From the naming of the winners of the eight categories of awards, to the selection of great Wintertainers™ who performed in the show, the Valley Star Awards held Wednesday, February 15, was a great success. Chris Marshall, a local musician who performs by himself and with well-known group The Bottomline Band, acted as emcee for the event held at Mission Bell-Tradewinds RV Resort.
Entertainers who had not been here for several years are making their way back to the Valley. And Winter Texans are returning to the entertainment venues in big numbers. The result was a group of happy Winter Texans enjoying some great Wintertainers™ this season.
First up in the entertainment line-up was Redneck Revival featuring Alta and Bob Courtney, who started with an original song, "I Don't Live Up North Anymore." It told of the pains of shoveling snow in cold weather, and other problems with living up north that Winter Texans could understand – and a big reason why they come to the Valley during those harsh winter months.
Bob followed with "It's A Wonderful World,” sung in a Louie Armstrong raspy voice. "Kawlija," the wooden Indian was next in their song list, although some of the words were changed a bit to make the song more entertaining to Winter Texans. But the funniest of the songs was the "Chicken Song." Bob sang about having chicken for Sunday dinner. While he sang Alta donned a chicken mask and clucked in appropriate clucking sounds to the words he sang. The combination left the audience in stitches.
Following their act, the first two awards were announced. Vocal Group of the Year went to Razz-Ma-Tazz, a choral performing group from Nikki Rowe High School in McAllen.
Novelty Comedy Act of the Year went to "Festus Lives Again."
The next Wintertainer™ to perform was Regan James, who sang a number of Alan Jackson songs including "Don't Rock the Jukebox," "Livin' on Love" and "Chattahoochee."
The next award, Duet Musical of the Year, went to Diego and Edith, local entertainers from the Rio Grande Valley.
The award for Individual Small Band of the Year went to Ron Moshier, a Wintertainer™ who has returned to the Valley after an absence of several years. Judging from the cheers that went up in the audience when the announcement was made, many of his fans were there.
Winnie Brave, made up of Amy and Brad Mclssac of Alberta, Canada, were next to perform. The name Winnie Brave comes from the fact they did all their traveling in on older Winnebago camper when they first started touring Canada and the US.
"You really have to love someone to live together in something that small for long periods of time," quipped Chris.
Their act consisted of comedy mixed with songs like, "Good-Hearted Woman," "Ode to Billie Jo," and "I Will Always Love You."
Entertainer Ron Moshier returned to stage to perform a one-man show with keyboard and an accordion. Songs included "Wagon Wheel," and "16th Avenue." Others included "Pretty Woman," and "Hey Baby Que Paso?" When he played "Let's Do the Twist," many in the audience got up to dance.
The award for Rock N Roll Band of the Year went to The Cruisers, a local band popular with Winter Texans for many years. It was accepted by Manuel Saenz.
The award for Country Band of the Year went to Steven May and the Southern Knights. May is another local performer who has only been entertaining Winter Texans for two years. Judging from the enthusiastic response when his name was called, he has become very popular in a very short time.
The Award for Female vocalist of the year went to Naomi Bristol, who wasn’t present, but entertains Winter Texans throughout the month of January.
The award for Male Vocalist of the Year went to Diego of Diego and Edith. Diego was ecstatic in accepting the award thanking the audience and telling them he had waited many years for this honor.
Jason Whorlow, known as the Piano Man, opened his entertainment with "House of the Rising Sun." he was then joined by his two daughters. Brianna sang "Brand New Key," a song about roller skates, while Amelia belted out a Lady Gaga song, "Shallow."
The final performance was Nu-Blu, a country quartet rapidly becoming well known throughout the country as Daniel and Caroline Routh now co-host "Bluegrass Ridge" a syndicated bluegrass show seen all over America. They are joined in the quartet by Austin Hefflefinger and Justin Harrison.
The group played an original instrumental, "I Know You Ain't Coming Back," and a tribute to veterans, "640 Battlefield Drive."
The final award for Entertainer of the Year went to Ron Moshier to the delight of his many fans.
The 2024 Valley Star Awards is scheduled for February 21, 2024. As usual, it’s going to be a show you don’t want to miss. Where else can you get six great entertainers at such a small price?