For some Texans, springtime means awkwardly spooning a loved one in a roadside bed of bluebonnets. But for (many) others, the arrival of spring signals festival season. And while festival season in Dallas-Fort Worth has grown longer and more unpredictable, there are a few big events that have stood the test of time for thousands of music lovers.
When radio dial changes both subtle and drastic are making headlines, there's much to be said and appreciated about a radio station that's locally owned and independently operated. While you can call KHYI a country or Americana station, the fact is, the crew there plays what the heck it wants and listeners continue to tune in. Ask Dallas-area indie country artists such as Zane Williams, Max Stalling or Eleven Hundred Springs -- all featured acts on this year's TMR bill -- where they would be without the Range.
It's the 21st edition of the festival. Other than EdgeFest, which is technically a radio festival without a radio station now, you'll be hard-pressed to find another local station's festival, especially from an independently owned channel, that's not only lasted as long but still welcomes thousands of fans to each edition. From intimately humble beginnings to years of a packed-out Southfork Ranch, and now to the spacious, scenic Oak Pointe Amphitheater in Plano for two days of music, this is one festival that's grown with its audience and with the style of music it features.
It's worth noting that of this year's three headliners, two of them aren't the least bit Texan. Josh Ritter is an Idaho boy who has been a New York guy for years now, while Keifer Sutherland is a Canadian -- when he isn't fictionally residing at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., of course. And if we want to get technical about it, Kacey Musgraves, though a native Texan, wasn't really a part of the Texas country community before moving to Nashville many years ago. But that's all fine. There's plenty of homegrown talent spread out across the two-day bill, and the three biggest names all excel in differing realms of that twangy sound us Texans love so much.
Emerging Lone Star talent
Speaking of homegrown talent, good luck finding a better stack of newer generation Texas artists on a single festival bill anytime soon. You can't click onto an article highlighting top young country talent and not see Paul Cauthen's name on it. With new albums out soon, the same will surely be said for Red Shahan and one of the hardest rocking acts to ever hit the TMR stage, Dallas' own the Vandoliers. Jack Bauer isn't the only TV star here, either: Austin Allsup, the country crooner with an ocean-sized voice who starred on The Voice a few months ago, was recently added to the lineup.
The KHYI Toyota Texas Music Revolution takes place Friday, March 24 and Saturday, March 25 at Oak Point Park, 2801 E. Spring Creek Parkway, Plano. $15-$37.50. Details here.