Music

Burleson Native Phil Hamilton Hits #1 on the Texas Regional Radio Report

Let’s face it – these days everyone thinks they can make a record, and true enough, if you’ve got the money and the right equipment you can self produce a collection of your favorite karaoke songs in your living.

Many people share the same dream, but few artists ever succeed in climbing to the top spot of a music chart. Nowadays, with the Texas music scene more competitive than ever, a #1 hit is even more of a momentous accomplishment.

This week Burleson, Texas native Phil Hamilton did just that on the Texas Regional Radio Chart with his hit single “Bad” from his sophomore album Renegade Rock n Roll.  ‘Bad’ is the album’s second single.  Hamilton’s personal favorite of the album,  the song was penned in the studio while laying down other tracks.

Needless to say, Hamilton’s riding the top of the wave with a smile. “I can’t even describe the feeling of satisfaction and gratitude, it’s a true turning point in my career for sure.”

Growing up in Texas, Phil Hamilton has been able to experience and support some of the best the state has to offer, and in turn they’ve given him inspiration. “I’m a fan of Pat Green and always will be, he brought change to the music scene years ago and the spirit of his music will always be a part of what we’re all doing, and of course my favorite Texas country artist, Tom Petty.”

Hamilton’s own presence on the music scene has been steadily growing over the past few years. While fellow high school graduating classmate Kelly Clarkson took her music to the top down a yellow brick road, Hamilton’s path was down a long, well traveled red dirt road. His  work ethic and perseverance has paid off, but along the way the landscape has changed. “It’s become very competitive, sad to say to say the camaraderie isn’t as strong as used to be. It’s becoming so challenging to break through in the business that everyone is scared and some feel threatened by another’s success.”

When asked what advice he’d give to those who are looking to break into the Texas music scene, his answer is straight forward. “I would say work hard, treat it like a business and seek out good people to work with such as management, etc. you have to work harder than any of the people or your band, only then do you get the respect and have a team willing to work along side you and follow you through the tougher times.”

That all said, Hamilton has persevered and kept his end goals in sight. He’s figured out what he’s had to do, and stayed focused.  Being in North Texas, as opposed to Austin, has been especially beneficial.  Although the Texas capital has been touted as the Live Music Capital of the World, its musicians struggle to make a decent living. Being able to make ends meet, allows for music to move from being a weekend hobby to a full time career. Hamilton understands this all too well. “It’s all about location, Austin TX is home to some of the most talented musicians and therefore there are a lot of great acts willing to play for cheap.” he shares,  “The key is to find new markets and build the fans, doing so you can control your own destiny and make more money each time you come back which in turn helps keep you on the road and finding more new markets.”

Business aside, Hamilton’s Renegade Rock n Roll is an album that has plenty of shelf life still in it. The current #1 single is the second release from the stellar red dirt rocker, and there are plans to release more to Texas radio. Based on the warm welcome all of his other single releases have received from the public and media, there will be plenty more opportunities for Hamilton to enjoy the view from the top of the charts. His songs are authentic and well written.

It’s an album he is feels proud of, and rightly so. Like a proverbial father of ten unique and special children, he has a hard time picking a favorite track. “It’s tough to choose one, that’s what is special about this record to me. It’s a collaboration of songs that I have felt and lived since starting this journey.”

Thankfully for all of us, Phil Hamilton has graciously taken us along for the ride.

So what does Phil Hamilton do to follow up a #1 song? By kicking back and relaxing on the Frio River, and inviting everyone to come and join him, of course. The 1st  Annual Philthy on the Frio is set to take place Jun 1, 2 and 3rd in Leakey Texas.  “It will be just a great time to party, cut loose and enjoy the beautiful Texas Hill Country and  live music,” he shares. “Floating the river is a Texas tradition and this will hopefully be the first of many Philthy on the Frio’s to come!” More details can be found on Phil’s website.

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FULL CIRCLE: The McEuens to play Poor David’s Pub this Friday Night – May 4th

Full Circle

The Metroplex is in for a treat this Friday night, May 4th, at Poor David’s Pub in downtown Dallas as multi-talented, award winning John McEuen (Nitty Gritty Dirt Band) and his sons Nathan and Jonathan, collectively performing as The McEuens, take center stage.

The McEuens have time-treasured family harmonies that cannot be replicated by the manipulation of  bits and bytes of a computer program. As pure as mountain stream water, and equally as refreshing, The McEuens bring the heritage music full circle.

Before you get any ideas that Jonathan and Nathan are riding Daddy’s coattails, let me set you straight. They are remarkable musicians, songwriters and performers in their own right. John might have donated the foundation of impressive genes and given them his last name, but their talent and abilities are their own.  I can only imagine that as a father he must be both proud and in awe of their accomplishments.

The music business is tough, and in this day and age when everyone thinks they can make a record in their living room, sitting in their pajamas, its not gotten any easier.  To his credit, John was straight up with them about what they were getting into. “I warned them against it, or about it,” he tells me, “But I did not discourage. I just made sure they understood the 2nd word as best I could: Music BUSINESS.”

Their debut project, The McEuen Sessions – For All the Good is as inspiring and symbolic in many ways, as the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s Will the Circle Be Unbroken was way back in 1971. It’s more than time, for our roots to be replanted and tended to, and the family harmonies that weave the notes of the songs on this album together, are demonstrative of the effort that is needed to make that happen.

If there was ever any doubt that this family’s DNA is treasure load of talented genes, one only has to listen once to For All The Good. The McEuens’ individual talents shine throughout but also collectively meld into a distinctive sound all of their own. There is no doubting their connection, both on a family level, as well as artistically. It’s obvious they’ve been singing together a long time before this record was ever made.

As much as music can bring people together, parents often struggle with feeling a definite void as their children develop their own tastes and preferences in music. I found myself wondering if John McEuen ever uttered the fateful words “Turn that music down” that I so often heard in my own home. I  had a chance to ask him about the proverbial generation gap. “I learn from them constantly, and they welcome the ‘heritage’ music. We do some of it (mine and NGDB) in the show.” he shares, before adding, “There were times, around teenage years, when they shied away from ‘the old stuff’, but later realized that what counts is what it means to people.”

I can’t imagine having a finer example of what music can do for multiple generations, than having John McEuen as your father.

Music labelled as traditional sometimes gets easily dismissed as unsophisticated and dated, and The McEuens music challenges that misnomer, by delivering pure familial harmonies against the background of impeccable instrumentation that makes some of its more traditional fare sound not only  fresh, but as relevant as ever. Their songs will pull you in and keep you there until the last track has finished playing.

I wanted to tell you this was a folk album, but its not completely true. Nor is it completely a country album, or rock album and yet all of the components are there are certain times. Some might label it Americana, but its deeper and wider than that. What I can promise you is this: For All the Good is simply good music. It will touch, lift and surround you all at the same time.

The album opens with the familiar Rodney Crowell penned Long Hard Road, which the NGDB took for a ride up the charts previously, and is both indicative of where things have been for them as a family, and where they are headed. From that starting point, the album is  a journey through generations of influences, both past and present. The highlights are many, but as a mother – the sound of Jonathan’s 11 year old vocals drifting from the past to the present on Red Foley’s Old Shep, touched my heart. Each one of them brought their own style and songs to the table and what was created was something that stands to represent all of them together. Fittingly the album ends with John playing an extended track titled, The Goodtime Suite, which conjurs up images of years gone by,  undoubtedly for them, and for us, as well.

With over 40 albums to his credit, and more on the way, John McEuen rates this one in his Top 5. Never one to let grass grow under his feet, he’s got many projects on the way, but thankfully for us he’s taken the time to sit and sing a spell with his sons. This needed to happen, the time was right, and in the end, For All the Good is one for the ages.

Kudos to The McEuens for continuing to keep that circle forever unbroken.

The McEuens will be performing live at Poor David’s Pub in downtown Dallas Friday May 4. More information can be found at:  Poor David’s Pub and John McEuen website .

Poor David’s Pub is located at: 1313 South Lamar is in Downtown Dallas, 2 short blocks south of the Dallas Convention Center
and 1/2 block west of the Cedars Dart Station.

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EVENT: Free Concert April 19th – Season 1 Finale of Troubadour, TX

WHO: Twelve artists from the Troubadour, TX television series: Zane Williams, Kylie Rae Harris (w/ Wayne Kirkpatrick & Gordon Kennedy), Beth Wood, Woody Russell, Susan Ashton, Cary Pierce (of Jackopierce), Little Brave, Nicolette Good, Kirk Thurmond, Guthrie Kennard, Ryan Edgar and Tom Faulkner
WHAT: FREE concert and live taping for Season 1 finale episode of Troubadour, TX
WHEN: Thursday, April 19. 7:30 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.
WHERE: Addison Circle Park, 4970 Addison Circle Drive, Addison, TX 75001
NOTE: This is a FREE event with FREE parking. The festivities will be taped for the Season 1 finale episode of Troubadour, TX, which airs in the Dallas/Fort Worth market on Sunday nights at 10 p.m. on TXA 21. Click HERE to see where TTX airs in your market.
For more information about the Troubadour, TX concert in the park, visit: www.facebook.com/events/377830872251738/
For more information about the Troubadour, TX television series and TTX artists, visit www.TroubadourTX.com.
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Nitty Gritty Dirt Band Brings Almost Five Decades of Hits to Arlington Music Hall

Any entertainer will tell you that being in a band is sometimes just as stressful as being married to 3 or 4 people at the same time. Those that remain together after a couple of years are fortunate, and those that make it past ten years have achieved more than most. The award winning Nitty Gritty Dirt Band has weathered many years together, after their first performance in 1966.  Since then they’ve accumulated a string of hit songs and tallied up countless road miles together. Last Friday night, they rode into Arlington, and entertained a willing crowd for a few hours, that seemed to fly by all too quickly.

Individually, the band is comprised of Jeff Hanna, John McEuen, Jimmie Fadden and Bob Carpenter; collectively their  musicianship and songwriting skills are formidable. They’ve spent a lifetime not only being ground-breakers, but also, bridge builders, carrying the tradition of great music of forward in its purest form, for future generations.

On Friday night, their sole purpose was to entertain, and they hit the target spot on while rockin’, pickin’ and twangin’ their way through a handful of newer songs interspersed with a healthy representation of their greatest hits from Fishin’ in the Dark and Mr Bojangles to Dance Little Jean and Face on the Cutting Room Floor, just to name a few.

What makes the NGDB legendary is much more than their accumulated platinum and gold records; it is their stellar musicianship, and how the spotlight at center stage is shared as much as possible, while showcasing the versatility of the band’s talent. Last Friday, Jimmie Fadden stepped out from behind his drums, and into the spotlight with his harp,  and Bob Carpenter left his keyboard to perform The Broken Road, with Jeff Hanna accompanying him on guitar. John McEuen, who originally helped found the band, could, and has been, a one man show, himself. He switched instruments at ease, and his talents, whether they be on mandolin, fiddle or banjo, are an integral component that helped create the band’s signature sound.

No NGDB show would be complete without a performance of their biggest and most recognizable song, Will The Circle Be Unbroken and the band not only didn’t disappoint, but they also kicked things up a notch, by calling up Rudy Gatlin to the stage to help them sing it. It was a fitting end to an evening well spent, with good music and good friends.

Find out more about the band, and their music at: http://www.nittygritty.com/

The Arlington Music Hall’s Country Music series continues with even more of your favorite country music artists. Lined up to appear soon are:

George Jones – April 27th
Leroy Van Dyke, Jim Ed Brown and Helen Cornelius and Rex Allen Jr. –  May 11th
Bryan White – May 26th
Deryl Dodd –  Jun 22nd
Gene Watson –  Aug 3rd

Find out more here.

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Tonight at the Arlington Music Hall

The legendary Nitty Gritty Dirt Band will be singing all of your favorites. If you can’t make it, tune in here and we”ll be sure to give you all the highlights!

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Each of Them Stars in Their Own Right, It Was Their Night To Shine

Maurice Anderson and Ron Jones were just two of the Superpickers who took front stage center Saturday Night at the Arlington Music Hall

Any entertainer will tell you that the real stars of a stage production, are often the unsung heroes, the people who serve behind them in the shadows. Week after week the Arlington Country Music Revue shows are backed by a stellar group of musicians who are all stars in their own rights, and this past Saturday night, they stood front and center and showed just why they’re aptly titled “The Superpickers”.

The first half of the evening the audience was entertained by the familiar production of performers singing a bevy of familiar tunes. Regulars Ginny Lynn, Stephanie Pruitt, Krista Bailey, John Sharp and emcee Michael Hix all took turns at the microphone. Stand out performances were made by Jon Rutherford and James Hinds who had the audience toe-tapping and smiling in unison.  Rutherford gave the audience a great rendition of George Strait’s The Fireman, and followed up with his own Love Makes The World Go Round. Hinds followed next, and obviously a seasoned peformer, he didn’t miss a beat, as he built on the energy Rutherford had built. Although his performance was unscheduled, it proved to be one of the evening’s best, as Hinds performed the classic country standards Luckenbach, Texas (Waylon) and Little Sister (Dwight Yoakam).

It was in the second half of the show that the stars began to shine their brightest, as The Superpickers became the main act.

The Superpickers are a group of, give or take, ten musicians who have accumulated countless hours on the road backing some of the biggest names in country music.

Steel Guitar Hall of Famer, Maurice Anderson, kicked off the second half of the show on his pedal steel, with an instrumental rendition of the The Flintstones theme song, that showcased not only his, but the entire band’s top notch talents.

Bass player, Colin Yarbrough, sounding very much like Radney Foster himself as he sang Foster’s Just Call Me Lonesome. With his vocal abilities no longer a secret, I suspect we’ll be hearing more from him on the AMH’s Country Music Revue.

Jeff Williams was up next, on keyboard performing the classic instrumental hit, Last Date, which he followed up by combining his vocal ability with his instrumental one, for Haggard’s That’s The Way Love Goes.

Glen Fleming, has backed up such notable names as Gary Stewart and Ray Price, with his guitar, but on Saturday night he was under the spotlight himself, singing Johnny Cash’s hit Ring of Fire.

Dale Morris, Jr. comes from a long line of talented musicians, and was recently inducted into the Texas Fiddlers Hall of Fame. It was an honor that had previously been bestowed on his father and his uncle. When he isn’t on the road with Ray Price, Morris can be found at the Country Music Revue. On Saturday night, Morris celebrated his musical lineage, by performing Bob Wills’ Home in San Antone.

Texas Fiddlers Hall of Fame inductee Dale Morris, Jr. demonstrates he comes from a long line of talent

Guitarist Ron Jones (Charley Pride band), and Maurice Anderson on lap steel performed a memorable instrumental duet of My Little Ballerina. As Maurice headed back to his pedal steel, band member Kevin Bailey, and his harp, joined Jones as he played guitar and sang, for his second number, Workin’ Man Blues.

It was drummer Josh Rodgers’ turn to shine next. Staying behind his drum kit, he performed The Eagles’ Peaceful, Easy Feelin’.

Kevin Bailey’s musical resume is longer than both his arms, and his performance demonstrates that as clearly, if not more than, a paper version would. He was a member of the notable The Shoppe, and currently is a member of the Light Crust Doughboys. He plays guitar, harmonica and banjo, in addition to lead and harmony vocals. Saturday night he performed I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry, to a mesmerized and appreciative crowd.

The band’s second Ron Jones’ plays saxophone, and although country music isn’t what he was accustomed to playing before joining the CMR, he has fit in wonderfully. Jones’ previously played with Al Green and Smokey Robinson, and has added a new energy to the band’s performances. On Saturday he performed two numbers including  Fats Dominos’ Blueberry Hill.

The show culminated in a standing ovation, the first I’d seen since covering the weekly stage show, and it was well deserved. They played their hearts out that night, much like the do every week, but this time the glory wasn’t shared with a headline performer, and the applause was theirs alone to savor.

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And the Winner Is….

The winners of the 2nd Annual Texas Regional Radio Awards were announced Sunday night in Arlington, Texas

Being in the music business can sometimes be a pretty thankless job. Sometimes those endless nights on the road are nothing but a blur of names, faces and smoke-filled barrooms. Sometimes an artist wonders if he’s making a difference or wasting his time.

This past Sunday at the Arlington Music Hall, some of Texas’ finest troubadours had those feelings put to rest at the 2nd Annual Texas Regional Radio Awards.

Emcees for the event were the lovely Ali Dee and the equally lovely, and effervescent Deryl Dodd.

Emcee Deryl Dodd, performed "She'll Have You Back" from his Pearl Snaps album as well as an impromtu acoustic performance of "You Just Can't Say No to Larry Joe"

Throughout the show the stage showcased some of the nominees as they performed to an appreciative crowd of peers and fans. Aside from a few minor technically difficulties and one wayward drummer – the performances, peppered throughout the award presentations were a top notch, well rounded representation of what the moniker “Texas Music” encompasses.

A clear stand-out was the performance by Zane Williams and Kylie Rae Harris, as they sang Pablo and Maria. Also performing were Deryl Dodd, Ali Dee, Steve Helms, Matt Hillger, Bo Phillips, Blacktop Gypsy, Jamie Richards, TJ Broscoff, Randy Rogers and Brady Black, and the Casey Donahew Band.

The awards during the first half of the show were handed out to the winning nominees in the radio industry categories:

Radio Station of the Year

Super Market – KHYI, Dallas
Large Market – KNUE, Tyler
Medium Market – KRVF, Corsicana
Small Market – KNAF/KEEP Fredericksburg
Out of Region – WDMS, Greenville MS
Internet Radio Station – BigStar97.com
Syndicated Radio Station Show – Texas Red Dirt Roads

On-Air Personality

Super Market – Justin Frazell, KFWR, 95.5 The Ranch – Fort Worth
Large Market – Neely Yates, KJDL, Lubbock
Medium Market – Nash and Carey Dean, KRVF, Corsicana
Small Market – JD Rose, KNAF/KEEP, Fredericksburg
Out of Region – Ashton Taylor, KVOM, Morrilton AR

Festival/Event of the Year – Larry Joe Taylor’s Texas Music Fest
Record Label of the Year – Winding Roads Music

On-Air personality, Justin Frazell won this year’s Humanitarian Award for his efforts to raise funds with his annual “Pickin’ for Preemies” charity event.

There were three new artist awards given to up and coming performers.  Heather Roberts took home the award for New Female Vocalist, William Clark Green took home the New Male Vocalist and Six Market Blvd. took home the prize for New Duo/Band/Group.

Sweeping multiple categories was the Eli Young Band for their hit song “Crazy Girl”, taking home the honors for: Duo/Group, Song, Single and Music Video.

Sunny Sweeney won Female Vocalist and Stoney LaRue took home the Male counterpart.

It was Texas Music scene veteran Randy Rogers and his band, that took home the evenings top 2 awards, much to the pleasure of the audience.  Randy and the band won both Album of the Year (Burning the Day) and Entertainer of the Year.

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Texas Regional Radio Music Awards – this Sunday – March 25 at the Arlington Music Hall

We’ll be there!

Press Release:

THE TEXAS REGIONAL RADIO MUSIC AWARDS ARE THIS SUNDAY, MARCH 25 AT 4:00 P.M. AT THE ARLINGTON MUSIC HALL!

Fort Worth, TX (March 20, 2012) – The 2ndAnnual Texas Regional Music Awards will be held this Sunday at 4:00 p.m. at the Arlington Music Hall in Arlington, TX. The show has grown from humble beginnings of small acoustic performances last year to full blown production numbers from the top Texas/Red Dirt artists using their full bands for 2012. The show will be hosted by Texas Country Superstar, Deryl Dodd and Ali Dee, star of CMT’s popular reality show, “Texas Women.”

A very special opening number showcasing the songs up for song of the year will be done by Steve Helms, Matt Hillyer of 1100 Springs and Bo Phillips. The Casey Donahew Band, who has five nominations, will show the crowd why they sell out shows across the country with their full band performing, “Double Wide Dream.” Emcee’s, Deryl Dodd and Ali Dee, will take the stage to show us what it’s like to see them live out on the Texas road. Randy Rogers and Brady Black are preparing a special acoustic performance of a song from their album of the year nominated, BURNING THE DAY. Blacktop Gypsy, T. J. Broscoff, Kylie Rae Harris, and Zane Williams, who all found a new way to get their music out to the public by being picked to be on the nationally syndicated show, Troubadour TX, will be performing.

The presenter line-up is pretty impressive which includes: Casey James, Wade Bowen, Larry Joe Taylor, Phil Hamilton, John David Kent, Stephanie Urbana Jones, Sonny Burgess, Matt Kimbrow, Jerrod Medulla, Rachel Stacy, Bri Bagwell, Chance Cody, Jerrod Medulla, Nick Verzoza, Jolie Holiday and Charla Corn.

There are a few tickets remaining for the public. They can be purchased on-line at www.ArlingtonMusicHall.com. For more information on the Texas Regional Music Association please go to: www.trrma.net

2012 Nominees

Entertainer of the Year
Wade Bowen
Casey Donahew Band
Kevin Fowler
Randy Rogers Band
Eli Young Band

Male Vocalist of the Year
Wade Bowen
Hayes Carll
Kevin Fowler
Stoney LaRue
Aaron Watson

Female Vocalist of the Year
Bri Bagwell
Charla Corn
Kristen Kelly
Rachel Stacy
Sunny Sweeney

Duo/Group/Band of the Year
Josh Abbott Band
Casey Donahew Band
Randy Rogers Band
Turnpike Troubadours
Eli Young Band

Single of the Year
“Crazy Girl” – Eli Young Band
“Double Wide Dream” – Casey Donahew Band
“Kissed You In The Rain” – Matt Kimbrow
“She’s Cold As That Beer She’s Drinking” – Jamie Richards
“Velvet” – Stoney LaRue

Album of the Year
“Burning the Day” – Randy Rogers Band
“Double Wide Dream” – Casey Donahew Band
“Good Luck & True Love” – Reckless Kelly
“This Is Indian Land” Cody Canada & the Departed
“Velvet” – Stoney LaRue

Song of the Year
“Crazy Girl” – Eli Young Band
“Hell Yeah, I Like Beer” – Kevin Fowler
“Lord, I hope This Day Is Good” – Brandon Rhyder
“Texas Kind of Way” – Cody Johnson
“Velvet” – Stoney LaRue

Music Video of the Year
“Ballad of a Southern Man” – Whiskey Myers
“Crazy Girl” – Eli Young Band
“Hell Yeah, I Like Beer” – Kevin Fowler
“Oh, Tonight” – Josh Abbott Band
“Whiskey Days” – JB and the Moonshine Band

New Male Vocalist of the Year
Chance Cody
William Clark Green
Phil Hamilton
Matt Kimbrow
Bo Phillips
Zane Williams

New Female Vocalist of the Year
Ali Dee
Sheila Marshall
Kat Moore
Danielle Reed
Heather Roberts

New Duo/Group/Band of the Year
Blacktop Gypsy
Scotty Thurman & the Perfect Trouble Band
Six Market Blvd
The Damn Quails
The Rankin Twins

Record Label of the Year
Almost Country Records
Average Joe’s
BGM Records
Smith Music Group
Winding Road Music

Event of the Year
Curing Cancer Music Fest – Ballinger, TX
Larry Joe Taylor’s Texas Music Festival
The Music Fest – Steamboat 2011
Ranch Bash 2011 (Fort Worth)
Tommy Alverson’s Family Gathering

Radio Station of the Year – Super Market
KFWR – 95.9 The Ranch – Fort Worth
KHYI – 95.3 The Range – Dallas
KPLX 99.5 The Wolf – Dallas
KVET 98.1 – Austin

Radio Station of the Year – Large Market
KBCY 99.7 – Abilene
KJDL 105.3 The Red Dirt Rebel – Lubbock
KKCN 103.1 Kickin’ Country – San Angelo
KNUE 101.5 – Tyler
WACO 99.9 – Waco

Radio Station of the Year – Medium Market
KBEST 95.7 – Big Spring
KGFY 95.7 Cowboy Country – Stillwater, OK
KKAJ 95.7 – Ardmore, OK
KRVF 106.9 The Ranch – Corsicana
KSTV 93.1 The Mighty 93 – Stephenville

Radio Station of the Year – Small Market
KFLP 106.1 FLIP FM – Floydada
KITX 95.5 FM – Hugo, OK
KNAF 105.7/KEEP 101.3 – Fredericksburg
KSNY 1450/101.5 – Snyder
KXOX 96.7 – Sweetwater

Radio Station of the Year – Out of Region
KKOW – Pittsburg, KS
KOTE – Eureka, KS
KVOM – Morrilton, AR
WDMS – Greenville, MS

Internet Radio Station of the Year
BigStar97.com
Radio Free Texas
TexasMusicRadioShow.biz
TexasMusicWorldRadioShow.com
The Texas Drive

Syndicated Radio Station of the Year
Big Texas Countdown
Texas Countdown with Chuck Taylor
Texas Country CD Review
Texas Music Radio Show – Gary & Greybeard (TXMRS.com)
Texas Red Dirt Radio – Justin Frazell (TXRDR.com)

On-Air Personality of the Year – Super Market
Charla Corn – KFWR 95.9 The Ranch – Fort Worth
Brett Dillon – KHYI 95.3 The Range – Dallas
Adam Drake – KFWR 95.9 The Ranch – Fort Worth
Justin Frazell – KFWR 95.9 The Ranch – Fort Worth
RJ Scott – KPLX 99.5 The Wolf – Front Porch Show

On-Air Personality of the Year – Large Market
JB Cloud – KBCY 99.7 – Abilene
Buddy Logan – KNUE 101.5 – Tyler
Kelley Peterson – KHKX 99.1 – Midland
Ben Ryan – KKCN 103.1 – San Angelo
Neely Yates – KJDL 105.3 – Lubbock

On-Air Personality of the Year – Medium Market
Mike Crow (The Crowman) – KRVF 106.9 – Corsicana
Brad Heitman – KSTV 93.1 – Stephenville
Zac Grantham – KKAJ 95.7 – Ardmore, OK
Jim Nash & Carey Dean – 106.9 The Ranch – Corsicana
Trailboss Troy & Tumbleweed Toni – KTEX 106 – Brenham
Big Jim Russell – 95.3/1460 KCLE – Cleburne

On-Air Personality of the Year – Small Market
Richard Ferguson – KXOX 96.7 – Sweetwater
Will Payne & Barry Diamond – KITX 95.5 – Hugo, OK
JD Rose – KNAF 105.7/KEEP 101.3 – Fredericksburg
Jeri Smith – KRUN 1400 – Ballinger
Suzi-Q (formerly KSNY AM & FM) – Snyder

On-Air Personality of the Year – Out of Region
Josh Douglas – KKOW 96.9 The KOW – Pittsburg, KS
Steve Neimeyer – KOTE 98.5 – Eureka, KS
DK Pierce – WDMS 100.7 – Greenville, MS
Ashton Taylor – KVOM 101.7 – Morrilton, AR

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Mark Your Calenders – March 31st Ennis Cultural Festival in the Park

What a great way to spend a weekend —

Where? Bluebonnet Park, Ennis, Texas
Date/Time: March 31st from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m.
Cost: Free

Bring lawn chairs, picnic basket (no alcohol) and enjoy a wonderful day of live entertainment! If inclement weather it will be at Knights of Columbus Hall, located on 850 S. IH-45

Event includes: Fort Worth Scottish Pipes, Ennis Lionettes, Trinity River Desperados, Salute to Patsy Cline, Cornell Kinderknecht, Bandan Koro African Dance, Salute to the 1940’s, Grupo Pakal Mayan Dance and Tropikal Production.

Conclude the day with a visit along Ennis’ spectacular Bluebonnet Trails — hurry before their gone until next year!

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Saturday Night? Time for the Weekly Arlington Country Music Revue!

Arlington Music Hall (Photo: Brian Roper)

The rain may have dampened the attendance numbers for the Arlington Music Hall’s weekly Saturday night Country Music Revue show but it had no impact on the spirit of those who did attend, or the caliber of talent taking front and center on the venue’s historic stage.

Consummate performers entertain as if they are playing to a full house, no matter how many seats are sitting empty, and while the rain may have kept a few folks snuggled up at home, those of us who dared to venture out were rewarded with a great show.

The evening always kicks with a high energy performance, and tonight was no exception as Chris Rodriquez began the night with I Want My Goodbye Back, followed by regulars John Sharp, covering Brooks and Dunn’s My Maria and the lovely Patsy Andrews with Lorrie Morgan’s Out of Your Shoes. Patsy returned later to sing I’ll Be There. Chris Rodriquez wasn’t finished either. He returned in the second half to cover the legendary Freddy Fender hit Before the Next Teardrop Falls, and What’s a Guy Gonna Do?.

Each week a stream of regular musicians and singers, as well as newcomers and repeat guest performers take to the stage, performing hit after hit of memorable songs. Of course it doesn’t just stop there. Each and every week the show packs at least a couple of surprises as artists showcase their talents outside the country music genre. This week Samuel T. Robertson IV was gave us one of those special moments with his soulful performance of When A Man Loves A Woman, and later returned to the stage to switch genres and sing Lonestar’s hit song, Amazed.

Samuel T. Robertson IV (photo: Kimberley Rockdale)

The Tuckers, a father, mother and daughter trio from Waco, Texas, showcased their family harmonies on John Denver’s Take Me Home Country Roads. Daughter Holly returned to the stage twice later in the evening, backed by her parents as she sang Don’t Tell Me What to Do (Pam Tillis) and I’m Gonna Love You Through It (Martina McBride).

The CMR’s stage band, The Superpickers, has so much talent, that some of it was bound to spill over and create another generation of talented musicians and singers. The theory proved true as Kandis Moody took the stage and sang her heart out while her daddy, played the keyboard. I’d say she holds much promise, but that would be misleading, since obviously hitting the target full on. Her vocals drew me in and held me through both of her numbers, the mesmerizing But I Will and the fun, tongue in cheek I Love You Honey, originally sung by the great Patsy Cline.

Kandis Moody (photo: Kimberley Rockdale)

Guest performer Larry Johnson entertained with Gary Allan’s Nothing On But the Radio and a hilarious rendition of  Jerry Reed’s The Bird. I’m still smiling as I write this simply from the memories that remain from his performance.

Luke Robinson, a CMR performer since the early age of 10, and now a fine young man with a great traditional country presence, ala George Strait, sang Ray Price’s Heartaches By the Number in the first half of the show. A few segments early Bill Brooks had done a Ray Price medley, but in my opinion there can never be enough Ray Price songs sung in one country music revue show. In the show’s second half  he paid homage to George Jones with Choices, and stepped in the realm of the current country music scene by performing Blake Shelton’s Goodbye Time.

Krista Bailey is one busy woman. Not only does she sing backup for most of the night, but she also takes a regular turn front and center.  She proved herself worthy of being in both situations with a great cover of Leann Rimes Must Be Tellin’ Me Something but the highlight of the night for her was her duet with Stephanie Pruitt, who also happens to be 1/3 of Krista’s trio group Maiden, Texas. The two of them tackled one of the most challenging duets in country music — the Linda Davis/Reba McEntire hit Does He Love You.  It was a showstopper. Stephanie proved her worthiness of commanding center-stage on her own a few songs later with another Reba tune, Sky Full of Angels.

Rounding out the night’s entertainment was the ever popular Mike Stewart singing the Haggard classic I’m a Lonely Fugitive and a Jack Greene standard favorite Statue of a Fool. Last, but certainly not least, I need to mention Wayne Reed who sung Emerson Drive’s Moments that left the audience with something to think about, and had us singing along to Dobie Gray’s Drift Away.

What a great night of entertainment!

AMH CMR Spotlight: Bill Brooks

Bill Brooks closes the Country Music Revue (Copyright Kimberley Rockdale

Bill Brooks’ online biography reads: For nine years Bill was seen in The Promise as “Peter” and Narrator.” During a span of six consecutive years Bill was voted Entertainer of the Year in Texas by the Country Music Revue Association. It was there that Bill taught his signature arrangement of the gospel song, “I Know Who Holds Tomorrow” to 8-year-old Leann Rimes, which she later recorded on her top selling inspirational CD. Bill has also worked with Bob Hope, Dick Clark, Garth Brooks, Ronnie Milsap, Osmond Family and Barbara Mandrell.

It wasn’t just Leann Rimes who had an early start in the music business, Bill did as well. He told me during the intermission that when he was all of six years old began to perform at shows, occasionally appearing at local events and churches on the same bill as Larry Gatlin and his brothers who were around the same age.

Bill is a irregular, regular of the CMR, making an appearance on stage when he’s in the area and available. He is a seasoned professional and it shows both on and off stage; and I mean that sincerely as a compliment. Each time I’ve seen him perform, the crowd seems to enjoy his performances and last night was no exception as they wholeheartedly applauded his medley of Ray Price tunes and then later, as they rose to their feet as he closed the evening with I Know Who Holds Tomorrow.

COMING UP

The Arlington Music Hall has a stellar list of upcoming shows in addition to their regular Saturday night revues.

Apr 13: Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
Apr 20: Exile
Apr 27: George Jones
May 11: Country Gold Tour (Leroy Van Dyke, Jim Ed Brown, Helen Cornelius, Rex Allen Jr.)

For tickets or information visit: Arlington Music Hall website  or call  817-274-5700

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