The Rocky Mountain Country Music Awards honor the best artists and venues in Colorado, Wyoming and surrounding states

Awards like the CMT Music Awards, American Country Awards, Grammy Awards, Billboard Music Awards, and BMI Awards spotlight country artists from the United States and around the world.

While many of these artists represent states like Georgia, Alabama, Texas, Oklahoma, and Tennessee, states like Colorado, Wyoming, and Utah have an incredible amount of country music talent that are often overlooked at major awards ceremonies.

Thanks to Colorado native and national country radio personality Shawn Patrick, country music artists, venues and festivals in the Rocky Mountain region now have the chance to shine with their very own awards show.

The best of the best country artists from Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Montana, North Dakota and New Mexico will walk the red carpet for the 2022 Rockies Country Music Awards on Saturday, February 19 at the Union Colony Civic Center in downtown Greeley.

The Greeley Stampede has been nominated for Event/Festival of the Year for the 2022 Rocky Mountain Country Music Awards. (Alex McIntyre/Staff Photographer)

“The show itself is a lot like what you would see on one of the big country music award shows on TV,” Patrick explained. “It features performances from some of the best presenters in the region, celebrities, laughs and of course, the Best of the Year awards.”

Prizes will be awarded in 11 categories: New Artist of the Year, Female Singer of the Year, Male Singer of the Year, Album of the Year, Song of the Year, Songwriter of the Year, of the Year, Event/Festival of the Year, Musician of the Year, Artist of the Year and the Fan Army Award.

To be eligible for an award, applicants must be from a participating state or have lived in one of the states for a “long period of time”.

Other artists, venues or event/festival organizers, as well as radio programmers, music directors, publicists and other industry professionals choose and vote for all nominees for the award categories, at exception of the Fan Army Award, which is based solely on fan votes.

Wyoming artist Ian Munsick was nominated for Male Vocalist of the Year, Album of the Year, Artist of the Year and Song of the Year. Munsick won Song of the Year in 2019 for “Horses Are Faster”.

“I have a lot of respect for Shawn Patrick for showcasing country music in the Rockies because I think it’s a hugely underrepresented piece of the country,” Munsick said. “There are a ton of great artists who come from here and live here, and I’m honored to be on the list.”

The Rocky Mountain Country Music Awards ceremony is scheduled to take place on Saturday, February 19 at the Union Colony Civic Center in downtown Greeley. (Photo courtesy of Randy Owens)

Munsick, who is on the opening route for former Greeley Stampede performer and rising country music superstar Cody Johnson, will not be able to attend the awards show.

“It’s always been a goal for me to bring a piece of the West to country music. I think it’s a pretty cool culture that we live in — cowboy culture and western culture — and it needs to be heard,” Munsick said.

The Greeley Stampede is up for event/festival of the year. Greeley’s historic rodeo, due to celebrate its 100th anniversary this summer, claimed victory in 2019 and is hoping for another honour.

“All of the nominated festivals are must-sees for music fans. We try to really showcase regional music with events and multiple stages throughout the year,” said Justin Watada, General Manager of Greeley Stampede. The Greeley Stampede is already well known in the music industry, but more awards would be beneficial. Our goal is to be part of a musician’s journey to stardom and to help local and regional bands get started.

The Rocky Mountain Country Music Awards celebrate the talents of musicians from or residing in Colorado, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, Utah and New Mexico. (Photo courtesy of Randy Owens)

The ceremony also includes two specialty awards: the Hadley Barrett Person of the Year Award and the Chris LeDoux Lifetime Achievement Award.

The Hadley Barrett Award is given to someone in the country music scene who has done “incredible things” for their community. It is given in honor of Barrett, who was a Hall of Fame rodeo announcer. The award criteria include the nominee’s charitable work, attitude, leadership and humanitarianism.

Local radio personality Brian Gary and radio legend Stu Haskell are former Hadley Barrett Award winners.

The Chris LeDoux Lifetime Achievement Award honors the late Wyoming singer/songwriter and rodeo athlete by recognizing a local artist who “brought Rocky Mountain Country Music to new levels throughout his career,” enriching the lives of country music fans and those working in the industry.

Past recipients of the Chris LeDoux Lifetime Achievement Award include guitarist Mark Sissel, country superstar Dierks Bentley and singer/songwriter Mac McAnally.

Wyoming country singer/songwriter Ned LeDoux is up for Male Vocalist of the Year, Song of the Year and Artist of the Year for the 2022 Rocky Mountain Country Music Awards. (Photo courtesy courtesy of Randy Owens)

Winners receive a custom-designed belt buckle from Montana Silversmiths along with trophies and other goodies.

“Montana Goldsmiths design the buckle every year. We give them the logo and the genre of what we’re looking for and they go from there,” Patrick said. “They have buckle designers and they send us five or six different designs and I pick the one I like best.”

Patrick founded the RMCMA in 2016. The show originally recognized performers from Colorado and Wyoming, however, as the ceremony quickly began to make a name for itself, other states like Nebraska, Utah and South Dakota wanted to include their artists.

“I’m a huge country music fan and I do country radio shows all over the country. I became friends with a lot of artists, especially in Colorado and Wyoming,” Patrick said. “I saw their talent and thought they were underrated. The thought occurred to me that I should do something to honor the artists in our area.

General admission tickets are $12 per person, including processing fees. VIP tickets that offer seating in the first five rows of the theater, a free drink, and access to the Moxi Theater after-party are $62 per person, including a handling fee. All ages are welcome to attend the show.

Doors open at 6 p.m. and the show begins at 7 p.m. on Saturday, February 19 at the Union Colony Civic Center, located at 701 10th Ave., Greeley.

Masks are not mandatory but highly recommended as well as social distancing. Tickets can be purchased online at the Union Colony Civic Center website at www.ucstars.com.

For more information on the 2022 Rocky Mountain Country Music Awards, go to www.rockymountaincountrymusicawards.com.

2022 Rocky Mountain Music Awards Nominees

Musician of the Year

  • Dusty Rider, banjo
  • Lance Kotara, guitar
  • Josh Kidney, guitar
  • Jesse Lee, bass
  • Duncan Britt, Keys
  • Brooke Latka, violin
  • Anthony Michalek, guitar

Songwriter of the Year

  • Chancey Williams for “The Saint”
  • Christopher Charles Romero for “Broken Son”
  • Austin Wahlert for “Jesus and Babies”
  • McKenzie JaLynn for “Maybe God Just Knew”
  • Luke Mills for “Answers on the Wind”
  • Savannah Keyes for “Superman”
  • DJ Bridwell for “Sinner and a Saint”

New Artist of the Year

  • ryan charles
  • Clayton Smalley
  • Cody Coz
  • Tyler Halverson
  • Caitlin Quisenberry
  • Frank Ray
  • Tommy O’Keeffe

Artist of the Year

  • Claire Dunn
  • Ned Le Doux
  • Chancey Williams
  • Scooter Brown Stripe
  • Tim Montana
  • Spencer Crandall
  • Ian Munsick

Event/Festival of the Year

  • ND Country Fest, New Salem, North Dakota
  • Cheyenne Frontier Days, Cheyenne, Wyoming
  • NEBRASKAland Days, North Platte, NE
  • Greeley Stampede, Greeley, CO
  • Headwaters Country Jam, Cardwell, MT
  • Stampede Country, Topeka, KS
  • Country Fan Fest, Tooele, UT

Male Singer of the Year

  • Ned Le Doux
  • Tim Montana
  • Ian Munsick
  • Chancey Williams
  • Spencer Crandall
  • Lucas Hoge
  • Logan Mize

Female singer of the year

  • Bri Bagwell
  • Ingrid Andress
  • Claire Dunn
  • Stephanie Quayle
  • Sarahbeth Taite
  • Kayla Ruby
  • Savanna chestnut

place of the year

  • Outlaw Saloon, Cheyenne, Wyoming
  • 25Sixty-Five Warehouse, Grand Junction, CO
  • Joe’s Honky-Tonk, Kearney, NE
  • The Whiskey Baron, Colorado Springs, CO
  • Whiskey Dicks, Las Cruces, New Mexico
  • Deadwood Mountain Grand, Deadwood, SD
  • The Hat, Manhattan, KS

song of the year

  • “Savage Frontier” – Stephanie Quayle
  • “The Mountain” – Ned LeDoux
  • “Something Waylon Would Sing” – Scooter Brown Band
  • “Long Distance” – Ian Musick
  • “Holding Out for a Cowboy” – Clare Dunn
  • “My Person” – Spencer Crandall
  • “Long Way” – Sarahbeth Taite

album of the year

  • The Coyote’s Cry — Ian Munsick
  • 3rd Street – Chancey Williams
  • Long shots — Tim Montana
  • All Hat, No Cowboy – Belles
  • Deluge of Hearts — Ryan Chrys
  • Desert — Spencer Crandall
  • Washakie Wind – Tris Munsick and the Innocents

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