From an Outlaw Country 107.5 news release
The first round of this year’s Texaco Country Showdown was a close race as usual, with first place going to the local group Santa Fe Crossroads. The band will move on to represent Santa Fe at the New Mexico state showdown, September 22 at Route 66 Casino Hotel in Albuquerque.
Ten contestants participated in the local competition, which took place at Camel Rock Casino on Aug. 18. The judges panel awarded second place to duo JAlee from Albuquerque; and third place to Robert Martinez of Stanley, NM. In addition to his third place accolade, Martinez told host Uncle Jesse of KQBA-FM that he had recently auditioned for NBC's "The Voice" but was still waiting to hear if he made the cut.
The judges for this year’s competition were Rand E. Cook, professional musician and owner of Candyman Strings and Things; Stephanie Hatfield, Frogville recording artist and professional voice instructor; Jono Manson, one of Santa Fe’s most esteemed performers, as well as a Grammy-winning producer; and Steve Terrell, a high-profile music columnist, blogger, and radio host.
“The judging process was agonizing, but in the end I think it was Santa Fe Crossroads’ original song which got them the top score," said Hatfield. "It was a close race.”
Radio station 107.5 Outlaw Country hosted the local competition and program director Chris Diestler said the contestant roster carried more singers than in past years. “Maybe it was because Albuquerque didn’t host a local showdown this year, but we had entries from all over the state.”
Learn more about the Texaco Country Showdown.