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Michael Martin Murphey, Baxter Black to star at Fall Gathering

Cowboy poetry & music fills Blue Goose in Loomis
By: Martha Garcia, Loomis News Editor
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The Cowpoke Fall Gathering has scored a double hit with the addition of a second nationally known performer to its lineup. The 15th annual cowboy poetry and music event is not only bringing back Baxter Black, it has also signed on singer and songwriter Michael Martin Murphey to take the stage at the Blue Goose Fruit Shed next weekend. Headliner Black, of National Public Radio fame, first appeared at the Fall Gathering in 2004, gaining a following of newly found aficionados of cowboy poetry and humor. He didn't fail to satisfy audiences during his 2006 return to Loomis. He electrified the crowd and had audiences practically rolling in the aisles with his stories about milking wild cows, equine specialist veterinarians and treating bovines with bloat. Lana Greenan and Cheryl Stokes, who are co-chairing this year’s fundraiser for the South Placer Heritage Foundation, are excited about signing on Murphey in recent weeks. Murphey is best known for his iconic song “Wildfire.” According to Greenan, he is well respected in the industry and regarded as a premier songwriter, having composed songs for Kenny Rogers, John Denver and Lyle Lovett, among others. “Something people may not know is his commitment to issues regarding farmers, ranchers and natural resource management. He’s received numerous awards from state organizations over the years for his contributions,” she said. Stokes said “Wildfire” is one of her favorite songs, partly because it takes her back to a time of life when “things were slower, simpler … younger.” It’s a feeling she believes others experience when they hear songs that relate to special times of their lives. “We can listen to Michael Martin Murphey and Baxter Black on the radio, grow up with the songs they write and sing, then welcome them into our community and see them in person.” It’s also an opportunity, Stokes said, for people who visit Loomis to see “what our community is all about, the pride that we take in hosting events at the Blue Goose, and welcoming people from all a variety of backgrounds.” Audience favorites Pat Richardson is also on the bill, as are Rod Erickson, Jeff Severson, John Kintz and Larry Maurice and student poets. Kimberly Hess, a local performer, and young Chanda Eubanks will also appear. A long weekend of Fall Gathering festivities kicks off with a reception at 6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 12, at the High-Hand Conservatory, the only event not taking place at the Blue Goose. Friday and Saturday evening performances have already sold out, due in part to Black’s national popularity. But there are plenty of tickets for the 1 p.m. matinee when Murphey will perform. Also on Saturday’s schedule is a free open mic session and performance by Larry Maurice and local student poets. At 10 a.m., there will be an apple pie contest, free stagecoach rides from noon to 4 p.m., and a western barbecue served from 3 to 6 p.m. On Sunday, the Blue Goose opens at 10 a.m. for cowboy church, with spiritual music and poetry and featuring Kintz, Severson and Erickson. Admission is free. Purchase tickets for Saturday’s matinee and barbecue, as well as for the reception on Thursday, at Foothill Feed, Main Drug Store, or Blue Goose Produce. Proceeds benefit the Heritage Foundation’s Blue Goose Renovation Project.