Right now Delores Turnbow is looking down from heaven and smiling. And certainly dancing.
Her great grandson, Nick Slater, is on his way to Nashville as he's earned a huge opportunity to give himself a jump start to his budding country music career.
Slater with his band, Tulare Dust, won the KJUG Country Talent Showdown last Thursday at the Tulare County Fair. With the win, Slater earned the chance to perform at Alan Jackson's prestigious A.J.'s Good Time Bar where he will perform for representatives from three record labels.
As part of the trip Slater will also attend country music's most prestigious awards, the 56th annual Country Music Association, CMA Awards. Slater will head to Nashville in November as the CMA Awards will be broadcast live by ABC at 4 p.m. November 9.
A night after winning the KJUG contest Slater performed with Tulare Dust at Poor Richard's on Main Street and the concert became a celebration of his and his band's win. Slater performs with Bronson Hopper on bass and Carlos Banuelos on drums when Tulare Dust performs.
While Slater is heading to Nashville a a fundraising effort is underway so Hopper and Banuelos can go with him. “I want to be able to take them with me,” Slater said.
A GoFundMe page for the fundraising effort can be found on Slater's and Tulare Dust's Facebook page.
Slater and Tulare Dust performed three of Slater's original songs during the KJUG contest and fittingly Hank Williams Jr.'s “Family Tradition.” “That was our song,” said Slater about his great grandmother, Delores Turnbow, who died over the summer.
Turnbow was known as “The Dancing Queen of the San Joaquin.” “That's her,” Slater said.
Slater can be found on YouTube performing his original songs, “As The Rain Falls,” “Drunk on Your Love,” and “Family Business.”
“I had no idea I had a shot,” said Slater about winning the KJUG contest. “It's really a big honor. I'm blessed.”
“A big time opportunity,” added Slater about performing at A.J.'s Good Time Bar in front of those from record labels. “It's going to be a big blessing. A big honor. It's going to be a pretty big deal.”
Slater said he will perform his original songs while in Nashville to “try to get my name out there as much as possible.”
And about attending the CMA Awards, Slater said, “Just to get to go to that is going to be a real opportunity, too. Big time.”
Slater is a 2016 Monache graduate who was the drum major for the Monache Marauder Band during his junior and senior years. He also played the tuba and sousaphone in the band.
He enlisted into the U.S. Marines right out of high school and served until near the end of 2021. “I signed up when I was 17-years-old,” Slater said.
He then embarked on performing as a solo artist.
“They I found these guys,” said Slater about Hopper and Banuelos in forming Tulare Dust a short time after he began performing.
“Just keep doing this with these guys,” said Slater about his future plans to continue to perform with Hopper and Banuelos as part of Tulare Dust. “As long as I get to play my music my way and have fun with it and make a little money, I'll be happy.”