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Cowboy Music and Poetry Gathering Returns to Shoshone Next Weekend
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The animated Tony Argento, renowned for his vocal sound effects and use of props, calls his style o’ recitin’ “Tuned up and Twisted.” COURTESY: Lost-n-Lava”
   
Tuesday, September 13, 2022
 

BY KARMA METZLER FITZGERALD

 Tony Argento wants you to be happy.

When he’s on stage, he says, his job is to entertain you and get your mind off the things that might be not going right in your life.

For the past 57 years, that’s what he’s done as a cowboy poet and entertainer. He’ll be in Shoshone this weekend for the 13th annual Lost-N-Lava Cowboy Gathering at the Lincoln County Fairgrounds. The event features cowboy poets and music from across the country as well as a vendor show and demonstrations.

Argento, who lives in Reno, NV, has performed at the show for the last twelve years.

“It’s unique,” Argento said of the Gathering. “It doesn’t matter who is on the stage or what they present, the audience is always appreciative. Of all the venues I’ve entertained at they’re right up at the top. I feel fortunate to be a part of it.”

The Gathering got its start in 2010 when a group of community volunteers got together to create an event that would celebrate Lincoln County’s western heritage and be a festival for cowboy and western music.

Payson Reese is the president of the all-volunteer team that puts on the event each September. He says 500 people come into Shoshone (population 1,653) each year for the Gathering and come from across the United States and Canada.

“After 13 years of the event, our entertainment has changed since the first one,” Reese said. “We started out with a few local musicians and poets that performed for us and each year it just keeps getting better and better.”

Reese said Lost-N-Lava has drawn the attention of nationally known performers in the cowboy/western music genre. Performances are usually booked a year in advance.

Argento started reciting poetry at the age of five after learning from his grandfather, who told young Tony stories around the campfire. 

“It’s continuing the cowboy way of life and tradition,” Argento said. “It keeps the classics alive and the fellows who wrote them. There’s always humor and sometimes dismay, but the cowboy always comes out ahead.”

Argento will emcee the daytime shows both Friday and Saturday as well as perform in the evening events. Shows are free from 12pm-5pm each day, tickets for evening events starting at 7 p.m. are $20 with a weekend pass sold for $35.

Reese said back by popular demand this year is the community breakfast and cowboy church Saturday morning starting at 9:30 a.m.

The vendor show runs from noon to 7 p.m. each day. Reese said this year there are antiques, woodworking, leather crafts and a variety of specialty food and drinks. Southern Idaho Muzzleloaders will have a display and demonstrations on black powder shooting.

Proceeds from the weekend are shared with the music and FFA (Future Farmers of America)  programs at Shoshone High School.

For more information and tickets, visit https://www.facebook.com/LostNLava  or https://www.lostnlavagathering.com/. Or, call the Shoshone Chamber of Commerce at 208-886-7787.

 

IF YOU GO…

Head south on Highway 75 from the Wood River Valley. When you get to Shoshone, take the immediate left after crossing the tracks and drive two blocks to the fairgrounds.

 

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