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Cowboy Way takes home top honors

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — For the third consecutive year, The Cowboy Way, a New Mexico Western music trio, has been named the International Western Music Association’s group of the year.

The trio – made up of Jim Jones of Albuquerque, Doug Figgs of Lemitar and Mariam Funke of Socorro – received its award during November’s IWMA conference at the Hotel Albuquerque.

The Cowboy Way, from left, Jim Jones, Doug Figgs and Mariam Funke, picked up group of the year at the International Western Music Association conference. (Courtesy of

“My thoughts this year are the same I had last year and the year before,” Jones said. “This is a real honor because I am looking at all these other groups (that were nominated) and they are really good. We all work hard to present our music in the best possible way.”

Also, The Cowboy Way CD “Go West” was named 2019 Traditional Western Album of the Year, and the song “It’s a Cowboy I Will Be,” written by Jones, was selected 2019 Song of the Year. The song is the first track on the “Go West” CD.

Other New Mexico IWMA winners include:

• Albuquerque’s Bobbi Jean Bell, who, with her Nashville-area co-host Gary Holt, won Radio DJ/Radio Program of the Year honors for the second consecutive year for their online radio show Campfire Café.

• Singer-songwriter Syd Masters of Edgewood who received the IWMA Presidents Award for outstanding contributions to the organization. For more than 10 years, Masters has worked as the soundman supporting the acts that perform during the IWMA’s annual conference.

• Kacey and Jenna Thunborg, 14-year-old twin sisters of Sandia Park and Lemitar, who won the Youth Harmony Award.

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