by Lorie Lewis Ham
Recently Hanford band Poor Mans Poisons won the title of best new act in country music at the prestigious Texaco Country Showdown in Nashville, Tennessee with a prize of $100,000. They were chosen as the best of five finalists by an accomplished panel of judges. Past participants in this contest include superstars Garth Brooks, Brad Paisley, and Martina McBride.
So we at KRL decided it was time to touch base with PMP! Though we have done a profile on them in the past, I asked them to share some more basic info about themselves as well as an update, for those who have not read the profile.
Lorie: Share with us just a brief history of the band, who is in it, what they play/part they sing?
PMP: PMP began in the summer of 2009. Three of the four current members were in a very popular and on the rise punk band called Done for Good, when at the time drummer now upright bass player Dustin Medieros was diagnosed with tinnitus and unable to play the loud heavy style of Punk Rock. Due to this, Done for Good was “done for good” :). Shortly after Done for Good split, lead vocalist Ryan Hakker got with Mike Jacob (guitar vox) and began working on a acoustic project. Former Done for Good guitarist Tommy McCarthy Jr. borrowed a mandolin, and Dustin an upright bass, and they began jamming on Dustin’s back porch with Mike & Ryan. Thus became Poor Man’s Poison. They completed writing their debut album in less than 30 days and the rest is still evolving in front of our eyes. Amazing to see how far we have come. Members: Ryan Hakker–guitar/vox, Tommy McCarthy Jr.–mandolin/vox, Dustin Medieros–upright bass/vox, Mike Jacobs–guitar/vox.
Lorie: What style of music do you play? Is it all original songs?
PMP: An Acoustic Americana/Country rock. Yes, it is all original songs.
Lorie: How many CD/EP’s do you have out?
PMP: Three full length albums and 13 song ep.–you can find them all on our website www.poormanspoison.com or on i-Tunes/Amazon.
Lorie: Are you all from Hanford?
PMP: Yes. Not all of us were born there, but we grew up in Hanford.
Lorie: How did you end up going to this competition in Nashville?
PMP: There is a silent 5th member to PMP, our manager Doug Archer, who began helping us back in November 2009. He handles a large part of our business and provides all of our bookings. The Showdown was just another opportunity he submitted us too, with the hopes of getting our name out there and honestly to see how well we would be received out of our home area.
Lorie: What was the competition like? Share with us the process from start to finish.
PMP: Amazing–our first round was a selection process. Doug submitted us thru a radio station completion. We were then selected to perform live in Santa Clarita, competing against the other finalist. We won that round which took us to the State round at Knottsberry Farm, another live “sing off”. Winning that round earned us $1000 and a spot in the Regional Finals in Coos Bay, Oregon. We won in Oregon, which then earned us a paid trip to Nashville to film and compete for the finals. The show will be aired locally March 16 on ABC.
Lorie: How did it feel being a part of this competition? Was it at all scary? Exciting?
PMP: At first our expectations were kinda low, but once we kept moving on it became very exciting, Once we got advanced to Oregon it became very real and in a way scary. At this point we were overwhelmed with how everyone, including judges and the others musicians, were receiving us and our music, and began to see that we actually had a good chance of winning this thing. When honestly in the beginning we didn’t think we would make it thru the first round.
Lorie: What exactly did you win?
PMP: We won a cash prize of $100,000.00 and title “best new act” in Country music. A lot of people are under the impression that there was a record contract involved, but there was not. This was strictly cash prize with a title.
Lorie: Do you all have day jobs? Will this win change that?
PMP: We do all have jobs; it’s not gonna change yet but hopefully accelerate the process.
Lorie: How is this going to affect the future of Poor Man’s Poison? What’s up next?
PMP: We already had tons of momentum heading into 2013, with shows in Japan, GTMO Cuba, a lot of Music Festivals in California including the CMA Fan Fest in Nashville, and a 10 day UK tour planned for July. The money from the show is going to allow us to grow our business more which will have a huge impact on the future of PMP.
Lorie: Where can people come see you play next?
PMP: Visit our website for all upcoming shows.
Lorie: Anything else you would like to share?
PMP: We want to thank our families/friends and fans for all their support. We had over 60 people from the Central Valley fly out in support for the finals in Nashville, not to mention all the local support we have been given consistently over the last few years.
Poor Man’s Poison will be performing with Special Guest Friday, Feb 22 in Frank’s Place, The Fresno Folklore Society is proud to present Poor Man’s Poison, the winner of the “2012 Texaco Country Showdown Grand Prize”, in Frank’s Place at the Historic Warnor’s Center for the Performing Arts in Fresno, $15 ADV/FFS $20 door.