Matthews, Mo., teen moves on in country showdown contest

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

SIKESTON, Mo. -- The winner of this year's local Colgate Country Showdown is chasing his dream as he prepares for the next step in the largest country music talent search in America.

Kevin Harbison, 16, of Matthews, took first prize Friday at the Double Nickel 2, according to Joe Bill Davis, station manager at B97.9 which sponsored the event. Harbison is now slated to compete in the South Missouri State Show Aug. 3 at the Tan-Tar-A Resort in Osage Beach.

"Kevin had competed in last year's Showdown and this year his voice was so much stronger. He really did a fantastic job. I look for him to do very well in the state finals," Davis said.

After the state finals, five regional winners will then go to finals in Nashville, Tenn., where they will compete for the title, a $100,000 grand prize, "and probably a recording contract," Davis said.

Friday's contest consisted of three rounds beginning with 20 contestants.

"In the first round I sang 'Fall' by Clay Walker," Harbison recalled. "For the second round, I chose 'Neon Moon' by Brooks & Dunn and my third song was 'Believe' by Brooks & Dunn."

While Brooks & Dunn are among his favorite artists, the top spot on Harbison's list goes to Patsy Cline.

In addition to making it to the next level in the Colgate Showdown contest, Harbison was also recently selected to participate in the Country Music Association's 2008 Music City Rising Star Youth Vocal Competition in Nashville.

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