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KPBX Kids' Concert Special Encore Broadcast: Western Reunion Saturday, January 22 at 1 pm

KPBX Kids' Concerts listeners enjoyed a special encore broadcast with Western Reunion on January 22, 2022 at 1 p.m. on KPBX.  Listeners of all ages journeyed back in time to the old west as they listened to cowboy music and poetry originally recorded and performed in front of a live audience at The Bing Crosby Theater in April 2015. The four-piece band played a variety of great cowboy songs and western swing numbers to get your toes tapping and singing-a-long.

You can listen here Part 1 Part 2

About the Performers

Band members are Bill Siems, lead guitar and mandolin, Dawn Holladay, lead vocals and guitar, Michael Gifford, vocals and washtub bass, and Don Thomsen, fiddle.  The group plays around the  Northwest at festivals, concerts, fairs, and has played for multiple KPBX Kids’ Concerts.

Guitarist Bill Siems is a retired scientist and faculty member at Washington State University. He has played acoustic guitar and mandolin since childhood, and has been with numerous northwest bands including Hired Hands, Sweet Hominy and River City Ramblers. Besides chemistry and music, Bill’s obsessions are books and birds. He is an avid reader of all things history, and is currently researching European history.

Dawn Holladay has a love for singing country, jazz and western music. She has performed with two swing bands, Sweet Hominy and Jive Five, and sang with the trio, Madame Orchid. She also plays guitar in the oldtime band, River City Ramblers. After a career as graphic designer and photographer at Eastern Washington University, she continues her activity with visual arts along with her music.  

The band’s string bassist, Michael Gifford (“Gut Bucket Giff”) lives in Rossland, BC. He frequently travels to Spokane to perform with Western Reunion, The Two Big Jug Band, and The River City Ramblers. Gifford’s passion in life is the washtub bass, sometimes called the “gut bucket.” He is quite proud of his washtub bass instructional video, “Compleat Washtub Bass.”

Playing fiddle with Western Reunion is Don Thomsen, one of Spokane’s musical treasures. Don plays many styles of music including Irish, bluegrass and swing music. His popular band, Floating Crowbar, is regularly featured at KPBX Kids' Concerts Annual Celtic Dance Parties. Raised in a musical family, Don is adept at many instruments, including flute, mandolin, and banjo. He has performed for years with many well known bands in the area, including Planet Lounge Orchestra, Staley & Thomsen, Prairie Fire and Jive Five.

Special Guest

Ted Hensold performs with Bill Siems as the Educated Fellers, reviving the old tradition of cowboy songs and yarns. He also plays banjo and harmonica with the River City Ramblers.

Thanks to Event Donors STCUHarvard Park Children's Learning Center North, and Rocket Bakeries.

More to Explore

Coloring Page

Slideshow Images from 2015 Concert