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HC MusicFest - day & night of entertainment

By Judith Pannebaker BCC Editor

Walt Wilkins Josh Grider Drew Kennedy

The Texas Hill Country MusicFest, slated for Saturday, Oct. 11, will offer non-stop entertainment beginning at noon and continuing until 2 am at Bandera's 11th Street Cowboy Bar, 307 11 Street.
Proceeds from the fundraiser will benefit Angels All Around You Military Ministry, Alamo Breast Cancer Foundation, Kiwanis Scholarship Fund and the Moonlight Fund, which assists burn survivors and their families.
Performers in this third annual musical event span the musical spectrum, offering - to employ a hackneyed phrase - something for every musical taste.
More than once, San Antonio's Walt Wilkins has been called a genius and his singing style "as comfortable as a pair of old blue jeans." A fixture on the Texas music scene and Nashville before that Wilkins carefully crafts story songs, backing them up with hand-edged vocals and his expressive guitar playing.
On practically the other end of the Texas music continuum is Josh Grider, who everyone is betting on for a 10-year-in-the-making "overnight success" in Nashville. Grider's been a respected member of the so-called Texas-Red Dirt Music Scene for years. However, it wasn't until spring 2013 that momentum really started to build for this New Mexico-born country singer.
In early 2012, after signing his first publishing deal with AMP Entertainment, Grider recorded The Getting' There, which yielded a trio of number one songs on the Texas Regional Radio Report and a pair of number one songs on the Texas Music Chart. That year Grider was also featured on the national television show, "Troubadour Texas."
Also, not coincidentally, the song called "Crazy Like You" from a recording that Walt Wilkins produced for him in 2007, Million Miles To Go, has sold over 30,000 copies.
Early this year, Grider recorded the full-length album Luck & Desire, promoting it with nearly 150 tour dates. So, with a little luck, 2014 just might be the year to celebrate Grider's "overnight success."
Drew Kennedy writes songs for a living and has been doing so since 2004 so it's not surprising that he loves songs that are intelligent, thought provoking and honest. "They give me hope, and those who wrote them inspire me," he said.
Kennedy, who lives in New Braunfels, released his seventh album, Sad Songs Happily Played, in 2014. "I think it's a clever title, but I am often wrong about these types of things," he commented.
The Kennedy household includes his wife, a son, three dogs, a cat and a "and a generous school of fish that I try not to forget to feed when my wife assigns me the task" - as well as a trio of favorite guitars, a restored 1964 Gibson Country and Western, 2002 Morgan Rosewood Dreadnaught and a 2004 Gibson J45, which had a starring role in the movie "Infamous."
Other artists performing at the Texas HC MusicFest include Bandera's favorite newlyweds, Art & Lisa, who have been performing together since 2007; Susan Gibson, who penned "Wide Open Spaces" for the once-unstoppable Dixie Chicks; Chris King and the Liberators who share a penchant for rock & roll - country-style; Bandera native Hollin McKay; Kelly Mickwee, a Memphis transplant who has co-written songs with her friends, Kevin Welch, Owen Temple, Phoebe Hunt, Jimmy Davis and Johnny Burke; Jana Pochop, who effortlessly segues from "grassy-rootsy" folk to pop genres; singer-songwriter Mike Ryan, who frequently travels to Nashville for writing sessions; the Natalie Rose Band, the namesake of whom has opened for Roy Clark, the late Ray Price, Charley Pride, Ronnie Milsap, Clay Walker and Kevin Fowler; and the Pat Ryan Band that takes pleasure in grinding together country, blues, rock & roll and other genres, making a mix that's distinctively their own.
The Texas Hill County MusicFest is the brainchild of Denise Griffin and her daughter and son-in-law, Melinda and Roger Byrd.
"This event originated as a birthday party idea for Roger several years ago and it has turned into something far greater than we could have imagined," Melinda Byrd said. "We are so excited to raise money for these very worthy charitable causes. We want to grow this event each year, bringing more Texas music and performers to the community."
Advance tickets are $20 and are available at www.outhousetickets.com. Tickets at the door are $30. Major sponsors include 11th Street Cowboy Bar, Harleys & Horses Marketplace, ALT Construction, John Teich Construction, Buddy's Water Well & Septic Service, Block Creek, NuWater, Brick's River Cafe, Aquatech Drilling, Inc. and Lone Star Aerobic Services.
For more information, visit www.facebook.com/TXHillCountryFundraiser?ref=hl - and don't miss this once in a lifetime musical fundraising event!