Country music artist Kenny Feidler follows in footsteps of other rodeo athletes turned musicians

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Ask pretty much any songwriter how they come up with ideas for their songs, and it’s a good bet that they’ll say they write what they know.

Whether that is heartache, loss of faith, family struggles or other issues, many songwriters incorporate life experiences into their craft.

For South Dakota country singer-songwriter Kenny Feidler, this is exactly the case.

“I’m not a catchy, trendy guy. I stick to writing what I know about,” Feidler said. “That changes as you get older, and it grows with you. You try to have your songs grow with your life.”

As a former rodeo athlete, Feidler writes and sings about the trials and tribulations of driving endless miles across the United States to rodeo after rodeo, chasing checks and championship belt buckles.

Kenny Feidler and The Cowboy Killers have released four albums along with several singles and EPs. (Courtesy/Kenny Feidler)

“I used to ride bareback horses up until five years ago when I kind of gave it up. I turned 30 and had kids,” Feidler said. “I pro-rodeoed and did college rodeo and all that stuff for quite a while.”

During his rodeo career, Feidler learned about fellow rodeo-athlete-turned-musician Chris LeDoux.

LeDoux, also a bareback rider, was a champion rodeo athlete as well as a musician.

Over his career, the Wyoming native recorded 36 albums, which have sold more than 6 million units in the U.S.

Some of his most well-known songs include “This Cowboy’s Hat,” “Copenhagen” and “Western Skies.”

LeDoux, like many cowboys pursuing music on the side, most notably former bull rider and rising country music sensation Cody Johnson, sold tapes of his songs out of the back of his truck at rodeo events.

“That’s how I got into this gig, by doing the same kind of thing,” Feidler said. “It’s kind of a natural fit. The lifestyle is kind of similar; we spend so much time out on the road in both lives.”

For as much as he loved being a rodeo athlete, Feidler doesn’t really get an itch to hop back on a bronc for a ride around the ring.

“I know a lot of guys that rodeo when they stop, they miss that social aspect. Being in the trenches with your friends and being out on the road chasing it,” he said. “Because it is our demographic — cowboys and rodeo crowds — it doesn’t feel like I really left it.”

Similar to Chris LeDoux and Cody Johnson, musician Kenny Feidler was once a rodeo athlete driving endless miles from rodeo to rodeo before turning to music full time. (Courtesy/Kenny Feidler)
Similar to Chris LeDoux and Cody Johnson, musician Kenny Feidler was once a rodeo athlete driving endless miles from rodeo to rodeo before turning to music full time. (Courtesy/Kenny Feidler)

Music fans that attend Feidler’s show can expect a high-energy performance.

“As much as I have a lot of rodeo-related things and cowboy songs, the live show itself is a lot heavier, a lot more rock and roll, than people expect,” he said. “We go pretty hard for the 90-minute set and pour it all out there.”

Songs that audience members can expect to hear at any Feidler performance include “Cowboy Shit” and a handful of his older pieces.

“’Cowboy Shit’ may sound like a joke, but it’s about traveling with my friends back in the day,” Feidler said. “There’s a lot of songs that I’ve been playing for the past two years that just never got recorded. I don’t really shelve anything; I play it all.”

Feidler and The Cowboy Killers are scheduled to headline the Cheyenne Frontier Days After Party at 8:30 p.m. Friday at The Outlaw Saloon, 312 S. Greeley Highway, Cheyenne.

Being a historic rodeo and dubbed “The Daddy of ‘Em All,” performing as a rodeo athlete, or musician, at Cheyenne Frontier Days is quite the honor.

“I never actually have been to Cheyenne during the rodeo, it just never happened for me. So this is really cool,” Feidler said.

Feidler will be joined by artists Kellen Smith, the Nate Champion Band, Ashley Wineland and Lendon James for an evening filled with live music and dancing.

“Kellen Smith is a good friend of mine, and this is a good package for that scene. The kind of music that we play resonates well with that crowd,” Feidler said.

Tickets are $15 per person for general admission and $100 per person for VIP. The show is open to adults 21 and older.

For more information, or to purchase tickets to the show, go to

If you can’t make Feidler’s show in Cheyenne, he and his band are scheduled to perform Friday, Aug. 4 at the Yuma County Fairgrounds, Friday, Aug. 18 at the Arkansas Valley Fair Grounds in Rocky Ford and Saturday, Aug. 19 at the Globe Hall in Denver.

To learn more about Kenny Feidler and the Cowboy Killers, including links to their music and merchandise, go to

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Written by: Soft FM Radio Staff

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