Last year’s Homegrown Music and Arts fest had to move indoors to the Bomb Factory because of weather concerns. Turned out to be a shrewd move. No good times were lost in that venue, thanks to high-energy sets from Old 97’s and Bobby Patterson.
But let’s be real here — we’re all crossing fingers that the festival successfully returns to its outdoor home, Main Street Garden, for its seventh edition. That was part of the defining magic of the Texas-music gathering. Giving hometown and regional acts a grand stage in the heart of downtown on a sunny day? Can’t beat it.
If all goes as planned this year with Mother Nature, the May 14 return to downtown will be significantly more dance-friendly than past editions, thanks to the footloose vibes of three of Homegrown’s top headliners. Let’s take the whole bill from bottom to top and see what we’re in for:
The Misteries: It’s a rare treat to hear live or recorded music from this, ahem, mysterious Dallas pop-rock act. But the melodious material we’ve heard should have folks excited early in the day. One of the minds behind the Misteries’ hooky tunes is the prolific local producer Daniel Creamer. themisteries.com
Young Mammals: Distorted vocals and reverb-drenched guitar lines give this Houston band’s pop songs a hazy quality, but they’re still catchy pop songs. And perfect for a breezy afternoon. http://youngmammals.bandcamp.com
Kirk Thurmond & the Millennials: A little gritty and very soulful, Thurmond is one of Dallas’ most entertaining frontmen. The energy at the festival should get a dramatic boost when he and his bandmates take the stage. ktammusic.com
Charley Crockett: Raised in Dallas with ties to both South Texas and New Orleans, Crockett offers a rich brew of roots influences. Country, blues and folk come together gorgeously and authentically on his 2015 record, A Stolen Jewel. reverbnation.com /charleycrockett
Bobby Sessions: He calls himself the “legend from Dallas, Texas” in his rap tunes. Healthy boasts aside, Sessions is certainly building a strong musical legacy with inspired tunes about everything from social injustice to the young artist’s struggles. twitter.com/bobbysessionstx
Pageantry: This Denton group led by singer-songwriter Roy Robertson recently released a brooding new album called Influence. Lean in and listen to the intricacies for maximum effect. pageantry.bandcamp.com
Will Johnson: No shade on his former bandmates in the beloved Denton institution Centro-Matic, but Johnson’s solo performances over the years have stuck with me the most. He’s magic with a guitar and a mike. I do hope the band will get back together one day, maybe for a future Homegrown? will-johnson.com
Ishi: The venerable Dallas dance act always entertains in colorful fashion, but most important here, it’s a seasoned Homegrown veteran. ishimusic.com
The Bright Light Social Hour: Bend your mind to some tautly delivered psych-rock out of Austin. Last year’s Space Is Still the Place is a solid start if you’re learning by listening. thebrightlightsocialhour.com
Wild Child: This Austin group offers up big ’n’ bold pop with choruses you can learn in an instant. A natural for this kind of festival. wildchildsounds.com
Neon Indian: It’s always exciting to see what former Denton kid Alan Palomo has up his sleeve when he fronts Neon Indian. The latest record, Vega Intl. Night School, finds an addictive medium between his chiller and dancier personas. neonindian.com
Ghostland Observatory: The rejuvenated Austin indie-dance duo infuses its danceworthy tunes with plenty of funk and soul. The headlining spot at Homegrown is in effect a way for fans to rediscover the magic of the group’s breakout years, and get moving. They’ll already be warmed up thanks to ISHI and Neon Indian. ghostlandobservatory.com
DETAILS: May 14 from noon to 11 p.m. at Main Street Garden, 1902 Main St., Dallas. $35 general admission, $100 VIP. homegrownfest.com