This weekend, award-winning singer-songwriter Suzy Bogguss will treat her fans in the Big Horn Basin to an outdoor concert in Cody’s City Park. The free concert will begin at 8 p.m. Sunday and attendees are encouraged to bring their lawn chairs and picnic blankets, and be ready to enjoy Bogguss’ down-home, Americana style and hit country songs.
Bogguss had a string of top 10 songs in the early 1990s, with singles such as “Outbound Plane,” “Aces” and “Hey, Cinderella,” the mother-daughter song “Letting Go,” and the song that climbed highest on the charts, “Drive South.”
Bogguss, who has made concert appearances in Cody several times over the last 15 years, is on the roster to entertain in White Sulphur Springs, Mont., at the Red Ants Pants festival on Saturday. She was looking for an additional venue while she was out west, so she reached out to her longtime friend Dan Miller, a Cody entertainer, who offered to put together a concert.
“I’m thinking that I met Dan on the Ralph Emery Show (on The Nashville Network) probably for the first time, or maybe when he was hosting another one of his shows that he was so well known for on TNN,” Bogguss recalled. “We’re both from the Midwest. I think we just bonded early on, and we just knew that we were supposed to be good friends.”
“I have known Suzy a long time, and she thinks of Cody as a second home,” Miller said. “So when she calls, we try to put something together.”
Three years ago, Miller rounded up sponsors to make a similar event happen. Thanks to generous donors, Bogguss’ last appearance in Cody was completely free to the public, and hundreds of people from around the region attended. This Sunday’s show will also be free.
“I can’t say enough for their generosity,” Miller said.
Bogguss said she loves coming back to the region, crediting her early travels in Wyoming and Montana with giving her the courage to chase her dreams in Nashville in the 1980s.
“My big break came in a little town called Centennial, Wyoming,” Bogguss said, “and the reason I say that is that I met some people there that have been lifelong friends, and they gave me the courage to go out on my own. I just kind of worked my way into all sorts of different places, little by little, and for a few dollars and then, that would put me into a larger venue. And I did that for about five years before I got the actual courage to move down to Nashville.”
Since the pandemic, Bogguss has only played a few live venues – her Cody appearance will be only the seventh time she’s performed since public health regulations have allowed live audiences. However, Bogguss says she’s stayed connected to her fans through weekly Facebook Live posts.
“Having to prepare a couple of songs or three songs for every week performance, it kept me practicing, kept the calluses on my fingers,” Bogguss said, while adding that performing live, even over the internet, helped her maintain a connection with her fan base. “We were all locked down, and the comments, and the way that people would be thankful for all of it – these people got to know each other by coming there onto this little site every Wednesday. And I’ve still maintained it, I’ve done, I think 68 weeks in a row.”
But she said performing for live audiences is unmatched, which is one of the reasons she’s looking forward to her concert in Cody on Sunday.
“I just like people to clap, I really like attention. I’m a ham,” Bogguss said. “You know, I like music, I like to share it, I like to feel the communication and the camaraderie between me and the audience, and the way that the energy gets passed back and forth.”
Miller says concert-goers are encouraged to bring their lawn chairs and food and share an evening of music and memories with one of America’s favorite country stars. The concert is sponsored by Pinnacle Bank, The Irma Hotel, Gunwerks, Cody Ace Hardware, Canyon Real Estate and Dan Miller Productions.