|Nashville, TN (November 20, 2017) -- Singer/songwriter Rick Monroe's "Gypsy Soul" contest has wrapped, and the winners are as diverse as their versions of Monroe's signature song.
Grand prize winner Tommy Renfro of Hollansburg, Ohio is a Professor of Education at Indiana University East in Richmond, IN. The husband, father and singer/songwriter is a sports fanatic and a dreamer, who lives in Ohio and is the Worship Arts Director at Grace Baptist Church. His endearing rendition of "Gypsy Soul" is highlighted by his heartfelt - and accomplished - performance. "I had no idea that there was such great, unrecognized talent out there," admits Rick. "I'm gonna have to keep lookin' behind me now. Some of these folks are really, really good." Renfro is the happy recipient of the contest's Grand Prize Monster Energy Schecter guitar.
Second place winner Ron Zeller of Rockford, Illinois takes home a pair of Westone Audio UMPRO 30 in-ear monitors. Monroe notes that Ron's video submission is from a live performance. "It was cool," Rick says. "I think it was the only live performance video submitted. There he was on the stage, singing about life on the road. It was a flashback type thing for me - and it just worked."
Zach Linley of Rockwall, Texas snagged third place and is the proud new owner of a Rip Tide Ukulele from World Music Nashville. "Lots of likes and just a good solid performance," Rick notes. "Talent is everywhere, man."
Other notable entries include an instrumental version (submitted by Sam Persons and Fred Boekhorst of Rick's band), a cool take by Brandon Williams of Six Strings Crossings and one from Hilary Romaine and Alexander Coxe (aka DuskDivine). A complete list of winners and prizes can be seen HERE.
Rick toured heavily this year, entertaining fans with the sultry Billboard hit, "This Side of You," and other songs from his GYPSY SOUL EP, which is available on iTunes. He also revisited tunes from his previous project, IT'S A LOVE THING, including his previous Billboard hit "Great Minds Drink Alike." Monroe volunteered for several charity events, including house builds for the Murfreesboro, Tennessee chapter of Habitat For Humanity in July and November.
He also played in the annual Team Gamez golf tournament supporting The Boys and Girls Club, performed at a fundraiser for Folds Of Honor during The Masters Golf Tournament in Augusta, Georgia, and participated in the Hike for the Homeless, benefitting Safe Haven Family Shelter, Middle Tennessee's only shelter-to-housing program for families.
ABOUT RICK MONROE
With a down-to-earth Country resonance, Monroe is no stranger to the stage: he's performed in 17 countries - and every U.S. state except for Oregon. The seven-time Jägermeister Country Brand Ambassador opened for Eric Church, Dierks Bentley, Aaron Lewis, Eli Young Band, Charlie Daniels Band, Dwight Yoakam, Montgomery Gentry, Patty Loveless, Trick Pony, Emerson Drive, Pat Green, Randy Houser, Josh Thompson and more; entertained former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, and U.S. troops in Vietnam. This year he traveled over 100,000 miles and played over 160 shows. Rick enjoys sponsorships and/or endorsements with Monster Energy Drink, Banded Brand (Clothing and Water Fowl Gear), GHS Strings, Framus Guitars, Westone Audio, Shubb Capos, Speakeasy Jewelry and Fishman Audio.
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Monster Energy Company is not a sponsor of this Gypsy Soul Contest. The Monster Energy name, trademarks, and logos are used for the purposes of promotion and/or prize descriptions only and such use is not intended to suggest or imply Monster Energy Company's sponsorship of this Gypsy Soul Contest.