Texas®

Ft. Worth has certainly got this festival thing figured out. For those who maybe unaware, Ft. Worth’s Mayfest and Main St. Arts Festival are among the states (the country’s??) greatest outdoor and family friendly weekends of good-times, without question.

A relatively new one has been added to the docket, and judging from the line-up, it’s a good bet to join the ranks of great festivals that Ft. Worth will boast about to other, less-festival savvy neighbors for years to come.

What began as Jazz by the Boulevard a few years back has now blossomed into a multi-genre two day event with a bill that tips its hat to the festival’s jazz roots, as well as caters to indie-kids, frat boys and rockers who arent exactly in the prime of their youth any longer.

For a second, let’s try not to focus on the scrumptious offerings form the fleet of food-trucks that will be offering goodies to festival attendees. Let’s just talk about the musical offerings. Notable north-Texas acts, several of which have been discussed here on Best of Texas, such as Calhoun, Oil Boom, Seryn, Telegraph Canyon, The Orbans and John David Kent will prime the outdoor audiences for national touring headliners like Dawes (harmonic folk-rockers from California), Lucero (gritty cow-punks from Memphis) and the resurrected Meat Puppets (psych/punk/alt-rock pioneers now living in Austin) will join the likes of Kermit Ruffins (New Orleans king of swing and a regular on HBO’s Treme) and even Marica Ball will be on hand to close out the fun on the various stages over Friday and Saturday night.

Don’t Forget to check-out the after-party scene, too. Our personal favorite? the Friday night schedule at Lola’s where Johnny Corndawg, Robert Ellis and The King Bucks will each offer a different version of classic country sounds. 

WHAT: Ft. Worth Music Festival

WHEN: Sept 30 – Oct 1

WHERE: Will Rogers Memorial Center in Ft. Worth’s Historic Museum District.

WEBSITE:   http://www.fwfest.com/

A month ago, or so, I pointed you fine folks into the direction of some quality musical happenings that were coming soon. Well, those have come and gone, and now we’re looking straight ahead to some more festivals that will host music that’s as hot as the sun it’ll be taking place under.

The Randy Rogers “Sake of the Song” Festival - New Braunfels. (June 10 – 12).

It’s doubtful that there is a better setting for a weekend of music than the Guadalupe river. With that quintessentially Texan back-drop, Randy Rogers Band, Band of Heathens, Billy Joe Shaver will be playing along with a few non-Texan acts. Sons of Bill and Jason Isbell lead the pack of friendly carpetbaggers.

Free Press Summerfest - Houston. June 5-6.

Almost like a mini-ACL Fest, this relatively new festival has a solid line-up, indeed. Flaming Lips, Ra Ra Riot and Girl Talk will provide the buzz while acts such as Lucero, Medeski, Martin & Wood and Slim Thug only add to the substance that is packed into the two day shin-dig.

Willie Nelson’s 4th of July Picnic - Austin. July 4.

I hate to say stuff like this, BUT, you may not be able to officially call yourself a Texan if you haven’t been to one of Nelson’s (almost) annual parties. Legendary for their brazen and debauchery filled early days, the festival has evolved into a well-run and star-studded affair. This year, Willie will  hosts acts that helped him get wild and crazy in the early days (Kris Kristofferson, Asleep at the Wheel, Leon Russell, among others) and bands that grew up wanting to be a part of the craziness (Jack Ingram, Randy Rogers, and Jamey Johnson, just to name a few). 

Stockyards Stampede - Ft. Worth. July 3.

Another Randy Rogers Band headlined event. Brought to us by the folks that bring us the CCR Red Dirt Roundup, also held in the backyard of Billy Bob’s. Thankfully, this isn’t just another red dirt, rock-intensive line-up that seems to be dominating the calendar. Sure, there is Randy Rogers and Radney Foster, but aside from those red dirt stalwarts, we’ll get MC Hammer, Everclear, Mark Chestnutt and academy award winner, Ryan Bingham. Now that’s a varied line-up, even if it’s a big-time head scratcher, also.

Kelly Dearmore is a freelance writer, mean pot of chili maker and opinionated music lover. To read more about what Kelly is listening to, visit him here on The Squawker weekly or daily on his personal music blog, The Gobblers Knob