Floridian wins Colgate Country Showdown
Friday, January 16, 2009
– Johnny Bulford won the 27th Annual Colgate Country Showdown Thursday. Bulford was presented with a $100,000 Grand Prize check. The four other finalists were Korey Blake, Lance Lipinsky, LiveWire and Matt Reeves.
Bulford, the southeast winner representing WXXX of Orlando, is a singer/songwriter who has opened for Collin Raye, the Warren Brothers, Josh Turner, Emerson Drive, Chris Cagle, Diamond Rio and Tanya Tucker. His style has been compared to Vince Gill, Garth Brooks and James Taylor. He was a State finalist in the 2003 Colgate Country Showdown and won the state title in the 2004. He wrote or co-wrote all of the songs on his CD "What Happens Here Stays Here."
The finalists performed in front of a panel of industry professionals - Rod Essig (Creative Artist Agency), Fletcher Foster (Universal Records South), producer Garth Fundis, Beverly Keel (Tennessean) and Lisa Ramsey-Perkins (Sony). The five contestants were judged on the following criteria: Vocal/Instrumental Ability, Originality of Performance, Stage Presence/Charisma and Talent. Optional bonus points could also be awarded to acts for with original music in a Songwriting category.
Past contestants included Brad Paisley, Garth Brooks, Tim McGraw, Martina McBride, Billy Ray Cyrus, Sara Evans and Miranda Lambert.
Each year the competition begins in the spring with more than 450 country radio stations producing live shows to find the best new talent in their market. These winners advance to state and then regional competitions throughout the summer and fall before competing at the National Final in January.
The 27th Annual Colgate Country Showdown National Final, one-hour special- will air nationwide, over syndicated television in March and April.
Editorial: Walking the talk
When names like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Waylon and the Hag are invoked, you're talking hard core country. These are the touchstones of country , the guys who made country music what it was and still is (or maybe can be). When these folks would sing about being down-and-out and the rough-and-tumble, they knew of what they were singing about. Fast forward a few years to the country singers of today. »»»
Concert Review: Lane oversees her queendom
When Nikki Lane rolled into town on her current Stagecoach Spotlight Tour, she and her touring mates were under the weather. Although illness didn't keep Lane performing (she was in fine voice throughout), Robert Ellis was a last-minute scratch. His replacement, Jenny O, was one high caliber fill-in, however, and kept the bill strong.... »»»
Concert Review: The Surly Gentlemen prove anything but
For about the past six months, veteran bluegrassers Clay Hess, formerly of Kentucky Thunder, and Tim Shelton of NewFound Road, along with Clay's son Brennan, have collectively been The Surly Gentlemen. The trio's sound is probably best described as stripped down bluegrass meets singer/songwriter. These Surly Gents have been playing small... »»»
Country News Digest
Elsewhere in the news
Currently at the CST blogs
There's no more solid live bluegrass show than the Gibson Brothers. They play with great technical skill and crispness. Their harmonies are just what a brother act should be: sweet, true and never forced. Brothers Leigh and Eric Gibson surround themselves with outstanding sidemen with impeccable bluegrass cred: Jesse Brock (mandolin), Mike Barber (bass) and Clayton Campbell on fiddle.... »»»
For nearly a decade and a half, The Devil Makes Three has concocted an amazing blend of bluegrass, folk, country, blues, rockabilly and whatever happens to bubble to the surface, and applied it liberally to their songwriting ethic.... »»»
Mercy Rose Isbell recently celebrated her first birthday and, ironically, the album she helped inspire has just been released. Synchronicity is a beautiful thing. Mercy Rose is, of course, the daughter of singer/songwriters Jason Isbell and Amanda Shires, two of the most gifted Americana artists working today...