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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.

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Concert Review: For McCoury, Grisman, music still matters – One condenser microphone, a music stand, a mandolin, rhythm guitar and more than 100 years of bluegrass experience: that's all David Grisman and Del McCoury need to put on a show. It's quite a show, too. The artists' backstories are well known: McCoury was a logger in Lancaster County, Pa., who came to New York City to see Bill... »»»
Concert Review: Ely wears well – Joe Ely is the prototypical rambler. It comes through in his music and in his life. There are lots of elements in the music about travels, riding the rails, small town scenery and getting away from it. In fact, after playing "I'm Gonna Strangle You Shorty" as the first song of his encore, Ely opined, "The only thing I got out of... »»»
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