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June 28th, 2011:

James McMurtry Concert at Zapata Ranch Benefiting Shriver/Wright Memorial

James McMurtry

The Phillips family, who manages the Medano-Zapata Ranch adjacent to the Sand Dunes National Park, is hosting an outdoor concert at the ranch, Sun., July 10, 2pm,  featuring James McMurtry, a celebrated singer-songwriter who practices a blend of Americana, folk, rock and country.

“A poet of the people,” is what the Village Voice called James McMurtry and “the truest, fiercest songwriter of his generation” is how famed author Stephen King described McMurtry in Entertainment Weekly. Son of acclaimed author Larry McMurtry, who wrote Lonesome Dove and Terms of Endearment, James McMurtry also has a way with words. His 2005 CD Childish Things spent six weeks at #1 on R&R’s Americana Music Radio Chart and captured nods for Best Song and Best Album from the 5th Annual Americana Music Association Honors and Awards.

This concert is a fundraiser for a memorial project to honor community members Doug Shriver and Ray Wright who passed away tragically last winter. Shriver and Wright were visionaries who passionately gave years of leadership to the San Luis Valley’s water resources work, agricultural foundation, and efforts to maintain the health of the Rio Grande River. Local nonprofit, Rio Grande Headwaters Land Trust, is working with the families of the men to develop an appropriate memorial site in conjunction with the Colorado Division of Wildlife, Phillips family, and other local and statewide partners.

The memorial aims to give people in Shriver’s and Wright’s home community of Monte Vista a lovely setting to enjoy, appreciate and learn about the Rio Grande that sustains us all. While the project is in the early design stages, it will likely include a picnic site and access point to the river that will not only honor our friends, but highlight the importance of the Rio Grande and our ongoing responsibility to care for it.

This concert is a product of Ranchlands Concerts, a non-profit established by the Phillips Family with the goal of raising money for ranch education programs and special projects such as the Shriver/Wright Memorial Project.

Tickets are available through the Zapata ranch’s website:, prices increase at the gate. All seating is general admission, gates open at 11am, concert begins at 2pm. People are encouraged to bring blankets to sit on. Alcohol is not served, people are welcome to bring their own.