07/17.

Bob Beck

Many Wyoming communities are expecting a surge in visitors in the days surrounding the August 21 eclipse, but Jackson officials say if the weather holds it could be anywhere between 50,000 to 80,000 extra people visiting the area. Jackson is always packed on that date, but the potential increase in visitors has led to months of planning and the hiring of a coordinator to make sure Jackson Hole can get through the event. 

C.J. Box

Wyoming Author C.J. Box recently published his 23rd novel – Paradise Valley. It was also his fifth stand-alone book outside the Joe Pickett series. Box spoke with Wyoming Public Radio’s Caroline Ballard about his career, and said he has honed his voice as an author over the years in part by following Elmore Leonard’s 10 rules of writing.

Fort Collins Pop Rock Band The Nooks On Wyoming Sounds

Aug 2, 2017
Anna Rader

The Nooks live on 8/02/17 during Wyoming Sounds.

Studio Sessions: Whippoorwill

Aug 2, 2017
Whippoorwill

In late 2016, Wyoming’s alt-folk band Whippoorwill expanded to a trio (original members Staci Foster and Alysia Kraft welcomed Tobias Bank on drums), weaving together guitar, banjo, harmonica, percussion, and three-part harmonies to create tough but pretty songs.

Here’s a video shot at Laramie’s NU2U thrift store.

Studio Sessions: Dauphin

Jul 26, 2017
Photo By Brian Harrington of BHP Imaging from the Wyoming Independent Music Initiative by the Wyoming Arts Council

We’ve all heard of Southern Gothic. In Dauphin, Jason Burge keeps the South in his voice and brings the Gothic out West, where he teams up with Northerner Ray Mitchell for gruff songs with sweet harmonies and singing guitar leads.

Here's a tune from their album Prodigal Songs for the End of Days.

Amy Pearl

Death, sex, and money – three topics that are sure to stop any polite small talk in its tracks.

Death, Sex & Money is also the name of a podcast out of WNYC that explores these difficult topics. The show’s host Anna Sale is currently spending her summer in Cody, and she spoke with Wyoming Public Radio’s Caroline Ballard about why Wyoming is such a special place for her family.

C.J. Box

  

Wyoming Author C.J. Box is out with a new book today. It's his 23rd novel, but only his fifth outside his popular Joe Pickett series. Box joined Wyoming Public Radio’s Caroline Ballard to talk about how this mystery Paradise Valley is the culmination of the story of a serial killer working as a long haul trucker.

Don Gonyea

  

As we all know, the Donald Trump administration has been unique. One of those tasked with following the President is NPR Political Correspondent Don Gonyea.

After beginning his career based in Detroit, Gonyea came to Washington to cover the George W. Bush and Barack Obama administrations. Gonyea came to Jackson this week to talk about covering this administration. He told Bob Beck that President Trump’s behavior is not all that surprising. 

Melodie Edwards

Dubois author and wilderness outfitter Tory Taylor has released a new book called On The Trail Of The Mountain Shoshone Sheep Eaters: A High Altitude Archaeological Odyssey. The book is a gripping read about Taylor’s personal role in the discoveries of how this prehistoric tribe thrived in Wyoming’s highest elevations, and on how Taylor experimented with a Mountain Shoshone lifestyle.

Anna Rader

Samantha Rise recorded live on 7/20/17 during Wyoming Sounds.

Caroline Ballard

  

Fifteen-year-old Kade Clark stood shirtless at a water spigot outside the Niobrara County Fairgrounds in Lusk. He reached into a bucket full of red-brown dirt, grabbed a handful, and ran it under the water. Then, he began to paint himself.

“So we look like Indians and stuff. Yea you get it wet, it gets on easier,” said Clark.

Clark is white, and is one of the dozens of people, from toddlers to the elderly, playing Sioux Indians in The Legend of Rawhide, the annual July Pageant and Wild West re-enactment.

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