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

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.

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.

We’ll Make Ya Famous!

Let me let you in on a secret.  Our new digital technology makes things simple.  For instance, if you have talent, if someone in your family has talent, if you know someone who has talent, or if you know someone who knows someone with talent … this is your / their lucky day.  It just so happens that the moderately famous Free Range Texan podcast is in search of talent to interview and even play recordings of your gig.  Discovered or undiscovered … we have found many times that makes little difference.

Free Range Texan talent fileHere’s how it works … you send your name and telephone number or e-mail address to  The rest is simple.  You can be located anywhere in Texas, the United States, or the world.  Michael Shawn will call you and discuss podcast stuff with you.  A quick telephone interview can take place and then we will play at least one of your tunes or cowboy poetry or regular poetry or drum solo or trombone … well we think you get the picture.  It’s time for your moderately big break!!!  Go ahead … send it in.  We’re waiting.Menu

Free Range Texan Welcomes Andy Wilkinson

Andy Wilkinson is one of our heroes. Singer, songwriter, cowboy poet, and author of a number of good reads. His body of work is very much about the roots of our podcast. He is one of the best examples of a true “Free Range Texan”. These days Andy is doing some great work with Texas Tech University, which he mentions on our podcast. Of course, we could not have Andy Wilkinson on the Free Range Texan without twistin his arm to play one of his original West Texas songs.

Free Range Texan Episode 11


Andy Wilkinson's Surprise, Texas

Andy Wilkinson’s latest novel, “Suprise, Texas”, is more than just a page turner. It is written with the heart and soul of a Texan about a slice of Texas culture that is real and tangible in the South Plains and Permian Basin areas of the Lone Star State. Our advice is to click and enjoy …

Stan Troy’s Coming and He’s Bringing “Panhandle Hell” With Him


Popular Texas Hill Country singer / songwriter Stan Troy has agreed to be part of the Free Range Texan Podcast Episode 6.

Stan TroyStan has just released his latest album “De Lux Cafe” and honestly friends, it is a toe-tapper.  Stan has written and recorded a true Texas music treasure, containing a song he wrote about the wild fires last year in the Texas Panhandle.  He titled it, “Panhandle Hell”.  In the interest of full disclosure, I will confess that Stan Troy and I were in Boy Scouts together, and his father, John Troy, was our Scout Master (yes, Free Range friends, Michael Shawn was a Boy Scout).

Stan Troy and the BandStan Troy's De Luxe CafeAt the time of this posting, “De Lux Cafe” is so hot off the presses that it is not yet available for public downloads.  However, it will be soon and we will update you.

We are really looking forward to having Stan Troy and his song about the tragic prairie fires that recently occurred in the Texas Panhandle on our podcast.