The "Texaco Country Showdown " talent search returns to Nashville this month with singing star Jewel  as the show’s host. The 31st annual country music extravaganza will be taped on Thursday, January 17, at the legendary Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. Texaco Country Showdown is the nation's largest country music talent competition.
Local band Poor Man’s Poison, hailing from Hanford, California is one of the competing finalists. They were sponsored for the contest by KHTS AM-1220, and performed last summer on August 4, 2012 at Santa Clarita's "Concerts in the Park" to qualify. After the Santa Clarita win, the band went on to win further rounds in the competition at Knott's Berry Farm, the California state finals, and the regional finals in Oregon on the way to their trip to Nashville as one of the five finalists.
Poor Man's Poison , which includes members Ryan Hakker, Dustin Medeiros, Mike Jacobs, and Tommy McCarthy have just released a new album, “Live At The Fox," and their earlier albums include “Friends With The Enemy” (2011) and “Poor Man’s Poison” (2009). Learn more about Poor Man's Poison .
Jewel, the noted songwriter and actress, will host and perform at the one-hour television finale. Country Music Hall of Famer Charlie McCoy also returns to lead the Showdown band.
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The Texaco Country Showdown is a year-long talent competition in which some 50,000 performers participate in over 450 local talent shows produced by country music radio stations across the nation. Local winners advance to State and Regional Showdowns to vie for five National Finalists slots. This year’s National Finalists  will compete for the title, “Best New Act in Country Music” and an accompanying $100,000 prize.
Past local, state and regional winners include Garth Brooks, Martina McBride, Sarah Evans, Miranda Lambert , Brad Paisley , Neal McCoy, and Billy Ray Cyrus. The show’s former hosts have included Willie Nelson, LeAnn Rimes, Reba McEntire, Miley Cyrus , Barbara Mandrell, and Loretta Lynn.
In addition to Poor Man's Poison, this year’s other finalists are acoustic guitarists-singers Kate and Corey (Northeast region), the Brothers Roberson (Midwest region), Texas 20 year-old Deidre Thornell (Southeast region), husband and wife duo Kassie and Ben Wilson (Southwest region), and bluegrass artists Poor Man's Poison (West region).
This year’s Showdown judges include Victoria Shaw (two-time Emmy Award-winning songwriter-producer), Pete Fisher (General Manager of the Grand Ole Opry), John Ozier (Vice President of A&R for Curb Records), Rod Essig (Vice President of Creative Artists Agency Nashville), and Lisa Ramsey-Perkins (Senior Director of A&R for Sony Music Nashville).
The show will air in the United States in March and April 2013. (Check your local listings for broadcast times and dates in the SCV area.) For more details, visit www.texacocountryshowdown.com .
In addition, Poor Man's Poison are set to perform again in Santa Clarita at a special Concerts in the Park performance put on by the City of Santa Clarita, and produced by KHTS AM-1220. Poor Man's Poison are the headlining act, and our local 2013 finalists for the Showdown will appear as well. The free concert is currently slated for Saturday, July 13, 2013.
Lineup of the National Final. 
Photos of the local Showdown .
Source: Newsroom 
Author: Kevin Kelton