Cowboy Culture South Dakota Style


Ken Cook credits his Grandpa Frank Buckles for showing him

which end of a cow means business. He is courageously ranching

and writing in southwestern South Dakota, near Martin.

For the past three decades, he’s used the skills he learned from

his grandfather, passed them on to his kids, and through it all,

loved one woman. His formal education from Southern Utah

University with a theatre arts major and English literature

minor ignited his passion for expressive phraseology.

His passion for both comes alive on the page and in person.

Yvonne Hollenbeck says, “Ken is a master poet, a great entertainer,

and a real cowboy.”

Ken has appeared as a featured artist at gatherings in North

and South Dakota, Nebraska, Colorado, Arizona, and Nevada,

including the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko.

He was named the 2010 Academy of Western Artists’ Top

Male Cowboy Poet of the Year and 2009 Lariat Laureate from the

Center for Western and Cowboy Poetry.

"Passing It On", a book of poetry by Great Plains Cowboys Jay Snider

and Ken includes a CD of original and classic poetry from both artists.

He also has recorded three CDs: "Dad, We'll Rope Today,

I'm Gonna Be a Cowboy and Cowboys Are Like That."


 Robert Dennis writes, recites the poems and sings the songs of the western life, from a lifelong love affair with where he lives, Western South Dakota. He comes from a long line of musical people and is thrilled that his sons and grandchildren seem to be following along in those footsteps.

Robert and his wife Cindy are the fourth generation on the family ranch, started at the turn of the last century. Robert uses horses, both saddle horses and a team in his day to day work on the family ranch. He has a deep respect and appreciation for the culture and those who came before us and left a well marked trail to follow, with the traditions and time honored and tested ways of the western cattle industry. Robert's songs and poems reflect these traditions and lifestyle. When he sings a song or recites a poem, he hopes he is doing his part to pass on the mantle to the next generation who will someday join the great cow clan!

Robert and Cindy are proud to live the life and pass it on to their three son's and families. With a deep seat and a firm hold they hope their grandchildren and great grandchildren will still be on this little chunk of ranch land into the next century, riding and training good cow horses, raising and chasing cattle and living the life to the utmost. And maybe they too will write and recite and sing songs about the joys and hardships that come with this life and love affair....

Paul Larson

Paul is the son of a carpenter, who like his father and mother has done many different jobs to earn his way. But when horse's and cowboyin' came into his life, he knew he found his true passion! Paul spent many years competing in the calf roping and team roping events, with some buckles won. He went to judging rodeo's throughout the midwest. He places great value on good craftmanship and good cowboyin'! Appreciated for his honest eye, baritone voice, and some yoelin', he is known well in his part of the country, as a singer, song writer,and cowboy musican. Entertaining is what he loves! Not far from Rochford S.D., Paul writes and works on his cowboyin' skills! He's been introduced as the cowboy that you'd hire to ride a circle around a rangy herd of cows to keep them quiet through the night! When in the Black Hills you will find him on horse back,workin' cows, at a chuck wagon, or on a porch singing cowboy music!

"Paul lives the songs he sings. There is an authenticity, a genuine feeling that comes through. He sings about a world of unusual spaces and unexpected moments; a world that still fascinates and inspires many of us. And, of course, he sings in a voice we all wish we had."
Boyd Bristow, Sioux Falls, SD
"Paul Larson is the real deal. His voice, his songs and his way of life all paint a beautiful picture of the West."
Kenny Putnam, Musician/Artist Rapid City, SD

Once you hear Paul Larson's unique baritone voice, you'll never forget him... it's like he's singing just to you. Our Black Hills audiences love Paul. His sense of humor and contagious laugh always wins them over. He is a true entertainer. Sarah Carlson, Homestake Opera House, Lead, SD