by Richard B. Harper

NASHVILLE--Beau Vine and the Buckamoos, four unique vocalists from the rolling hills of Franklin, VT, have released a new single and video of Who's Going to Mow Your Grass?
      "They sing the old Buck Owens hit," said Betty Rainville of Franklin, "and their name is a tribute to the Buckaroos.
      "When the girls won the All-New England sing off last fall, we knew they were going places."
      Going they are. Country Music Television will feature the new Franklin County video on Saturday afternoon, April 1, on CMT 20 Greatest First Videos. The one-hour special, a run up to the 2006 CMT Music Awards, features the first videos made by today's country music superstars as well as new interviews from Shania Twain, Toby Keith, Martina McBride, and Alison Krauss who reveal what their first time in front of the camera was like.
      The 2006 show has a New England theme and includes Reba McEntire in Whoever's in New England. The CMT 20 Greatest First Videos will also spotlight the two new "first" videos that won viewer approval in the CMT 1,000 online balloting in January. Who's Going to Mow Your Grass? placed second in the voting. The video was produced by West Street Digital and Channel 15.
      The CMT Music Awards are country music's only fan-voted awards. First-round voting to choose four nominees in each category is going on online right now. Final-round voting determines the winners in nine categories. The Video of the Year nominees will be announced at the start of the live broadcast with online voting during the show to pick the night's big winner. To vote for CMT Video Music Awards, you must be a member.
      Comedian Jeff Foxworthy will return as host for the awards; performances by Toby Keith, Kenny Chesney, Rascal Flatts, Trace Adkins, Gretchen Wilson, Brooks & Dunn, Sugarland are planned. The Buckamoos may perform again if time allows. The Awards honor the fans and the videos by today's best known stars in country music. This year the show will take place at Belmont University in Nashville. Toby Keith, Pamela Anderson, and Dolly Parton have also hosted the CMT event.
      The original recording was made when Andre Maquera of West Street Digital visited the Rainville's farm in Franklin. "That demo CD was enough to qualify for the All New England," he said.
      Recording in a field does not produce the studio quality audio they needed for the submission to Country Music Television. West Street Digital completely renovated with a new digital console, a new computer system, and expanded studio space. "We had to make some slight changes in the design to accommodate the Buckamoos, Mr. Maquera said. "It was somewhat difficult to quiet down the floor auger so the microphones didn't pick it up."
      Mr. Maquera does a lot of voice-over work in the studio. "In many ways doing a music video is like doing a commercial voice-over. You have to get the 'actors' to sing their lines and get it mixed in just right."
      The Buckamoos also includes six well known Franklin County "session" musicians on bass, drums, guitar, keyboard, and mandolin. They have asked to remain anonymous.
      "Andre told us we needed a voice coach first," Ms. Rainville said. "He wanted to use Melissa Cross but how much help do they need pronouncing the 'oo' in 'moo'?"
      "We did ruminate on that," Mr. Maquera confirmed. "She is a classically trained singer and punk rocker but we decided that because they have perfect pitch and such wonderful timing, the 'Zen of Screaming' might not work for us.
      "The CMT Music Awards producers have told us that 'Who's Going to Mow Your Grass?' may be aired again during the awards show," he said. "It's both a time issue and a fan issue. I think a big audience for the show on Saturday is what pushes the new videos into the big show."
 Beau Vine and the Buckamoos     Dogs have barked Jingle Bells, pigs have flown, and cows have jumped over the moon, but this may be the first time a cow video makes it to national television. Stay tuned.
      "Our girls were really hoping for a Grammy," Ms. Rainville said. "Me, too. I'm too busy with the Maple Festival parade to go to Nashville again this month."

After reading this report, you may think that your favorite arts council chair has rolled in a wee bit too much grass. Rest assured that CMT 20 Greatest First Videos will air Saturday afternoon, April 1, at 4 p.m. but the Buckamoos video will not be included. It is, after all that day again, and you have been fooled.

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A small closing note: People regularly asked me about tickets in the week or so before this event and still tell me how sorry they are to have missed it.

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