Gary Burk III Taxis for Take-Off in a Two Lane Airplane

Michael Shawn
Michael Shawn

I think if I were to choose one word to describe my initial conversation with Gary Burk III, the word would be “fresh”.  He’s one of those artists that is willing to think outside the box while struggling to play and record the music that he loves.

Free Range Talent File Gary Burk IIISo understand this, like so many other of our guests on Free Range Texan, I went through his professional management group (MTS … one of the best) and arranged to receive his music, promotional pictures, and biographic information, while setting up a time for our interview.  That means that when we talk for the first time, it is the first time we have ever actually met.  Not just anyone can be cordial, open and at ease in a first time meeting.  Gary Burk III aced it and shared not only his music, but his personal thoughts as well.

Gary Burk IIIBehind the scenes our production staff keeps a list … it’s just for us.  We call it “the ones to watch” list.  After visiting with Gary Burk III and hearing his music that he achieves in the studio, and finally watching the video presented here on our blog, Gary Burk III has clearly been added to our list of ones to watch.  We wish you all the best Gary and thank you for being on Episode 51 of our Free Range Texan Podcast.

Free Range Texan Podcast Episode 51

 

Kristen Karma Blazes On To the Free Range Texan

Michael Shawn
Michael Shawn

This time we reached out all the way to Toronto, Canada to find out about what our respected music business connections were telling us.  As Hank Sr. would say … Kristen Karma is setting the woods on fire!  Her song, Party Heros and follow-up release Dear John have all the right people talking about this new singer, songwriter, recording artist.

Free Range Talent File Kristen KarmaShe’s quite a bit more than the girl next door.  She started out by being a skilled producer in the recording studios, but quickly realized she was ready to step on the other side of the microphone.  She sings, she dances, she entertains, and is creating quite a name for herself.

Kristen KarmaI honestly found her to be genuinely likable, and she clearly knows her craft.  An interesting side note is when off the cuff I asked her if there was a special someone in her life, she quickly answered “yes”.  However, he’s never seen her perform (thank you Corona virus).

Kristen KarmaLike most performers nowadays, she has been forced to come in off the road.  But, she has spent this time recording a new album and sharpening her skills for a stage show that will definitely keep everyone entertained.  I didn’t ask her when she would be performing in Texas.  The sense that I get is that nobody knows when or where they are going to step on a stage anytime soon.  But I would never want to miss the opportunity to see/hear a performance from the electrifying Kristen Karma.  She’s one to watch!

Free Range Texan Podcast Episode 50

 

Jeremy Parsons New Music is Anything But A “Tragedy”

Michael Shawn
Michael Shawn

It happens often that I interview an artist and am struck by the fact that it’s a shame that they don’t give gold records just for being a really nice person.  Fortunately, Jeremy Parsons is a talented recording artist and stage performer, and it seems as though every time he walks out of a recording studio, his music is better and more polished than it even was before.

Free Range Talent File Jeremy ParsonsThere are lots of artists that I enjoy visiting with about their careers and music.  But a certain section of our readers will understand when I admit that I would go fishin’ with Jeremy Parsons.  High praise indeed from the desk of Michael Shawn at the Free Range Texan.

We are, however, disappointed that in this pandemic season Jeremy has not as of yet gotten the video for his popular song, “Tragedy” that he has just released.  If he had that completed, we would have posted it here on our blog.  We like Jeremy Parsons and really want to see great success in his future.  And, if you look at the numbers here and overseas, the song “Tragedy” appears to be making a great start in that direction.

Jeremy ParsonsJeremy Parsons, we wish you and your Dad all the best!  I find myself thinking that I am grateful that the two of you have this time together.  And we’re not just kidding around when we say that we’re already looking forward to having you back as our guest on the Free Range Texan.

Free Range Texan Podcast Episode 48 Jeremy Parsons

Songman Cary Banks

Michael Shawn
Michael Shawn

I grew up around the entertainment business in West Texas.  It seems like I have been aware of talented entertainer, songwriter, musician Cary Banks most of that time.  Among other things, he was playing a big part in that crisp, clean and distinctive sound that the Maines Brothers became wildly popular for while they made their run for national recognition.  We mentioned on our podcast interview that we would share a couple of his videos on our blog.

If you grew up in West Texas in the 70s and 80s, you feel like you grew up with Cary Banks.  Me, being a broadcast personality, and him a successful stage musician, it’s only natural that we would have been aware of each other off and on during the years.  However, it occurred to me as I sat down to do an interview with Cary Banks that unless my memory is slipping, I believe this is the first time that we have addressed each other directly and had a visit.

Free Range Texan Talent File Cary BanksI came away from that interview thinking “why the heck did we (Free Range Texan) wait so long to spotlight Cary Banks?”  I have respected him through the years as a songwriter and stage performer.  I really noticed him for the first time with the Maines Brothers.  I appreciate his time spent at South Plains College as a remarkable educator working with young entertainers,  and I’ve enjoyed him for years while he was writing songs and sharing them with the world.

Cary C. BanksSo here’s what I came away from our interview with … I will admit that my biggest regret is, while I have been acquainted with Cary Banks all of my professional life, I failed to sit down and visit with the man.  A friendship with a person like Cary Banks would have always been and is still today a valuable thing.  He’s a great guy and his talents … songwriting, stage performing … are completely intact and his songwriting may have even gotten better.  Some of us older guys will tell you that can happen with age.

Cary C. BanksWe at the Free Range Texan are so happy that Cary Banks spent a little of his still valuable time and agreed to be our guest on Episode 47.  And for those of you who may get a chance to spend a delightful evening with Cary Banks and his guitar, by all means go and enjoy.

Free Range Texan Episode 47

Stetson Walker is Welcome Any Time

Michael Shawn
Michael Shawn

Kudos to Stetson Walker’s mom.  From one parent to another, you have really raised a fine young, well-mannered gentleman.  I know this not the way to kick off an intriguing opening paragraph which should lure you into reading the rest of this article, but … the point I am about to make is that my first impression was “this recording artist is really young”.  Then, you listen to his music and suddenly you are hearing a polished and mature singer that lands somewhere between Randy Travis and George Strait.  Wow! I was really impressed.

Free Range Texan Tile File Stetson WalkerSo, I guess I could go on and on about what a nice young man Stetson Walker seems to be.  But honestly, that is not his power.  Listen to him sing.  Hear what he is producing in the recording studio.  Observe his stage presence, and you begin to understand that Stetson Walker is a talent to be reckoned with in the County Music industry.  When we visited and talked about his mom singing background for Willie Nelson, I asked him what it was like growing up around those musicians.  He had a number of things to say, but the first thing he told me was, “if you can’t be Willie Nelson, you certainly want to be in his camp.”  The boy gets it.

Stetson WalkerWe promised on our Podcast that we would post his video on our blog.  Stetson talked with me continuously off mic and told me how much fun he had getting to be on set for this production.  I asked him if the girl in the video was really his girlfriend.  He said no, that she was just an actress brought in by the production company.  But then he grinned and said, “She was nice though.”

Stetson Walker is a welcome guest now in our Episode 46 of the Free Range Texan Podcast as well as in the future.  Stetson and I both hope you enjoy.

Stetson Walker

Sometimes The Songs Write Themselves

Michael Shawn
Michael Shawn

Usually by the time a recording artist or anyone else makes a second appearance on the Free Range Texan, there is what feels like a friendship involved.  We always try to treat our individual guests with all of the respect and polished showcasing that we can give.  In short, we appreciate their time and effort.

Jordan Robert Kirk makes all this easy.  When I interviewed him the first time on Epsiode 23 , I came away with the feeling that I was impressed with what a respectful, young gentleman he seemed to be.  Not to mention that I really like the way he sings!  I was glad he brought his personality and music to our podcast.

Free Range Talent File Jordan Robert KirkNow he’s back and very little has changed, except of course new music and stories.  His favorite saying these days is, “Sometimes the Songs Write Themselves.”  For instance, the day after I spoke with him for this interview, I saw a half million dollar tractor and spray rig by the road burning up.  Jordan simply posted, “sometimes the songs write themselves.”  And this time, I had a third method to my madness in giving him a call.

Jordan Robert KirkIf you know anything about Jordan Robert Kirk, you know that he has a day job working with the Kirk Family Farm in Crosby County, Texas.  He’s the real deal, and I have never scheduled an interview with him that didn’t have to be timed around his farming commitments.  I wanted to know how CovID19 was affecting the business of agriculture.  I was pretty sure Jordan wouldn’t mind talking about it a bit, especially since his entertainment career has been sidelined by a world pandemic.

Jordan Robert KirkIn short, Free Range Texan Episode 45 knocked a home run.  Jordan Robert Kirk visited with us about what CovID19 might be doing to an already burdened agriculture community, but also talks about his latest radio release and as always shares it with us.  And we are glad to make his video available here on our blog.

Additionally, Michael Shawn’s Campfire stumbled into a true story that began generations ago and is still happening today right outside of the small West Texas town of Wink.  Nothing made up about this scenario.  It is an interesting and somewhat captivating campfire tale.  Free Range Texan Episode 45 rolls out Thursday, May 7th right after dark Texas time.  Enjoy!

Free Range Texan Episode 45

 

Sheltered In Place

Michael Shawn
Michael Shawn

We didn’t set out to produce the podcast that Episode 43 turned out to be.  It was a number of weeks ago when we first reached out to MTS Management about setting up an interview with Nashville Recording Artist Savannah.  The Coronavirus was not yet on anybody’s radar.

We were looking at some different artists for our Free Range Talent File and we stumbled onto Savannah’s latest video.  I was immediately struck by its content, and I told the A-Team PR person sitting next to me, “That’s the kind of stuff I want to carry more of.”

Fast forward a few short weeks … MTS gave us the go-ahead.  They had set up an interview between myself and Savannah, and then the entire country / world was being asked to “shelter in place”, and everyone reading this article knows the rest of that story.

Free Range Talent File SavannahBecause of the nature of podcasting, up until this point we didn’t discuss current events, political affairs, or the seasonal weather.  But COVID-19 changed all of that, and suddenly we were struck by the fact that our listeners anyplace on the planet were dealing with serious issues and the worst thing we could do as a podcast was ignore it.  So, we opened our hearts and Episode 43 is what came out.

Savannah NiderWe realize it sounds like Savannah’s specific interview was set up to be a part of our “shelter in place” episode.  But, honestly, it just turned out that way.  As we point out in Episode 43, her day job is a full time nursing assistant, working with doctors in Nashville.  She sings, she writes, she records, she entertains, and she saves lives.  She was in the right place at the right time on our podcast, and we were humbled to have her take the time for our interview.

The Free Range Texan Episode 43 is the one where Michael Shawn opens his heart more and more and gets more personal one-on-one as the episode progresses.  None of it was planned, it just happened.  Savannah (a working nurse in Nashville) is our special guest.  There’s a campfire episode … again unplanned … that turned out to be darker than anything that we have done previously.   And the closing epilogue that is basically just us wishing all of our listeners safe passage through this world-wide event.  Our goal was just to let  everyone know that our wish was for them to remain safe and healthy.  We fully intend to return on schedule with another complete new episode of the Free Range Texan Podcast to share with our friends everywhere.  All of you are appreciated.

Free Range Texan Episode 43

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