With a voice that has been compared to Ray LaMontagne and Paul Rodgers, brooding lyrics that dance intriguingly on the edge of ghoulish, and an intense, swampy, Mississippi Delta sound, Durham has the soul of an old bluesman. That Howlin' Wolf-ish soul, however, finds its incarnation in the form of a polite, gracious and upbeat young man from a small town in northern Central Texas. Lincoln Durham's most recent release, The Shovel Vs. The Howling Bones, was co-produced by none other than Texas music legend, Ray Wylie Hubbard. The record consists of 11 original tracks featuring several of Austin, Texas' finest musicians (including some skillful picking by Hubbard himself) and showcasing Durham's soulful, gritty voice and smart, dark lyrics that belie this musician's relative youth. The album has been well-received by music fanatics, and the go-to Americana website, Galleywinter, describes Durham's album perfectly: "Durham's made an album that blues afficianados can respect and Texas Music fans can appreciate. Take the pen of Townes Van Zandt and the spirit of Muddy Waters and that comes as close to setting the scene of this album as any description one can give. A wonderfully and wholly realized project that exemplifies all the best authentic qualities of Texas Music…of American music.""
Grammy Award winners, Los Texmaniacs are the new kings of Tex-Mex. Personally anointed by Flaco Jimenez, Los Texmaniacs feed the masses, with only the best in musical fare. Like a great salsa, Los Texmaniacs mix the simplest yet finest ingredients of Texas music to create a sound solidly rooted in tradition, exploding with contemporary vitality. Founded by Max Baca, Los TexManiacs are a product of his wide-ranging experience touring and recording with Flaco Jimenenz, the original Texas Tornados, Los Super Seven and even the Rolling Stones. Los Texmaniacs versatility has led them to performances such as The Smithsonian Folklife Festival, International Accordion Festival, Kennedy Center , Governor of Texas Ball and many major festivals oversees in countries such as Germany, Holland, and Spain. Los Texmaniacs have been awarded proclamations as ambassadors of good will from several government entities such as: Cities of San Antonio, Texas, Austin, Texas , Los Angeles, California, and Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Matt Skinner is an American musician, singer, songwriter, artist, poet and traveler blending original lyrics with elements of country, blues, western swing and roots-rock and roll. Graced with a keen eye for detail and imagery and coupled with a powerful, road-worn tenor voice, Skinner commands the stage with a tender ferocity and presence that is spellbinding in its organic honesty and mercurial resonance. Matt has released three solo albums, Four Winds (2001), The Nighthawk Affair (2007) and Live at StoneCringe: Vol I (2009) on Tapadero Productions label and one independent rock EP, Four Day March (2010) with the supergroup Eleven Bones. Recently, Matt's collaborations with Canadian artist Corb Lund on his 2012 release Cabin Fever resulted in a #1 Album in Canada and a Juno Nomination. In addition to touring with his own band, Matt tours internationally as a duo with Grammy Award-winning songwriter Bonnie Bishop. Skinner’s 4th studio album, Native Stranger (2013) is scheduled to be released in early fall.
Max Stalling was born and raised in the Lone Star State. After graduating with his master’s degree in Food Science from Texas A&M, Stalling’s interest in music began to develop. Stalling started writing and performing his own music after being influenced by some of the state’s great singer-songwriters, such as Guy Clark, Robert Earl Keen, and Townes Van Zandt, but yet performs with his own distinctive style. Stalling's style is modern with a more vintage approach. His latest release, Home to You, has introduced new audiences to Stalling’s unique approach of combining elements of traditional and modern Americana into one enjoyable listen. The album has produced hits such as “Long Way to Get,” “I Ain’t Drinking Alone,” and “6x9 Speakers - Revisted.” Stalling’s delivery makes one feel at home, with a smooth vocal delivery and down-to-earth lyrical content that allows one to envision Stalling’s description. Stalling will continue to thrive as he combines elements of the past and present into one special experience for all audiences.
Founded in Challis, Idaho, Micky and The Motorcars have made their own impact in the Texas scene with their Americana rock. Brothers Gary and Micky Braun first began learning music from their dad, Muzzie Braun, alongside brothers Willy and Cody of Reckless Kelly fame. Now traveling across the United States, Europe, and Canada, Micky and the Motorcars play more than 200 dates a year, in support of their latest recording, Raise My Glass. The most rewarding thing for Micky and Company is watching crowds grow bigger as they perform with the same raw emotion that has been a trademark characteristic since the group's inception. As their legion of followers grow and word continues to spread, the journey of the band will continue to play out in a way that combines a dedication to music with a dedication to family.
The four guys who form Midnight River Choir have a close-knit chemistry that cannot be duplicated, and it is obvious when one watches their live shows and listens to their music. They have a wide range of influences that carry over into their own songs, resulting in a special sound that attracts new fans after each awe-inspiring performance. Formed in New Braunfels, Texas, the band has spent the past couple of years performing alongside some of the music scene's most notable acts such as Cody Canada and the Departed, Micky and the Motorcars, and Reckless Kelly. Backed by a solid rhythm section consisting of drummer Mitchell Pyeatt and bassist Bob Driver, the groove is complemented by the graceful and smooth lead guitar play of Justin Nelson, while the group's unique sound is rounded-out by the harmonious yet emotional vocals of Eric Middleton. The band's most recent recording, Welcome to Delirium?, is a potent and powerful statement of what is to come. These guys have nothing but open roads ahead of them as they continue to the next level in their careers. At the time of this publication, the Midnight River Choir are beginning the process of their follow-up record to Welcome to Delirium?
Paul Thorn has done it all as a professional boxer, factory worker, skydiver, and songwriter supreme. Musically, Paul takes his rootsy style of gospel-infused rock and roll to a more refined place. Born in Wisconsin, but moved to Mississippi as an infant, Paul was raised as a son of a minister, where he learned the passion that went into performing gospel music. Paul was a boxer throughout the 1980s, and then retired from boxing only to immerse himself in music. His debut album, Hammer and Nail, was released in 1997 and he quickly set out to make a name for himself on the road, displaying his guitar chops and soul-inspiring performance. Since his initial record debut, Paul has released four full-length albums. His latest, What the Hell is Going On?, is his first all-covers collection that features songs written by Ray Wylie Hubbard, Rick Danko, Allen Toussaint, Lindesy Buckingham, and several others. What the Hell is Going On? was listed the #12 Most Played Album of 2012 by the Americana Music Association. Paul has toured with and opened for notable artists such as Sting, Huey Lewis and The News, Robert Cray, Bonnie Raitt, John Prine, and Mark Knopfler.
When a band spends the bulk of its year on the road, its members are bound to have their share of trouble and strife. But only the truly talented are able to take those trying experiences and turn them into enduring art. The Randy Rogers Band is one of those few, and they’ve transformed coal into diamonds yet again on their latest album for MCA Nashville, Trouble. Named "Top 10 Must-See Artists" in Rolling Stone magazine, the Randy Rogers Band has appeared on Letterman, Leno, and Conan, and been nominated for Top Vocal Group by the Academy of Country Music. The latest album, Trouble, saw the group team up for the first time with producer Jay Joyce, who has previously worked with Eric Church, Cage the Elephant, and The Wallflowers. The Texas five-piece dove headfirst into songs of loss, love and, above all, truth. The album has already produced hit songs "Fuzzy," "Trouble Knows My Name," and "Flash Flood" which all have populated country, Americana, and Texas music charts. The Randy Rogers Band put everything they had into Trouble and it shows with the refreshing, infectious, and innovative sounds that fill this record from start to finish. There is no question that the Randy Rogers Band has created its own place in country music history.
When Willy Braun, frontman and principal songwriter for Austin, TX's Reckless Kelly, began writing songs for the newly-anticipated album from Reckless Kelly, Long Night Moon, he quickly found a theme emerging. "About halfway through writing the record, I noticed that almost all of the songs I was writing, whether they were songs about the road, life, or love, had something to do with traveling. It started as an accident and I decided to just go with it. Before we knew it, there was a definite theme." It's honest, original, and constantly evolving. The group has become known for their explosive live shows and have a incredible passion for making albums of substance. Long Night Moon is no exception. The record follows in the steps of 2011's Grammy-nominated Good Luck & True Love, which took home four Lone Star Music Awards and sent three singles to #1 on Texas radio. The new album also features phenomenal musicianship by the band as well as legendary guest musicians Lloyd Maines, Bukka Allen, and Jeff Plankenhorn. The album's lead single "The Last Goodbye" has been lighting up Country and Americana radio stations across the Lone Star State in addition to across the U.S. The band in a way resembles an aged whiskey—just getting better as the years pass. That’s old school. That’s Reckless Kelly.
Rodney Hayden has earned praises from some of the nation’s top-selling publications, such as USA Today, Entertainment Weekly, and People Magazine. Hayden has embodied traditional country music in its most desirable form and has collected all the necessary tools for the long haul—lyrics, confidence, ability, and desire. Over the course of his career, Rodney has attracted a large following of fans as he performs across Texas while opening for acts such as Robert Earl Keen, Hank Williams III, Charlie Robison, and Junior Brown. His signature voice and hit songs such as "Good Horses are Hard to Find", "Something Stronger than Me", and "Down the Road" has allowed Rodney to stand apart from his contemporaries and become recognized as a prominent singer-songwriter. Hayden's latest, Atascosa Sand, features a duet with Kelly Willis on the song "I Drink to Remember", in addition to three songs written by Hayden and Bubba Strait. Hayden’s hit single, “Buckaroo Man,” is also recognized as the warm-up song for Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Clay Buchholz at Fenway Park.
This Corpus Christi native was raised under the influential sounds of Jerry Jeff Walker, Lyle Lovett, Robert Earl Keen, Willie Nelson, Frank Sinatra, and others – and after witnessing Creager's commanding presence and full-bodied voice live, one will immediately appreciate his vast musical influences. Touring in support of his latest release, Surrender, Creager's fifth studio effort in a prolific career, he has continued to impress and entertain audiences far and wide. Many of his hit songs have successfully ascended the Texas Music Charts over the past decade and surely more creative songs and albums to come. After five albums, hundreds of thousands of road miles, and ever-expanding fan base, Creager is still going strong. When you hear his signature voice, you can't turn it down – you "turn it up."
The 'buzz' cannot be ignored much longer as the word is out on Shinyribs. These guys have a musical "stew" that covers all areas of music – ranging from rock to gospel to Cajun to country to folk, Shinyribs have it all plus more. Fronted by Kevin Russell and his defining stage presence, this group is an act not be to missed during the week of MusicFest. On stage, Russell impressively switches back and forth from electric guitar and ukulele, delivering a wide range of musical compositions that consist of traditional folk ballads to classic country to rhythm and blues. Backed by the solid rhythm section of Winfield Cheek, Jeff Brown, and Keith Langford, Shinyribs deliver an jaw-dropping set of tunes, almost of a spiritual epiphany, that have audiences chanting for more and more. All one has to do is listen to the group's latest recording, Gulf Coast Museum, to confirm the intensity and passion that Shinyribs perform with. These guys are an act not to miss!
Reminiscent of singers from decades past, Stewart Mann’s soulful voice is both evident and familiar. His seasoned timbre is well- worn, but polished. Joining Stewart is younger brother Garrett Mann, the lead guitar player who holds down the fort then lets loose when the song calls for it. On the bass guitar, Musicians Institute alumnus Ben Bradshaw, provides the backbone and sturdy foundation, while mixing in melodic leads and runs that only a player of his experience can muster. Drummer Luke Ayer’s ability to both drive the tunes and lay down a lazy snare for the slow groove furthers the dancing frenzy that ensues at a Statesboro Revue show. The all-star list of shared stages more than hints that this all-inclusive working band is truly worth their weight. The Statesboro Revue has played and performed alongside with the The Wailers, the Allman Brothers Band, Willie Nelson, Ryan Bingham, Reckless Kelly, Turnpike Troubadours, Randy Rogers Band, Marshall Tucker Band, The Fabulous Thunderbirds and Will Hoge. Never being afraid to aim high, The Statesboro Revue released their debut album, Different Kind of Light, in 2008. Hitting the Texas Music Chart with two Top 20 singles, the blues rock effort quickly drew a dedicated fan base to their stages. In 2013, the group released Ramble on Privlege Creek, which Stewart Mann proudly describes as "an album that is extremely broad in subject matter and style, in musicality and production, and I couldn’t be happier about it. I’ve always strived to create a sound that doesn’t try to reinvent the wheel. I think this record is as close as I have ever been to accomplishing that goal.”
Riding the wave of success off his latest record, Velvet, Stoney LaRue has been touring nonstop while sharing the stage with some of the biggest names in the music scene, such as Willie Nelson, Rodney Crowell, and Lee Ann Womack. Born in Taft, Texas as the son of a struggling bass player and a nurse, LaRue instantly recognized how valuable and important music can be. He began writing and recording songs by the age of 12. As he grew older, LaRue continued to absorb and study various styles of music ranging from Johnny Cash to Bob Dylan to Jim Croce. LaRue eventually settled in Stillwater, Oklahoma, and quickly distinguished himself as one of the music scene's elite. Still touring in support of Velvet, Stoney is performing close to 300 dates a year at top festivals and venues around the globe.
Growing up in the small Gulf coast town of Portland, Texas, twin sisters Amy and April Rankin have been entertaining spectators since they could walk. The Rankin Twins have a unique charisma that could melt the hardest of hearts while delivering an awe-inspiring and captivating array of music that sets them apart. The Rankin Twins are quickly rising in the local club scenes throughout Texas and are expanding their audience across the state and beyond. Their 2013 release, Moonshine and Maybes, confirms the Rankin Twins are real Texas-country talent with an undeniable quality that makes one fall for them at first sight and sound. The new record proudly displays their stunning vocal harmonies and well-crafted songwriting talents. And they’re not going away anytime soon – it is apparent that the Rankin Twins’ best days are still ahead of them.
When describing Jamie Wilson's voice, two aspects come to mind: that honeyed tenor twang, and that poetic, down-to-earth point of view she brings to her songwriting. An artist of singular talent and restless creativity, she broke into the Texas music scene as one of the lead vocalists of the Gougers, before the band gradually gave way to not only Wilson's solo work (the fine EP Dirty Blonde Hair released in 2010) but also her musical adventures with The Trishas, an all-female band that has toured through some of the nation's best venues. Scoring one of the best albums of 2012 with High Wide & Handsome and framing Wilson's stunning originals in the context of sisterly collaboration and harmony, The Trishas have brought her career to new heights while leaving room for solo gigs, guest spots on over a dozen albums, and song-swaps with like-minded artists all over Texas and beyond.
Kelley’s strong, beautiful voice is a unique blend of formal musical training and the local flavor of the Memphis music scene. Formal vocal training from the age of eight and summers at a theatre arts conservatory in Memphis provided the basics. After graduation from the University of Memphis with a marketing degree, Kelley and fellow Memphis native Jed Zimmerman, joined forces for a five year run as Jed and Kelley. The duo toured the country in an RV and cut two full-length records with Keith Sykes in Memphis. Along the way, Kelley taught herself to play the mandolin and guitar and developed a solid live-show stage presence. After the duo split, Kelley headed for Austin and eventually ran into a group of singers who would call themselves The Trishas, singing together for the first time at Musicfest 2009. When she’s not on stage with The Trishas, she can be found playing solo/duo shows with a rotating cast of friends. Her first solo project will be available late 2013.
The Texas Gulf Coast town of East Bernard rarely draws attention, but that is certainly about to change with the emergence of The Washers. A hard-working East Bernard band that produces driving rhythms, foot-stomping grooves, and talented musicianship, The Washers showcase their most distinct quality: the guys’ vocal flexibilities – four of the five band members share vocal duties equally. The constant shifting of singing allows these guys to create beautiful yet complex vocal harmonies and melodies that escalate their songs into a new realm of artistic creativity. The Washers have successfully combined their influences of folk, rock ’n’ roll, and country into one quality product that will leave listeners addicted to the unique blending of Americana music. In addition to this group's innovative musical style, they also coordinate their own Washer tournament and music festival every January in the town of Hungerford, Texas.
Most people are first introduced to Thom by one of the long list of songs that he has written, but were recorded and released by other artists. He is the writer of the #1 singles “Redneck Yacht Club," recorded by Craig Morgan, and “Riding with Private Malone” recorded by David Ball. He wrote the #1 Josh Abbott and Pat Green single, “My Texas.” Kevin Fowler recorded two of Thom’s songs, taking “Beer Season” to #1 for three weeks and “Cheaper To Keep Her” to #3 on the Texas Music Chart. He also wrote the GMA Canada Song and Video of the Year "A Father's Love (The Only Way He Knew How)" and the title track of Tracy Lawrence’s Grammy nominated album, The Rock. In total, Thom has had over 10 singles and had over ninety songs recorded by artists including Easton Corbin, Colt Ford, Bucky Covington, George Jones, Pam Tillis, Lorrie Morgan, Trailer Choir, Montgomery Gentry, Buddy Jewell, and Cledus T. Judd. He has written for five different music publishers in Nashville, but after years of living there, Thom decided to relocate to Texas in 2011 to pursue a full time touring career. “I’ve always written songs so that I could perform them live on stage,” he says. “It’s always exciting when someone else records one of my songs, but there is no greater feeling than connecting with an audience.“
The Turnpike Troubadours’ name derives from the bumpy Oklahoma toll roads and the hard-lived, folk-singing heroes that influenced the group’s sound. Breaking down traditional barriers between the audience and the stage is something in which the Turnpike Troubadours excel as their live shows have developed into a communal celebration of music. Fast, gritty, and often drenched in beer, the Troubadours perform to both their fans and new audience members with a genuine sincerity. The Troubadours are touring relentlessly in support of their latest album, Goodbye Normal Street. The new album epitomizes the Troubadours’ finest qualities: fine musicianship, catchy lyrics, and excellent visualizations. Hit songs from the album such as "Gin, Smoke, and Lies," "Blue Star," "Morgan Street," along with countless others, show that the Troubadours know how to write a song that appeals to all listeners. With an endless highway ahead, the Troubadours are prepared to take their fans and audiences with them to the next level.
Packing a punch with soulful grooves, Southern-fried guitar licks, and deep heartfelt lyrics, Uncle Lucius has become a prime attraction during the week of MusicFest for all music aficionados. Hailing from Austin, Texas, the band takes pride in its live show and believes that performing live is still the truest form of communication with their fans. The band’s most recent effort, And You Are Me, is a push forward for the guys as they continue to incorporate various essential elements of rock ’n’ roll, R&B, blues, and country into their own tour de force. Harkening back to the deep, impassioned, headphone music of the ’60s and ’70s, the new record has produced soul-rockin songs such as "Pocketful of Misery," "Keep the Wolves Away," and "Ain't It The Same," along with a number of other grooving jams. Do not miss out on this unique group, you will not be disappointed.
Wade Bowen was born and raised in Waco, Texas, and later attended and graduated from Texas Tech University in Lubbock. While in Lubbock, Bowen learned to write songs and eventually honed his songwriting craft to the point he became a permanent staple in the Texas/Red Dirt music scene. In 2001, Bowen released his first album, Just For Fun, and began touring extensively. Twelve years later, Bowen's seventh album, The Given, has earned him enthusiastic reviews from both listeners and media critics alike. The Given has further solidified his strong, remarkable presence within the music community. The mention of Bowen’s name generally evokes the trademark traits of Bowen’s songs: emotional, passionate, and intense. Wade Bowen’s path continues to be marked with mass-media acclaim, continuous radio airplay, and a constantly expanding fan base that attracts a ceaseless tour schedule amounting to over 200 shows a year.
This unique grouping of talented individuals have all achieved a degree of success in their careers, but when these musicians unite, the chemistry is at its finest. Walt Wilkins, who is viewed as the group's front man, has made his impact in Texas and Nashville, becoming recognized as a writer with a John Steinbeck caliber level of writing and signature voice that is like no other around. The musicianship by all players that is captured on the latest record, Wildcat Pie, is a true work of art as these musicians harmonize with one another and feed off one another's energy. The music this group performs live is highly reminiscent of 70s country rock from Texas and the West Coast and blues and soul that members grew up listening to and helps influence the group's quality songwriting, musicianship, rhythm, and vocal arrangements. A true treat for any music aficionado!
Warren Hood first began playing the fiddle at the age of 11. He attended Berklee School of Music where he was awarded the school's top honor – The String Achievement Award. Since then, Warren has recognized and awarded for his talents and was acknowledged by the Austin Chronicle Music Poll for his string virtuosity. The Warren Hood Band consists of Warren, guitar ace Willie Pipkin, and singer and pianist extraordinaire, Emily Gimble. The Warren Hood Band has also performed alongside with some of the most accomplished and distinguished musicians such as Ray Benson, Marcia Ball, Lyle Lovett, Elvis Costello, Susan Tedeschi, and several more. The Warren Hood Band self-titled record was released this past summer and has been met with many favorable reviews, recognizing and applauding the quality musicianship by all members of the Warren Hood Band. The record was produced by Charlie Sexton and nine of the 11 songs featured on the record were written/co-written by Warren. This past spring and summer The Warren Hood Band performed across the U.S. with Hayes Carll at sold out shows and festivals with notable appearances at the Kerrville Folk Festival, Pagosa Folk and Bluegrass Fest, The Americana Music Festival in Chicago, and the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival in San Francisco.
Whiskey Myers is loud, raucous, proud, and not really certain what comes next. The truth is that Whiskey Myers is sort of inexplicable with a blue-collared approach. With its superb twin-lead guitars, Cody Cannon’s rough-cut lead vocals, and a sold, uncluttered rhythm section, the band typically straddles the line of a Lynyrd Skynyrd and a Led Zeppelin-like foundation. It’s a Southern-rock band with jam-band tendencies that also incorporates elements of rockabilly, blues, and grunge. This quintet released its debut album, Road of Life, in 2008 and quickly gained a large and enthusiastic following. In 2011, the group released its much-anticipated follow-up, Firewater, which garnered rave reviews and constant radio airplay. The band has been taking a grassroots approach to promoting its name by touring nonstop and has recently finished recording their latest effort, Early Morning Shakes, which will be released in fall 2013.
Born in Nashville, Tennessee, Will Hoge was introduced to music through his father’s record collection and by watching his father and uncles perform music locally. Hoge later attended Western Kentucky University, where he recognized the power of music. He soon devoted himself to becoming a full-time musician, and in early 2002, after years of touring and performing relentlessly throughout the American South, he caught the attention of Atlantic Records. Since then, Hoge has introduced new music to the public on several albums. In late 2012, Will signed a songwriting deal with BMG Nashville and agreed to a distribution contract with Thirty Tigers. 2012 also saw Will receive a Grammy nomination, a Country Music Association nomination and an Academy of Country Music nomination for his song "Even If It Breaks Your Heart," a song that was recorded by the Eli Young Band. Over the course of his career, Hoge has toured and shared the stage with many artists, including ZZ Top, Vince Gill, Sugarland, and Shinedown, while also appearing on national-media programs like CBS Early Show and GAC, and he has often performed at the historic Grand Ole Opry.
With honest and personal lyrics, William Clark Green’s music lures in and relates his audience to
real-life inspiration. Growing up in small-town Flint, Texas, Will started writing at 13. After some practice and encouragement, Will opened for The Dragliners in College Station. Upon graduating high school, William enrolled at Texas Tech, where he got the chance to play the Monday night spot at Recovery Room, eventually working his way up to the headlining show on Thursday nights. Friend and fellow songwriter, Josh Abbott, helped Green get his foot in the door at Blue Light in Lubbock, Texas. After playing many acoustic shows, Green started a band and recorded his first CD, Dangerous Man, that was released in September 2008. Since then, Green and his group have toured Texas and across the Midwest non-stop, consistently putting out new music. William and his band have been opening and performing alongside notable musicians such as Reckless Kelly, Randy Rogers, Pat Green, Kyle Park and several others, helping Green gain exposure to new audiences. Tracks off his latest record, 2013's Rose Queen, have been appearing on Texas Music Chart. The lead single, "It's About Time," cracked the Top 10 and the follow-up single, "She Likes The Beatles," hit the #1 spot this summer, further confirming William is on his way to the top!
What makes Zane Williams stand out is his songs. Like mini movies, they pull you in, tell you a story, make you laugh, and remind you of life’s deepest truths. Zane wrote all eleven songs on his latest album, and while they cover a broad range of sonic and lyrical territory, his unique voice runs through them like a thread that ties them all together. The music is country; no doubts, no apologies, but Zane makes the traditional sounds his own and manages to stay relevant while paying homage to the past. Zane’s own journey to becoming an overnight success began with writing songs as a hobby while at Abilene Christian University. After graduation in 1999, that hobby quickly grew into a career as a college coffeehouse performer, taking him to over five hundred colleges nationwide in a seven-year period. Following a two-year stint as a staff songwriter in Nashville and a top-20 Billboard hit with “Hurry Home” (recorded by Jason Michael Carroll), Zane moved back to Texas in 2008 and refocused his career on building a grass- roots local following. Now, thanks to a busy touring schedule, a rapidly growing fan base, and a critically acclaimed new album, Zane’s fifteen-year overnight success story is beginning its most interesting chapter yet.
Native Nashvillians Jaren Johnston, Neil Mason, and Kelby Ray have been friends and musical co-conspirators since they were kids, and they managed to weather their teenage years, withstand major label letdowns, and achieve major triumphs. The Cadillac Three have emerged with a sound unlike any other around: a sound straddling the fence between radio-ready country anthems, hard-and-heavy rock, and traditional Southern folk. Some describe them as country fuzz, hipster-billy, or simply put: good music. The Cadillac Three have earned the praises from Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top, Mark Eli of Eli Young Band, and Dierks Bentley. Their distinctive southern sound is built around Neil Mason's thunderous drumming intertwined with and complimented by Jaren Johnston's brilliant guitar playing, and Kelby Ray's smooth lap steel performances. Their self-titled debut is filled with plenty of energy and grooving jams, further solidifying that their own sound is the sound of the South – bigger and badder than ever.
Jonny Burke is a man continually on the move, musically and literally. By the time Burke was 15, he was already performing in bars. He formed his first band, the Dedringers, with his friend Sean Faires, and it became a popular regional band. Just over a year after the release of his debut solo album Distance and Fortune, Burke put forth Cup Runneth Over. In March of 2012, Burke threw the first annual Heartbreaker Banquet on Willie Nelson’s ranch outside of Austin, where Jonny toasted his latest project alongside an explosive lineup of performers including Gary Clark Jr., James McMurtry, Father John Misty, Phosphorescent, Billy Joe Shaver, Joe Pug, Shovels and Rope, and Ray Wylie Hubbard. 2013 has found Jonny continuing to tour the country as an opening performer for great artists such as James McMurtry and spending more time in his home state of Texas, playing shows and co-writing with friends for what will inevitably become the next project.
Kylie Rae Harris
Kylie Rae Harris was introduced to the Texas-Americana and singer-songwriter music scenes by her step father when she was young in Wylie, Texas. She remembers singing along to Radney Foster and Jerry Jeff Walker on the family’s long road trips to East Texas. She’s never strayed from those early influences. Throw in some inspiration from singer-songwriters like Walt Wilkins and Patty Griffin and you begin to understand why her lyrics sound so real. "You can just feel something about somebody when they mean what they are singing," Kylie says. "That’s so important to me. Music is a connecting point with people; it’s fellowship with people. It’s why I love music."
Lee Ann Womack Website: www.LeeAnnWomack.com
Lee Ann Womack has walked the line for classic country. With six weeks in #1 "I Hope You Dance," a 2005 CMA Single of the Year for "I May Hate Myself in the Morning" and 2005 Album of the Year for There’s More Where That Came From and a Grammy for "Mendocino County Line" with Willie Nelson, the Jacksonville, Texan is the best of progressive old school music. She’s sung with Buddy Miller, George Strait, Ricky Skaggs, Alan Jackson, Dolly Parton and Nelson on her way to creating a singularly transcendent style that works in bluegrass, Americana, adult contemporary and country. Don’t miss this one-of-a-kind show only MusicFest conjures up.
Matt Caldwell started his first band, Texas Most Wanted, when he was a senior in high school. Matt and his band toured for a few years in Texas before moving to Nashville to focus on songwriting. Matt began cutting and installing granite during the day, and writing songs in the evening. During one of his installations, Matt met renowned songwriter Monty Holmes. He began writing with Monty and others including Wes Hightower, Trent Willmon and Tommy Karlas. Within a few years, Matt received his first publishing contract. After a few years, Matt released his current EP What Cowboys Do. Shortly after, he joined the docu-reality series Troubadour, TX and returned to his home state to begin touring again. Matt plays his own gigs and opens for many artists including Roger Creager, Wade Bowen and Cody Johnson. Matt continues to divide his time between writing and performing, and will be back in studio recording this winter.
Tina Wilkins has become a highly-regarded songwriter and performer in her most recent home of Texas. You can find her performing solo, with her husband Walt Wilkins, or as the beautiful, vivacious "chick singer" of the Mystiqueros. After stops in Los Angeles and Nashville where she was an in-demand session and stage singer, she developed a reputation as a writer with a unique eye for everyday life, and has blossomed in this last Texas Hill Country-based chapter. As those who know her will tell you: Tina radiates. She radiates charm, humor, grace, beauty and a love of life. Not to mention her amazing range and tone as a singer, her great songs, and her ear for songs that suite her perfectly. This is an artist to get to know and enjoy. You'll love her, as her devoted fans already do.
If you know Reckless Kelly, you know the wit, charm and songwriting expertise of the front man for this popular band. Catch Willy as he shares songs and stories with some good friends.
Evan Felker stands as the front man of the Turnpike Troubadours. While the band is relatively new to the scene, everyone knows them. Evan’s writing and lead vocals have helped make the Turnpike Troubadours a common household name for those that follow genuine music.