Editor’s note: In a recent message to followers and fans, Rick Norcross, whose name is synonymous with Vermont Western Swing music, had some good news to share from the Academy of Western Swing Artists. Norcross and his All-Star Ramblers band are among five finalist nominees for the 22nd annual Will Rogers Awards. Here is an excerpt from Norcross.
by Rick Norcross
I was (pleasantly) stunned to learn that Rick & The All-Star Ramblers have been nominated by Western Swing DJs from around the world as one of five finalists in two categories: Western Swing Album of the Year for “Welcome to OUR Vermont/2” and (out of more than 50 other bands) as one of the five finalists for Western Swing Duo/Group of the Year.
This is a big deal to us for several reasons. First, we were in competition with some top-quality bands, most performing on a national basis on major labels. And second, because this is not a fan-appreciation contest. It is judged by professionals in the music business who play and appreciate quality Western Swing Music. I am very proud of this band for even being in the running for these awards, let alone reaching the final five in these two top categories.
I am particularly proud that our “Welcome to OUR Vermont/2” album made the cut. I wrote all but one of the 14 songs on this album which are all Vermont story songs presented as a musical tour of Vermont. As a finalist, this CD will enjoy extensive airplay all over the world as the award ceremony approaches.
In the initial round, the band was nominated for honors in three categories with eight total nominations: We received early nominations for Western Swing Duo/Group of the Year, Western Swing Album of the Year – “Green Mountain Standard Time,” Western Swing Album of the Year – “Welcome To OUR Vermont/2,” Western Swing Song of the Year (multiple nominations) for “Texoma Bound,” “Here’s Yer Hat, What’s Yer Hurry,” and “I Love Western Swing;” and a Best Male Vocalist nomination for me.
The 22nd annual Will Rogers Awards ceremony is March 15 in Fort Worth, Texas, the cradle of Western Swing music. The Ramblers brought home Western Swing Song of the Year honors in 2015 for “You Can’t Make It Up” and were finalists for Western Swing Duo/Group of the Year in 2014.
We are Fort Worth bound. Stay tuned! More good news to come. —Rambler Rick