LJT songwriter showcase, Week 4

| April 3, 2016

Final Preliminary Round crowns a queen: Kensie Coppin. Buck Fuffalo Takes Second.

Kensie Coppin

Kensie Coppin

Story and photos by Houston Hall

The final preliminary round of the Larry Joe Taylor Festival songwriter showcase, hosted at Melody Mountain Ranch, brought some interesting and captivating songwriters this past week. And, like most others in this contest, they played their hearts out with the hopes of playing the Allsups stage at this year’s Larry Joe Taylor Festival in April.

The last four weeks have proven to be the building blocks for two more events — a second runner-up challenge and a grand finale showdown.

Out of the 130 applicants, only 24 were chosen to compete. These events have shaken the boots and spiked the nerves of anyone that has the opportunity to come out and watch. Not to mention the silent judges will have a lot to look forward to and a lot to think about for the next two weeks of final rounds. Their decisions will make or break someone’s heart. But, like Larry Joe Taylor says at the beginning of every showcase event, “These 24 people can do whatever they want in the music business. All they gotta do is just work their @$$es off.”

This last week, the showcase invited some of the best up and coming artists in the Texas music scene. Kensie Coppin, Buck Fuffalo, Junior Gordon, Cody Jasper, Dan Johnson, and Abby Hankins played their best and showed the silent judges what they were made of. The range of distance on a geographical scale that these artists meandered from ranges from Southern California all the way to the Panhandle of Texas and back again to the nearest city of Stephenville. No stone was

Buck Fuffalo

Buck Fuffalo

left unturned when evaluating and deciding who was going to have the opportunity to play the showcase. But, like every showcase in weeks and years past, there are only two from each of the four preliminary weeks that are chosen to move on to the next round.

This week, Kensie Coppin, the Bulverde, Texas, native, took first on the fourth-week preliminary round. From a young age, Kensie had a desire to ultimately become a musician/singer songwriter. I had the pleasure of speaking to her that afternoon and she said she “even taught herself how to yodel at the age of five… I would just sit in my room and learn Leanne Rhymes and anything I could. In kindergarten, there was a talent show and I begged my parents to let me enter it. I was a bit nervous and rattled at first, but then I sang my song and yodeled it and I was hooked from there.” From then, with the help of her parents, she worked her way to Nashville and then came back to Austin.

At the showcase this week, Kensie was the first to go behind the mic. I was able to talk to a few of the other professional musicians that live in Stephenville, and they felt that her stage presence and poise were, bar-none, some of her strengths as an entertainer. The music she chose to play was also given high remarks. She had written all of the music she played. The three songs she chose to play were “White Trash Widow,” “What Happened to the Drinking Song?” and “Dear Tender Will You Pour me a Bar?”. All of those pieces seem to have the same underlining tone of hardship, sorrow and a dab of reincarnation of one’s self being. Though her guitar skills were decent, her vocals overpowered any mishaps the crowd might have missed. Overall, she gave a strong performance and was dubbed the first place 4th week preliminary round winner.

On April the 11th she will face Kaitlyn Butts, James Cook, John D. Hale and whoever wins the second runner up showcase this coming Monday April 4.

The second-place winner of the showcase’s fourth week is a relative newcomer by the name of Buck Buffalo, who  hales from Stephenville. His style for some is unconventional; but, for others, it’s a new and energetic performance that has been missing from the music scene here lately. His musicianship and lyrical basis have three effects on the crowd. Either they laugh till they cry; chant the words; or listen intently as if it were an eye-opening experience. In either case, the Stephenville native earned his

Cody Jasper

Cody Jasper

second-place victory through his effortless confident presence on the stage and his excellent songwriting ability. As Buck Fuffalo said in an interview earlier that day, “ I know I’m an OK musician, but first and for most, I’m an entertainer. I am there specifically to tell a story, get my point across, and if the crowd is laughing at my jokes and listening to my song, that’s a big win for me.”

Buck Fuffalo will be playing this Monday the fourth of April. He will be going up against Randal King, Buffalo Ruckus’ Jason Lovell and Brad Haefner, Jackie Dariene and Cody Jasper.

I have heard from reliable sources that Cody Jasper is one of the wild cards that Larry Joe Taylor chose for the showcase.

For all other news and videos on the showcase and the Texas Music Scene you can follow Houston Hall on Facebook at RedDirtMusicPhotojournalist or on here at SceneInTown.com






Category: *- Features, 2016

About the Author ()

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

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