By Ryan Gueningsman
There are only about three weeks left until Winstock '98.
There is a great line-up booked this year including headliners Neal McCoy and Pam Tillis. Each week building up to the show I will be profiling three artists that will be performing. This week I've chosen Michael Peterson, Ricochet, and Neal McCoy. These three will be here Friday, June 12.
While reading Michael's biography, I've noticed one thing, and that is he really loves and appreciates music. Peterson said that if there was one thing he would like people to know about him. lt would be the music. He considers music his friend, entertainment, comfort, and encouragement.
Michael was born in Tucson, Arizona, and was raised in eastern Washington. When he was young his hobbies included hanging with friends and playing sports.
Michael credits his grandmother for introducing him to music greats such as Cole Porter and Roger Miller. During high school, he played football and participated in musical activities. Doing this earned him a college scholarship at Pacific Lutheran University.
Eventually he had to decide between music and football. He chose football, and for 22 years was the starting left tackle. His team also won the National Championship.
After a friend's persuasion, he decided to travel to Nashville. He ended up going back and forth for nearly 2 years. In doing this, he met two writers, Josh Leo and R.E. Orrall, who later produced his first album, "Michael Peterson." Between October, 1995 and June, 1996 he wrote more then 70 songs. He wrote or co-wrote 10 of the 11 songs on his album.
He has already released several great songs off his first album including "Drink, Swear, Steal, and Lie," "From Here to Eternity," and "Too Good To Be True."
Michael lives trying to fulfill this goal: "I just want to be the kind of man my dog thinks I am. He thinks I am great". Look for many more hits from this new country music sensation.
Ricochet has already made their debut in Winsted performing at Winstock '96. They enjoyed it so much that they wanted more Ricochet is also a relatively new group to the country music scene.
They released their first album in1996, titled Ricochet. This album produced several hits such as "What Do I Know," "Daddy's Money," and "I Can't Dance". Before they struck it big, they played endless shows between Texas, California, and Missouri.
Lead singer Heath Wright said "Our intention from the start was to build a band that would be a recording act eventually, and be one entity in and of itself."
All of the band's six members share similar backrounds the small town life. The band formed in 1994 adding the final member, a steel player, and vocalist whose name was Teddy Carr.
Ricochet released a second album titled "Blink Of An Eye," in early 1997. Look for continued success of Ricochet as they produce more great harmonizing music.
Ricochet is: Heath Wright, Eddie Kilgallon, Junior Bryant, Jeff Bryant, Greg Cook, and Teddy Carr.
Neal McCoy was born on July 30. He is half Filipino and half Irish. He was born and raised in Jackson, Texas, and now currently resides in Longview, Texas.
McCoy has been singing all of his life. After growing up, he started to sing in clubs and at private functions. He later entered a contest in Dallas for country music talent. He won the contest and that led to a meeting with legendary singer Charley Pride and his wife Rozene. He toured and opened shows for Pride for seven years.
The rest is all history. After releasing seven albums and having numerous top 10 hits including most recently "The Shake," Neal is already a top country singer.