Free Range Talent Boost

Michael Shawn
Michael Shawn

Those people at A-Team PR have done it again, and when you think about it, it’s natural that this would happen.  A-Team PR can be described in a number of ways … researchers, strategic media planners, producers … but make no mistake about it, embedded inside their camp is a pack of wild and crazy promoters.  Don’t worry because this can be a good thing.  They have been watching the talented individuals roll through our Free Range Talent File on our Podcast.  Finally, they took me aside, set me down, fed me chili, and explained that they had an idea.  They called it “The Free Range Talent Boost”.   Honestly friends, it is one of the most ingenious and inexpensive ways to affect thousands of targeted people with your music, writing skills, or various talents.  I turned around and showed it to some friends of mine in the recording / broadcasting industry and they all basically responded by saying, “Holy heck Michael!  This is a great system for promoting talent.”  So, we got busy and rolled it out.

Free Range Talent Boost

Talk Back, Tell Us What You Think, Submit Your Ideas

Our Free Range Texan Podcast is growing by leaps and bounds.  It is, however, a mixed blessing.  Our production staff and behind the scenes crew, not to mention the resources and creative services of A-Team PR, continually get stretched thin with a growing number of details.  They tell me these are the type of problems that people in our business get down on their knees and pray for.  Well, consider our prayers answered!  We are thankful.  But find ourselves looking at a growing number of complications that we struggle to keep simple for everyone (including our staff).

Anyone who produces a podcast will tell you that one of the major challenges is to maintain a continual flow of “content”.  We are so grateful to so many of you who have shared information and great stories with our Free Range Texan podcast.  And in case there were any questions about how to plug in with almost any portion of our production team, we have narrowed it all down to one door, making it simple and quick, and assigned reliable Free Range Texans to pay attention and help us stay responsive.  Thanks a million y’all.  We like it when our listeners step up.

Three to Four Million People in the Johannesburg, South African Area Can’t be All Wrong

Michael Shawn
Michael Shawn

The one thing that most of them have in common is appreciating the talent of Joanne Cooper.  If you have a file in your mind for artists such as Judy Collins, John Denver, and Joan Baez, make room for another file entitled the recordings of Joanne Cooper.

We spoke with her for a time, but it was one of those interviews that after enjoying my visit with her immensely, I also was left with the nagging feeling that we had not even begun to scratch the surface on the talents and writings of this artist.  I will share this though, she is a delightful interview, and would be a perfect guest for a Saturday evening dinner party at your home.

Free Range Talent File Joanne CooperI first became aware of Joanne Cooper through an old friend, John Sanders, who owns Deep Creek Sound nearby here in West Texas.  John shared with me about this female recording artist he had discovered in South Africa, and thought that she would make a great guest on our Free Range Texan Podcast.  I figured it was a long shot.  The time differences alone created some challenges.  But some artists are easier than others to work with, and Joanne Cooper seemed happy to make herself immediately available to our podcast.

Free Range Talent File Joanne CooperLike all of the guests that we interviewed, we first do our homework, and the more we found out, the more remarkable we realized this talented singer, songwriter from South Africa really was.  While everyone in that part of the world seemed to know here name, she as yet has been flying under our radar, but no more.

Free Range Talent File Joanne CooperOne of the great things about working on the Free Range Texan Podcast is that we are not beholding to a bunch of network affiliates, record promoters and producers, or broadcast conglomerates.  Instead we are privately owned and produced, and can step quickly outside the box doing interviews like Joanne Cooper.

Free Range Talent File Episode 19 Joanne CooperJust FYI, some of her offerings include her music  and her on-line courses.  Joanne Cooper’s interview and other good Free Range Texan stuff can easily be accessed on Episode 19 of our Free Range Texan Podcast.  Enjoy!  Menu

Jenni Dale Lord – A Talented Free Range Texan

Michael Shawn
Michael Shawn

I’ve been hosting the Free Range Texan long enough to begin to notice a pattern in our talent interviews.  The one thing that they all have in common is that they are people that are passionate about what they do, and I find a number of things that are easy to respect in each individual artist that I get to visit with.  Jenni Dale Lord is one of the best examples of a seasoned professional that passionately writes, sings and records music from the heart, coming straight out of West Texas.

Jenni Dale LordI never take for granted that an artist who has spent a number of years traveling on the road, writing and recording their own music, and playing in front of enough people to have built a remarkable fan base throughout different parts of the United States, can sometimes be slow to warmly open up and embrace an interview with a person she has never met before.  Yet, there is that quality that instantly makes you feel like you’re visiting with your little sister whom you have tremendous respect for … such is Jenni Dale Lord.

Jenni Dale LordIt is these same qualities that make her a great songwriter and allows her to sing on stage in a way that tugs at your heart strings, causes you to sympathize or empathize immediately, and always leaves you wanting more.  The Free Range Texan Podcast and our Free Range Talent File is proud to not only have Jenni Dale Lord as a guest, more importantly, we got her to sing for us!

Free Range Talent File Jenni Dale LordEpisode 18 begins rolling Friday night, April 26th.  Jenni Dale Lord’s music is available in our Free Range Texan House of Treasures, and if you haven’t heard her sing, go ahead and enjoy her on Episode 18.

Holy Smoke, Who Knew He Could Sing

Imagine how we were all amazed when in midstream on Episode 17, he turns into a Blues Singer (term used loosely).  Well … the only one we had at the moment anyway.  We haven’t said much to Michael Shawn about the entire affair, we don’t want him to start acting like “talent”, getting sensitive and all.  Episode 17 begins a season of premier announcements for things to come on our Free Range Texan podcast.  Word on the street is the Free Range Texan network is looking for a new roving reporter personality.  We’re certain Michael Shawn will shine more light on this subject soon.

Our Special Guest Derek Bohl

Michael Shawn
Michael Shawn

Friends, I have been around the music and entertainment business longer than I care to publish.  I have rubbed shoulders with singers, songwriters and/or recording artists since I was a young teenager.  It is safe to say that I have a sense for entertainers.  There is not a lot that they can tell me about professional musicians on the road that I have not actually seen or experienced.

Here’s why I’m telling you this.  Because when I say that Derek Bohl is not only talented and a really good writer, singer and recording artist, but he is genuinely a breath of fresh air and redeems my faith in the future of today’s recording industry.

Episode 16 Derek BohlThere is probably forty years between our ages, but I will tell you that I thoroughly enjoyed my visit with Derek at his studio.  This is an interview that I think you will enjoy as well.  It should come as no surprise that I highly recommend Episode 16 of our Free Range Texan podcast.  Oh, yes, and one more thing … I have found myself enjoying his tune “Meet Me In The Middle” over and over in our Studio or just in my head during the day.  I think you’ll like it.Menu

Who Knew Michael Shawn Could Dance?

Episode 15 of our Free Range Texan Podcast openly admits the existence of a canine super hero heretofore left in the background of our production.  Apparently there is no longer any keeping of “Foxy the Wonder Dog” a secret.

Big thanks to Daniel Jones for bringing us up to date.  We freely admit that technical problems occurred with Daniel’s interview and there are parts of the podcast on that account that require you to listen harder because Daniel was on the road and away from any of our digital recording devices.  Honestly, folks we will take steps to improve all of that in the future.

We left Michael Shawn alone to create his campfire segment, and when that happens you can count on the fact that his heart for Texas generally takes over the conversation.  Thank you Michael …. good info.

Free Range Texan Episode 15Oh, yes, and the last thing we want to mention is that this is the first of our podcasts that our host actually opened and closed the show break dancing for our audience … Is there no end to Michael Shawn’s talent?  If you haven’t heard Episode 15, we suggest you climb aboard.


Foxy The Wonder Dog

Michael Shawn
Michael Shawn

I have a bone to pick with this critter that follows me around.  This week at the Free Range Texan website, coming in on our e-mail address, Foxy the Wonder Dog, after a brief appearance on our podcast, got a higher number of listener responses than I did!  That’s right, fellow Free Rangers, I have been outdone by my german shepherd shadow.  It has also been suggested by more than just a few, that we put up a picture or two or three of this sensational sidekick, loving referred to as Foxy.  She is a little over two years old and she has followed me around since she was a little ball of fur.

Foxy the Wonder DogStarting with the early days, it would be fair to say that she was equally never dull and not exactly well-mannered.  She had a tremendously hard time distinguishing between her dog food bowl and my sandwich.

Foxy the Wonder DobAs the weeks and months rolled by, she began to act less like an out-of-control puppy, too cute for her own good, and more like the sharp, better mannered watch dog that we knew she could become.  But, not before she managed to chew her way through more than one of the closets in our home.

Foxy the Wonder DogAnd while the jury was out for a time, it’s pretty unanimous now around our outfit that Foxy the Wonder Dog is now a permanent member of the family.  Wondering when we’re going to eat next, enjoying attention, and being insatiably curious about anything new, I would say she fits right in.

Foxy the Wonder Dob

Tim McKenzie Lends His Talent to Our Podcast

Michael Shawn
Michael Shawn

Whether you call him the man behind “Baxter Barret Brown’s Base Fiddle”,  remember him as a significant portion of instrumentation and/or vocal harmony in a band called “Blue Prairie”, or just like to spend time listening to the story telling, guitar playing, singing talents of Tim McKenzie, there is no denying his fan base following.  I know because I am one.

Free Range Texan Episode 14I know it’s cliche to say that if you get a change to meet the guy and visit with him, you will find that he is one of the nicest, most respectful and humble gentlemen that you have met.   That is the “cowboy way”.  While he admits he was born in Colorado, he will tell you that he would not want to live anywhere else but West Texas.  That’s one of the many things I like about him.

Tim McKenzie

Tim McKenzie

Episode 14 of the Free Range Texan podcast sparkles with Tim telling, among other things, the back story on his song “The Ghost of Palo Duro”.  By the end of the segment, he shares the tune with us.  While we were in production on the podcast in Studio A, one of our crew walked through the Studio as Tim’s music began playing.  He stopped dead in his tracks and said, “Wow, are you playing Sons of the Pioneers.”  I smiled and said, “No, but it is genuine Tim McKenzie.”

Tim McKenzieWithout going into details, for now just take my word for it.  Tim McKenzie is a busy guy.  But in the midst of it all, he has also written and gotten published an entire series of children’s books that are the perfect material for parents or grandparents to spend some remarkable quality time with the kiddos.  If you click on this book, you can see the entire series.  We like ’em, and think you will too.

Baxter Barret Brown's Cowboy BandEpisode 14 of the Free Range Texan podcast brings Tim McKenzie on board for the first time to our production.  We knew before it was over that we would be chasing after him to come back, hopefully again and again.  Thank you, Tim.  You’re welcome at the Free Range Texan podcast.  We know you’re no stranger to being “out yonder”.Menu

Fascination for the Freeway

Michael Shawn
Michael Shawn

It was the late 1970’s.  I had already been in broadcasting for 10 years.  Through a quick series of events, I wound up partners with Bill Ockander in Warhorse Recording Studios.  Remarkable musicians / entertainers walked through our doors.  It was never dull.  I have fond memories of so many, but there were those who at the time I considered to be family.  Musicians, singer-song writers like Jimmy Blakley and Lonny Carroll.  Those two individuals are at the center of this story.  I refer to a few of the tales on Episode 13 of the Free Range Texan podcast.  While we were not good at taking pictures continually, as is common in this day and time, there are a few.

Warhorse BandLonny Carroll was someone that I only knew for a time, but as the years went by I appreciated my memories of him as lead singer in our entrepid Warhorse Band.  I think perhaps that I appreciate him more today than he knows.  Jimmy Blakley became a fast friend and brother for the rest of his life, and someone that I miss continually in our creative services work daily.  For the rest of this story, I would urge you to listen to Episode 13 of our podcast and hear a bit of the music created during that magical time.  Thank you Bill, Phil, Greg, Curtis, Jimmy, Lonny, and Eric.  You all contributed to that thing I carry in my heart to this day, Fascination for the Freeway …. heard on Episode 13 Free Range Texan podcast.