Escanaba, MI – September 10, 2011 – The Michigan State Finals for the Texaco Country Showdown was held in the Island Resort and Casino Showroom in Escanaba on Saturday. Great seats from any where in the house, and eight performers with the passion to perform their music made this evening a great event.
Contestants from across the state of Michigan traveled as far as eight hours to participate in this competition. Eight stations were represented at this showdown.
The Goldmine Girls, sponsored by WKQS Negaunee,are a sister singing duo who really know how to strum away on their guitars and make great music. They sang a rockin’ original song called, ‘Anywhere Bound’ and a cover song, ‘Let er Rip’. Their name comes from the road they live on in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan called, Goldmine Road.
Kris Hitchcock traveled all the way from Hastings, MI representing WBCH. A small station in the tiny town of Hastings, MI. He engaged the audience and rocked out two of his original songs, ‘Wild Honey’ and ‘Missing You’. His first song was performed with the back up back and the next was performed with the backup band. Both songs entertained the audience. He is a great singer, guitar player, and all around performer.
Stephanie Schmidt was a spit fire from the second she set foot on the state of the Island Resort and Casino in Escanaba. She is from Wisconsin, but traveled all the way to Palmer, MI and won the competition there. She was sponsored in this competition by WRUP 98.3. She sang two cover songs, ‘Like My Mother Does’ and ‘Independence Day’. She also races snow mobiles when she isn’t rockin’ out with the microphone.
Shantel Uballe traveled all the way from Detroit, MI. She represented WYCD of Detroit very well. Her sassy style, and modern country style caught everyone’s attention. She performed two cover songs, ‘Mama’s Song’ and ‘Redneck Woman’. Shantel did not decide to perform in her first showdown until two hours before her performance. Quite the surprise she got after winning that competition and landing herself a spot in the Michigan State Finals.
Haylie Richer won the Country Showdown sponsored by WFXD The Country Extreme out of Marquette, MI. She has also appeared on the Local Artist Show, which is broadcasted live on Wednesday evenings on The Country Extreme. She is studying at Northern Michigan University and is working towards a minor in music. Her acoustic country style was a pleasure to listen to. Her first song was an original. She wrote it from the perspective of a girl sitting in the audience of a wedding. That song is called, ‘Down That Aisle’. She also sang a cover song called, ‘Hip to My Heart’. Haylie has a bright future ahead of her with country music.
Jimme Vereb was the winner of the Showdown representing WQXO out of Munising, MI. She is a sweet girl, and it definitely shines through with the music she makes. Her first song was an original called ‘Red, Yellow and Blue’. The second song she sang was a cover, ‘Boondocks’. Her guitar skills are great and her vocals show how passionate she is about making great music. Jimme has grown-up in the small town of Skandia, MI her whole life.
The Scott Thompson Band lit up the stage and rocked out with two guitars, a keyboard, a fiddle player, and a drummer. The band worked the entire stage, making it easy to stay entertained during their performance. Members of the band are, Brad Babcock, Ryan Babcock, Jakob Grimm, MacKenzie Lerchen, and Scott Thompson. Their first song was a cover, ‘Hillbilly Shoes’, and their secong song performed was an original piece, ‘Farmer’s Son’. They rewrote the end of their original song because the lead signer, Scott Thompson, just had a baby boy born a few weeks earlier. They performed with confidence, as if they already owned the stage!
The last performance of the evening was a group representing WBBR of Big Rapids. The Wayfarers with group members, Jake VanderBand, Jesse VanderBand, Matthew Williams, and Tommy Zilka were a great group with a lot of passion for music. ‘Wagon Wheel’ was their first song and then an original, ‘Salvation Song’. Their lead singer played guitar and the harmonica all while singing and entertaining the crown.
The showdown was a great event, with a lot of amazing local talent from the state of Michigan. The winner of this competition was Kris Hitchcock from Hastings, MI. Check back here on WFXD.com to follow this artists on his journey through the Texaco Country Showdown. He was a great performed and definitely someone you remembered at the end of the competition. He was $1,000 and a place in one of only a few regional competitions. More information on Texaco Country Showdown can be found here.
Below is a gallery of pictures from this event.
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