Rick Pickren

Paul Klonowski
Artist / Program Description: 

RICK PICKREN is a nationally known actor and singer-songwriter of traditional and original folk songs. A descendant of Buffalo Bill Cody, he holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Musicology and an MFA in Acting/Directing from the University of Michigan. He travels the Midwest with his guitar, banjo and harmonicas performing his critically acclaimed programs. He has performed in venues ranging from the Allstate Arena to intimate concert settings.  His programs are filled with historical detail and depth, encompassing a vast repertoire of folk, cowboy and original songs.

“Pickren’s approach puts a fresh sheen on these folk tunes of old.” - Sing Out

"Unpretentious sincerity and a fine, refreshing voice as rich as Swiss chocolate." -True West

“Not just entertaining. . .but inspiring, enlightening. . .and essential.” - Ted Eselgroth of the Children’s Radio Network

Illinois: Gateway to the American West in Story and Song
Using historical anecdotes, traditional and original songs accompanied on guitar, banjo, and harmonica, Rick highlights the key role Illinois played in the development of American western history, culture, and myth from 1860-1960. From Illinoisans Wild Bill Hickok, Black Hawk, Wyatt Earp, Joseph Glidden to Buffalo Bill Cody who began his career in Chicago in 1872, and the halcyon days of the WLS Barn Dance with Gene Autry, Smiley Burnette, Lulu Belle & Scotty, and Bob Atcher (Schaumburg’s first Mayor), this program weaves a tapestry of history and song into an entertaining and edifying hour-long excursion through the history of Illinois and the American West

The State Songs!: Favorite state songs like "Illinois," "My Old Kentucky Home," "Home On The Range," and "You Are My Sunshine."

Songs From The Steel Rails:
From The Rock Island Line to The Wreck of the Old 97, Rick’s program offers an entertaining and enlightening examination of the early railroad's impact on all aspects of American life.

Performing artist/company/ensemble