SCERA to Welcome Michael Martin Murphey & Friends, 7/21

SCERA to Welcome Michael Martin Murphey & Friends, 7/21

Grammy-winning cowboy songwriter/singer Michael Martin Murphey has long been known for celebrating the cowboy way of life and has gold albums and multiple Country Hall of Fame honors that identify him as the king of the cowboys.

The Texas native, who lives in New Mexico and loves to perform against the background of the Rocky Mountains of Colorado and Utah, will make a return engagement at the SCERA Shell Outdoor Theatre July 21 at 8 p.m.

In a show called Michael Martin Murphey and Friends, the singing cowboy will bring such hits as "Wildfire" and "What's Forever For" which expanded his audience from country to mainstream as well as several other top performers: "Carolina in the Pines," "Geronimo's Cadillac," "Cowboy Logic" and "Cherokee Fiddle."

Joining Murphey will be Nashville recording group Due West and 12-year-old Lexi Walker, whose featured role on Alex Boyé's video of "Let it Go" from "Frozen" garnered more than 50 million hits on YouTube and made her an overnight internet sensation.

General admission tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for children (age 3-11), seniors (age 65+) and students (w/ID). Reserved section tickets range from $20-$30 for adults and $15-$25 for seniors, children and students. They may be purchased as, by calling (801) 225-ARTS, or in person at the main office of SCERA Center for the Arts (745 S. State St.) between 10am-6pm weekdays and Saturdays from 12Noon-6pm.

"Murphey helps us celebrate the heritage of our western culture," says Adam Robertson, SCERA's President and CEO. "He is an authentic cowboy and a great storyteller who lives the lifestyle he sings about."

Big hits and mainstream success came to Murphey in the '80s, and he even wrote New Mexico's state ballad, "Land of Enchantment." He returned to his pure country roots in the '90s and his work helped inspire Warner Brothers records to form a western music subsidiary, "Warner Western." He founded WestFest, an annual festival in Copper Mountain, Colorado.

At the turn the century, he returned to bluegrass roots, released albums and even gave a benefit concert in 2011 in Benton, Kansas to help save the cabin where Brewster Higley wrote "Home on the Range," Kansas' state song. Last July he released his first album of original songs in 20 years, and it reached third on the Billboard top bluegrass album chart. He continues to play a major role in resurrecting the cowboy song genre.

Opening for Murphey will be Nashville country band Due West, which has been recording albums and gaining audiences since 2009. Their songs, "I Get That All the Time" and "When the Smoke Clears" made it into the Great American Country's Top 20.

Utah singer Lexi Walker from Sandy had already found an audience that loved her music, but when the 12-year-old recorded "Let it Go" on Alex Boye's YouTube cover, it went viral and more than 18 million viewers tuned in to hear her in the first 10 days of its release. She will team with Murphey for a version of his hit, "What's Forever For."