Sunday, May 16, 2010

And the Award goes to...

Pauline Reese for Entertainer of the Year!

Wow! What a monumental night for the Texas Music Awards ( For the first time in the eight-year history, a woman has taken Entertainer of the Year, proving hard work will get you places. It’s no doubt Pauline is one of the hardest working women in Texas music AND she’s a full-time wife and mom. For all you ladies out there trying to make it in this business, you won’t find a better role model than Pauline. Make sure you stop by her website ( and give her some love!

On further notes of those we spotlighted over the past few weeks…

Thomas Michael Riley ( won Album of the Year for Tommy. This is an awesome CD. If you don’t have a copy I suggest you head over to his website. There’s a reason it won Album of the Year. It’s what good Texas music IS.

John Arthur Martinez ( took home Record of the Year for Utopia. I failed to mention in my last post, John is a previous recipient of the Entertainer of the Year (2006). He’s just GOOD!

And once again, certainly not the least of the line-up is Shake Russell. Vocal Duo/Group for 2010 now belongs to the Shake Russell Trio. Shake, along with Doug Floyd and Michael Roberts proved they have what it takes. This may have been their sophomore album but there’s nothing second class about this trio.

The Texas Music Awards motto is ‘Recognizing Texas Talent – Rewarding Texas Pride’. They have stood by their creed every year and last night was no exception.

Keep in mind, I am no way slighting any of last night’s nominees and/ or winners. They all deserved to be nominated in their respective categories and on stage. Maybe next year I’ll have new faces to introduce you to. In the mean time…

CONGRATULATIONS to all the winners! You ARE Texas Pride!

Country Blessings

Friday, May 14, 2010

A Final Nod

With the 2010 Texas Music Awards only hours away, I have to give a nod to 3 very talented people whose music I am very familiar with.

First off... A HUGE Good Luck to our friend and follower, Wade Bowen. Wade is up for Record of the Year with his album, Trouble.
Stop by Wade's website:

One of the nominees up against Wade for Record of the Year is John Arthur Martinez.
I've not had the opportunity to meet John, but he's on my list. He performs on a regular basis with my good friend Mike Blakely.

And last but not least on my list is Davin James.
Davin is true Texas western music. Although I don't own one of his CD's yet, I am treated to his talent every time I pop one of W.C. Jameson's cd's in the player.

To say the least, these guys all run in top notch circles of some of the best music you'll find in Texas... or anywhere in the world.

I send Country Blessings to ALL the nominees. They are in their respective categories for good reason. Every one of them has earned the right to take home the award.

Country Blessings

Shake Russell

As soon as I read the nominees for Entertainer of the Year, I knew the competition was one of the stiffest in recent years. You only have to see the name Shake Russell. Even folks like me who are fresh to Texas music have heard his name. In some circles it’s spoken almost with a reverence. Shake isn’t new to the scene. For thirty years this man has been pouring his heart and soul into his music, sharing his passion and keeping it true. You might not know him as a performer but chances are you’ve heard his musings interpreted by Clint Black, Jessi Coulter and Ricky Skaggs.

This isn’t his first time in this category and it probably won’t be his last. Shake won Entertainer of the Year in 2004. He is also nominated in Vocal Duo or Group of the Year as part of the Shake Russell Trio.

You have only to listen to any cut on his recent CD, ‘What This Heart Holds’, to understand why he’s been around so long. The sound might be ‘fresh’ by some standards but every note still rings true to the type of musician and songwriter Shake Russell is. With each note you hear the people who influenced his sound. Legends such as John Lennon, Cat Stevens and Bob Dylan.

Like those who have come before him, lighting his path, Shake isn’t done by any stretch of the imagination. Shake Russell’s talent won't fade away like a wisp of smoke from a campfire. That’s why he’s among the best in the Entertainer of the Year category… and why I saved him for my final spotlight.

Country Blessings

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Randy Brown

If Fort Worth ever crosses your mind, the thought should include this week’s featured artist, Randy Brown.

Growing up in Cowtown provided Randy the opportunity to experience first hand the rich musical history the area has to offer. Listening to any one of his albums puts you right in the heart of all that is true Texas music. Whether you prefer honky tonk, true Texas flavor or western swing, Randy serves them all with a big heart, warm voice and a smile.

His current album – Hero’s, Legends, Friends and Me is his first Live album, recorded at the historic Fort Worth Stockyards - is a step back in time. Randy puts his own spark to renditions of Merle Haggard’s I Had a Beautiful Time, Waylon Jennings’ This Time and Faron Young’s classic Wine Me Up, just to name a few.

Randy isn’t new to the awards scene. In 2008 he was nominated in not one but FIVE categories at the TMA’s. Of the five nominations, he won Male Vocalist of the Year.

In September, you’ll find Randy aboard an Alaskan cruise ship with our friend Thomas Michael Riley. Until then you can catch him at a wide variety of venues all across Texas.

We wish you Good Luck, Randy

Country Blessings