Free Range Texan Episode 63 took on a life of its own. A spared life through grace, Stan Troy was asked back to tell his story.
If you don’t believe in miracles you’ll probably figure that we made this whole thing up. If you do believe in miracles, get ready to hear one that is only a few days old and happened right before our eyes in the life of my life-long friend, Stan Troy.
Podcast producers are always looking for content, but rarely is a real life miracle laid in our lap. This story is not true because our Free Range Texan Podcast says so, or because Stan Troy says so. It’s true because some of the finest doctors and research scientist that Houston, Texas has to offer say so. So, believe it or not, here is just what happened to our good friend, Stan. Free Range Texan Episode 63 is the first of its kind, and hopefully not the last.
It is rare, but every so often I feel I am talking to someone that is close to being and needs to be discovered by the entire world. Ed Roman is one such artist.
Canadian born, he is one of those songwriter, recording artists who creates his own niche and is remarkably fun to listen to. Every song I have heard Ed Roman do always carries a deeper and profound meaning once you begin to listen to his music. I kid you not … in the half dozen recordings that landed at our studio, I heard a perfect blend of folk, rock, funk, and jazz … all in a blend of toe tapping fun. He is amazing. No two songs were alike, and I enjoyed every one of them.
Honestly, I spent more time in research for Episode 61 and finally for the first time we decided to play three of his tunes on our Podcast because sharing the Ed Roman experience with just one or two recordings does not even begin to relate to our listeners what we discovered in his press kit.
But here’s the thing. Not only does his music press all the right buttons, but I found him to have a charming personality and a deep understanding of the human condition and its special needs in this day and time. After spending time with him in the interview, I found myself disarmed as a podcast producer and instead just wanting to ask him if we could be friends. He’s that kind of guy.
In short, I think he is our new favorite Canadian, and after the final edit of our Free Range Texan Episode 61, I have been anxious to share my new friend with the world. My advice is listen to this very special edition of our Podcast and enjoy.
There is always a degree of concern anytime you begin to visit with an artist for the first time. It is always those instances that you are keenly aware of the fact that you don’t have the luxury of being old friends. Other than a short telephone conversation, I had never had the pleasure of getting to talk with Shimmer Johnson one-on-one and ask her questions about her life and her music.
On our Podcast it is always our goal to find the parts of an artist’s story that glitter above and beyond the everyday norms. Sometimes you work harder and sometimes the person’s personality gives you a more comfortable run. Shimmer Johnson gave us the type of interview that we walked away from thinking that we had a new and enjoyable friend in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
Shimmer is a pro with a work ethic that commands respect from anyone in the business who learns the daily steps of her music career. If she opens up with you, you find out that very little has ever been handed to her on a silver platter. And she has an amazing grasp of today’s music industry. Oh yes, she has developed a good production team with which she writes and records music with a voice reminiscent of Judy Collins or Alison Krauss.
Shimmer Johnson is unique, and we here at the Free Range Texan are glad to have met her. The people at our studio asked me, “What did you think of Shimmer Johnson?” I just smiled and said, “I like her.” Her video Toy Soldier is the song we featured at the beginning of her interview, and we wanted to share it with everyone here. We are glad to have her as our guest on Episode 60, and we wish her all the best.
A-Team PR has been good to us. Studio A is where the Free Range Texan Podcast was born. And the brain trust at A-Team PR has allowed us to push boundaries every episode since. A consistent production schedule that works like a well-oiled assembly line knocks out our segments that are edited into podcast episodes. Always on time for every deadline. A-Team PR has discovered that this production philosophy works well for almost any other podcast endeavor. And so now, A-Team PR is sharing these skills with select individuals, groups, and/or organizations that feel inspired to produce their own podcast. And the system works.
If you are from West Texas, the Maines Brothers have always been a part of the fabric that best represents our local musician community. Lead singer, Kenny Maines, has been a part of our entertainment community for as long as any of us can remember. As a broadcast/podcast producer, I have always looked at Kenny as a valuable resource and a great interview. And now, he is as comfortable to visit with as ever.
There is often a degree of aloofness in so many of our regional entertainment favorites. There are those singers and recording artists in our area who remain lost in their own little world of periodic recordings and Facebook posts, while a genuine artist like Kenny Maines maintains a constant level of humble appreciation for his media contacts and fans through the years. He is a gentleman of remarkable character.
Our visit with Kenny Maines once again reminded me of all the reasons that he remains one of the best. Kenny has had a career as a nationally released recording artist, songwriter, and stage performer that began when he was a young child. There is not a better example of someone who spent his life in the entertainment industry and still to this day, performing as a single, remains one the the best values available for recording studio vocal work to entertainment gigs. His crowds continually quiet down and listen to the performance value of his sets.
Here’s the thing, while we have not been close friends, we have been acquainted for a large part of our lives. This article would be incomplete if I did not include one more thing that is clearly noticeable about spending any time around Kenny Maines. He is simply the type of person that will very gently leave you wanting to be a better person yourself. His talents are remarkable. And his lifestyle remains one that commands enormous respect. We are proud to have him as our guest on Episode 59 of the Free Range Texan Podcast.
For bookings and scheduling information, Kenny’s web site is: http://www.kennymaines.com/about.html.
First, I want to say thank you to Danny Cadra, who kindly spent time visiting with us and shared some of his music that is authentically West Texan. We want to thank Danny for his service in the Marine Corps and remind everyone that he has a web site and is available for bookings.
To anyone who has grown up in or around the State of Texas, you know that the Marfa Lights are a part of the lore of our land. What has always intrigued me is that they are in fact a real phenomena. Every few years or so there are scientists or university study groups that announce that they have cracked the case of the Marfa Lights. But when they apply their theories to the actual phenomena, like so many others before them they are quickly proven to not be able to exactly explain what the lights are doing or what causes them.
One of my favorite stories is when the government decided that they would get to the bottom of the Marfa Lights. They took a battalion of Comanche Black Hawk helicopters to the popular viewing sight and waited to chase them down. Our government’s finest flying machines were not capable of so much as even coming up with a theory. In short, the lights play games. In our Free Range Texan Podcast Episode 58 we tell a story of one such event. There are hundreds of stories and hundreds of sightings, and they are always unique.
Between last month’s Free Range Texan episode and now, we lost Mike Pritchard to illness. None of us saw it coming.
I’m not even sure I remember the first time I became aware of and acquainted with Mike Pritchard. His singing, songwriting and performing capabilities are woven into the fabric of our West Texas community. You could say a lot of things about Mike … he was a consummate professional; he was someone that could be counted on to perform and sing in almost any venue where he was needed.
If you were around him much in the musician community you would know that he was appreciated and respected for his talent and/or friendship. In regards to all the things that I have just said, he was a real “what you see is what you get” kind of guy. I liked him and I guess I always did. If you were walking in to spend the evening somewhere, and you found out that Mike Pritchard would be singing, it was a good thing.
Anyone who tried to put Mike Pritchard’s music style in a box with a label would be hard pressed to keep the lid shut. He sang and wrote great music for a lot of different occasions. He and Wally Moyers had recently produced some great country music. Mike was always a rock and roll guy at heart and could walk on stage with a six piece band and blow the roof off. But lately … he was sounding much more soulful and blues-like, but it was always enjoyable.
Our visit with Mike Pritchard occurred on Episode 34. He was absolutely candid and talked personally with our listeners. For me it was simple. I was just talking with an old friend. In Episode 57 of our Free Range Texan Podcast we step back and revisit the last time we thoroughly enjoyed Mike Pritchard’s stories and talent. Thank you Mike (he always called me Mikey) for this one last time you shared you life and your music. Brother, we will see you down the way ….
We first introduced Matt Westin in Episode 37. We knew then that we absolutely wanted him to return to our Free Range Texan Podcast. When we have a guest like Matt … who demonstrates style, good looks, and talent … many times we are just letting enough water go under the bridge so that we can update our audience on a continually growing career.
Another thing that we know about Matt Westin … he is always a great interview. I always have a goal to relax an artist early in an interview so that they talk comfortably about their personal thoughts, ranging from their family, their careers, or the back story on a great piece of music. The word I would use for Matt Westin is genuine. I have never once felt that he was putting on airs. Instead, what you see is what you get.
Matt is starring in a full-length motion picture, “116 McDougal”, where he plays the character of Johnny Cash. Production was slowed down by COVID last year, but we understand that at least two of the musical pieces for the movie are Matt Westin releases, and production is now ramping up. We wanted to include one of Matt’s recently released videos here in the blog. “Hey Bro” is just another one of several that is achieving noteworthy success over seas and here in north America alike.
If you’re getting the sense that I like Matt Westin as a recording artist and/or a person that I always look forward to visiting with, you’d be right. Free Range Texan Podcast Episode 56 features a song called, “Thin Blue Line”, and the moment we heard it, I knew it was time to bring Matt Westin back to the Free Range Texan. I’m glad he was available. We are proud of him as a featured guest and as a friend.
Free Range Texan Episode 55 titled, “I’m OK”, is the message that I would have for all of you. It is from the bottom of my heart that I want to thank all of our listeners for the constant stream of inquiries and prayers.
Please let me apologize for the time I have spent being unresponsive to so many of you. Now I am able to share my story, and tell you that with great effort, I have only just now found the ability to focus on creating this latest episode, after months of being off the radar.
Rather than explaining everything here, I would just like to ask everyone to listen to Episode 55. I have chosen our Free Range Texan Podcast as the place I can most easily relate my story. Thank you all for being patient. It appears “We’re Back”.
We never really realized the time and the effort it would take to replace a producer like Michael Shawn, even temporarily. That’s the thing. We have not spent a lot of time looking for a Michael Shawn replacement because we had not imagined being without him. Well, he is sitting up and speaking … well speaking anyway, and Free Range Texan is releasing the following statement concerning his condition. Keep him in your thoughts and prayers.