Reviewed by Harry Kaplan
This is the eleventh of 12 installments reviewing nominees in each category of Dale Watson’s 2017 Ameripolitan Music Awards. Voting is now over for this year’s batch of nominees but we will carry on with the review until the event on February 15, 2017 with a look today at this year’s Western Swing Female nominees.
Stacey Lee Guse began singing before she could talk. Ever since then her life has been grounded in the music business. She is a sought after session vocalist for lead and backing vocals alike at studios throughout Canada. Her quick, accurate and creative touches have been included on several live stages, artist albums, radio and tv jingles and publishing demos. She has performed on country, christian and easy listening stations all across North America. She also sings for the Western Swing Authority, which is nominated under the Western Swing Group category.
Carolyn Sills is a singer and bass player living in Santa Cruz, CA. She writes and performs original music influenced by classic jazz, western and pop songs. She heads up the dark blues and rock n’ roll twang trio Boss Tweed, performs the music of Patsy Cline and 50’s torch singers, and dons a beard, bass and sombrero in the instrumental Surf-Spaghetti Western combo Los Beardos Ravilois. She also fronts the Carolyn Sills Combo, which is also nominated under the Western Swing Group category.
Texas-bred musical powerhouse, Kristyn Harris, is noted for her shimmering vocals, solid swing rhythm guitar style, unique songwriting, award winning yodel, and captivating stage presence. At 22 years, she is the youngest person in history to be awarded the Western Music Association Entertainer of the Year (2016) and only the 2nd woman to have received this honor. She is also a 2-time recipient of the WMA Female Performer of the Year (2014, 2015), and was named the 2013 Academy of Western Artists Female Vocalist of the Year. Her singing has been praised as “timeless” with “the warmth and power of Texas sunshine”.
Mikki Daniel has lived all her life on a small ranch in Texas and is a true cowgirl from the tips of her bullhide cowboy boots to the top of her worn out, white felt cowboy hat. Her young resume includes singing, playing multiple instruments, songwriting, writing historical fiction novels and horse training. Her favorite activities are playing and singing Western music, riding her horses Trigger and Sissy, training horses, writing, and hunting.
Wendy Newcomer is a singer/songwriter originally from Asheboro, North Carolina, currently living in Nashville, Tennessee. Her latest self-titled CD features original songs influenced by heroes including Emmylou Harris, Loretta Lynn, Patty Loveless, Guy Clark and Tom Petty; and interpretations of songs by some of her favorite writers. She made her Grand Ole Opry debut in 2000 and released her debut EP, Raised On Promises, in 2004. Newcomer performs around the country on solo dates and with the band 50 Shades of Hay; is a demo and session singer; and has also recorded regional voiceovers and jingles.
The Western Swing Female category features an incredibly talented roster from the very young to the more experienced performers. All of these women are worthy of the crown.