Karen Kraft Wins Showdown

By Paul Moffett

Karen Kraft won the Kentucky State fmals of the True Value/Coca Cola Country Showdown, picking up a check for $1,000. She will also advance to the regionals, which will be held in Greenville, S. C., on November 6.

There has to be more than a little touch of irony in the fact. that the Kentucky State Finals of the True Value/Coca Cola Country Showdown were held at the Village Pub, the largest country music nightclub in Southern Indiana.

Irony notwithstanding, the event went off as planned, with a strong array of talent from around Kentucky, followed by a concert by the up-and-coming country artist, Tim McGraw. A set of country music judges, including a Curb Records executive, was on hand to judge the event. On-air personalities Bruce Logan and JoLynn Ladner from WHKW served as emcees for the night.

Five performers who entered as solo artists opened the competition, backed by most of the band Wild Horses. Alan Cox, John Crosby, Greg Strode, Connie Sheffer and Marty Ford. All took their turn at the microphone, performing mostly covers of current country hits, with the occasional exception. Greg Strode did an original tune call "Bar Blood," a rocking little ditty about an untameable horse named Bar.

Three bands closed out the competition. Local country stalwart Karen Kraft got the transition spot, backed by her regular band Kiks. Silverado followed her performance and Wildwood, a four-man band from Glasgow, finished up.

Curb Records artist Tim McGraw mounted the stage next and did about an hour and a half of uptempo country songs that impressed Kamran Javid, manager of the Village Pub.

The winner was announced after McGraw's show.