Shane Clouse Top Country Act

June 2, 2009

Missoulian Article 2005Share
Thursday, June 19, 2008 at 11:03am
Shane Clouse is state's top country act
By JOE NICKELL of the Missoulian
Shane Clouse ain't never been to New Orleans, but he's headed to Elko, Nev., as Montana's best country act.

Clouse, whose song "I Ain't Never Been to New Orleans" has become something of an anthem to his throngs of Missoula fans, won first prize in the Montana Colgate Country Showdown on Saturday in Great Falls. He and his band, Stomping Ground, will advance to the Western states regional finals in Elko on Oct. 1.

"We believe in hard work, and we won't let you down," Clouse told the crowd after accepting the award, which included a check for $1,000.

The band faced down eight other acts from around Montana, all of whom had advanced to the state finals after winning in state regional competitions. Clouse and Stomping Ground previously won the western Montana regional contest at the Rustic Hut in Lolo in April.

The band performed two songs - "The Auctioneer's Song" and the original "Twenty-five Beers and a Handful of Steering Wheel."

More than 40 fans traveled from Missoula to hear the band perform.

"Having all those fans there really gave us a lot of energy," said Stomping Ground bassist Zach Millar.

Clouse, 32, formed Stomping Ground just two years ago. Since then the band has become one of