BREMEN, Ala. – The Top 9 Smith Lake Idol contestants will perform tonight at 8 p.m. at Rooster’s Corner. The inaugural Smith Lake Idol contest has been entertaining residents since late June, thanks to Patrick “Kat Daddy” Watson, Drew “Rooster” McClendon and Smith Lake Productions’ Kris and Kelly Eddins.
The Tribune reached out to the contest’s Top 6 contestants: Josh Wade, Meghan Grenaway, Johnathan Ralph, Cody Hallford, Shawn Travis and Jake Mann. All but Grenaway and Hallford were available.
“I was born and raised in Cullman County and graduated from Fairview High School in 2008. I always wanted to sing and play guitar, but I was always so nervous talking in front of a crowd, much less singing in front of one, so it took me till I was 20 years old to finally decide to buy my first guitar, which was a $75 Silverstone I found at Wal-Mart, and start learning. Luckily my younger brother Drew Knop and neighbor Brady Harris had been learning as well so they showed me a few chords and got me going. I stayed up and played for eight hours straight until I could play ‘These Boots’ by Eric Church, then I just kept playing and learning songs and finally started writing some of my own.
“My brother, our buddy Casey Massey and I got together and started playing gigs around Cullman, Arab, Guntersville, Huntsville and also private parties and wedding parties and such and we went by ‘The Coleman Brothers.’ Playing music has always been a passion of mine, and being in the band was fun, but life happened and we had to take a break from playing. It had been almost two years since we had played when my fiancé Elizabeth seen on Facebook that they were having auditions for Smith Lake Idol. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to try out, but she talked me into it and I’m sure glad she did. I never thought I would have made it this far, but it has been such a fun experience and there are so many talented folks that are in this.”
If he wins?
“If I do win then I’m not sure what will come of it, but hopefully it will get me playing around town and stuff again or maybe even get the old band back together, but in the meantime, I’ll just keep on keeping on and may the best man or lady win!”
“My sister-in-law sent it to me on Facebook and figured it would be fun and that I could showcase my talent. I’m from Double Springs, Alabama. I currently live in Jasper. I’ve been singing my whole life. My wife and I currently travel with my worship band Grace Multiplied. I also lead worship at Fairview Christian Church. So singing is second nature and I figured it would be fun to do something like this.”
What will he do if he wins?
“Going to Disney World! For real, just keep on doing what I’m doing and hope that this event will open some doors to further my music career.”
He laughed, “I have a hard time remembering lyrics, so sometimes I have someone in the crowd mouthing lyrics to me. Also, my wife and I are avid outdoorsmen. We love hunting, fishing, hiking, and camping.”
“Well my friend told me about it, I’m from a lot of places due to foster care and I perform to show the gift God has given me. If I win, I’ll put it up in my savings account and never stop singing. Well, I wheeze and I’m always the life of the party.”
“Honestly, I didn’t even know Smith Lake Idol was a thing until I kept getting tagged over and over by people on Facebook wanting me to audition for it. I don’t get involved with a lot of competitions like this, but with several wanting me to do it I decided to give it a shot. I’m glad I did because, man, this thing has been a lot of fun so far! I am originally from Crane Hill, which is just right up the road from Rooster’s Corner, but I live in Hartselle now. I have been a singer, songwriter and musician for years, I have played on stages of all sizes ranging from the Rock the South in 2015 to playing on a small stage at local festivals. I love music and enjoy being able to provide live music, karaoke or a DJ for any event or venue in need.”
If he wins?
“If I win Smith Lake Idol, the main plan is to take the prize money and put it toward a trip to the beach for my family as well as some other immediate family.”
He joked, “We may have our own competition to see who gets to go.”
“I love music with everything in me and I always thought that there would never be anything that could make me happier, but that all changed when I got married and started my little family. I am a husband and father of three beautiful children, two boys Mason and Damon who are 6 and 3 and my little girl Amelia who will be 2 in September.”
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