Get Your Boots Dirty With Gary Pratt

Michael Shawn
Michael Shawn

I’m often asked what I look for when I interview talented recording artists.  And while I am a vocal recording artist, I don’t pretend to be a songwriter or singer.  But I’ll tell you a secret.  While I do these interviews with remarkably talented people, I am always looking for common ground.  When I interviewed Gary Pratt, he had just released a remarkable new album “Something Worth Remembering”.  Knowing the folks at his record label (MTS), I’m certain there are people all over the country wanting to interview him.  And between record producers and studio talent, ones nerves can get a little frayed, and while all this was his reality, he stopped his world as if we had the luxury of being old friends.

Free Range Texan Podcast Episode 67 Gary PrattIt’s easy to find common ground when he openly talks about his family ties and when he seems genuinely appreciative of the people around him who are working to help his career.  His music production is spot on and fun to listen to.  And he told me it is always important to relate to the crowd as if he enjoyed seeing their faces and wanted them to have as much fun as he was performing.

Episode 67 of our Free Range Texan Podcast brings a slice of Gary Pratt’s life, career and music … and a guy like Gary is exactly what enables us to have good music and worthwhile content that we can introduce our listeners to.  He is our new friend here on the Free Range Texan, and we suggest that you enjoy our visit with this singer, songwriter, recording artist, and entertainer that will be worth your time.  Honestly, I’ve got a grin on my face just thinking about the time spent making a new friend.  Enjoy!

Free Range Texan Podcast Episode 67

Typical Texas Girl

Michael Shawn
Michael Shawn

Savannah Rae is a young lady from San Antonio, dripping with talent as a songwriter, recording artist, and stage performer.  Visiting with her was easy because of her down-home and girl next door charm.

Free Range Texan Talent File Savannah RaeSavannah has a quality about her that can only be described as “the camera is her friend.”  Not only that, but the microphone and her various and sundry audiences all go together to create a fun recording artist with some great songs.  Just below is one of her recent video releases “Soft Place to Land,” and when you watch this, it’s clear to everyone that she enjoys performing in front of the camera as well.

Our Free Range Texan Podcast is proud to introduce a young performer that clearly has a bright future in our industry.  For additional downloads and booking schedules her web site appears at:    Coming to a stage near you, San Antonio’s Savannah Rae Garza … our special guest on the Free Range Texan Podcast.

Free Range Texan Podcast Episode 66

Louise Cappi Uniquely American Jazz

Michael Shawn
Michael Shawn

It’s no secret that yours truly, born and raised in Texas, grew up listening to Country music and of course Rock and Roll.  I have always appreciated Jazz, but from a distance.  Perhaps its because I have not spent enough time wandering the street of New Orleans in and out of one French Quarter Jazz bar and then another.  Louise Cappi changed all that for me.

Free Range Texan Episode 64 Louise CappiShe is at least a second generation jazz professional and one of the nicest ladies I have ever met.  But the thing that drew us to her was her remarkable music.  I don’t know why we have waited so long to bring real jazz to our Free Range Talent File, but the seal has been broken and our eyes are open.  Louise Cappi caused us to remember that we have overlooked a uniquely American brand of music.  And she is a perfect ambassador for our Free Range Texan audience.

Louise CappiAll of the usual stuff is in place, post-COVid she has begun to work again.  Her web site ( puts you in touch with her upcoming dates at venues from New Orleans to New York City.  Her fans are reconnecting with her as she is releasing her latest album “Hope”.  And we have been able to provide one of her videos here on our blog.

We found Louise Cappi to be delightful and we are genuinely excited about her as our very special guest on Free Range Texan Episode 64.


Free Range Texan Episode 64

The Miracle That Is … Stan Troy

Michael Shawn
Michael Shawn

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.

Free Range Texan Episode 62 Stan TroyIf 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.

Stan TroyPodcast 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.

Free Range Texan Podcast Episode 63 Stan Troy

Getting to Know Shimmer Johnson

Michael Shawn
Michael Shawn

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.

Free Range Texan Episode 60 Shimmer JohnsonOn 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 JohnsonShimmer 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 JohnsonShimmer 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.

Free Range Texan Episode 60

The Marfa Lights

Michael Shawn
Michael Shawn

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.

Free Range Talent File Danny CadraTo 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.

Mara Lights Night VisionOne 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.

Free Range Texan Podcast Episode 58

He’s One and Only and Truly Missed

Michael Shawn
Michael Shawn

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.

Free Range Talent File Mike PritchardIf 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.

Free Range Talent File Mike PritchardOur 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 ….

Free Range Texan Episode 57 Mike Pritchard

I’m OK

Michael Shawn
Michael Shawn

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”.

Free Range Texan Episode 55 I'm Back

Michael Shawn’s Condition Improves … Details Below

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.

Free Range Texan Episode 54

Free Range Texan Podcast of the Month

Michael Shawn
Michael Shawn

The times they are a changin’.  If you take a continually growing audience of a bi-weekly podcast and attempt to move their loyalties to a monthly podcast format, is it risky?  Well, the answer to your question would have to be “Yes”.  But less so if one were to understand what we, those of us working on the Free Range Texan, understand about the realities of meeting the production deadlines and producing creative content for a podcast as multi-faceted as ours.

Free Range Texan PodcastFirst, let’s look at the facts.  Producing the Free Range Texan is not free.  There are a number of people who have or do commit a significant part of their time, focus and funds to make the Free Range Texan roll out on time every two weeks.  I’m about to share something with you that I don’t normally talk openly about.  The truth is we have dozens of really great ideas, but when it gets down to implementing the production process, our production funds simply aren’t in the budget … and we find ourselves stepping back, drawing a breath, and finding something else to work on.  Sometimes it’s frustrating.

If a few weeks ago you would have told me that basically cutting the number of Free Range Texan episodes in half annually could be a good thing, I would just have bent over with a knot in my gut and walked away.  I mean really!  On the surface it would seem like somebody shot us with a torpedo.  But then, we began to think about our production process and asked some pretty important “what if” questions.

A-Team PR Production Studio AWhat if we had twice the production time and budget per podcast than what we are currently working with?  What if as a production team we no longer felt under the gun to find content, get it recorded and produced, and build an entirely new episode every two weeks?  In big-time network programming, each show has three to five production teams.  And like a deck of cards, the show’s episodes are dealt out to the team members so that each team has a number of weeks to complete their production by the time it airs.  We are not big-time network producers.  We have one team and we produce everything, on time.  So spending more time with a greater budget per episode started to look like a higher quality podcast with a higher quality life for its producers.

Michael ShawnThis is gonna be fun!  To our regular listeners, please forgive us for not knocking on your door with a brand new episode every other Thursday.  We still love our listeners alot!  And we promise to continue to bring everything that you expect from our Free Range Texan Podcast to you with a few more layers of icing on our cake.  We are genuinely excited about our new schedule as our last bi-weekly podcast rolls out Thursday, July 2nd.  And our new monthly podcast schedule begins on August 1st, 2020.

There is one more thing … We believe we have been remiss in not urging our podcast listeners to subscribe to our podcast.  We have always provided a direct player at  You can still accomplish listening to our podcast thru … our web page gives you all of the biggest podcast players and/or our Free Range Texan YouTube Channel.  Either way, you can easily subscribe.  Without going into a large amount of detail, suffice to say our new schedule makes our subscription rate vital to our future.  Thanks for listening …