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

A Visit With Gypsy Jayne

Michael Shawn
Michael Shawn

Truth is, I can tell you honestly, that with some artists the host and his editor work hard to make sure that our guest is comfortable and we end up with a listenable interview.  It’s our job.  But I should also, in the interest of full disclosure, tell you that there are those artists that sitting down and having a cup of coffee in our studios is immediately like visiting with an old friend.

Free Range Talent Gypsy JayneGypsy Jayne has that quality.  Although we had talked on the phone briefly, when we met and shook hands, it was our first face-to-face meeting.  By the time we sat comfortably and did our interview, and then walked out back and sat under some trees and visited for a while longer, I told her that today I felt like I had made a new friend.  She is the type of person that puts on very little if any airs, and you never would guess that she is a well-received singer and songwriter here in West Texas.

Free Range Talent Gypsy JayneBut as I continue to tell the truth, I will tell you that when she steps up on stage with her three piece band and begins to sing a form of what I call “Texas Soul Music”, she becomes not only a powerful singer but a remarkable musician with her guitar.  Her most current album was actually done a couple of years ago with some great tunes.  It has a hidden gem in the very last cut.  We play that cut on our Podcast, and we think it reveals a lot about the real Gypsy Jayne.

Free Range Talent Gypsy JayneOur special guest Gypsy Jayne, occurs in Episode 28 of the Free Range Texan Podcast and is revealed Thursday, September 12th at sundown.  We enjoyed our time spent with Gypsy Jayne, and believe our listeners will as well.  Gypsy Jayne’s music is available in the Free Range Texan House of Treasurers and she gives a website for her booking information in our interview.  Thank you Gypsy Jayne … we definitely want you to come back.


Meet The Mallories

Michael Shawn
Michael Shawn

The Mallories are a good example of how things work here on our podcast.  They contacted us through, submitted themselves, sent pictures and music, and botta-bing, botta-boom …. they’re on Episode 27 of the Free Range Texan Podcast.

It is really a treat to work with people just starting out in the music biz.  Their fresh attitudes and warm and friendly natures make our interview fun.

Free Range Talent The MalloriesBut all of that is followed up by perhaps the most important piece of the puzzle … THEY CAN SING!!!  They are just beginning to write and record their own music, and they are quick to tell you that their Dad, Shaun Mallory, is their manager and booking agent.

It all creates a sweet package.  Lovable to listen to and fun to watch.  We are proud to present The Mallories from Arlington, Texas, stepping onto our podcast stage in Episode 27.  A delightful interview and a song worth listening to written about their mother.  We mentioned their video in our interview and wanted everyone to be able to see it here, including the message at the end.

Free Range Texan Podcast Episode 27 rolls out Thursday evening, August 29, 2019.

Free Range Talent File The Mallories


Jerrod Medulla … Wild and Crazy Guy

Michael Shawn
Michael Shawn

Let me be perfectly clear … I have been around the entertainment business since I was 13 years old, and I have never once in my entire life, ever, signed up for anyone’s fan club.  News Flash ! ! !  Where do I sign up?  I’ll just admit it my friends … I am a Jerrod Medulla fan!

Free Range Talent File Jerrod MedullaIf it sounds like I was having fun when I interviewed Jerrod Medulla, it is because I was.  Jerrod has recently been working with some of the top producers, not just in Texas, but in the USA.  A few months ago, he held the Number One spot in the Texas Regional Radio Music Chart with his release of “Unbroken Horses”.

Free Range Talent File Jerrod MedullaThanks to Kidd Manning, Jerrod Medulla agreed to be our guest on Episode 26 on the Free Range Texan Podcast.  In our podcast interview, we roll with Jerrod’s latest release to broadcast radio stations.  However, in that interview we talked about one of his videos entitled, “Wolf Howl”.  I agreed that we would play the video here on our blog.  And so … we will.

Jerrod is a part of our Free Range Talent file that we hope will return again and again. Episode 26 will release Thursday evening, August 15th.

Free Range Talent File features Jerrod Medulla


Kidd Manning, our Free Range Texan Musicologist

Michael Shawn
Michael Shawn

I know what you’re thinking … you’ve heard of Kidd Manning, especially if you’re in the entertainment business or involved in the Texas Music scene.  You know that he can be funny, witty and knows a heck of a lot about the recording industry.  He is a lifetime broadcaster in too many places to mention, and while his name is known on the West Coast, in Arizona, and in Colorado, he is best loved at home in West Texas.

But … what is a Musicologist you ask.  It is a person that is remarkably well versed in the artists and songwriters of our land and particularly adept at recording artists’ history.  In other words, in a business that is all about who you know, Kidd Manning knows just about everybody, and most everybody will admit to knowing him.  I like him, and I think people who are interested in our Free Range Talent File will learn to appreciate Kidd’s input.  Welcome aboard the Free Range Texan Network Kidd Manning.

Oklahoma Kids Doing Fine in the Lone Star State

Michael Shawn
Michael Shawn

Refreshing is the word that best describes my visit with Ragland. My  visit with Autumn Ragland and Sam Cox, who are the primary fixtures of a band called “Ragland”, was a delightful experience.  Their music is refreshing, and Autumn sings with sort of an Emmy Lou Harris feel.

Free Range Talent File Features RaglandRagland’s music seems exceptionally well produced, and their recently released song, “Footsteps”, is featured on Episode 25 of our Free Range Texan podcast.Free Range Talent File Features Ragland

Our Free Range Texan House of Treasures is pleased to be providing their music, and we are told that they are about to go back in the studio and begin production on an all new project.  They are not only talented, but carry a clean and sincere desire to make music for their growing number of fans throughout the mid-west.  We enjoyed getting to know these new faces in our industry and wish them every success.

Free Range Texan Episode 25

Jordan Robert Kirk Headlines Episode 23 of the Free Range Texan Podcast

Michael Shawn
Michael Shawn

This is a true story, and it happened just this way.  I got a phone call from my old friend Kidd Manning, a popular broadcaster in our West Texas area.  I’ve always respected Kidd’s handle on the Texas Music scene, so I mentioned to him that like always, we were looking for Texan singer / songwriters for our Free Range Talent file segments.  Kidd did not bat an eye.  He said, “I’ve got someone for you, and this kid is going to blow you away.”

Free Range Talent File Jordan Robert KifkHe told me about Jordan Robert Kirk and I was a little embarrassed to say that I didn’t know about this new talent.  Kidd Manning put this fresh, young singer in touch with us and when I heard his music and visited with him on the phone for a little while, we moved on this guy immediately.

Free Range Talent File Jordan Robert KirkHe is a young fourth generation farmer living out around Idalou, Texas.  He received a degree in Engineering at Texas Tech, but has decided to make music his career.  That is … when his dad lets him off the tractor.

Free Range Talent File Jordan Robert KirkIn all honesty, first I will tell you that  he has a tremendous attitude, but beyond that, his talent  knocks us down!  He writes great music  and when he starts to sing, it sounds like he should be on the stage at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville.  Jordan Robert Kirk is one of the best examples of why we created the Free Range Talent file.

Free Range Texan Podcast Episode 23Episode 23 of our Podcast, released a day early on the evening of Wednesday, July 3rd, is not to be missed.  Our prediction is Jordan Robert Kirk is going places, and a lot of you will have heard him here first.