By Merry Kraemer

It might be hard to imagine someone performing a concert in the middle of your living room, but that’s just was Gideon Irving has spent the better part of the last ten years doing. Irving, a New York City native, crafts elaborate one-person shows that he performs in all manner of houses, living spaces, and even the occasional theatre. When Troubadour and Augustus, Irving’s trusty steeds, recently rode through the entrance of the Rocking K Ranch on Old Spanish Trail, no one could guess how much delight the procession would bring.

Irving has visited more than 600 homes in nine different countries across four continents, and for the Horse Tour, his latest, he’s come by way of his four legged partners. Irving was inspired to start performing private shows in 2011, when he saw acclaimed indie rock musician Julian Koster play a Christmas show in Bayside, Queen. Koster, best known as a member of Neutral Milk Hotel, accompanied himself on the singing saw and other unique instruments, seated in a cluster of lawn decorations. By 2012, Irving was traveling the perimeter of New Zealand by bicycle with a trailer full of instruments in tow. His next tour, ironically titled the Staying Put Tour, saw him crisscrossing New York City on rollerblades, pushing a modified shopping cart in between shows.

Irving began the Horse Tour in September 2019 and is making his way across the American West. He expects to travel over 3000 miles while performing stove-top folk music in private homes. His route has brought him from Colorado into New Mexico and now Arizona. Irving expects to travel up the coast into California, across Oregon, and into Wyoming or Montana. The planning for the horse tour began a number of years ago, after he was inspired by a man he met during his bicycle tour across New Zealand.  The Kiwi described his own annual cross-country trek with horses and a wagon, which began the creative thinking that has brought Irving to his current adventure.  Irving, who claims he knew nothing about horses at that time, lived and trained with cowboys in Utah for over a year in preparation for his journey.

Prior to his arrival in the Vail area, Irving and his horses traveled a portion of the Arizona Trail and across the backside of the Catalinas, which he described as one of his toughest journeys yet. The challenges included narrow, steep trails that are easier for two-legged hikers than his four-legged partners carrying a load.  Irving also spoke of getting out of quicksand in the Aravaipa Canyon and working through other near-disastrous situations with his horses.

While Troubadour and Augustus were enjoying their down-time at the Rocking K Ranch, Irving performed in a private home at the Academy Village and reconnected with friends.  Visiting with Irving, it’s easy to understand why he has a large following of fans across the country. He has a great sense of humor and he conveys a genuine interest in connecting with people. Irving explained that he prefers performing in smaller because it allows him to connect with his audience.  Sarah, a fellow New Yorker, friend, and fan of Irving’s, said he brought “a soothing light” into the chaos of everyday life. If you have the opportunity to meet Gideon Irving, Troubadour, and Augustus during their journey across the great American west, you’ll be a fan as well.

In-home shows are scheduled through email or by phone.  Contact Gideon Irving by email, at or by phone at 917-699-3631, and check out his website,  You can also find him on Facebook.

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