State Texaco Country Showdown winners record memorial song for slain Potsdam 12-year-old
Wednesday, October 10, 2012 - 5:16 pm

This year’s New York State Texaco Country Showdown winners Kate Shaffer and Corey Coleman (“Kate and Corey”) have recorded and uploaded a new duet in remembrance of Potsdam’s Garrett Phillips.

The 12-year-old Kingston Middle School student was found murdered Oct. 24 in his Market Street home.

The song, called “Gone (For Now) – Garrett’s Song,” was written by Coleman’s aunt, Potsdam resident Courtney Woods, who said she was having trouble sleeping one night and the lyrics just came pouring out, so she wrote them down. “I was thinking about Garrett and a recurring dream my son had of him,” she said.

You can hear Garrett’s Song on YouTube.

As a financial supporter of Kate and Corey’s first independent album, Woods said she and her husband were allowed to pick any cover song for Kate and Corey to record. “I asked if they might play around with the instrumental for my song in honor of the one-year anniversary of Garrett’s death,” said Woods in a news release.

“As hard-working emerging artists, they took it on as a challenge, but they also felt the project was important personally, as this tribute was about someone whose death greatly impacted Corey’s young cousin.”

Woods said people are grappling with how to honor the one-year mark of Garrett’s death.

“I realize that the silence in our community has at times felt eerily deafening for the sake of the case. But there are times when we are all just bursting to share our anger, our sadness and even, for many, our fear, that someone could actually, senselessly, take the life of a child.”

Woods said people are also ready to start talking about what they miss about him most, and the wonderful memories they have of him. “That is so important one year later. Everyone needs to commence the process of healing at some point, regardless of whether or not an arrest will be made.”

Woods said Hospice of St. Lawrence Valley provided valuable services to Garrett’s friends in the months after his death to cultivate tools that would help them grieve.

“Justice is a process that seeks to reconcile a crime; peace and healing is a process that seeks a different kind of reconciliation – one that might take some people a lifetime to fully realize, especially when there is so much pain and loss.”

Kate & Corey won the New York State competition of the Texaco County Showdown this summer, the same competition that launched the careers of country stars like Martina McBride.

The duo are to compete in the Texaco regional competition in Hershey Park, Pa. on Oct. 27, with the winners advancing to the Nashville finals and a shot at a recording contract.

Their debut album, “You’re Gonna Like Us,” is available on iTunes, and many of their songs can be viewed on YouTube. For more information on the musical duo, check out