High School Rodeo Finalist Releases New Music

ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Making it to the Texas State High School Rodeo Finals is a daunting task for any high schooler, juggling both rodeo and schoolwork. But for one team member, he’s juggling not just the rodeo and school, but also a thriving music career.

It wasn’t too long ago that names like Roy Rogers and Gene Autrey were on dance hall billboards, headlined as the “original singing cowboys.” As country music has evolved, the combination of the two has been lost, aside from greats like George Strait, who has an illustrious rodeo career on the side.

For a teenager from Carrizo Springs, he brings back the art of the singing cowboy. Garrett Talamantes, 16, is a decorated team stringer, vice president of the Texas High School Rodeo Association (THSRA) and has been an honor roll “A” student since elementary school. He has also qualified for state finals in ropes each of the past five years.

What really separates Talamantes from the other kids competing is his voice. His singing voice echoed through the Taylor Telecom Arena on Tuesday morning as he sang the national anthem during the grand entrance of the rodeo finals.

“I always liked to sing, since I was little,” Talamantes recalls. “It only started to become a reality when I was 12.”

It was scary. Goosebumps appeared on those who listened, as an unreal talent was put back on the mic. But he’s not just a talented singer.

“Shortly after I started singing, I learned to play the guitar and it really kicked my music career up a notch,” Talamantes said. “I play almost every weekend. I think almost every weekend this year has been booked.

The musician can chain a steer with the best of them, an event passed down through his family, but the singing was not.

“I mean, my dad can’t carry a melody to save his life, so I don’t really know where I got it from,” Talamantes said.

On his grandmother’s side, the teenager said there could be a distant relationship between him and Tejano singer Bobby Pulido.

Although there isn’t much of a family connection musically, Talamantes said he sees a strong connection between the work ethic needed to be an elite team stringer and a country music artist.

“You have to put everything into it, you have to train day by day,” Talamantes said. “Just like in stringing, you also have to be sold to the music industry.”

At 16, Talamantes is juggling two more years of school, string and a music career, with a life-changing decision to make in the near future.

“The truth is, I really can’t decide,” Talamantes revealed. “I would love to continue rodeo, but I would love to take my music career to the next level.”

For now, Talamantes said he’s happy knowing he could be the next Roy Rogers, Gene Autrey or George Strait, and will juggle the rest for as long as he can.

Talamantes released their first single, South Land, this year, in honor of his great-grandfather and the work he put into their property in South Texas. You can find his music on Apple Music, Spotify, Pandora and Amazon Music.

Talamantes also said he plans to release a new single on July 1.

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