SHERIDAN — A burgeoning musician from New York is touring the American West, including Ranchester, Wyoming.

On Sunday, June 23 around 11 a.m., Julie Renato, a singer-songwriter from a small town of her own in New York, will perform in Rotary Park. The artist arranged a tour of some of the western United States, serving as both a showcase of her talents and an adventure through the national parks.

Renato chose to do this tour through western American small towns for a number of reasons. Primarily, Renato is performing for the sake of music.  As such, all of her scheduled concerts are entirely free to the public and she feels no pressure to perform.

“I definitely want to make a career out of this,” Renato said. “But even then, I hope that I am always free to do free concerts like this, where I don’t have to worry about numbers. I hope to keep making connections with people in this way.”

Renato feels deep connections with this tour, her first album — scheduled to be released in late June — and her own life. The tour, which she has named “A New Sound in this Small Town,” will feature her original works and covers of classic rock artists like Fleetwood Mac and folk artists like Simon and Garfunkel. Each concert is approximately an hour and a half long and are taking place expressly in small towns to recreate some of her own childhood experiences.

“I grew up in a small town. I remembered there was always one concert a year in a neighboring town and it was such a big deal,” Renato said. “Concerts were when everyone got together. It was the most fun I’ve ever had. That’s what this is supposed to be: recreating the wonderful experiences I had as a kid. I know that small towns don’t have the money to bring bands in and stuff, so I’m targeting areas that maybe don’t have the same access.”

Longtime community member and music enthusiast Nandy Crabb is excited for this concert.

“Live music, especially outdoors, always creates an incredible atmosphere,” Crabb said. “Because this concert is family friendly, I think it will provide so many opportunities for people of all ages to break their routines and experience something new.”

In addition to gaining experience with music production and performance with this tour, Renato is also touring to visit some national parks and recreation areas with her boyfriend. This grants the two of them the opportunity to complete a photography project, as well as just to “explore these areas.”

Renato classifies her music as soft and acoustic. She plans on using her summer break next year for festivals. As of right now, Renato seems content with the small venues and small towns.

“I’d be happy if five people showed up,” Renato said.

The concert is confirmed to be held in Rotary Park in Ranchester to avoid any risk of flooding, as the concert was initially scheduled for Connor Battlefield State Park.


By Marissa Brenneman