A Zen cowboy, the most passionate performer in the new folk genre, and a multi-instrumentalist who’s legendary in the region, are set to take the stage to help cultivate a seed of hope and benefit cancer patients in the San Luis Valley. Chuck Pyle, Jenny Bird and Don Richmond will share their talents, in a songwriter-in-the-round format, to benefit the San Luis Valley Cancer Relief Fund, Thurs., March 7 at 7pm in Leon Memorial Hall on the Adams State University campus. Tickets are $25 for adults, $15 for students, and can be purchased at All Good Things in Monte Vista, the Narrow Gauge Newsstand in Alamosa and the Green Spot in Alamosa.
“I received such incredible community support when I was going through my cancer treatment. It meant so much to me, and I really think it helped me get better,” Richmond said. “It’s great to be able to do something to help the SLV Cancer Relief Fund extend that help and support to others making their own journey through cancer,” he added.
When reviewers first gave him the “Zen Cowboy” moniker, Chuck Pyle decided to, as he says, “ride the horse in the direction it’s going,” and took the nickname to heart, shaving his head and blending his upbeat perspective with old-fashioned horse sense. Pyle’s songs have been recorded by John Denver, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and Suzy Bogguss. Country fans know him best for writing “Cadillac Cowboy,” recorded by the late Chris LeDoux, and “Jaded Lover,” which Jerry Jeff Walker recorded.
Meanwhile, Jenny Bird has been called “the most passionate performer in the new folk genre.” For the last 20 years, she’s toured widely and consistently, playing festivals and clubs across Europe, Canada, and the United States. She is well respected in her home town of Taos, N.M., where she records and teaches music.
As for Richmond, he’s well known regionally as a singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumental performer who has been playing professionally for more than thirty years, mostly in the Colo. and N.M. region.
The San Luis Valley Cancer Relief Fund was established in 2006 by Tony Ross. In Ross’ words, “at the base of this concept is a feeling of support coming at a time when everything else seems to be falling apart and the cards are stacking up against you.” Tony Ross passed in July, 2009, after a courageous and graceful battle with cancer, but the Fund lives on through the work of the San Luis Valley Cancer Relief Fund.
The SLVCRF is a totally volunteer organization with no money for overhead coming from membership fees, as Tony requested that 100% of membership funds be distributed to cancer patients and their families in the Valley. Membership in SLVCRF simply means donating money to the fund. Over $17,000 has been distributed to cancer patients since 2008 with $4,800.00 distributed in 2011.
“Even a small amount of money makes a big difference in lifting the spirits, knowing that others are thinking of you and wanting to help in whatever way they can” said Teri McCartney, Board Chair for the SLVCRF and wife of Don Richmond. “Knowing that others care about us makes getting through the tough times a whole lot easier. I know it helped my attitude as a caregiver and Don’s attitude in getting through treatment,” she added. “We’re hoping this year’s Concert for Cancer Relief raises enough money to help more patients than we have in the past.”
The Alamosa Live Music Association and the Department of Music at Adams State Univ. are co-sponsoring the event. Anyone interested in contributing; or becoming a supporting member, of the SLVCRF, can check to the San Luis Valley Cancer Relief Fund, PO Box 1297, Alamosa, CO, 81101. The Green Spot, Alta Fuels/Alta Convenience, Wellspring Healing Arts, Howlin’ Dog Records, RE Wright Farms, and the Ellithorpe Family’s generous donations are helping to fund the event.