Arts, music scene alive and well; just needs an audience

Thursday, May 14, 2020

We’re grateful coronavirus cases are relatively rare in Southwest Nebraska, and we know of no deaths as of yet.

There are more important reasons to be sad and disappointed, but one that hurt was the SWNCTA production of the Hunchback of Notre Dame, performances cut short over fears of spreading the COVID-19 virus.

Numerous school programs didn’t happen, the Buffalo Commons festival was hobbled, Pondstock was put off until Labor Day and live performances at places like the Bieroc Cafe and Lighthouse Marina as well as other events were delayed until they are -- sooner than later, we hope -- given the all-clear.

When they are, you can bet we’ll appreciate the chance to enjoy live performances with friends and neighbors we’ve been missing for the past few months.

McCookites like to brag about the number of leaders who have roots here -- Sen. George Norris, Gov. Ralph Brooks, Senator and Gov. Ben Nelson, even Gov. Dave Heineman and others -- but we’re also making our share of contributions to the arts.

We published a narrative written by Tyler Rambali-Robertson, chasing her dream of an acting career in New York City, and a little research will yield names of a number of talented individuals in many areas of the arts who call our area home.

John and Scott West grew up in McCook when their father was a clergyman here, and now Dr. John West cares for patients at McCook Clinic.

You can read about his brother, Scott, in this week’s Preview entertainment section, and the release of his latest music album, Austin.

Anyone familiar with Austin, Texas, knows it's a hotbed of live music, and West was able to enlist the services of 21 platinum recording artists, 6 Grammy Award winners and 5 members of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame to perform on the collection.

Scott has fond memories of McCook, and wanted us to mention that Karen Meister of McCook was his first music teacher (piano lessons).

You may be familiar with the Daniel Craig/Harrison Ford film “Cowboys & Aliens," and if you viewed the animated version marketed in the trailer, you’ve enjoyed Scott’s tune, placed there with the help of Scott Mitchell Rosenberg.

“Our Cowboys & Aliens song ... has about 2.2 million views on YouTube” West said.

Plus, Fox News used it for their Honesty In America national series and George Noory has played it regularly on his 600 Coast-to-Coast AM affiliates, including KBRL-AM in McCook, since 2011.

The premise is a little campy, of course, but anyone familiar with the Benkelman UFO story of 1884 may appreciate where they’re coming from.

Check out more about Scott West and his music at here.

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