Country Music News - March/April 2005
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Maggie Austin
Special Guest On Radio Show

   Maggie Austin's new Interview now playing on Inside Nashville Country Music Radio Show! Listen to the show as you read the news by clicking on the sound button.

Click here to listen to Inside Nashville Country Music Radio Show featuring great country music of Maggie Austin and a one on one interview with Maggie by Jerry Mac.

   Why are so many people across the world so intrigued with Maggie Austin? That question may sound a little staged, but it isn't. There are a Maggie Austin, country music singerlot of people tuning into Maggie Austin in different cities all over the planet! She’s on the radio in England, Holland, New Zealand, Australia, Belgium, Yugoslavia and France (where she was a Featured Artists of the Week). Recently, a culture-focused web site in Germany asked her if they could publish a review about her. How many new artists do you know that have reviewers chasing them rather than the other way around? The answer, of course, is not many. Maggie Austin is generating an exceptional buzz on an international scale.
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CoCo LeVan
Wins Entertainer Of Year Award

   Everyone connected with The Country Music Planet sends our congratulations to CoCo LeVan for being the recipient of The 2005 CoCo LeVan, country music singer/songwriterSiouxland Entertainer Of The Year Award.
   CoCo LeVan was born the youngest of six children in Detroit Michigan. She caught the performing bug at a very young age. Her first flirtation with performing was for her family on the living room table. Then she hit the big time performing in bands in the Detroit area while still in high school. She entered talent contests in and around Detroit. She was a finalist on Star Search in the Detroit audition. This gave her the drive to see what else was out there for her to explore. She took a big step in 1990 by moving to Nashville, Tennessee. She landed on her feet in Nashville, working almost immediately at the craft she loved. She placed herself in many talent competitions. She caught the ear of Grand Ole Opry legend, Porter Wagoner. He was so impressed by her vocal talents that he hired her for his show on The Grand Ole Opry. She toured with Porter for a number of years. She, also, performed and toured with the late great Johnny Russell. She now makes her home in Iowa.
   For more about CoCo, click here.

Musical success one rung at a time
Instructor climbs country music "Ladder"

By Airman First Class Jacque Lickteig
Staff writer

   The last time his name graced the Sheppard Senator's pages, he had already laid a sturdy foundation to start a steady climb to the country music industry's top.Chris Brade, country music singer/songwriter
In less than six months, Staff Sgt. Chris Brade has scaled the rungs that could hoist him to stardom, recording his second self-titled album, including his new single, "Ladder of Love," and finding a label, BonTex Records, along the way.
The 363rd Training Squadron instructor said in the July article that he planned to lay down the "Ladder of Love" track, penned by Country & Western greats Rodney Crowell and Lee Roy Parnell. But, Sergeant Brade said he wanted to sway the head honchos of Sin-Drome Records with the demo version in a meeting in November.
   Happenstance changed those plans in August when Jerry Mac, president and founder of the BonTex Records, stumbled upon Sergeant Brade's Web site,, and listened to some of the tracks on the site.
"I was very impressed with the quality of his music," the 48-year music industry veteran said, commenting on the traditional style of Sergeant Brade's music and its appeal to the label. "The young man is so talented, and he's a good-looking kid. That's important these days." But according to Mr. Mac, talent and looks aren't the only traits that can make or break a musician's career. He said good work ethics, dependability and ambition are key qualities to have. So, he contacted Sergeant Brade to learn more about him. After finding out about his military career and the zealous moves he and his manager, Tech. Sgt. Jeff Daws at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., have taken to further his music career, Mr. Mac offered him a home with the Pennsylvania-based independent label.
   When September rolled around, Sergeant Brade and Mr. Mac hadn't finalized the deal, but the singer/songwriter was still making breakthroughs. His voice carried him through the 2004 Falls Fest Idol competition and won him a gig as the opening act for country star Josh Turner at Falls Fest, in which he sang Rhett Akins' "She Said Yes" and Brian McKomas' "99.9 Percent Sure" to a 3,500-member audience..
"He did have stiff competition," said Kande Brown, 92.9 NIN on-air personality and Idol judge. "He just [sang] a little better, and he was a little more polished than the rest."
   Sergeant Brade became an official member of BonTex Records and in October. Since then, he's been sprinting toward success. In the beginning of December, he spent 22 hours in Awesome Works Recording studio in Holland, Texas, where Texas band Cross Canadian Ragweed recorded, recording "Ladder of Love" and the rhythm section for his second album.
The new CD, which is taking out $7,200 of lining from his manager's pockets, has 10 tracks. Only two of the songs were composed by other musicians, "Hell Only Knows" by Donald Wagner and the much-promoted single. Sergeants Daws and Brade authored the rest. His first album features four of the songs that are on the second, but the songs are shaped differently and take on different sounds for the currently unreleased album. Brian Meadors lent his finger picking, strumming and vocals, Danny Theile laid the bass line, Chad Brade, Sergeant Brade's cousin, provided the taps, crashes and bangs of the drum and Steve Palousek twanged the steel guitar for the album. The master copies are finished and tweaked. Now, Sergeant Brade is perfecting the artwork and design with the help of his wife, Karen. As soon as they submit everything to Disc Makers, a distribution company based out of California, the company will manufacture the CDs. Sergeant Brade said he hopes they will be ready for release by the end of this month. He's already submitted copies of the single to several radio stations across Texas. KTEX 106.1, a country station that reaches Sergeant Brade's hometown of Giddings, held an interview with him in December, which featured "Ladder of Love" and "In the Name of Love," a song from his first album.
   KTEX listeners now make a total of three to five requests a week to hear one of Sergeant Brade's music, Mike Austin, the station's imaging director, said.
"I really like his music," Mr. Austin said. "He's an excellent artist, he's got original stuff and he sounds good, so we play it."
   He also did a radio interview with KRXT 98.5 in Rockdale, Texas.
Sergeant Brade said he plans to market himself, along with Jerry Mac's help, to as many Texas stations as possible. His goal is to make the Texas Music Chart, a goal that requires 250 spins, or songs played, throughout Texas a week. "I think he'll fare well," Mr. Austin said.
   With a growing music career comes growing demands. Sergeant Brade said he performs about once a weekend, whether it's a solo performance with just his guitar, a radio interview, or a full set with his new band, Highway South, a band that hopes to open for Merle Haggard in Midland/Odessa, Texas.
   He said he understands it's demanding more of him, and his output in the pursuit of his dream has caused a decrease of energy toward other aspects of his life. His energy shift hasn't affected his military day-to-day job, but he admitted that he hasn't studied for his promotion test. He also took a semester off of school.
However, he said his wife, Karen, and two daughters, Taylor and Makenzie, are paying the highest toll.
   "I'm hardly at home, and when I am home, I'm returning phone calls I missed during the day until about 11:30 p.m.," the singer said, averting his eyes, seemingly hiding tension's tinge. "It's getting a little tough."
   But, he said he'll strive for balance and work to include his family as much as possible, even though sometimes they can't make performances.
As for his military career, he still has four years left in his current enlistment. He said if he becomes successful in music, he'd like to transfer into a Reserve unit, but until then, he'll keep practicing his skills at another unexpected talent he needs to have a music career: juggling.

For more on Chris, click here.

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