Local farrier a finalist in song contest

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Doug Figgs is headed to Tucson in May, and it’s all because of Cathy.

Figgs entered two original songs in the annual Tucson Folk Festival’s songwriting contest, one called “Dancing with Matilda” and the other called “All Because of You,” a love song penned for his wife and partner, Cathy Figgs.

His entries earned Figgs a spot in the top 10 finalists who will perform on Saturday, May 5. The contest will be broadcast on KXCI, Tucson’s community radio station, and the winner will open for festival headliner BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet Saturday evening on the main stage.

“I’m just amazed,” Figgs said.

The contest judges will base their decision on such factors as originality and uniqueness, talent and stage presence.

Local musician Jim Ruff will be on stage with Figgs, backing him up on bass.

Figgs, a Lemitar-based farrier by day and singer-songwriter by night, has been forging his talents not just at local venues in Socorro County, such as Sofia’s, where he entertained with his band, Cowboy Way, Sunday, but at cowboy poetry gatherings from Prescott, Ariz., to Bear Lake, Idaho.

Last year Figgs performed at the Arizona Cowboy Poets Gathering and the Durango Cowboy Poetry Gathering, and was part of the 2011 Western Music Association Showcase & Awards Show, honoring the original Singing Cowboy, Roy Rogers.

Around the county, Figgs normally takes the stage with Cowboy Way or his friend and mentor Mariam Funke, but the cowboy gatherings are something Figgs does on his own. These roundups take place all over the west, wherever the cowboy tradition is strong, and they celebrate the history of the American West in story, poem and song. “I’m just trying to get my songs out there,” Figgs said. “I’m doing them basically for cowboy poetry festivals, and trying to be a featured performer at those gatherings.”

Local band Roon will also be taking the stage at the folk festival.

 


-- Email the author at sbarteau@dchieftain.com.