Monday, July 11, 2011

Technical difficulties

I apologize for the laps in reporting over the weekend and in not being able to showcase our final Entertainer of the Year nominee. Apparently my Hughes Net modem is overheating and I am unable to stay on line for more than about 10 minutes. We are working to rectify this issue. In the mean time, I'm sitting in McDonalds making a quick post while the 3-year-old granddaughter is occupied with her french fries.

I'll be back as soon as I can to update everything. In the meantime...

CONGRATULATIONS to Shake Russell for winning the Entertainer of the Year! If you read back over our introduction post about him last week, you'll see he is very deserving of this honor - as were all the people nominated.

See you soon!
Country Blessings!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Entertainer of the Year Nominee - TMR

I apologize for not getting our next nominee introduced yesterday. Storms rolling through kept me off line and have created technical difficulties with my wireless. The hazard of living rural. So I’ll tell you about Tommy (not to be confused with the afore profiled Tommy Alverson) today. Then tomorrow before all the festivities get underway down in Linden, I’ll tell you about our final nominee in the Entertainer of the Year category.

Today, it’s all about Thomas Michael Riley. I introduced you to Tommy last year when he appeared in this category. The fact he’s here two years running tells me he isn’t here by chance. The powers that be recognize what fills this long, tall Texan – pure talent! People, this man can sing and write a lyric in nearly every sub-genre of Texas music, and do it with heart. He was also nominated in 2010 for Song of the Year – In the Garden and for Album of the Year and won for his Tommy cd. In the Garden appears on the Live From Luckenbach cd.

The first time I heard Thomas sing ‘Livin this Time’ my heart skipped a beat. I wanted to be standing in front of the stage, my back snuggled up against my guy and lose myself in the music. His passion for life comes through and he wants to share it with the world. And he does – in his music. Whether he’s encouraging you to LIVE or singing the 'Chicken Chokin’ Blues', every note he plays reaches out to each individual listening He makes you a part of what he enjoys and who he is. Aside from Entertainer of the Year, Thomas Michael Riley is also up for Vocal Duo of the Year with his good buddy, Mike Blakely for their collaboration of ‘Live From Luckenbach. To get a sampling of Tommy's voice and to order his cd's, follow the link to MyTexasMusic

Good Luck Thomas!
Country Blessings

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Entertainer of the Year Nominee - Mike Blakely

Next up for Entertainer of the Year is my dear friend, Mike Blakely. Aside from Entertainer of the Year, Mike also shares the spotlight with his good buddy, Thomas Michael Riley in the Vocal Duo category for their collaboration of Live From Luckenbach.

Mike has made quite a showing on the Texas Music Awards in the past, being nominated for Entertainer of the Year in 2006 and in 2009. He’s also been nominated for Duo of the Year with John Arthur Martinez in 2008 and his album Rarest of the Breed was up for Album of the Year in 2009.

Mike is one of the busiest people I know in the business. When he’s not working on his ranch, volunteering, spending quiet time with Annie or traveling Europe, you can find him at a myriad of venues around his home state.

One place you’ll find him is at the River City Grille in Marble Falls TX for TexAmericana Tuesday Night as well as being there the first Wednesday of every month. His guests include John Arthur Martinez, Thomas Michael Riley and Larry Nye. You just never know who you’ll find on stage with Mike – unless you subscribe to his weekly newsletter.

It’s been a stellar year for Mike. Not only is he nominated for Entertainer of the Year and in the Vocal Duo category with his good buddy Thomas Michael Riley (which we’ll feature tomorrow), but he also became a happily married man. Annie is a part of Mike. They aren't just husband and wife, they’re connected like so few couples seem to be these days. Not only is she one of the sweetest people I have yet to meet, she’s an accomplished photographer and writer in her own right. Check out her page ~ Annie Blakely Through her eyes, you’ll get a rare glimpse of the man many of us are lucky to know personally.

One of Mike’s biggest events every year is FANDANGO. This year’s event at it’s new (and from what I understand – permanent) location, raised over $2,200 for military charities, including Llano Military News, Fisher House, and Hunts For Heroes. The money was raised through the golf tournament, kayak race, and an auction.

You can catch up with Mike on his FACEBOOK fan page and at learn all you ever wanted to know about his vast array of talent at his WEBSITE.

I’ve known Mike for over 15 years and as in any good relationship, I’m always learning new things about him. You can bet if I’m ever in Texas a trip to see him and meet his wife, Annie, is on my list.

Good Luck, Mike!

Country Blessings

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Entertainer of the Year Nominee - Shake Russell

Today we meet up again with Shake Russell. This isn’t the first time we’ve featured Shake. We talked about him when he was up for Vocal Group (and won) in 2010. He’s been in this category (Entertainer of the Year) before, having won both in 2004 and 2008. He’s also won Founders Award (2007) as well as Vocal Group of the Year (2008) as part of the Shake Russell Trio. That’s quite a track record, but then Shake is quite the artist.

He’s not only a soulful singer with a style that reminds me of Arlo Guthrie, but he’s a talented songwriter as well. He’s won the BMI Million Air Award twice for songs he
co-wrote with Clink Black and has won the BMI Writer Award FOUR times!
The man has quite a resume.

Shake is one of the few I’ve come across so far that is not an original Texan. Born in Independence MO, Shake gathered bits and pieces of style like moss to a stone as he traveled the country before making the lone star state his official home in the mid-70’s.

With all the talent Shake Russell possesses, it doesn’t surprise me to see him nominated in any available category in any awards organization. I’m just glad he’s a Texan at heart and sharing his talent with the rest of us. I hope you'll take a few minutes to browse his website: Shake Russell . And when you're done there, head on over to his page at MyTexasMusic and give a listen to some of his great tunes.

Good Luck on Saturday, Shake!

Country Blessings!

Monday, July 4, 2011

TMA Entertainer of the Year Nominees – 2011

Five days separate us from July 4th and the biggest night in Texas Music - the 9th Annual Texas Music Awards. We have 5 nominees - one for every day of the week. And may the best entertainer win! Thank you to Lucky and Jinelle Boyd at My Texas Music for providing the jpgs for my articles. You guys are the best and make my job so easy!

I’m kicking off the list of nominees this week with the very talented Tommy Alverson. Take a couple minutes to check out his website- Tommy Alverson . When I look at Tommy, I see your average good ole boy who just happens to be amazingly talented. Whether you catch him at the local cafĂ© shootin’ the breeze with his buddies, or performing on stage, Tommy Alverson is everything he portrays.

This isn’t the first time he’s graced this category. He was nominated and won Entertainer of the Year in 2006. With nine albums to his credit, and all the experience that comes with them, he has earned the right to be a part of this category again. It’s songs like Texas Me, I Wish I Was Thirty Again and Anytime Anywhere from his most recent album – Live Again – that showcase his longevity in the business. Personally, I’ve developed an attachment to his 2007 album – Live at Poor David’s Pub. Whichever of the nine albums you purchase, you won’t be disappointed and bound to pick your favorites. Not only is he one heck of a musician and songwriter, he also produces and was nominated for Producer of the Year in 2008 for Randy Brown’s Hard Face to Face album.

When he’s not performing around the country and in Europe, you can find him at the Tommy Alverson’s Family Gathering. This year marks the 14th year of the event. It will be held at Loyd Park in Grand Prairie Texas and will showcase great talents such as Walt Wilkins, Mike Blakely, Steve Helms, Blacktop Gypsy and Susan Gibson just to name a few. Click HERE to learn more about the event and purchase your tickets for this 3-day Texas event.

Tommy, we wish you the best of luck on Saturday night.

Country Blessings!