Shiner Rising Star, KHYI, 2013 —The finale

| November 11, 2013
Sally and Brook, Green Light Pistols

Sally and Brook, Green Light Pistols

Photos and story by Mary Jane Farmer — For many photos, click on the links below

Thursday night (Nov. 7) brought the four finest bands that entered the 10th Annual Shiner Rising Star band competition together, on the Love & War in Texas, Plano, stage. One walked away with all prizes, and all walked away with tote bags filled with mutual respect and new fans.

The finalists were, in the order in which they played, The Bodarks, Green Light Pistol, Buffalo Ruckus, and Matt Bradshaw. Judges for this major event exceeded the usual 3-judge panels of the previous three months, and included a combination of past winners, KHYI on-air personalities, and various others in the music industry. In all, there was Chuck Taylor, Joshua Jones, Brett Dillon (all with KHYI), Darryl Lee Rush, Grant Jones, James Dunning, (past SRS winners), Tip Jones (Overdrive Entertainment), Mark Jabben (Kona Guitars), and Donnie Nelson (Mavs).

Buffalo Ruckus

Buffalo Ruckus

Joshua Jones had the MC honors for the night, announcing first that contest sponsor Shiner Beer was introducing its newest beer that night, White Wing, exclusively at Love & War in Texas.  He also thanked Scene In Town and DB Music for their continual participation through the season, and explained the rules to the crowd.

Then the music began.

The Bodarks, from the Frisco area, are basically a folk-Americana string band of four musicians, Shelly Duell on fiddle and vocals; Brian Kelleher on doghouse bass; Jason Bell on mandolin, washboard percussions, and vocals; and Jeff Brooks on guitar and banjo and vocals. The energy and enthusiasm typical of hootenannies compliments their choices of songs.  Comments from the judges included such things as, “You create your own genre,” and “loved the kazoo and stripped-down sound,” and “the modulation was awesome.”

Next up was Green Light Pistols, and it might be said here that this is the band that went home with the recording contract from Shiner Records and who will receive new instruments from Kona Guitars.

The Bodarks

The Bodarks

A band of siblings, with their dad also standing in this night on horn, the Green Light Pistols also are basically a string band. There’s Caleb Wallace on doghouse bass; Bethany Wallace on vocals and keyboards; Sally Wallace on vocals and mandolin; Brook Wallace on vocals and fiddle; Madalyn Wallace on vocals and percussions; and Chad Fincher on guitar and kick drum. Chad, by the way, is soon to be a part of the family, too, being engaged to one of the sisters.

Comments from the judges following their sets included: “One word—Wow,” “Creativity off the hook, not canned or thrown out there.” “Great stage presence,” and much more of the same, plus a few attaboys on their vocals and harmonies.

Buffalo Ruckus is made up of Jason Lovell on vocals and guitar; Brad Haefner on guitar, mandolin, and vocals; Mike Burgess on bass and vocals; and Christian Dorn on drums. This band has only been together for about six months — they’re even losing exact count, but know it’s somewhere in that neighborhood. A highlight for one spectator, Frances, who had spent much of her night dancing along to every band, was when Burgess went out into the audience and played a little bass just for her.

Matt Bradshaw

Matt Bradshaw

Joshua Jones commented on the band, very complimentarily, and then added that he was impressed with the group’s use of social media, especially Twitter. He later added that The Bodarks had been doing the same thing throughout the night, which is something Jones emphasized for all bands to do right from the get-go orientation meeting. Comments on this band included “tribal and organic,” and great songwriting,” and “blown away.”

Matt Bradshaw went through the entire contest solo, an feat never before accomplished in Shiner Rising Star history, and he blew the crowd away with his command of the stage. Comments that followed included, “Some fellows don’t need bands,” “best songwriter I’ve seen here,” and “I could drink Shiner and listen to you all night.”

All through this competition, with maybe one or two exceptions, the bands (and the solo Bradshaw) have been the most “let’s win” of any of these competitions. Even Bradshaw, who came the farthest, was an immediate friend with the others there Thursday night. During the two weeks prior to the final meeting of the bands, they had been using Facebook and Twitter in a friendly battle of the wits, enjoying and entertaining each other with their creativity.

Jones said, when calling out the winners in order, that the total judges’ scores added up to be very tight, very close to one another.

Shiner Rising Star, coordinated through KHYI, 95.3, will begin seeking entries in May 2014 for the 11th season, with the first round beginning in late July, if all goes to usual schedule.

Meanwhile, Green Light Pistol will have a spot at the March 2014 Texas Music Revolution.

Green Light Pistols photos, click here

The Bodarks photos, click here

Buffalo Ruckus photos, click here

Matt Bradshaw photos, click here

Other photos, click here


Category: 2013, Love & War in Texas

About the Author ()

In the music production business, including event production, booking, photography, reporting, and other such essentials, since 1980.

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