Colorado and Wyoming are similar in a lot of ways, and the agriculture/ranching atmosphere of Montrose reminds country artist Chancey Williams of where he grew up.
Fresh off a Grand Ole Opry debut, Williams will soon be visiting the local area for a performance kicking off the Montrose Summer Music Series.
“We’re excited to play Montrose," Williams said. "We hope everybody comes out."
Growing up in the uber small town of Moorcroft, Wyoming, Williams lived on a ranch and participated in rodeos with his family.
He had been in rodeos since he was little, and, once old enough, he began to ride saddle broncs in high school. After honing his skills all four years of high school, he made it to the national finals as a senior, continuing in rodeos during college.
His knack for music started young as well, although his hometown did not have much of a music scene. Because of this, Williams had to learn how to make music from scratch.
He began learning the guitar “fairly young” and played drums and bass in high school. Although rodeos were “always kind of my main thing,” Williams stated music was something he still did on the side for fun.
“After college, seemed like we were getting booked a lot,” remarked Williams. He decided he would have to choose one or the other, and the saddle bronc-athlete decided music was something he could do a lot longer.
Now Williams is one of two artists to have performed on the main stage and competed in the rodeo at Cheyenne Frontier Days.
“It’s always kind of been the same,” said Williams about what inspires him musically. “I write songs about ranching and rodeoing.”
That’s what he knows; not a lot of saddle bronc-athletes make it into music and not many musicians have a long history with rodeos.
It’s really hard for some artists to get that lifestyle across without living it themselves; it would be like him trying to write a song about NASCAR, joked the country music artist.
About a month ago Williams and his band made their Grand Ole Opry debut, something he will always remember.
“We’ve had a really good year this year," he said. "We worked really hard to get certain achievements like that. We’ve played a lot of years and traveled a lot of miles on the road.”
Now Williams is making his way to the Western Slope. The rodeo turned country star will be kicking off this year’s Montrose Summer Music Series.
With local group the Neon Sky Band opening, Williams will be performing on the evening of June 2 at the Montrose Rotary Amphitheater. Gates open at 5 p.m. and the music starts at 6 p.m. The show is free.
To check out Chancey Williams and The Younger Brothers Band, check on Spotify and other streaming sites. His sixth album, “One of These Days” came out March 24.
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