THAT’S A WRAP! Festival Review

Event Review: Larry Joe Taylor Texas Music Festival

Another year has passed and the music festival that began 29 years ago shows no signs of slowing down. The Larry Joe Taylor Texas Music Festival and Chili Cook-off started as a way to provide both the artists and fans a place to meet on common ground. The first few years the festival was targeting die-hard fans but steadily the festival grew. Soon the numbers increased and fans where now bringing their children and making a family vacation out of the 5 day festival. The festival brings in fans exceeding over 60,000 and host over 50 performers. This caused one issue, the original location was not able to handle such large crowds. The festival has moved several times from its original location in Mingus, Texas to its permanent home at Melody Mountain Ranch, a beautiful and spacious 380 acre spread located 5 miles north of Stephenville, Texas. Sponsors such as Colorado High Vodka, Bud Lite, TexStar Ford and dozens more help pull off this amazing festival.

As the children turned into young adults they began bringing their friends and the crowd rapidly became a diverse mix of all ages and backgrounds. Acts like Pat Green were bringing in the college crowd and guys like Rusty Wier, Ray Wylie Hubbard and Steven Fromholz were helping bring the Progressive Country crowd out of hibernation. The lesser-known singer/songwriters had the opportunity to perform in front of these large and diverse crowds and develop their own fans. You will spot the older fans cooking barbeque and chili for the young ones who arrive with nothing but a three-day-supply of beer. Old or young country music was reaching fans of all ages. The festival reached a level of national recognition for “NEW” artist to be recognized. Performing Songwriter Magazine has even ranked it as one of the Top Four Music Festivals in the state of Texas. The event increasingly gained a reputation for being the springboard for many talented but unknown singer/songwriters as well as showcasing well known artists from the past and present.

If you are looking to discover up and coming country stars like Conquer Entertainments Mark Mckinney who has been invited to perform for 8 years now, take a trip to “Melody Mountain”.

We had an opportunity to chat with Mark to get his feedback on the event.

“I feel It has grown over the last several years, and the facility, production level and stage have really been amped up. My highlight over the weekend is visiting with fellow touring Texas artists. It’s like attending a big family reunion. It’s a time where we are all in the same place for a day or two and we can catch up and visit. After the show that night we join our friends and fans around the campsite fires while professional singers and up and comers pass the guitar around all night long singing and drinking at hundreds of after party jams. It’s a truly fun event.”

You will experience the festival traditions that they have kept year after year. Traditions such as camping out at one of the 400 sites, thousands of square feet set aside for picking, campfires for storytelling and a 8,000 square foot stage showcasing only the best original music in the nation.

On the road again.. with Little Texas

Country Band: Little Texas

On the road again….

Back in the 90s Little Texas took the country world by storm. Selling over 7 million albums, receiving 3 Grammy nominations plus honors from both the Academy of Country Music (Vocal Group Of The Year) and the Country Music Association (Album Of The Year). Their first radio release in 1991, “Some Guys Have All The Love,” became a Top-10 hit, as did their next single, “First Time For Everything.

The band toured with fellow musicians such as Clint Black, Trisha Yearwood, Tim McGraw and Travis Tritt. Little Texas broke a record in country music history. They had three different songs on three different charts with three different lead singers, all at the same time. It is a feat that has never been repeated since by any band.

 

In 1997 the band decided to take a  Hiatus after years of touring and producing. They each worked on individual projects and spent time with family and friends. In 2004 the four original members rebuilt the franchise with a new sound. This year, Little Texas is breaking new sonic ground with the release of their 8th album, Young For A Long Time https://www.littletexasonline.com/music

 

Little Texas always knows the number one job is to consistently deliver to the fan base that they’ve acquired over the years. Their meet and greets, VIP fan club and consistent communication through social media https://www.facebook.com/littletexasband/ allows the fans to stay connected to the band. You can catch Little Texas touring with some of their country musicians in a town near you this summer.

UPCOMING TOUR DATES

Thu, Apr 27 Silverton Casino Hotel Las Vegas, NV

Fri, May 5 Jiggy With The Piggy Festival Kannapolis, NC

Sat, May 6 Valley Fest Dunlap, TN

Fri, May 12 The Throne Theater Wilmington, NC

Sat, May 13 Anderson Music Hall w/Sawyer Brown Hiawassee, GA

Sat, May 20 Colorado Energy Festival w/ Charlie Daniels Band Island Grove Regional Park, Greeley, CO

Thu, May 25 Chances R Lubbock, TX

Fri, May 26 Fredericksburg Crawfish Festival Fredericksburg, TX

Sat, May 27 Atwood Music Festival Monticello, MS

Fri, Jun 2 The Swamp Fox w/Firehouse Marion, SC

SAt, Jun 10 The Fargodome Fargo, ND

Sun, Jun 11 @ 4:00 PM CMA Music Festival – Forever Country Stage Nashville, TN

 

SAT, JUN 17 BOTTINEAU COUNTY FAIR BOTTINEAU, ND

 

FRI, JUN 23 KINGS NIGHTCLUB CLARKSVILLE, TN

 

SAT, JUL 1 RIO BLANCO COUNTY FAIRGROUNDS W/ LONESTAR MEEKER, CO

 

TUE, JUL 4 JULY 4TH APPRECIATION DAY LAGRANGE, MO

 

SAT, JUL 15 DELAWARE COUNTY FAIR W/ SAWYER BROWN MANCHESTER, IA

 

FRI, JUL 21 SALINE COUNTY FAIR CRETE, NE

 

FRI, JUL 28 THE GOBBLER THEATER JOHNSON CREEK, WI

 

SAT, JUL 29 SAC SPEEDWAY SAC CITY, IA

 

Sun, Jul 30 TBA Minnesota

Thu, Aug 3 Gallia County Fair Gallipolis, OH

Sat, Aug 5 Private Event Ranger, TX

Thu, Aug 10 Main Street Square Rapid City, SD

Fri, Aug 11Best Of The West Ribfest Watford City, ND

Sat, Aug 12 Red’s Irish Pub Swanville, MN

Sat, Aug 19 The Rally Sturgis, MS

Fri, Sep 8 Isle of Capri Boonville, MO

Sat, Sep 9 Lady Luck Casino Caruthersville, MO

Sun, Sep 10 The Strand at 38 Main Waynesville, NC

Fri, Sep 15 David M. Player Center for the Arts Safford, AZ

Sat, Sep 16 Higley Center for the Performing Arts Gilbert, AZ

Fri, Sep 29 Preston County Buckwheat Festival Kingwood, WV

SAT, SEP 30 “GET DOWN DOWNTOWN” STREET FESTIVAL SEARCY, AR

 

SAT, OCT 7 CHER-AE HEIGHTS CASINO TRINIDAD, CA

 

FRI, OCT 20 WASHINGTON PARISH FREE FAIR W/ SHENANDOAH FRANKLINTON, LA

 

SAT, NOV 4 MCHALE PERFORMING ARTS CENTER LOGANSPORT, IN

An Interview with Mark McKinney

 

Mark McKinney’s new release “Bridge”

The past is gone it’s yesterday, you gotta get out of your own way

The past is gone it yesterday, the rest of your life begins today

Mark not only entertains you with his new release Bridge but he also inspires you.

 

Mark has four studio albums, Fifteen Top 10 hits on the Texas Country Charts, an ever-growing fan base, and favorite entertainer of the Texas music scene, Mark McKinney is a force to be reckoned with, and has no plans of slowing down any time soon. World In Between was released in January of 2017, it has already received much critical acclaim. This past week he released the video that showcases the soundtrack Bridge.
We had an opportunity to meet up with Mark and his band at SXSW2017 in his hometown of Austin. We asked him a few questions in between sets.

Does the song have a personal meaning behind it? Not too much, while writing it we thought of a fictional couple who had a relationship that had turned bitter, and it had become time to move on. But, one side wasn’t willing to let it go. We also wanted a positive message about starting over to be included, and that happens at the end of the song, in the last bridge of the song. “The past is gone it’s yesterday, the rest of your life begins today.”

 

Do you write all your own music?

Yes, every song I’ve ever recorded I’ve written, many of them alone, and sometime I co-write. My new album has 11 tracks on it, one was co-written with my brother Eric, two were co-written with my wife Cassie, including “Bride,” and one with a friend named Brian Burke. The rest written alone.

 

When putting together the album how do you select what song will be the first song on the album?

That’s a tough decision, as the tracks start to come together, they take on a vibe and life of their own, eventually you find one that just sort of feels like a good start to the album. My brother Eric who co-produced the album with me, plus my Dad who attended all the recording sessions (Couch producer),  and I started thinking 90 Miles fit the bill, and would be a nice laid back feel to kick things off.

 

Not every song that you produce will get a video created for it, how do you choose? Ideally we want to do a video for each single we put out to radio, it’s nice to have a visual to go with the song in this day and age of YouTube and iPhones… choosing each single is a tough decision, you factor in the song’s style, quality, the feel and tempo of the song compared to the previous single, the time of year and what might correlate well etc.. eventually one just sort a emerges as the right choice, at least you hope so.

 

You have a long time relationship with the producer of your video what skills are you most attracted to of his?

My friend AJ Vallejo produced the video for “Bridge.” AJ has a long back ground in music, having fronted the very successful Austin TX rock band “Vellejo,” and producing 100’s of albums and projects. He really has a great eye for video producing and I like the energy and vision he goes for in his videos.

 

Who came up with the concept for the video? That pretty much came about over 2 or 3 dinners out with AJ, my wife Cassie, and myself. We like to get together with him and try new foodie places in Austin, and we did that several times and just through ideas around all contributing pieces to the puzzle.

 

Writing, producing, and recording is so personal but if you had the opportunity, what artist would you like to hear Sing your song?

That’s a very tough question, it’s hard for me to come up with an answer for it. I think I’m going to have to ponder that one for a while longer lol.

 

Current news:

Mark’s latest single “Sunshine” just went #1 on the Texas Regional Radio Chart. This marks his fourth number one song. Check out the video:

Sunshine Music Video

MarkMcKinney.com

Booking & Management:

TexasEvolution

Info@TexasEvolution.com