Kilgore native Shy Blakeman has definitely been a "Long Distance Man," traveling from California to Tennessee and back home to Texas for years, playing live shows and slanging his songs (sometimes for free) all along the way. He's been a contestant on Nashville Star and has even opened for Bob Seger. But yesterday may just prove to be the biggest day of his musical career, thanks to Smith Music Group's Live at Billy Bob's Recording Contest.

The contest, which is 100 percent fan-voted, began April 19 with 47 nominees. It was whittled down by May 6 to the final 10bands. Then on Monday, when all the smoked cleared and all the votes were tallied, Blakeman was declared the winner of the second annual Live at Billy Bob's Recording Contest.

Shy said of the honor:

I could not be more humbled by all the support by man fans and friends that voted not only once but in both rounds. There is no way I ever thought I would be among the legendary artists that recorded a Live at Billy Bob’s Texas Album. It is an honor to be listed among the greats.

So, what does winning entail for the Kilgore High School graduate? Well, he receives a “Live at Billy Bob’s Texas” recording contract with Smith Music Group, which means Shy will join the ranks of some of country and Texas music's elite, including Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, Pat Green, Jason Boland, Kevin Fowler, Stoney LaRue, Randy Rogers Band, Wade Bowen and of course last year’s winner, Josh Grider.

Shy will be only the 43rd artist to record a Live at Billy Bob’s Texas album.

His show and live recording will be Friday, July 6 at the world's largest honky tonk in Fort Worth. You can buy your tickets by calling Billy Bob's Box Office 817-624-7117 or

More From 101.5 KNUE