Prickly Pair was nominated for the Best Group or Duo of the Year 1998, by the Western Music Association. They were also nominated for the Rising Star Award 1998 by the Academy of Western Artists. Les has been a busy man. He took 1st place adult fiddle contest, Western Music Association Festival, 1996-1st place adult champion, Old Time Fiddle and Country Music Contest, Casper, WY, 1996.
Locke has also been very busy. Between 1998 and 2002 she has been nominated for the Best Female Performer and Best Songwriter by the Western Music Association and the Academy of Western Artists. She has earned an award for "Gospel Album of the Year" for her original album "God's Country" from the Country Music Association Of America, 1996-Publication of her cowboy poem "Waiting' Up Tonight" in American Cowboy Magazine, December 1995.
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(pronounced Lockie) Hamilton
Prickly Pair’s lead singer & songwriter, Locke Hamilton is a part-time cowboy person and most-of-the-time horse trainer from Northwestern Wyoming. She is one half of the husband & wife Western Music duo, "Prickly Pair." She began playing guitar at age 11 and was singing for folks as early as her memory serves. She credits longtime friend and cowboy singer, Bob Loper (of the Bar J Wranglers) for giving her ‘yodel appreciation.’
Locke’s heritage in Wyoming runs back to her great-great grandfather ‘Judge’ W.A. Carter who was the civilian supplier for the Army at Ft. Bridger and came to the post in 1857. He helped shape Wyoming & was a innovative pioneer. He was the first one to run cattle in the Big Horn Basin (*Carter Cattle Company), the first to register a cattle brand in the Territory and opened the way for the boom of the Wyoming Territory cattle industry of the 1880’s. Locke’s grandfather on her Dad’s side was an Army surgeon’s son born in the western territories in 1883. Her roots in the West run deep.
After a life on the road training horses for a living for over 20 years, she now lives with her fiddle playing husband Les up the East Fork valley of the Wind River out of Dubois, WY. There she raises & trains horses and writes songs to perpetuate this Americana folk art form; cowboy music.
Locke has clarity, sweetness & depth of voice that many have likened to Emmy Lou Harris & Mary Black. Her gifted vocals on Prickly Pair’s six CD recordings & in performance have earned her nominations from the Western Music Association & the Academy of Western Artists for Songwriter of the Year, Female Performer of the Year and Best Group or Duo. When she sings, you can tell, she’s the real thing...she’s lived it. You might catch her at a festival helping with workshops on voice, stage presence or songwriting.
Locke’s Nashville produced Gospel album of all original material, "God’s Country" won Best Gospel Album of the Year from the Country Music Association of America.
A Rocky Mountain Fiddler
Prickly Pair’s fiddler & Wyoming native Les Hamilton is a fourth generation fiddler. His family traces back to the Scottish Hamilton’s who were said to have been fur trappers and traders on the Upper Missouri as early as the 1830’s and later homesteaded in South Dakota & Wyoming territories before the turn of the 20th century.
Les attributes his soulful, gutsy and singular fiddle style to having been raised in the Big Horn Basin of Wyoming. He plays many tunes his Dad & Grandad played at the old country dances. He claims that his Rocky Mountain fiddling differs from other known regional styles in its singular character and innovative variation of a myriad of tunes. This was owed to folks’ isolation from modern conveniences (such as radio) and gave rise to the necessity of creating their own versions of tunes learned and passed down by ear.
A fiddle contest participant and championship winner since the 1970’s, Les started playing in the third grade with classical violin that extended to playing for symphony Orchestra groups (Casper Symphony and Billings Symphony Orchestra). He also played in a jazz/blues group in college and plays swing, bluegrass, old time fiddle, cowboy and Western.
Les gives fiddle demonstrations and workshops at many different events. His amusing comments and animated demonstrations of how and why certain fiddle styles pertain historically and his knowledge of the connection of American fiddle music to old world styles (Celtic, Swedish, etc.) is an enlightening and entertaining experience. He brings fiddle, harmonica & harmony vocals to his wife Locke’s vocal leads and can be coaxed into singing a lead himself every now and then!