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"Jason Eustice wins the Colgate Country Showdown Kentucky State Final"

Nashville, Tennessee, August 15, 2005 — After a tough round of competition, former Clarion, Pa native, Jason Eustice of Louisville Kentucky, walked away from the 25th Annual Colgate Country Showdown Kentucky State Final with the state title and $1,000 in prize money. The Eastern Kentucky State Fair in Prestonsburg showcased nine acts – who had won a local contest sponsored by radio stations throughout Kentucky – enabling each to perform at the state level competition of America’s largest country music talent search.

WAMZ of Louisville, KY sponsored the local competition where Eustice won prior to Saturday’s state level triumph. Being immersed in music from a very young age, he has dabbled in almost every avenue of the industry. Every Wednesday at Hot Country Night in Louisville, recording artists perform free concerts where Eustice recently opened for Drunker Than Me singer Trent Tomlinson. He has performed at various songwriters’ nights at the famed Bluebird Café, The Commodore and Tin Pan South Trent Tomlinson, Lonestar’s Richie McDonald, Anthony Smith and Frank Myers. Advancing through the first round of cuts at Nashville Star last year, he’s been successful with songwriting and will be signing a publishing deal. He has also been co-writing with McDonald for the past year and a half. In Saturday’s competition, he displayed a multitude of talents with two original pieces – This Ain’t No Country Act and You’re One of Us. According to Eustice, “There’s no use in trying to be like someone else.”

Eustice will compete in the Northeast Regional at the Wheeling Island Racetrack & Gaming Resort in Wheeling, West Virginia on October 14th to determining if he will advance to the National Final. The five regional winners from across the country will receive an all expense-paid trip to the National Final to compete for $100,000 and the coveted national title of Best New Act in Country Music. The National Final will be televised nationally in March and April 2007.
Throughout all four levels – local, state, regional and national – of competition a uniform judging system is used. The 1-10 point scoring system is used for the following categories: Marketability in Country Music, Vocal/Instrumental Ability, Originality of Performance; Stage Presence/Charisma and Talent with bonus points for song writing.

Colgate-Palmolive is a leading global consumer-products company tightly focused on Oral Care, Personal Care, Household Surface Care, Fabric Care and Pet Nutrition. In the U.S., Colgate sells its quality products under such nationally recognized brand names as Colgate, Palmolive, Mennen, Ajax, Irish Spring, Softsoap, Murphy Oil Soap, Ultra Brite and Fab.

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- Colgate Country Showdown- Erin Burr

"Former Seneca man hopes for show biz break"

Former Seneca man hopes for show biz break

Jason Eustice sings one of his original compositions during his winning performance at the Kentucky state final of the Colgate Country Showdown. The event was held at the Eastern Kentucky State Fair in Prestonsburg, Ky. Eustice beat out eight other acts to advance to regional competition.

With only two more rounds left in the Colgate Country Showdown, a former Seneca man is one step closer to getting his big break.

Jason Eustice, a singer/songwriter who is living in the Louisville, Ky., and Nashville, Tenn., areas with his wife, Diane, recently competed in the 25th annual Colgate Country Showdown Kentucky State Final. He walked away with the state title, $1,000 in prize money and a chance to compete in the regional finals.

The annual showdown is known as America's largest country music talent search. In years past, artists such as Garth Brooks, Sara Evans and Martina McBride have competed.

It begins each spring with more than 450 local talent contests sponsored by country radio stations throughout the U.S. Winners advance to state events to compete for five regional finals.

The five regional winners then compete for a grand prize of $100,000 and the national title of "Best New Act in Country Music."

Eustice's journey from Seneca to Nashville and his love of music began early in life. Eustice, the son of Edith Eustice of Seneca and the late Jimmy Eustice, graduated in 1990 from Cranberry High School and earned his bachelor's degree in finance in 1994 from Clarion University.

Eustice was in chorus and a couple of plays during his years at Cranberry, but he thinks his musical skills advanced further in college. He has played guitar all his life and took vocal lessons at Clarion.

He moved to his dream city, Nashville, in 1995.

Eustice's family members are no strangers to music. His late father was in several country bands locally in the 1960s and early '70s. The younger Eustice said his father also had his sights set on Nashville.

His mother plays the piano and sings. His nephew, Chris Kirkpatrick, who formerly lived in Clarion, was a member of the boy band 'N Sync and now is part of the band Nigels 11. Eustice's sister, Marcy, is the lead singer with a blues rock band, Strange Brew, in Pittsburgh. And his brother, Richard, and Richard's son, Joel, both have their own bands and perform in the Clarion area.

Eustice has played and sang at many area locales, including the Yellow Dog Lantern in Oil City, where his mother works; the Monarch Park Cafe, Transit Arts Center and Justus Park, all in Oil City, and Bandstand Park in Franklin. More recently, he performed during this year's Oil Heritage Festival at various events and at Kate's Lounge in the Arlington Hotel, formerly the Holiday Inn, where Eustice also has played in the past. He also performed recently in Foxburg.

Back in Nashville, Eustice has a full-time job writing songs and making demos.

"I'm just trying to make a go at it," said Eustice. "I'm not making much money, but you've got to put your time in."

He also performs around the Louisville area.

"I sing at a coffee shop down the road from where I live," Eustice said. "Recently, I played at the Hot Country Nights on Fourth Street in downtown Louisville, with MacDaddy's. We opened for Trent Tomlinson. A new Marriott was just built and I'll be playing in the lounge there, as well."

WAMZ, a radio station in Louisville, sponsored the competition that Eustice won prior to his state triumph.

"The local competition was a real nail-biter," he said. "The guy who took second was amazing."

Radio stations have the choice of providing a backup band for their contestants at the local level. Backup bands are provided at the state, regional and national competitions, and the bands are used for instrumentals only - no vocals.

"They allow you 12 minutes to rehearse with the band, I couldn't believe it," said Eustice. "I've never seen these people and they've never seen my songs."

"I had a vision of how the song sounds to me in my head," Eustice said. "They hit it dead on."

Contestants are allotted seven minutes to perform two songs in front of a panel of judges.

"The time starts when you sing the first note; whatever time you have in between songs all counts against you," said Eustice.

For both the local and state contests, Eustice performed the same two original songs, "You're One of Us" and "This Ain't No Country Act."

Judges rate the participants in several areas: marketability in country music, vocal/instrumental ability, originality of performance, stage presence/charisma and talent with bonus points for songwriting.

Even though his song selection and overall performance was enough to advance him to the regional finals, he knows his battle at the state level was a close one.

"The state competition was another nail-biter," Eustice said. "It just so happened that the guy that took second behind me at the local level tried out again at a different local showdown and won there. Again, I just edged him out. I beat the same guy twice."

Eustice's win at the state level advances him to the northeast finals where nine winners will compete for a spot in the national contest. The northeast finals cover Indiana, Kentucky, New England, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Upper Michigan, Virginia/Maryland and West Virginia.

The competition will take place Oct. 14 at the Wheeling Island Racetrack and Gaming Resort in Wheeling, W.Va.

"It's like finding the golden ticket in the Wonka Bar; there is a one in nine chance to advance," Eustice said. "I'm just going to try to nail it while I'm there."

More information about Eustice and photographs of him during performances can be found at www.myspace.com/jasonAEustice.

- The Derrick, Oil City, PA




Feeling a bit camera shy


Jason Eustice—Singer/Songwriter

Jason Eustice is a singer/songwriter, currently living in the Louisville, KY/Nashville, TN area. The usual first impression of Jason can be summed up into one sentence – "Boy you’re quiet, but Damn Son—You’ve got a voice!"

Jason Eustice’s music is a reflection of his personality – sometimes soft and heartfelt, sometimes sharp and well humored, usually soulful, a contradiction of both pure strength and thoughtful indecision. Though words are not his strong point, he instinctively creates his melodies and rhythms—solely from deep within. At the core of each of his songs is his distinctively unique—yet powerful voice.

To hear Jason tell his story, it all started with his father’s dream of being a country music star. When his father’s dream abruptly came to an end in May of 1972, three months after Jason was born, it was destined that the torch was to pass on to his son. Jason remembers. "I was a shy little kid, heck, when I was 5 years old, my mom would play the piano for some friends and family, and I would go into the other room and sing—so afraid to be seen singing in front of anybody—well, look at me now!“

Classically voice-trained at Clarion University for two years, Jason began singing in show-choirs, college chorus and also started to write his own songs. After college, Jason worked at a car dealership, saving money away for the ‘soon to be big-move’ to Nashville Tennessee—one year later. While in Nashville, Jason performed at many different clubs and writer’s nights, sang several professional demos and began collaborating with other songwriters. Recently, Jason attended the auditions for ‘Nashville Star’, a country music talent contest seen on the USA Network. Even though Jason was a finalist in the Nashville competition, he fell just short of making the regional finals. In addition, several of Jason’s songs are currently ‘on hold’ with some of Nashville’s biggest Country Stars—now just waiting to hear if his songs will be placed on one of their albums.

In 2006, Jason entered the 25th Annual COLGATE COUNTRY SHOWDOWN National Contest. He entered the local contest in Louisville, and out of 10 finalists, Jason Won! Next was the state competition of the contest, where Jason was competing against 9 other winning local champions from around the state of Kentucky--and yes, Jason won 1st place in the state round!!!!! Now, the regional finals will be held in Wheeling WV on October 14th of 2006--Jason will be sure to 'give it his all' battling for the chance to be one of the 5 regional finalists that will be competing against each other in January of 2007, televised on CMT, for a chance to win $100,000!!!!!! Stay tuned...

On another note, music and talent runs heavy through Jason’s entire family. Aside from all of Jason’s brother’s and sisters mothers, fathers, uncle’s and aunts having their own bands and/or being multi-musically talented in one facet or the other, one of his nephews, Chris Kirkpatrick, has come about his own success in music as well. Jason's nephew is a member of the pop group, *N’SYNC—a multi-million, multi-platinum record selling group. From this admired success one can definitely say that, ‘There must be something in the family blood!’

Brought up listening to artists such as Kenny Rogers, Alabama, Ronnie Milsap, Def Leppard, Richard Marx, and countless others, Jason has developed a style all his own – a unique blend of country & pop/rock infused with soulful vocals, hooky melodies, and on-the-edge lyrics. "I’m constantly listening to other records and pulling from my younger years, trying to gear up and inspire my inner creative self, in order to create the melodies that I do to date. It's amazing how a song with just one voice and just one instrument can be so much more powerful than a big giant track without a solid structure underneath it. That's what I strive for when I want people to see me for me…to hear and feel what I’m trying to convey to them through my songs.”

"Music has always been my identity. And then after college, it took sort of a back seat to my day job – which felt so wrong" Jason reflects. "I felt the 'creative guilt' every day – thinking, I should be out there, I need to write more, sing more, I need to put this together—make it happen...music has always been inside of me, and at that point, I knew that it was something I needed to give a real shot."

Now at age 30 and on the heels of his first song release, Jason is poised for 2006 to be that breakthrough year—he’s been gearing-up to achieve.