Boss Country Radio Gives Michael Shawn a Gig

Michael Shawn
Michael Shawn

The people at Boss County Radio have been gracious enough to accept me into their ranks, but in complete “love me, love my dog” fashion, they also appreciate something that we saw immediately.  Boss Country Radio and Free Range Texan have a similar cut to our jib.  And so … Michael Shawn’s Midnight Express was born.

Michael Shawn's Midnight ExpressFirst and foremost dear friends, this does not in anyway shape or form affect my Free Range Texan arrangement.  Some of my friends felt as though the “hardest working man in podcasting” should pick up an additional radio gig.  That being said, I am hosting the “Midnight Express” on Boss Country Radio (FreeRangeTexan.net – click on the Boss Country Radio banner)  from 10:00 pm until 2:00 a.m. Texas time, and since it is a world-wide country music network, all of my Free Range Texan friends are certainly welcome to listen in.  Our Free Range Texan resident musicologist, Kidd Manning, is also pulling a shift on the same network,. 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.  Enjoy!

Boss Country Radio's Jamey Karr
Jamey Karr

Episode 42 is loaded up with guests this time, with Boss Country Radio’s Jamey Karr, Program Director and Morning Show Host.  We kick things around a bit and discuss the origins of Boss Country Radio.

One of the first things Jamey asked me to do from A-Team PR’s Studio A, was to interview Josh Ward for Boss Country Radio, since Josh’s music is burning up the charts in the United States and Europe. We did … and quickly got permission to run the Josh Ward interview on the Free Range Texan.   So this episode is jammed packed!!!Free Range Texan Talent File Josh Ward

Studio A is not only where we produce the Free Range Texan Podcast, but where we produce Michael Shawn’s Midnight Express five nights a week on Boss Country Radio.  I believe the old song used to say, take a trip around the world and never leave the farm.  Looks like we’ve got that mastered.  Additionally, we have Josh Ward’s new video available on this blog.

And before I get away from my computer, I would be remiss if I did not tell everyone of our listeners / readers that each of you around the world are in our thoughts and prayers.  This is one that surely we will talk about for some time to come.  May the Good Lord Bless You All.

Free Range Texan Episode 42

More Than Just a Pretty Face

Michael Shawn
Michael Shawn

When you are going in at a scheduled interview time to visit with an artist, and while you may have read a bio, looked at some pictures, and listened to her music, it will be the first time you have ever actually met this person.  Truth is you can look at pictures all day, but unless you’re the type that gets a quick sense for people, ya just don’t know until you know … and even then, your first impression may not be spot on.

Free Range Texan Talent File Ashley PuckettThat’s the way I felt when I was about to speak with Ashley Puckett.  On the Free Range Texan we do our homework.  I already know the answers to most of the questions I am asking.  Ashley Puckett’s promotion machine was being handled by people in the industry that I have grown to respect.  In short, they don’t deal with riff raff.    MTS Management Group is one such organization, so you assume that their artists have their stuff together.

Ashley PuckettWe on Free Range Texan always endeavor to make our guests (artists) not only feel at home, putting them at ease as quickly as possible in an interview, but we take steps to give them good representation on our Free Range Texan Network.  With an artist like Ashley Puckett, it’s actually pretty easy.

Ashley PuckettI know what you’re thinking.  I thought this article was about Ashley Puckett, and I guess, I just wanted everyone to understand that while a lesser experienced interviewer may feel a bit inhibited by speaking directly with an artist like Ashley Puckett, the truth is all that beauty and talent is just a layer or two that peels back into a genuinely friendly and regular girl.  My conversation with Ashley Puckett was delightful.

You see, all of this is important.  Ashley Puckett is easily glamorized by her movie starlet good looks and powerful delivery in the recording studio.  But it is my opinion that the girl next door is alive and well in Ashley’s heart that beats for country music and those important things in life, like personal and business relationships that are characterized by honesty and respect.

Ashley Puckett BulletproofIn this day and time, you never know.  So many things can happen as a career begins to skyrocket.  But now and then we feel like we want to pick one, and use those familiar words, “this one is one to watch.”  That is exactly the way we feel about Ashley Puckett, and why we hand picked her to be our guest on Episode 41 of the Free Range Texan Podcast, rolling out Thursday, March 13th right after dark Texas time.  Enjoy!

 

Free Range Talent File Ashley Puckett

George Ensle Sings About Texas

Michael Shawn
Michael Shawn

George Ensle is like a golden thread that is run in, through and around the Texas home-grown music scene … as he puts it, “since way back in the day.”  On top of his songwriting, recording and performing, he also sits in as producer on a number of popular Texas music recordings.

Free Range Talent File George EnsleGeorge Ensle’s community of friends refer to him as a “song painter”.  He is an artist, and his music is popularized by the stories it tells and the pictures that his music paints.  And speaking of stories, he’s got some great ones that he shares on our podcast.  Additionally, he mentions a new song he has just released for broadcast with its own video.  We are glad to podcast premier it here.

Recommended listening is the label we put on Episode 39 of the Free Range Texan Podcast, where we are glad to introduce our friend, George Ensle.

George Ensle

The Future of Western Swing . . . Kristyn Harris

Michael Shawn
Michael Shawn

Most of you will be expecting an article about Episode 38’s special guest Kristyn Harris … and so it is.  But I mentioned on the Podcast that we would share some details on this blog about what happened behind the scenes getting Kristyn Harris’ interview recorded for our Podcast.

Please understand that I have done interviews for broadcast since I was 13 years old … that was 53 years ago when I started in broadcasting.  I only mention this now to try to get our readers to understand that what happened while attempting to obtain an interview with Kristyn Harris has never happened to me … ever … not even once!  And, everything that happened was our (Free Range Texan) fault.  Let me explain.

Free Range Talent File Kristyn HarrisOur standard set-up for interviews … either live in the studio, mobile recorder, or telephone … happens when we set up an appointment with the artist or the artist’s management, while requesting publicity photographs for our blog and/or advance publicity for the upcoming Podcast episode.  I was able to talk with Kristyn directly, to explain to her what we had in mind and set up a production date for the interview (by phone).  In her usual delightful, professional manner, she agreed and the date was set.

In the studio I arranged for all the right equipment to be hooked up properly and Kristyn arranged to be in a somewhat quiet place so that we could visit for our interview.  I called her at the appointed time.  She was near McKinney, Texas, and I was out yonder in West Texas where our studio was experiencing one of those made to order West Texas dust storms.

Kristyn HarrisI had a delightful interview with Kristyn, and really enjoyed talking with her and knew I had some golden material to edit a great interview for our Podcast.  Usually I speak with the artist on the phone briefly afterwards to thank them for being our guest.  But I had no sooner completed the interview than we experienced a brief three or four second power failure at our studio …  shutting down our computers and the digital recording that I had just made with Kristyn.  She’s still on the phone, and I’m looking at a blank computer screen!  Words do not easily express my level of frustration at that moment.   But worse than that, I needed to immediately apologize to Kristyn, tell her that I had just lost her interview, as it was not yet saved, and I wondered if she would be willing to repeat the time to visit with us again.

Kristyn HarrisShe told me in a very kind way that she would be pleased to do it again, but did not have time to do it at the present time.  We set another interview for a couple of days later.  I called her, she was kind and cheerful, and we did the interview again.  An unedited interview for our podcast can take 20 minutes or more.  She did it all again, she answered the same questions over again, acted spontaneous and surprised, and even laughed at my jokes.  The whole time I was thinking what a great young lady this is, I am so glad we have her on our podcast.  I finished the interview with Kristyn, turned to my computer screen to immediately save it, and embarrassingly I looked at a black computer screen with no recording.  I didn’t know what to say.  Most any entertainer that I have ever worked with professionally, clearly would have every right to cancel the interview, and walk away.

Kristyn HarrisBut here’s the reason for this story.  After fumbling for words and admitting that the whole thing was our fault, Kristyn Harris said to me, “That’s OK Michael, I have plenty of challenges with my electronic equipment” and with a smile in her voice, she assured me that the whole deal was no problem, and generously said “We’ll just do it again.”  Honestly folks, I was ready to cry.  Not because of our electronic fowl-ups, but because on the other end of my phone line, was a young lady of remarkable character, and the type of grateful and positive attitude that is hard to find in this business in this day and time.

Kristyn HarrisFirst, I would like to say hats off to Kristyn Harris’ parents … clearly she’s been raised right.  She is a beautiful young lady, inside and out.  She writes and records great music!  And … wow … can she sing!!  My prayer for her is that she finds an agent that is worthy of her skill and the heart that beats in her Western Swing music.  She is the real and complete package.  We are proud to have her as our guest on the Free Range Texan Podcast, Episode 38 … rolling out Thursday evening, January 30, 2020.  Any, yes, Kristyn … I still can’t get “What A Horse’s Gotta Do” out of my head.  Thank you for being you.

Free Range Texan Podcast Episode 38 Kristyn Harris

 

Matt Westin … On His Way Up

Michael Shawn
Michael Shawn

An interview with Matt Westin is one of those conversations that enables you to quickly get passed the layers and meet with the real person that drives his thought processes and goals.  Not so easy when you are dealing with veteran entertainers, but nice to find in a young gentleman not yet building barriers to protect himself.

Free Range Talent File Matt WestinHere’s the thing … I was immediately struck by a young man who set out to find his place in the world and after a time realized that his place, for now anyway, is back where he can be close to what he describes as “the legacy” of his family.  I like him!  And, I think the rest of you will as well.

Free Range Talent File Matt WestinNow I’ve said all that and kept the icing on the cake for last.  This guy can sing!  Not only that, but he has found great producers and promotions support, which allows him to present the complete package.

Matt WestinHonestly, when we first began to be interested in Matt Westin was at the point where we were just sent a recording.  Then the more we found out about him, and enjoyed getting to know his polished looks and stage performance, we realized he would be a great fit for the Free Range Texan Podcast.

Matt WestinOne of the things that we enjoy is being able to introduce our listeners to people we are certain they will like.   That is why when we found Matt Westin and his remarkable talent, we were anxious to include him on Episode 37.  We urge you to look for his album “Legacy”, and enjoy hearing his story on the way up.  Matt Westin is part of Episode 37 as our Podcast rolls out Thursday, January 16th after dark United States’ central time.

Free Range Texan Episode 37

Talking Texan with Jeremy Parsons

Michael Shawn
Michael Shawn

It always amazes me all the different impressions that I get from artists that we interview on the Free Range Talent File.  Jeremy Parsons writes great music, and he is a talented stage performer.  But after spending half an hour or so on the phone with him, I will tell you that after you hang up the phone your first thought is Jeremy Parsons is a really nice guy.

Free Range Talent File Jeremy ParsonsHe has performed on stage with some of the biggest names in Country Western show business.  From Texas, but living in Nashville, he plays venues all over the United States and Europe.  But he talks about loving to come home to perform in Texas anytime he can.  Our Free Range Talent File not only features Jeremy Parsons talking about his love for the Lone Star State, but singing one of his latest releases, “Making Things Up As I Go” on Episode 35 of the Free Range Texan Podcast.  Thanks Jeremy!

Free Range Texan Episode 35

Nothing But Respect for Mike Pritchard

Michael Shawn
Michael Shawn

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 is the consummate professional; he is someone that can be counted on to perform and sing in almost any venue where he is needed.

Free Range Talent File Mike PritchardAnother thing you will notice if you are around him much is that the musician community appreciates and respects him as a talent and a friend.  In regards to all the things that I have just said, he is a real “what you see is what you get” kind of guy.  I like him and I guess I always have.  If you are walking in to spend the evening somewhere, and you find out that Mike Pritchard will be singing, it’s a good thing.

Anyone who tries to put Mike Pritchard’s performing art or music style in a box with a label will be hard pressed to keep the lid shut.  He sings and writes great music for a lot of different occasions.  He and Wally Moyers have recently produced some absolutely beautiful country music.  Mike was always a rock and roll guy at heart, and would be glad to walk on stage with a six piece band and blow the roof off.  But lately … he is doing some really sweet and soulful blues.  It’s all enjoyable.

Free Range Talent File Mike PritchardOur visit with Mike Pritchard taps into past, present and future.  He was absolutely candid and talked personally with our listeners.  For me it was simple.  I was just talking with an old friend.  Episode 34 of our Free Range Texan Podcast rolls out Thursday evening, December 7th.  Thank you Mike Pritchard for sharing some of your life and your music.

Free Range Texan Podcast Episode 34

Up Close and Personal With Casey Baker

Michael Shawn
Michael Shawn

Our visit with Casey Baker was delightful.   She quickly steps outside the box that contains all the blond jokes, because after speaking with her for awhile you become aware that she is smarter than the average bear.  Yes, she is a great talent and attractive to look at, but once you get past all the obvious, she has a story that contains rich life experiences.

Free Range Talent File Casey BakerJust the fact alone that she has raised a teenager does tend to bring a certain amount of polish to ones common sense toward dealing with everyday life.  Her recording industry connections are solid.  Those connections manifest themselves in some powerful music that Casey Baker writes, performs and records.  She is the complete package.

Free Range Talent File Casey BakerIt is easy for us to say that she is definitely a talent worth keeping an eye on for her future recordings and show dates, as she is the genuine article.  We at the Free Range Texan urge you to get through the door of any venue where she would be performing on stage.  It will be a worthwhile evening.

Free Range Talent File Casey BakerCasey Baker is our special guest on the Free Range Texan Podcast, located in our Free Range Talent File portion of our show.  Episode 33 is rich with her talent as she sings her latest release, “Life Has Taken Its Toll On Me.”  (And if it has, it doesn’t show.)

Free Range Texan Episode 33

A Visit with Al Pitrelli

Michael Shawn
Michael Shawn

From the very beginning of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, one of the original talents, who has since become a lead guitarist and director, is Al Pitrelli.  Al is one of the most successful rock musicians in the United States, if not the world.  I found him to be one of the more congenial and unassuming, really big industry talents that I have visited with in a long time.

Free Range Talent File Al Pitrelli

Our interview on Episode 32 of the Free Range Texan Podcast reveals quickly that Al Pitrelli is more than just a remarkable stage performer, he is also a husband and father to a family with which he manages to stay close.

While he has been a professional musician from the earliest part of his life, for a couple of decades he has been enthralled in his work with Trans-Siberian Orchestra.  Touring around the world more times than he can remember, he is quick to point out that a show that he does in California, Texas, New York, London, Paris, etc., are the same performances once the lights go down.

Free Range Talent File Al PitrelliFor those of you who have not experienced a Trans-Siberian Orchestra performance, I would suggest that you are missing out on what very well could be the most remarkable concert/stage performance produced anywhere on the globe.  Describing it is nothing short of impossible.  But the lights, sound, pyrotechnics, stage sets, and music are world class.  And we thought we would bring you a couple of examples here on our podcast blog.

Having Al Pitrelli as a guest on the Free Range Texan Podcast barely into our second year of episodes, was about as good as it gets for our podcasting team!  If you have witnessed a Trans-Siberian Orchestra concert in person or just seen videos and heard them on broadcast stations, we are certain that you will appreciate a behind the scenes interview with one of the driving force members of the TSO family.  Episode 32 turned out to be a bell-ringer for us.  Our Podcast rolls Thursday, November 7th after sunset.  Enjoy!

Free Range Talent File Al Pitrelli

 

Andy Wilkinson Returns

Michael Shawn
Michael Shawn

He’s back!  The thing about knowing an artist like Andy Wilkinson is that there is always the next Andy Wilkinson song you want to bring to the podcast.  And this time we’re bringing “Texas When Texas Was Free.”

Free Range Texan Talent File Andy WilkinsonAdditionally, Andy was kind enough to talk about one of his other passions in life.  He is an Artist in Residence and spends his days among other things working closely with the Southwest Collection at Texas Tech University.  I asked Andy to explains a little bit (for the folks who may not know) about this remarkable archive.

Free Range Talent File Andy WilkinsonAndy Wilkinson is one of those fine Texas gentlemen that instead of getting older just gets richer with age here on the Llano Estacado.  We are so glad he came aboard the Free Range Texan for another visit so that we can share some more of our friend Andy Wilkinson.

Free Range Texan Episode 31 Andy Wilkinson