Prickly Pear & the Cactus Chorale

Years at Winfield: 

As artists and musicians, Prickly Pair, (alias Locke and Les Hamilton) endeavors to preserve and perpetuate vintage Western music, Cowboy folk tunes and Old-time fiddle music as true American art forms. Add bassist Norman Winter and you have Prickly Pair & The Cactus Chorale. Their all-acoustic material also demonstrates that many early cowboy folk tunes came from Celtic origins. With traditional and original material that ranges from fast-paced and humorous to hauntingly beautiful, their performances are highly entertaining while lending to American Western Heritage and historical perspective.

Locke Hamilton's rhythm guitar accompanies her premium vocal quality that many have likened to EmmyLou Harris and Mary Black. Les Hamilton is a fourth generation Rocky Mountain style fiddler and also a pretty darn good harmonica player. The harmony vocals and artful playing of a stand-up bassist whom they call the “Cactus Chorale” often join them.

Prickly Pair received nominations from 1998 to 2002 from the Western Music Association and the Academy of Western Artists for Best Group or Duo of the Year, Best Female Performer of the Year, Best Songwriter and Best Instrumentalist. They were singled out for Rising Star by the Academy of Western Artists. One of their releases, "Cactus Dance," stayed on the Galvin Americana charts for ten weeks beginning in November 1998. In 2000, their self-penned tune “An Old Puncher’s Prayer” was nominated for Song of the Year by the Western Music Association. Don't miss this dynamic duo from Dubois, Wyoming at this year's Festival!


In 2009 Prickly Pair & the Cactus Chorale were nominated by the Western Music Association in 6 different categories for their work, and in November 2009 they received the coveted WMA's Marilyn Tuttle 'The Best of the Best' Harmony Award of the Year for 2009