Juni Fisher’s evocative songwriting, soulful singing and dedication to Western cowboy music earned her the highest accolade of her peers in 2011, the Western Music Association’s “Entertainer of the Year” award.
Just listen to Juni’s album, Let ‘er Go, Let ‘er Buck, Let ‘er Fly! A Roundup to Remember, and you’ll hear the beauty and heartache of the West in her words and music.
“I don’t take it lightly that it’s up to a small handful of solo performers to remind other performers that Western music is all about the songs, not about the big band and the lights,” Juni Fisher tells us. “It’s about connecting with a very dedicated and loyal audience, while building a new audience.”
Fisher sings with the spirit of Ian Tyson and the soul of Emmylous Harris. With her tours continuing this year all over the West—from the OutWest Concert Series in Newhall, California, to the Bar Lazy J Guest Ranch in Parshall, Colorado—you just might be able to catch her next performance near your hometown.
Guitarist Tommy Emmanuel at the lovely old Fox Theatre, Visalia, CA.
Best Western I Saw:
True Grit. Jeff Bridges was absolutely Rooster Cogburn, and the book that was so eloquently, yet starkly written translated wonderfully under the Coen Brothers’ witty, sensitive direction.
Best Book I Read This Year:
My Antonia by Willa Cather.
Book I Loved:
The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein.
Sam Elliott, Buck Taylor, Annette Bening, George Clooney, Meryl Streep and me.
Rookie of the Year:
Young Kristyn Harris, of Texas, who sings and plays Western Swing like nobody’s business.
Musician Who Made Waves in 2011:
Western Swing singer/songwriter Carolyn Martin. She is first class all the way, a quality singer and has a wonderful sense of humor and audience connection.
Hot in the Western Music World:
Ian Tyson is still, and always was, hot. He’s still writing and performing. Dave Stamey is absolutely on fire, but in a laid back, quiet way. The new music that works is edgy and sometimes gritty, but respectful of traditions.
Not So Hot:
The sweetsie-cutesie girls in short fringed skirts, singing about how they wish some cowboy would come along and make their helpless little lives better. Time to grow up, Tinkerbelles. Do you know how embarrassing you are for those of us who “get it?”
“The devil combed the horses’ tails that mornin’,
And dragged his evil fingers through their manes.
And the riders in the pens, they got no warnin’
They’d all be drawin’ zeros by their names.
They’d all be drawin’ zeros by their names.”
—Opening stanza of Juni Fisher’s “Yakima,” which won WMA’s Best Original Song in 2011