Total immersion in The West!! The inspiring music and art, the showy Cowboy clothing styles, the sprawling tradition! Locally since 2005 crowds of people have enjoyed participating in a unique event that makes the experience possible. It’s the International Western Music Association’s annual Convention, which runs this year from Wednesday night November 9th through Sunday morning November 14th, and once again the Hotel Albuquerque in Old Town will host this popular Cowboy extravaganza.
“That word ‘convention’ might be off-putting or lead some people into believing this isn’t a public show,” admits Rick Huff, a former IWMA officer and the nation’s principal reviewer of contemporary Western Music and Cowboy Poetry releases. “If people think it’s just a business meeting for Association members, they’re missing out on something incredible!!”
As always, the IWMA will be showcasing top Western musicians and Cowboy Poets
entertaining on daytime and nighttime concert stages, a huge Western Music mercantile so enthusiasts can engage in fleshing out their listening libraries, a Western clothing consignment store, vendors, after-hours jam sessions and much more.
“A general misconception about Western Music is that it’s Country,” Huff explains. “It’s definitely not the loud, rockish Pop that Country has become. Western is largely acoustic and generally pretty mellow, yet still exciting to hear. Folks really need to come experience it for themselves to fully understand the appeal. And they will!! It’s so good to be returning for this big event after sitting out 2020!”
A definition of the Western Music genre that appears in the IWMA’s quarterly magazine The Western Way reads as follows: “Western Music is most often acoustic in its core instrumentation. Its lyrics are typically about the lives, loves, lore, locales, legends and legacy of the Old and New West, its peoples or Cowboying worldwide!” And that obviously covers plenty of territory.
In addition to featuring dozens of performers who come from all parts of the North American continent to participate, the IWMA event always climaxes with the Western Music Awards show honoring Group, Individual, Poet, Songwriter and Entertainer of The Year and what song and poetry releases have taken top honors.
To get full information, schedules, ticket and day pass information, visit the International Western Music Association website at www.westernmusic.org, contact the IWMA at 505-563-0673 or visit the IWMA Convention desk in the Hotel Albuquerque starting Wednesday November 9th. Note that COVID vax cards or Test Proofs are required for admission.