Back in December, we announced the fun news that Ram Trucks would be hosting its first-ever "Battle of the Bands" event--a competition designed to discover the next big thing in country music.
Hundreds of amateur country artists took on the challenge and entered the contest, uploading their music videos to Ram's Facebook page for folks to view and vote on. By mid-February, the top 10 vote-getters were identified, and these lucky musicians then went on to Round Two, where a panel of Ram judges selected the very best two vids out of the bunch.
I'm happy to introduce the fab finalists to all of you--they are Justine Blazer and the Natalie Turgeon Band. They'll be playing live at the Rodeo Austin this Sunday, March 20, before yet another panel of judges, who will determine the ultimate winner. (Oh, did I mention--I'm actually one of those judges? Well, hey, I am!)
I thought you'd like to get to know these talented finalists a little better, so I had them answer a few questions about their lives, music, influences, and favorite things. I'm also including each artist's winning video for you to check out...feel free to let me know what you think!
Our Country: Introduce yourself/your band. Where are you from? Where do you live? How did you get started in music? How long have you been playing?
Natalie Turgeon: I am Natalie Turgeon. I am from, and still live in a little town called Penacook, New Hampshire. I started singing in my church at 14, and started doing a few things like New Hampshire Idol in 2005.
OC: What are your favorite country artists/influences?
NT: Martina McBride, Reba McEntire, Miranda Lambert, and Carrie Underwood.
OC: What do you listen to besides country music?
NT: I listen to classic rock...well, I listen to everything...even a little hip-hop and R&B too.
OC: What band or artist (living or dead) would you most like to open up for on tour--or have open for you?
NT: That's a hard one. There are so many good people... Martina McBride, she is very real, down to earth, genuine and talented! I would love to be a part of that experience!
OC: What's your dream goal in five years? Ten years? Your ultimate goal as a musician?
NT: Five years--Doing world tours and being signed to a great label. Ten years--I would like to be working on at least my fifth album...and living somewhere warm!Ultimate goal? Make music my life! My career forever!
OC: What made you decide to join Ram's Battle of the Bands contest? Did anything in particular spark you to go for it?
NT: I heard about it, and told the band--and we all got fired up and decided to go for it! It was a mixture between a surprise and finding something I have been waiting for. I was waiting for something big and exciting to come along, but didn't know where and when I was going to find it. At the same time, it was a very big surprise.
OC: How did you feel when you discovered you were a finalist in the contest?
NT: Oh my gosh! Overwhelmed...extreme excitement and happiness. I couldn't wait to tell everyone!
OC: What instruments do you play?
NT: I have played piano since I was 4.
OC: Tell us something funny, crazy, unusual, or unique about yourself that will make Ram Country users never forget you.
NT: I don't think we have anything crazy yet. We are very laid-back, and all about having a good time with what we have and where we are at. Our music is cool because people who really like rock and people who really like country can enjoy our music. I think anyone can relate to our songs in their own way.
I'll be reporting next week with all the details on this event, including an interview with the ultimate winner--so be sure to come back for the news!
As always, be sure to: