Nearly all the shows on the schedule will take place in the Midwest, although a couple visits to both coasts are included. In October, the Riders plan to visit Japan for a special five-night run, although venues have yet to be confirmed.

After being on the road for 25 years, it’s a wonder the troupe can keep on trucking. But, as Ranger Doug says, “The best part of it is that it has still stayed so much fun. How great to be preserving a piece of Americana while still having the time of our lives!”

Paying homage to classic cowboy songs from the ‘40s and ‘50s, and legends such as Gene Autry and the Sons Of The Pioneers, Riders In The Sky are truly an act with a foot in the past. Formed in the ‘70s, the group gained a grassroots following through a surprising source – college campuses.

The Riders have released more than 20 albums, average 200 live performances a year, have starred in their own TV specials and were featured in “Toy Story 2.” In 2001, they won a Grammy for best children’s musical album, Woody’s Roundup Featuring Riders In The Sky.

But it’s their constant touring that has won them fans in all age groups. They’re definitely a family-oriented act, sprinkling their traditional harmonies with slap-stick jokes, but Riders In The Sky are a far cry from the authentic cowboys they emulate.

Each member is in possession of a graduate degree, one even holding a PhD in theoretical plasma physics from MIT. Lead singer Ranger Doug is widely regarded as an expert on American Western Music and has used his journalism skills to author articles about music history.