If Wednesday brings a noticeable uptick in action, Thursday is when the festival truly kicks into high gear. By now most of the diehards have their temporary homes set up at their campsites and are in the full swing of LJT festivities. Late night guitar pulls have spilled into breakfast gatherings and the hangovers are drowned in more music, black coffee and the fellowship of fellow music fans.
In a day filled with fantastic music, the first act we recommend not missing is the one and only Radney Foster at 4PM on the acoustic stage. Last year’s Foster set was marked by following Josh Weathers statement making set and an interlude where Foster went punk rock by playing a complete song with a busted E string. Foster’s catalog and track record are almost peerless and he is a gifted entertainer. Come see one of the cornerstones of modern Texas music in a special environment.
Following Radney Foster, there is one awesome band after another on the mainstage. Things kick off with The Damn Quails followed by Brandon Rhyder. Two acts with distinctly different styles that elicit the same results…strong reactions from the crowd. The Quails are like a folk rock jam band and Rhyder is a strong balladeer with Matt Powell at his side. Formidable to say the least, but things only keep ratcheting up.
Rhyder gives way to Reckless Kelly. The longtime Friday night closers have moved to Thursday night this year. Their Americana rock never sounds finer than as it’s bouncing off the fields of Melody Mountain Ranch. Willy Braun always seems to take it to another level at LJT and by the time “Crazy Eddie” comes out the crowd is near pandemonium. Think that’s hyperbole? Watch some videos from out there.
The night ends with a one-two punch that will leave thousands telling their buddies to hold their beers and watch this. Wade Bowen and Randy Rogers Band. These two friends and scene veterans truly “get” what LJT is all about. The song. The craft. The camraderie. They normally have a surprise or two in store at this gig and I wouldn’t be surprised to see some sort of jam before it’s all said and done. Plus, you must watch out for those golf carts and Gators afterwards because they might just be pulling up to your spot to play a few!