By Richard Skanse

(LSM Jan/Feb 2012/vol. 5 – Issue 1)

A Grammy Award or two is nice to have around: Just ask Ray Benson or any of the Dixie Chicks, who can forever safely crank up an oscillating fan in their office when the temperature rises without having to worry about their papers and tax receipts flying around the room. But a Lone Star Music Award? Them babies are really special. And we’ll be handing out a whole mess of ’em on April 1 at the Texas Music Theater in downtown San Marcos, Texas. At press time, our super secret panel of industry insiders is busy voting on the nominees, which will then be voted via the public online when the ballot is posted on beginning the first week of February. We’ve added a handful of new categories this year, including separate awards for Best Country, Best Americana/Roots-Rock and Best Singer-Songwriter/Folk Album, so there should be plenty of room for “Lone Star State of Mine” artists of all stripes. But no matter who wins, the awards show itself promises to be a blast, with performances by many of the evening’s nominees and even a special guest or two.