"Many thanks for your ... absolutely top drawer performances for our school.
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ABOUT THE WESTERN SHOWS
Purly offers concerts for folks age 6-96, filled with plenty of humor and audience participation. She typically plays guitar, banjo, accordion, ukulele, mandolin & harmonica - only not all at once! Her Limberjack, a remnant of pioneer days, delights all ages. Purly brings to the stage a song-bag full of traditional American Cowboy tunes, original compositions, western & early swing numbers and acappella ditties. If the moment is right, this seasoned raconteur, will tantalize your ears with humorous anecdotes or tall tales.
Ms. Gates recites original and borrowed Cowboy Poetry. And on occasion, she also portrays Calamity Jane, "the heroine of a thousand Old West adventures".
Purly also offers hands-on workshops for elementary age children - making a 1-string jug banjo - among many other cool projects.
And if the time is right, you could get a lesson on how to spin the "flat loop", or how to make music with spoons, a washboard or a washtub bass!
For most of her adult life Purly's been a professional musician, storyteller and Cowboy poet. A former elementary educator, Ms. Gates spent decades as an Artist-in-Residence in various corners of the world, using music to encourage young folks' creativity, and teaching basic carpentry skills while making simple instruments from recycled and unusual materials.
Purly can occasionally be heard whistling with the birds or yodeling to Mona (the donkey) at her hill country hacienda in Driftwood, TX. Indeed, life at Hardrock Ranch has inspired many songs and poems, in between homesteading occupations such as cabin building, tree cutting and organic gardening. She has indeed raised both grass lambs and - over the decades - quite a bit of heck while enjoying life on the land.
A while back, Purly was the recipient of a coveted National Endowment for the Arts grant to work her musical magic in Micronesian schools. The Texas State Library commissioned her to write a theme song for their statewide Summer Reading Club for youth. And she was a finalist in the prestigious Kerrville (TX) New Folk Songwriting competition.
As a horse-crazy kid, Purly mucked stalls in exchange for riding time. Nowadays she's flingin' slightly different material. This part-time 'bull thrower' certainly has a tendency to indulge her spiritual connection to the wild women of the old west. In the words of Texas humorist Doc Blakely, "She's a regular Calamity Jane reincarnate - only a lot more talented. And she's a hoot!"
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