Nominated for ANOTHER Award?

Janice Deardorff just sent me a message with a whole row of exclamation points. Can we say excited?

Janice Deardorff“I was just nominated for another award through AWA. A DJ posted this on Facebook.” Says Janice.

So, I looked it up at and sure enough, there it is a whole list of awards that she could be nominated for – if you haven’t nominated your favorite artists, hop on over there and get ‘er done!

It’s really exciting as an artist to be nominated, but as a fan… To know you’ve had a part in a talented voice receiving an award for their talent and sharing in the excitement of getting recognized for their talent is really exciting too.

Janice has listed her album for sale right here on the website, and you can listen to excerpts of her music before you buy it. Just click on Part of the West.

Or you might want to know more about my favorite song on the Album – Dusty Vail.

Click on the youtube video below to hear the top song on the album.

Dusty Vail

“She was born for the wild, born for the wide opening spaces.
This beautiful ranch, it was her heart, it was her home
Born to ride the hills and the endless plains that glimmered gold in the sun
On the Empire Ranch where Dusty Vail was born” from ~ Dusty Vail

Dusty was born on the beautiful Empire Ranch in Sonoita, AZ. I fell in love with the Empire Ranch the first time we visited it in 2010, when my husband and I went to the annual Round-up/Open House. It was not only the beauty of the place, but it’s rich history that drew us in… Little did I know that I’d be singing at Empire Ranch for many different events, in the years to come and I’d get to know Dusty Vail, through the book Gail Corkill wrote for Arcadia Press about Empire Ranch. Gail thought Dusty’s life would make a good song and the more I learned about her, the more I agreed. I could relate to Dusty: “She’d rather ride that be inside”. Living here in the West, I’d rather ride than be inside too! My favorite place to enjoy the West, is between the ears of a horse.


Why do you sing?

I was invited to speak for Career Days, for the Tanque Verde School District, something I was happy to do to give back to the community. When I found out I was assigned the Kindergarten classes I chuckled and said, “Now this will be a fun challenge. How am I going to make this interesting and relevant to 5 year olds who take everything literally?!” So, I rang my little dinner bell and started with this poem:

“A bell’s not a bell til’ you ring it, a song’s not a song til’ you sing it
Love’s not put on this earth to stay, love’s not love til’ you give it away.”

Janice DeardorffWhen I shared that poem and gave a little girl a heart gift bag, as I said, ”Love’s not love til’ you give it away”, she looked in the bag and said forlornly, “But it’s empty!” I explained, “You can’t see love but you can hear it in a song or feel it in a hug. You can’t always see the gifts we give and receive”
I shared that we have all been given gifts and talents to share and when you get older you can have a career that uses those gifts and talents.

“Why do you sing?”, a little boy asked me. I smiled and said, ”I sing because it makes me happy to share music about the west, to share music that matters…” Then I shared, “My career as a western singer started with ‘I Sing to Ride’, bartering for horseback riding, but it’s become so much more…” I explained bartering like this: “If you wash my windows and my dad’s a plumber, he’ll fix your clogged up sink because you washed my windows”

One little boy furrowed his brow and said, “You do something for each other, you make a deal.” Exactly! He got it.

They loved howling on the song, “Cowboy’s Sweetheart”, singing on the chorus of “Ghost Riders” and doing the hand motions on “Home on the Range”.

I told them that I still have to be disciplined and practice too, just like them, when their mom makes them practice. I held up a timer and a tootsie roll pop. I explained, “I work for treats and it’s usually not candy.” Then I held up my picture books and said, “Sometimes my treat is reading a book when I’m done practicing”. I shared that when they practice and get good at things they like to do, people will pay them for those things, if those things become their careers when they grow up!

When I actually sang my song, “I Sing to Ride” and sang the part, “I may not know your name, I don’t know where you’ve been, but by the time we’re through, we’ll share a lot it’s true, we’ll want to do this again…”, I sang it right to a little girl in the front row and then to the whole class. They “got it”—- the entire class really connected with that song.

One class was real curious about my tuner so I showed them how it worked and said: “It’s one of my tools”. Then a boy asked me, ”Where’s your hammer?” I told him, “I have different kinds of tools than a hammer but I do use a wire cutter to cut my strings on top, so no one gets jabbed!”

We finished with “Long Legged Cowboy” to get them up and moving.

As I was walking to my car I heard from the playground: “Goodbye cowgirl singer!” Goodbye sweet children! It felt good to give back…

Wonderful in Wyoming—Living the Songs

It was wonderful…

..seeing “where the buffalo roam” in Yellowstone National Park and then singing about them: “Oh give me a home where the buffalo roam…”, at The Cody Stampede in Cody, WY.
~from Home on the Range”

..enjoying the paintings of buffalo at the Buffalo Bill Museum.
“I could tell you stories, of the indians on the Plain, talk about Wells Fargo and the coming of the trains, talk about the slaughter, of the buffalo that roamed, sing a song of settlers come out looking for a home”
~from “Man With The Big Hat”

..experiencing the beautiful Western world of WY, learning more of the area’s history, connecting with the audience at CityPark and at the museum, hanging out and sharing music and jamming on the 4th of July, with the gorgeous WY mountains behind us, at the Bothwells’ home.

..sharing music and good conversation, over breakfast, at Robin’s Nest B & B in Cody, WY. “Music has a way of bringing us all together, it’s the story, the song, the food the singing along, the beautiful atmosphere…”
~from “I Sing to Ride”

Bed and Breakfast Delight That “ Just so Happened…”

What a gift from the Lord—

Staying at The Golden Leaf Inn, in Estes Park, Colorado.

Last minute, we needed a place to stay. Kevin half jokingly said, “Well, if we don’t find a place to stay, we can always sleep in the car…”

I was on the verge of tears and prayed we’d find a room, SOMEWHERE, in Estes Park, CO. Well, when I looked online I saw this Inn that “just so happened” to have one room open, I was thrilled! Usually, you have to book a room there months in advance…

We had a gorgeous room, with spectacular views, overlooking green pastures, with horses whinnying and a grand view of the Rockies. Our road weary muscles loved the hot tub, while we took in the gorgeous Estes Park night sky, studded with stars. We enjoyed an incredibly yummy breakfast and great conversation with three couples from all over the world.

Right before we left I sang “Just a Horse” and “I Sing Ride” for Monica, the Innkeeper, who is a believer and had tears in her eyes. She said, “ Moments like this make my job so fulfilling…” Moments like that are a taste of heaven. I’m so glad the Lord had a “room at the inn” for us. It turned out to be a perfect belated anniversary gift.. and God’s gifts are always on time!

Western Music Association Awards Nominee

What an honor to be nominated for the 2015 WMA Crescendo Award!


This award is for a group or individual, new to the national or international Western scene, having made considerable advances artistically and/or commercially during the eligibility period. The band or individual should be performing under its/his/her name on a regular basis and not have more than two previous finalist nominations for this award. This award recognizes the group or individual artist.

Janice Deardorff - Western Music Awards Nominee“A special thanks goes out to my fellow  WMA members who nominated me. I thank the Lord for all the folks that have helped me grow and have given me the opportunity to share my music. It’s a blessing and a privilege to be a part of keeping our western heritage alive.”  ~ Janice

You’re the West

“You’re the west. I’m the west”, she said.

…and I thought, “Yes, we’re both part of the west!” I was at a barrel race, doing some riding around the grounds and watching my friend compete. My friend introduced me to an old rancher wo-man, who was there at the barrel race. She was a beautiful old gal and her face was like a roadmap of her life, telling a story of it’s own.

I said to her, “Tell me about yourself,” and she did…

She was born on a ranch in Tucson, AZ , on the west side of town. This old gal had see this town grow and change over the years. When I told her that I was born and raised in Tucson too, she looked at me and said, “ You’re the West. I’m the West ” and I thought, “She’s right—we’re both part of the west!”, and a song was born.

So, whether you were born here, you’ve come for a visit or have come to stay…you’re part of the west!

A Part of the West —-in Wal-Mart

The cowboy was waiting for help from the the sales clerk at Wal-Mart.

I noticed him right away and I was drawn to this old cowboy, while I was doing my shopping. I wanted to know his story.  His body was frail, but he wore his cowboy hat proudly. His wranglers were worn and faded.

I asked him, “Are you a horseman?”

He said, “Well, my old horse died last boys and I used to rope…”

So, I pulled some more of his story out of him.

His name was Eddy and he came to the Tucson area in 1941, the year of the Pearl Harbor  attack. Eddy started working, as a cowboy, on the X9 Ranch, out in Vail, in 1941.

A part of the west, a little living western history I had the pleasure of learning, through cowboy Eddy, as a I was shopping at Wal-Mart…

Friendship and Red Bandanas

Red BandanasIt’s funny how a friendship can start…this one started with a red bandana on Facebook! You know how friends of friends pop up on your screen on Facebook? This one had on a crisp white shirt and a red bandana, and she was singing a song on some stage in Colorado…

Red bandanas hold special meaning for me. When I was a little girl my mom had a red bandana print skirt she used to wear a lot. Whenever she’d wear it, I’d feel all warm and happy inside. I remember driving along in our VW bug on Tanque Verde Rd., in Tucson, AZ and look over to see my Mom driving along, wearing that red bandana print skirt.

I wear a red bandana a lot now. I have a couple that are as soft as butter from much wear and many washings. They protect me from getting burned and a wet one on my neck keeps  me  cool in the hot Arizona sun. They also remind me of my mom, who’s now my friend. Those red  bandanas also remind me  of other friends I’ve made along the way, on our western adventures…