A smorgasbord of music has been booked for the 66th annual Strawberry Festival. The headliners (and opening acts), performing at concerts and dances should please just about everyone over the three day event next wekend, April 12-14.
The $15 gate admission will be charged on Saturday and Sunday, with Friday being free admission. Active, reserve and retired military as well as children 12 and under are all admitted to the grounds without charge. Remember, parking is free and parking lot trams are available.
Country-pop may have ruled the charts, but Kevin Fowler established himself impressively throughout Texas by making modest honky tonk-style country for regular folks. Raised in the West Texas town of Amarillo, the guitarist began his musical career on both drums and piano. He left Texas at age 20 for the bright lights of Los Angeles, where he studied music at the Guitar Institute of Technology. He returned to Texas soon after and settled in Austin, where he joined the hard rock band Dangerous Toys. Following this eye-opening stint, Fowler started his own Southern hard rock band, Thunderfoot. He soon came to the realization, however, that he couldn’t shake his West Texas roots and gave up hard rock for country, the style of music he grew up with.
Fowler put together a country band in 1998 and began playing Tuesday nights at Babe’s on Sixth Street in Austin. Within two years, he’d begun recording albums and struck it big with his self-released Beer, Bait and Ammo (2000). The album sold around 30,000 copies in the Texas area and garnered an impressive amount of airplay, particularly for the album’s title track. The song became somewhat of a Texas anthem; Mark Chesnutt made the song part of his live show, and Sammy Kershaw recorded it. Fowler returned in 2002 with his third album, High on the Hog.
Fowler steadily built up an audience throughout the 2000s through concerts and a pair of albums for Equity, 2004’s Loose, Loud & Crazy and Bring It On. By 2010, Fowler’s profile had increased enough to attract major-label attention — Lyric Street signed him in January but the label folded shortly afterward, with Fowler’s contract transferring to Disney — and he wound up with two solid hit singles later that year in “Beer Season” and “Pound Sign (#?*!).” Both singles were featured on Best Of…So Far, which appeared at the end of the year. In 2011, Fowler released his sixth studio album, Chippin’ Away, featuring the single “”Hell Yeah, I Like Beer.” ~ Jason Birchmeier. Kevin Fowler will be performing Friday, April 12, at the Lions Club Pavilion Stage #13 from 10:30 p.m. – midnight.
Prophets and Outlaws
Prophets and Outlaws is a Southern Rock band with soul. They have developed a sound that ties their passion for the Blues while embracing their country roots and celebrating the people that paved the way. You can find elements of the old “outlaw” music in their attitude and in the way they push the boundaries of today’s music.
It was in high school after hearing a rendition of “Why Georgia,” performed by James and Steven Guckenheimer that Matt Boggs searched out Steven in the band hall to ask him to become his guitarist. This was the beginning of a lasting kinship.
Steven and Matt played shows as the Matt Boggs Band was building up a following throughout Texas and Oklahoma, while James and Steven joined forces with Matt Murrow and Benji Harris in a band called Rigby, which found a regional fan base performing their original music.
Following college Rigby had the opportunity to become the opening and backing band for Matt Boggs after he had been a finalist on CMT’s Can You Duet. They knew from the first song that there was something remarkable in the mix. At that very moment the two bands decided to join forces to create a super group now known as Prophets and Outlaws. Come see them perform on Friday, April 12, at the Lions/Rotary Pavilion from 7:30 p.m. -9:00 p.m.
VALLEJO (pronounced Va-lay-ho) has become one of the most popular rock bands to hail from “The Live Music Capital of the World” Austin, Texas with their sonic melting pot of classic album rock mixed with contagious funky rhythms and Latin percussion.
Started by the three Vallejo brothers from El Campovocalist and lead guitarist AJ Vallejo, twin brother Alejandro Vallejo on drums and younger sibling Omar Vallejo on bass – along with high school friend Bruce Castleberry on guitar and percussionist Alex Geismar, Vallejo has toured all over the US and Mexico tearing up stages with their fiery live performances with such acts as Matchbox 20, Stone Temple Pilots, Juanes and Los Lobos. Vallejo has also had many of their songs featured in national television shows NBC’s Roswell, UPN’s America’s Top Model, MTV’s Jersey Shore and HBO’s True Blood.
After over 15 years of being a band, with thousands of shows under their belts, numerous awards and a career spanning 11 album releases, Vallejo has arrived again with their first album in four years entitled “Brothers Brew”. Set to be released nationally on Tuesday, August 21st, the new album written, recorded and produced by the Vallejo Bros. will feature ten songs recorded at their own VMG Studios in Austin, Texas.
Featuring the first single and video for the mid-tempo groover “Waiting On You”, the bombastic swagger of opening track “Free” and album closer “Nothing To Lose” – Vallejo’s new CD Brothers Brew is another strong musical testament to rock ‘n roll proving that blood is thicker than water and that for this band of brothers…the rhythm is definitely in the blood. Vallejo will be performing Friday, April 12, at the Veterans Pavilion Stage # 5 from 9:30 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.
Combine a hefty helping of Tex Mex conjunto, simmer with several parts Texas rock, add a daring dash of well-cured blues, and R&B riffs, and you’ve cooked up the tasty TexManiacs groove. Not to say that this group’s sound is for musical gourmets only… it is, “hip music everyone can relate to” .
Los Texmaniacs — feed the masses, with only the best in musical fare. Founded by Max Baca (bajo sexto, vocals), the TexManiacs are a product of his wide-ranging experience touring and recording with everyone from his father’s family conjunto, Flaco Jimenenz, the original Texas Tornados, Los Super Seven and even the Rolling Stones.
Max is a legend on the bajo sexto, a twelve string guitar-like instrument, which customarily provides rhythm accompaniment for the button accordion, thus creating the core of the conjunto sound. On the bajo, Max does all that and way more, using the instrument to push the TexManiacs sound to another level of vibrancy altogether. He has displayed a musical virtuosity and blistering guitar riff solo style, that is now being emulated by young bajo players internationally. Max is being credited as turning a traditional folk / roots/ conjunto instrument hip again, attracting young, new audiences while maintaining his roots in traditional conjunto. His many sojourns as a life long musician have resulted in an impressive international touring schedule, including four tours to Iraq, Bosnia, Afghanistan, and Kosovo to entertain our troops. Max has appeared on national television programs such as Conan O’ Brien, David Letterman, Jay Leno, and Austin City Limits. Max has also bee featured in several PBS documentaries such as: Songs of the Homeland, American Roots Music, and Latin Music USA. Max has also participated on ten Grammy winning projects including the double-platinum CD for the Rolling Stones Voodoo Lounge (Virgin 96). Max’ most recent Grammy was earned with his band, Los TexManiacs January 30, 2010 for Borders Y Bailes (Smithsonian Folkways) 2009.
Their first CD, A Tex Mex Groove, (2004) contains a wide sampling of musical focus that is characteristic of the group. It also hosts a legendary line-up of guest artists, such as Flaco Jimenez, Augie Meyers, and Ruben Ramos, and Los Lobos, who share the TexManiac take. The second CD,”About Time”(2007) peaked at #1 on the Tex-Mex charts.
Los Texmaniacs will be performing Friday, April 12, at the VFW Pavilion Stage #8 from 8:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Ruben Ramos, also known as El Gato Negro, is an awardwinning American Tejano music performer. Beginning his music career in the late ‘60s, Ruben’s fame has grown throughout the years as he formed his own distinct sound of music. In March 1998, Ruben was inducted into the Tejano Music Awards Hall of Fame and later won Best Male Vocalist in 1999. His band, The Mexican Revolution, also won album of the year in 2008. In January 2009 at the 51st annual Grammy awards, Ramos & the Revolution won the 2009 Grammy for “Best Tejano album of the Year.”
The band consists of: Ruben Ramos(vocals/ percussion), Rick Fuentes(accordion/keys/ bass/guitar/vocals), Bobby Dominguez(bass), Joe Ramos(guitar/keys/ vocals), Christopher Rivera(drums/vocals), Fabian Hernandez(alto and tenor saxophones), Wild William Bill Perkins(trumpet), Mike Martinez (trumpet). Mark Ramos (Ruben’s son) is the stage manager and runs the light and special effects show, while other son Ruben Renee Ramos works as sound engineer.
Ruben Ramos & The Revolution have been nominated for a Grammy Award 2 years in a row: one for the 35th Anniversary CD, and the Viva La Revolucion CD. The band has won the 2009 Grammy for “Best Tejano album of the Year.” Ruben Ramos will be performing Friday, April 12, at the VFW Pavilion from 10:00 p.m. – Midnight.
The Casey Donahew Band
With their latest release, Moving On, The Casey Donahew Band are quickly becoming one of the hottest names in Texas Country, drawing fans at home and beyond. Capacity crowds are showing up this spring to see the Casey Donahew Band’s dynamic live performances with over 1300 at the Grizzly Rose in Denver, CO and Tumbleweeds in Stillwater, OK recently hosted 3000 fans for CDB. Their first performance at the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo this February drew an impressive 10,800 fans into the AT&T Center. SOLD OUT shows in 2010 include Fort Worth’s legendary Billy Bob’s Texas with 5,500 fans and 12,000 at Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie, Texas.
Casey Donahew Band owes their quickly expanding fan base to playing 200 dates a year playing State Fairs, Rodeos, Dance Halls, Festivals, headlining and opening for stellar acts like the Randy Roger’s Band and Kevin Fowler in front of huge crowds. Casey Donahew will be performing Saturday, April 13 at the Lions Club Pavilion Stage #13 from 11:30 p.m. – 1:00 a.m.
Ask Chris Cagle what’s most important to him and you can bet he’ll answer this way: “Family, ranch, music. That’s it.” This response is seemingly simple for a man whose professional credits include two gold albums, two No. 1 albums and 12 charted songs. From 2000-2008, Cagle released an almost nonstop catalog of hits that resulted in a scorching hot career. Cagle’s musical character and burning ambition never wavered but today, Cagle’s personal perspective has mellowed. 2012’s forthcoming album is, in more ways than one, a new lease on life.
Born in DeRidder, La., and raised “all over,” Chris set off for Nashville after trying his hand at college in Texas and finding the pull to pursue music too strong to ignore. Like many young artists, he spent several years working odd jobs in Nashville and scraping up enough cash to record four original songs for a demo tape. Thanks to a couple of chance meetings and the opportunity to be heard by Scott Hendricks, Chris was signed to Virgin Records in 2000 – that first album featured the unaltered version of his demo songs. Chris quickly earned critical and commercial success and attracted a legion of fans that included industry heavyweights and country fans alike. Cagle’s first number one smash, “I Breathe In, I Breathe Out,” remains a fan favorite.
Cagle still has a fire, but his passion is driven by not just music, but family and horses and a place he calls home. His fans will recognize the glow and appreciate the authenticity: “I’m a lot like charcoal. Once you light me up, I’m gonna burn hot for a long, long time, but if you pour water on me it takes a little effort to get me started again. Bigger Picture Group and my family have helped light that fire for me. So let’s throw some gasoline on it, light it up and watch it burn.” Chris Cagle will be performing Saturday April 13, at the VFW Pavilion from 5:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
David Lee Garza y Los Musicales
David Lee Garza y los Musicales is one of the most sought after Tejano”Tex-Mex” Bands in the nation. He is currently touring under their latest release “Y AHORA AQUI” featuring the vocal work of Ben Ozuna, the new vocalist and it is quickly climbing the Billboard charts as a Hot Seeker.
Los Musicales consist of David Lee Garza on accordion and vocals, Ben Ozuna on lead vocals, Adam Garza on drums, Richard Garza on bass guitar, Billy O’Rourke on bajo guitar and vocals, John Cruz on electric guitar, Danny Fernandez on keyboards and Oscar Montemayor on saxophone.
With over 27 albums recorded, two Grammy wins, and numerous Tejano Music Awards, plus other accolades to his credit, is one of the reasons David Lee is one of the most sought after artists. David Lee Garza y Los Musicales will be performing Saturday, April 13th at the VFW Pavilion from 9:15 p.m. – 10:45 p.m.
Duelo is a Tejano band from Roma, Texas with a norteño style. The band is also known as Grupo Duelo and Duelo Norteño. The group rose to prominence in thelate 1990s and continues to record as of 2009, when their album “Necesito Más de Tí” debuted in the top slot on the Billboard Top Latin albums chart. It also reached the top of the Billboard Regional Mexican albums chart. “Necesito Más de Tí” reached #88 on the Billboard 200 albums chart. Grupo Duelo will be performing Saturday, April 13, at the VFW Pavilion from 11:00 p.m. – 1:00 a.m.
Sanctus Real is an American Christian rock band formed in Toledo, Ohio, in 1996. The group is composed of Matt Hammitt (lead vocalist, guitar), Chris Rohman (lead guitar), Dan Gartley (bass), Pete Prevost (guitar), and Mark Graalman (drums). The band is best known for their number 1 singles “Beautiful Day” (a U2 cover), “Everything About You”, “The Fight Song”, “I’m Not Alright”, “Don’t Give Up”, “We Need Each Other” and “Forgiven”. Since 2002, they have released five albums through the Sparrow record label.
Sanctus Real formed in 1996, and the band released three independent albums over five years. After signing with Sparrow Records in 2002, the group released their major label debut, ‘’Say It Loud’’, at the end of the year. In June 2004 it was followed by ‘’Fight the Tide’’, which garnered a GMA Dove Award win in 2005, and two singles that charted at number 1 on Christian radio, according to ‘’R&R’’ magazine. The band’s third album, ‘’The Face of Love’’, was released in April 2006. The single “I’m Not Alright” received a GMA Dove Award nomination in 2007.
Their fourth album, ‘’We Need Each Other’’ (2008), was recorded in late 2007 and released in February. It received a Grammy Award nomination and spawned the single “We Need Each Other”. Sanctus Real released their fifth studio album in March 2010, titled ‘’Pieces of a Real Heart’’. The band’s music incorporates a modern alternative rock style, and has evolved from power pop to a more melodic and guitardriven sound. Sanctus Real will be performing Sunday, April 14, on the VFW Pavilion Stage #8 from 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Neal McCoy’s brand of neo-traditionalist honky tonk brought him a string of hits in the mid-’90s. McCoy was born Hubert Neal McGaughey, Jr. in Jacksonville, TX, to a fa- ther of Irish descent and a Filipino mother. He grew up listening to all kinds of music — country, swing, rock, disco, R&B — and first sang in local gospel choirs. His voice developed into a rich baritone, and he first put it to professional use in an R&B band; soon, however, he returned to country music, playing bars and clubs all over Texas. In 1981, he won a talent contest that was attended by Janie Fricke, and she helped him land a slot on tour as Charley Pride’s opening act. He spent six years in that capacity, and finally left to pursue his own recording career in 1988, when he released his debut single, “That’s How Much I Love You,” under the name Neal McGoy (the pronunciation of his birth name). Modifying it to the more common McCoy, he released his debut album, At This Moment, on Atlantic in 1990. Despite McCoy’s growing reputation for exciting, freewheeling live shows, neither it nor the follow-up, 1992’s Where Forever Begins, sold all that well.
However, McCoy’s fortunes took a turn for the better with his third album, 1994’s No Doubt About It. Both the title track and “Wink” topped the country charts, and “The City Put the Country Back in Me” went Top Five, helping No Doubt About It sell over a million copies. Suddenly a breakout star, McCoy returned in 1995 with You Gotta Love That, another platinum seller that produced a total of three number three singles: “For a Change,” “They’re Playin’ Our Song,” and the title track. Neal McCoy kept his hit streak going strongin 1996, giving him a third straight platinum album and another Top Five single in “Then You Can Say Goodbye.” The following year saw the release of a Greatest Hits compilation, and McCoy offered a new album later in 1997 called Be Good At It. Despite another Top Five smash in “The Shake,” album sales dipped below the million mark for the first time since McCoy’s breakthrough. 1999’s The Life of the Party, contrary to its title, was an album of ballads and soft country-pop tunes, and both it and 2000’s 24-7-365 found McCoy’s sales progressively slipping. Taking some time off to recharge, McCoy returned in early 2003 with The Luckiest Man in the World. Neal McCoy will be performing Sunday, April 14, at the VFW Pavilion Stage #8 from 5:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Freddie Records proudly announces the Release of “Lo Que Me Dejaste”, the highly anticipated new studio album from Siggno. Band members are: Jesse Turner on lead vocals and accordion of Santa Rosa, Texas; Richard Rosales on background vocals and bajo sexto of Corpus Christi; Brandon Ortiz on Electric Bass of San Antonio; Joey Jimenez on drums of Seguin; David Rosas on congas and percussion of Brownsville and Sergio Tabares – M.C. of Brownsville.
Once again Siggno displays tremendous versatility. Currently one of the most popular modern norteno groups in the industry, Siggno continues to win over new fans at every performance both in the U.S. and Mexico. Be sure to catch Siggno at the VFW Pavilion on Sunday April 14, 2013 from 7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.