The Fort Worth Music Festival, scheduled this year from Friday, May 17-Saturday May 18, is the annual reminder of just how stunningly diverse and rich the various musical strains and traditions that run deep in Fort Worth. Historically, that variety stretches all the way back to the country swing of Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys, the jazz giant, Ornette Coleman, to the present day stylings and musical production vision of T-Bone Burnett.
This year's edition of the festival will continue its historically varied offerings as 30 bands populate three stages and all offering up a spectrum of music from rhythm and blues and gospel, to jazz, country and indie rock.
The festival isn't just about a striking abundance of music, but it will also be a showcase for art exhibits, cool local vendors, food offerings, and even classes taught by notable local chefs.
Among the cornucopia of musical offerings, there will be something for just about every musical sensibility. Friday's lineup will offer festival goers the chance to revel in everything from the soul-country sounds of the Drive by Truckers, the alt-country, power pop enduring (as in more than 15 years long) presence of the Old 97's, and the quintessentially Texan brand of boogie rock, Memphis-flavored soul, and blues of the Quaker City Night Hawks. Saturday's lineup will offer a stunning richness of musical expressions, from the rock-revivalists, The Walkmen, marking their 10th anniversary together, and 25-year old Allen Stone, a self-proclaimed "hippie with soul," who has earned plaudits from no less a musical king-maker as the New York Times, comparing his socially aware music and lyrics to that of Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder, to the Hammond organ-propelled funky grooves of Ivan Neville's Dumpstaphunk (doubtlessly the catchiest name on the bill), to the bluesy, psychedelic Southern rock sounds of Fort Worth's The Hanna Barbarians (sporting the second catchiest name on the two-day bill).
And if that isn't enough ear-stretching variety for you, the Festival is also showcasing the roots music, steeped in the raw living done in far west Texas, as purveyed by the always energetic, harmony-driven band, The Dirty River Boys, along with the trumpet and sax-driven New Orleans-flavored musical gumbo that is the 35-year old Dirty Dozen Brass Band.
The details: The festival runs Friday, May 17th-Saturday, May 18th. Gates open at 3 p.m. on Friday with music running 4 p.m.-11 p.m. On Saturday, gates open at 1 p.m. with music running 2 p.m.-11 p.m. And it all takes place at Panther Island Pavilion, 395 Purcey Street in Fort Worth.
Photo Credit: Brian Hutson, Fort Worth Music Festival 2012