LJT 23 Preview

Well friends, the calendar has rolled back around to bring us one of the most magical musical events of the year: Larry Joe Taylor’s Texas Music Festival. Five days of music and memories being made onstage and around campfires with friends old and new.

Coined “Redneck Woodstock” by Roger Creager onstage at the 2000 festival and referred to as “Our own kind of Bonaroo” by Johnny Cooper in 2009, LJT’s Texas Music Festival is the ultimate festival for Texas and Red Dirt musicians and fans. Depending on how long you choose to stay, it’s several days of music, mullets, BBQ, chili, tents, flags, music, doctors, lawyers, college kids, high school kids, music, hippies, rednecks, old friends, new friends, “Goodnight Moons”, “Tequila Sunrises”, campfires, tents, boats, RV’s, campers, music, newcomers, legends, cowboys, fun, music and much, much more. Every crowd is represented and respected. The young college revelers are respectful of the older music fans and vice versa. The good time vibes fill the grounds of beautiful Melody Mountain Ranch.

You’re as likely to hear the best song you’ve ever heard from the guy camping next to you as you are to hear Reckless Kelly perform onstage. Cody Canada has been performing at LJT’s since he was a teenager. And it just might turn out the guy camping next to you and bumming beers is some guy named Abbott or LaRue. Music starts each day at noon with acoustic acts under a listening room tent where idle conversation is discouraged. The music transitions to the mainstage around 5PM for some of the most energetic sets from some of the best bands you’ll see all year. The nightcapping sets can grow pretty rowdy and are a ton of fun.

Additionally, this is the one festival where the artists truly hang out in the crowd the whole time and enjoy being a fan. Randy Rogers and Brady Black even began a hayride tradition several years ago that takes music in its purest form and shares it until sunrise.

It’s Texas Music nirvana, the event of the year, every year. Days full of no worries except making sure you get to the stage with enough beer to make it through the show. No cell phones, laptops or other such modern nuiscances. Just the open Texas sky, a sea of thousands of like-minded music fans from all over the country, and true serenity.

Words cannot express how special the Larry Joe Taylor festival is or how important it has been in exposing new talent and developing this scene. Larry Joe, his wife Sherry and their son Zack, along with all the countless volunteers, sponsors and vendors make this a smooth run event with nothing but fun to be had. I hope you’ll consider joining us this year.

Galleywinter will once again be a very active LJT participant as we’ve partnered with Red 7 Entertainment to bring you a special acoustic showcase once the mainstage shuts down each night. It’s where the old Mandatory stage was and you never know who might stop by. Also, check us out on Twitter (@galleywinter) as we’ll be updating as much as cell service will allow. See y’all at Melody Mountain.

Brad Beheler

Raised in Waco, refined in the Hill Country, escaped from DFW. I've worked in just about every facet of the music business for 20 years. I like to write about it all. e-mail Brad Editor-in-Chief

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