Cowboy Johnson returns to perform at Gayville Hall

Cowboy Johnson returns to perform at Gayville Hall Country singer Cowboy Johnson of Austin, TX, released his first CD last year and was featured at Willie Nelson's annual Fourth of July concert in Fort Worth before an audience of 40,000, the hightlight of his burgeoning musical career. �

A loyal former South Dakotan, however, Johnson returns to the state on Saturday, June 4, for an 8 p.m. concert at Gayville Hall in Gayville for the third year in a row. Guitarist Nick Schwebach and fiddler Owen DeJong, of the Poker Alice B, will join their old friend.

Johnson, whose given name is Kent, grew up in California before moving to Minnesota at age 15 with his parents. �He dropped out of school at 16 and went on the road, ending up in the Black Hills, where he spent the 1970s working the mines, playing music, and living hard.

It was there that a disgruntled neighbor, whose mailbox Johnson had shot full of holes one drunken afternoon, declared to the community, "We gotta do something about this damn cowboy."

The name stuck, but the alcoholism and addiction he had been struggling with for years did not. Sober now for 25 years, Cowboy sings songs of pain, loss, regret and redemption. He has lived in Austin since 1996.

Gayville Hall is at 502 Washington Street in Gayville. Tickets are $10 at the door or $12.50 for reserved seating. Call 605-267-2859.

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