LJT 25 Preview: Saturday
The final day of Texas Music Fest always brings a welcomed downshift in rowdiness and fiascos. The lineup reflects that shift in vibe. I first saw Terri Hendrix and Lloyd Maines perform at LJT when it was back in Meridian in a 1999 set opening up for Pat Green…then at the height of his Texas Music powers. Terri and Lloyd were able to command an audience of drunken college kids and old hippies there only to scream along to “Southbound 35” in a way I thought impossible. Their act has only grown in command, precision, humor and greatness in the ensuring 14 years. I can’t think of a better bookend act to open up the last day of LJT 25 at 12 noon.
Ray Wylie Hubbard is nearly as synonymous with LJT as Larry Joe himself. He’s been playing the event dating back to its meager beginnings and has seen it grow immensely during that time. Hubbard is at his best in an environment such as this. A crowd filled with various ages and musical backgrounds shading themselves from the Texas heat and entering their final LJT power hours for one more year. Ray Wylie’s lowdown bluesy tales of shady characters and drop D grooves will have the entire crowd swaying, tapping, clapping, whooping and hollering around 2PM.
The most buzzed about young act hitting the stage this year is William Clark Green. Soon to release his fantastic new album Rose Queen, WCG will have a lot of eyes and ears on him for the first time. It will be interesting to see how he and the crowd respond to this scenario. The Tejas Brothers have become renowned for their LJT sets that encompass the best elements of Doug Sahm and Delbert McClinton and sprinkle it with a heavy dose of entertainment value. They’ll be rocking the mainstage around 5PM.
Following the Tejas Brothers are the Los Lonely Boys. The Los Lonely Boys were a brave booking choice for the LJT folks a few years ago when they made their first appearance at the festival. However, the San Angelo rooted pop-rockers delved into those roots for one of the most entertaining sets I’ve seen at the 15 LJT festivals I’ve attended. Rocking and free, the Los Lonely Boys’ enthusiasm tanscended to the audience and created one of the coolest scenes Melody Mountain Ranch has had. I’m willing to bet they recreate that on the mainstage around 6PM.
Jack Ingram returns to LJT for the first time in a number of years around 8PM. Once an annual performer, Ingram has chased other muses over the past few years before recently returning closer to his booking roots with gigs like LJT. Ingram is the only person I’ve ever seen bring the entire festival to a welcomed standstill when he performed “Goodnight Moon” under a full moon at an early 2000’s LJT festival. Thousands of drunk, sunburned, tired, burnt out revelers shifted into lullabye mode and it remains one of the coolest concert moments I’ve had anywhere. He is Jack Ingram…and he plays country music at LJT once more.