Crocus are up, mama cows are snoozing in the sun, calves are here once again on Planet Earth. Welcome to springtime in Alberta.
Please make plans to join Eli Barsi and me in concert on July 10 in Turner Valley as we salute the Calgary Stampede. Tickets $20 on sale soon; email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) for details.
Happy New Year everyone. Please check out the calendar page for imminent gigs in 2015.
A huge highlight from 2014: I was honoured and humbled to be asked to give a TED Talk in Calgary. The theme this year was Truth. My invitation was two fold: come and entertain, and tell us your truths. Where does Doris Daley, contemporary western writer trying to make a living in a very old fashioned literary art form, finding inspiration in western life, find her truths? And do all of the above in 14 minutes. Here's the link. And thank you, TEDx Calgary, for this amazing honour.
Wishing you health, joy and spectacular views along all your trails in the coming year. -dd
Happy Thanksgiving (a little late) for Canadians; Happy Thanksgiving (a little early) for Americans. Early or late, it's always good to be thankful. Thank YOU for your interest in western storytelling and your support of western poetry and music. Thank you, patrons, for your recent commissions. Thank you for all the gigs in 2014. Large or small, at the end of a gravel road or in a big concert hall, I loved them all and loved meeting you.
Eat your vitamins. Pet your dog. Love your family. Cherish your friends. Read poems aloud. Celebrate the sunrise. Toast the sunset. Here's a toast to all the friends along the trail and the happy trails that lie ahead.
To be fully transparent, let me admit that I use the word "spring" with poetic hyperbole. The first of 12 new cm. of snow is falling outside my window.
A great big howdy and thank you to everyone I met on the epic cowboy poetry gypsy tour in January and February. Seven weeks on the road, with gigs in Colorado, Nevada, Arizona, Washington and Texas. We are all making choices these days-how to spend our $$, where to spend our $$, can we afford to spend any $$-and I met many hundreds of people across the wonderful west who are choosing to help keep the west (and the western arts) alive.
With gratitude, I acknowledge a generous grant from the Canada Council for the Arts which helped finance some of the travel for this trip. I also want to thank and applaud festival organizers for their support of the bigger west (not just the American west). I am so proud to bring a Canadian perspective to these fine festivals.
Check in at the Daley News page for updates on the documentary film. Please click on the Calendar for upcoming dates. And click your heels if you live where the crocus are pushing through or the cactus are blooming. Viva springtime...whenever it gets here. May your heifers spit 'em out like prune pits.
Late Fall, 2013
I Found My Tribe--and my tribe is you!
Film-maker Denise Calderwood's ambitious documentary film is about to debut. See the Calendar page for details. This is a 47-minute, feature length movie that asks the question, "Where do poets come from? Where do they get the impulse to write rhymed and metered stories?" (And you thought we were hatched in a petri dish in the shadow of the Blarney Stone.) Could I have inherited the stamp of poetry from the O'Dalaigh clan, who were traditional bards in historical Ireland?
Three gala evenings planned: Nov. 21 at Red Deer Lake United Church (south side of Calgary); Nov. 22 at Sheep River Library in Turner Valley (this one is sold out) and Nov. 23 at the historic Empress Theatre in Fort Macleod. Ticket details on the calendar page.
Also check the calendar for upcoming gigs in Canmore, Ponoka, Lethbridge, Heritage Pointe and Estes Park, Colorado.
Come Hell or High Water
"We knew flood and fire and heartbreak, we knew fat and we knew bone
But we were silver lining people and we never rode alone."
Floods of biblical proportions hit our fair province in June. As I write, hundreds of people in High River are still displaced. Thousands more are still yanking out drywall and floorboards, daily adding to the tons of silt-covered debris along town boulevards. Trails, slopes, tributaries and campgrounds have all been re-arranged, damaged, and many simply disappeared. My family was inconvenienced but left unscathed. Gratitude for that is tempered by the knowledge that so many friends and neighbours face huge losses and now have big mountains to climb. Fund-raisers will abound. Folks will rebuild. Bridges will be replaced. Mother Nature will tame the wild rivers. Life will be cobbled back together. But life as we knew it will never be the same...many are calling this the worst natural disaster in Canada's history. Congratulations to the Calgary Stampede who defied all odds and pulled off another world class rodeo. Congratulations to Jason Glass, High River hometown boy, who won the Rangeland Derby Chuckwagon Dash for Cash.
May grace, support and wisdom abound as we all figure out the next steps. Go to youtube and google Come Hell or High Water for several musical tributes/powerpoints about the flood.
Home from Ireland
Thank you, Irish hosts, for your wonderful hospitality in June. Several gigs in 12 days, from Clancy's Pub in Athey to Ashford Castle in Cong; Bushmills Inn in the far north and the iconic Haymakers Festival in historic Trim. We found several Dalys/Daleys/O'Dalaighs involved with poetry. The documentary film (working title: I Found My Tribe) is set to be released in November with film launches in Calgary, Turner Valley and the iconic Empress Theatre in Fort Macleod. Film maker Denise Calderwood uses her documentary storytelling skills to ask the question: where does the creative gene come from? In some mysterious way, do the O'Dalaighs carry the stamp of poetry in their DNA, tracing back to the traditional bards of historical Irish times? Stay tuned...and come to a film premier! More on the Daley News page.
The best spring tonic I know is working with old and new friends, performing for real deal audiences in great venues. Thanks Eli (David Thompson Resort and Red Deer Lake Concert Series), The Wardens (barnburner show with terrific crowd in Canmore), the good folks at Bassano, and Bruce Innes and Julian Kerr (100 Years of Thunder).
Ireland tour this month: check calendar page for details.
Doris Daley and Eli Barsi in concert here in Southern Alberta
Hi friends. Many of you ask where we (Eli and I) will be performing here in Canada. Here's your chance (see poster below). This will be a rip-roaring great time in a beautiful sanctuary perfect for live shows. For more details and to order tickets, call (403) 256-3181 extension 5; or visit On the Edge Concert Series
Happy New Year! All roads lead to Colorado this month. Special acknowledgement to Canada Council of the Arts for funding.
Our tree is up, delicious choral music playing on XM Pops Symphony station, and fruitcake is soaking in rum, ready for inaugural taste test on Dec. 15, my Grandma's birthday. Best Christmas wishes to all you good folks throughout the west. May all your trails be full of fa la la. Every cowboy poetry memory from 2012 is a precious one...thanks for your support and good cheer this past year.
Two quick Christmas news items:
100 Years of Thunder, Box Sets. Just in time for Christmas, the boxes are here! Contents: signed, limited edition vinyl, 10X12 reproductions of Neville Palmer's exquisite photos, CD, booklet of essays, song lyrics and poems. Special Christmas price: $200. Email me for details/ordering.
Blue Christmas Concert: Dec. 27 at the Jubilee Auditorium in Calgary. I'm honoured to be part of this year's cast along with Rev. Elvis, Travelling Mabels, the one and only Amos Garrett, and many more. More details: www.bluechristmas.org. To order tickets (and get a discount price) call (403) 225-4331 and tell them you are a Doris Daley referral.
Business manager/creative consultant posing
by tree near our house.
We left some wild tracks in Vilna, Alberta at their second annual Cowboy Fest. A once-in-a-lifetime treat was the Saturday night concert featuring one of Canada's all time great fiddle players Calvin Vollath. Small towns, campfires, trail rides, convention centres, private parties...it never fails that every venue I visit, the best audiences are there! These are folks who shake your hand and mean it, laugh at corny jokes, invite you over for coffee, wave when you're leaving the parking lot, wave when they see you walking down Main Street...in other words, the kind of people you'd like to have for your neighbour.
Coming up this fall: Blind Bay, BC (overlooking Shuswap Lake near Sorrento) on Sept. 20. Durango, Colorado Oct. 4-7. Heber City, Utah, Nov. 1-4. Josephburg, AB (near Edmonton) Nov. 11. Brooks, Ab on Nov. 16. See details on my calendar page.
May all manner of wonderful things come your way this summer. Here are a few pictures from a great day at the Bar U Ranch last week.
Missing: two moose on the previous hill, one moose just off to the right
out of the picture.
Thank you Tony Webster, ace raconteur and trail guide.
Southern Albertans will know this one wasn't taken at the Bar U Ranch. That's Chief Mountain on the Montana border, taken earlier in August on a jaunt down south.
Who wouldn't be smiling? Ace freelance photographer Walter Workman took this photo just south of Alpine, TX on Hwy 118 to Terlingua. The Texas Cowboy Poetry Gathering (Feb. 22-23, 2013) has crawled its way into a Texas-shaped place in my heart and refuses to be budged. www.cowboys.walterworkman.com; www.TexasCowboyPoetry.com
Welcome to my website, thanks for dropping by. It's a beautiful spring day here along the eastern slopes of the Rockies: the snow stopped around 10:30 this morning and my anemic petunias are back out on the deck for some Vitamin D.
Thank you, Ranch and Reata magazine (volume 1.6) for the story about me in the February/March issue. Friends, this is a magazine of rare quality. And I'm not talking just about the paper, although that too. Go to www.rangeradio.com for details. Two thumbs up. Stellar writing about the real west, compelling photography...each edition is a keeper.
And thank you, 12questions.us, for inviting me to be one of your special guests in April during cowboy poetry week. What books are you reading? What fictional character to you identify most with? (Nancy Drew) What will be on your headstone? For the DD take on these questions (and to check out the responses from my heroes and fellow guests Andy and Jim Nelson) go to www.12questions.ca
More news at the Daley News page, including exciting announcement about BRAND NEW CD!!!
Merry, merry Christmas everyone. May that beautiful old star of Bethlehem shine brightly on your path this holiday season.
Canadian winter isn't all bad, especially with a view like this outside our kitchen window.
Welcome to my western poetry website, thanks so much for dropping by. Be sure to go to the Daley News page for ongoing news and information and my calendar is as up-to-date as I can make it. An exciting new clip up on the internet is this feature from Farm TV. If I inserted the link properly (a long shot), you should be able to click and find this little feature, filmed at Trails End Gathering in High River.
I meet the greatest folks in my line of work. Thank you Alberta Touring Arts Alliance, the Mennonite Women of BC, Calgary Newcomers, and many many others for your warm reception and hospitality. Coming up: trips to Minden, Nevada where I get to work with my South Dakota buddy, great cowboy poet Ken Cook. And early in December, a bit of heaven on earth at Monterey, California. Details on my calendar page.
I am one of 10 people on Planet Earth who aren't on Facebook. I tried valiantly, but it wasn't for me. Even so, I love to stay connected, so shoot me an email sometime and be sure to come up and say hello at the next show.
Baxter Black (looking resplendently Canadian) and I
hooked up for a house party gig in November.
"I had never heard of this genre before and didn't know what to expect from a cowboy poet at Alberta Showcase. Well, my expectations were completely blown away! Doris Daley had us engaged throughout her entire performance and we were left wanting a lot more. We booked her for our 2009-2010 season along with cowgirl singer/songwriter Eli Barsi; this duo was extremely well received and a total delight. Do not miss the opportunity to share Doris (or Doris and Eli) in concert in your community."
Toni Siegle, Westlock AB Cultural Arts Theatre Series
Monday, May 23, 2011 Thank you High River Chamber of Commerce for one of the big honours of my cowboy poetry career: Parade Marshal for the historic Little Britches Rodeo. No horses this year due to equine virus in the municipality...so no reins in the picture. Staff Sergeant Robbie Robertson (retired) served as aide de camp and aided my camp by donating his red ranger (138 horses) to pull the carriage.
Photo: High River Times
This just in: there was a Daley Double at the 2009 Western Music Association Awards, announced in Albuquerque, NM on Nov. 21, 2009. Best Female Cowboy Poet and Best Cowboy Poetry CD honours came my way! (My first reaction when my friends started calling was, "Are you sure?") Please check out more details on the Daley News page.
A great way to start 2010! Thanks Kate and Karl for a wonderful
night at The Stop in Black Diamond
I am tickled and honoured that you would spend some of your time here at Fiddle DD Enterprises, of which yours truly is the sole proprietor, investor and creative vice president. While you are reading this, the CEO (also me) is likely washing the kitchen floor, making brownies for fishing lunches, and/or ironing a skirt for the next gig.
I have been rhyming little poems and stories since my folks gave me a rhyming dictionary in Grade 4. Who knew that my love of words and my love of the west would take me from my little home town in Southern Alberta’s Porcupine Hills (population 350) to stages and festivals all over North America.
For me, cowboy poetry is about passion, pride and privilege. Passion to write and recite well, pride in my western roots and a way of life that endures despite great odds, and a privilege to be out on the road meeting wonderful people all over the United States and Canada.
My two favourite gigs are the one I was just at and the one I’m going to next. If cowboy poetry is something you might enjoy at your function, then call me up! No campfire too small, no concert hall is too big, and no road too remote. My list of gigs includes corporate conventions, 50th birthday parties, community luncheons, awards banquets, trail rides, church socials, cowboy poetry festivals, quilting parties, oil and gas conferences, government conventions, sorority fandangos, leadership seminars and even opera galas. When next we meet at one of those, come on up and say hi and I’ll buy the first cup of coffee.
“Doris Daley walks on stage and the energy level automatically goes up. Poised, professional, and yet as relaxed as the “girl next door”, she engages the audience in such a way that they forget she is a performer and feel as if she’s one of the family. Doris is one of the best wordsmiths on the cowboy poetry gathering circuit today, and doubles as a mighty fine mistress of ceremonies. For the same reasonable honorarium, she’ll also saddle your horse, muck the stalls, milk the cows and mend the fence. A poet and storyteller that brings enthusiasm and sparkle to the stage.”
~Gary “Cowboy Jack” Brown, Radio Ranch, KAZU 90.3 FM, Monterey Bay, California
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