Local duo Whisky Row is headed to the national finals of the Colgate Country Showdown, a prestigious talent competition that has helped jumpstart the careers of many country stars.
Whisky Row — made up of Mike Pereira and Jason Ruffoni, both of Kerman — won the western regional in Oregon over the weekend.
Next, they’re headed to Nashville for the finals on Jan. 14. The showdown will be nationally televised. “It felt like an unbelievable accomplishment to even make it that far,” Ruffoni says. “To win it was amazing.”
Whisky Row will be one of five acts competing for a chance at $100,000, plus the attention of the country recording industry.
Acts such as Martina McBride, Sara Evans, LeAnn Rimes, Neal McCoy and John Michael Montgomery have all been in the finals of the Colgate competition.
“It’s surreal right now,” Ruffoni says. “This is a big step for us.”