LJT songwriter/singer Showcase semi-finals

| April 11, 2016 | Reply

Story and photos by G. Houston Hall.

Randall King

Randall King

For the first time in the Larry Joe Taylor Showcase history, two people, Randall King and Jackie Darlene, tied in the runner-up round to move on to the grand finale round.

The last five weeks have proven to be the building blocks for the best of the best that the Texas Music Scene has to offer. The runner-up showcase this last Monday was no different.

Melody Mountain Ranch played to the hearts of the hopeful and the minds of the few this last Monday night. With an artist lineup that shocked, awed and shook the few that watched. Though, unlike weeks past, the runner-up showcase was supposed to be a victory for a single artist. But, because the judges could not decide which artist outdid the other, a tie was formed and a historical marker in the showcase’s four-year history was inaugurated.

This last week hosted Randall King, Buck Fuffalo, Cody Jasper, Buffalo Ruckus and Jackie Darlene. All had a different approach to the showcase. They also all had great stage presence along with excellent bodies of work to choose from. Their nerves might have been shot, but from the audience’s perspective, they were entertaining the masses and creating life-like images with their songwriting ability and instrumental pizzazz.

The winners of the historical tie where Randall King from Amarillo, Texas, and Jackie Darlene from Waco, Texas.

Jackie Darlene was unavailable for comment.

I had the opportunity to speak with Randall King over the phone this past week and he said his experience thus far in the showcase was “humbling.” For a guy from the panhandle of Texas, (to be precise — Amarillo) Randall got his start by playing at bars in Lubbock. When he initially started to metamorphosis himself into the musician he is today, it took him about two years to find his own sound. “Most of the stuff I was playing back than had more of a rock sound. But, then it took me a few years to find my own sound; and when I did, I started writing the music I truly loved.” In the beginning, he followed the old way of songwriting. Some of his influences include Keith Whitley, John Anderson, and Merle Haggard.

Jackie Darlene

Jackie Darlene

Randall was the first to go on the stage for the runner upround. On Monday night, (April 4, 2016) he had originally chosen three songs for his set; but; like the others; he was stunned that they would all be expected to play four songs. “I honestly wasn’t expecting to have a four-song set. I wasn’t upset by it. I actually saw as an extra 3-minute opportunity to show the judges and the crowd what I had to offer.” For his set, he played all originals. His first song was “I Can’t Talk To You,” the second song was “I Ain’t Waiting on you,” the third song was “Smoking Cigarettes,” and the fourth and final song was “Another Bullet.” For the most part, his music initiates the heart and soul of the listener by putting them in his shoes visually. He paints the picture that he is trying to craft then presents it in such a way that many have thought of him as sounding like a young version of George Strait. All in all, his music career has lots of potential. And like Larry Joe Taylor says at the beginning of every showcase event, “These musicians can do whatever they want in this business. All they have to do is work their @$$es off.”

The finals will be Monday, April 11, again at T-Bird’s on Melody Mountain Ranch, Stephenville. Vying for a spot on this next week’s Texas Music Festival are James Cook , Randall King , John D Hale, Kensie Michelle, Jackie Darlene and Kaitlyn Butts.

For more coverage on the showcase and other things related to the Texas Music Scene you can follow me on Facebook at Reddirtmusicphotojournalist and Sceneintown.com.

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Category: *- Features, 2016, 2016

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