Readers Pick Best Live Music Artists and Venues

Banita Creek Hall in Nacogdoches is a hit with area concertgoers.

Live music -- whether it's country, classical, classic rock or some other category -- remains a popular outing for County Line Magazine readers. The recent Best of the Upper East Side of Texas contest identified top picks for categories like best venue and best band.

[For the complete list of winners across all categories, visit]

Best Live Music Venue

Under 50k
Banita Creek Hall. Nacogdoches.
Banita Creek Hall is a dance hall and concert venue with performances by local, state, and nationally touring artists. Some recent performers include Deryl Dodd, Roger Creager, William Clark Green, and coming in February is Russel Dickerson and Carly Pearce. 401 West Main, (936) 715-0480,
Honorable Mentions: The Bowery Stage, Winnsboro
Hall of Fame: Moore’s Store, Ben Wheeler

Over 50k
The Celt Irish Pub. McKinney.
This place pairs up British pub food and beer and regular live music five days a week. Irish music sessions take place every Wednesday. Americana Roots Music is heard here as well as Classic Rock and other genres. 100 North Tennessee Street, (972) 562-2929,

Best Local Band

Lulu and the Black Sheep. Although constantly on the road around the nation, Longview’s Lulu and the Black Sheep still keeps the home fires burning in its fans’ estimation. With the duo’s unique honkytonk and alt-country sound and unreserved instrumentals, it’s clear to see how Lulu’s powerful and gritty voice and her husband Allen’s accompaniment create a faithful fan base.

Best Local Singer/Songwriter

Meredith Crawford. The tall redhead from Chandler, Texas, can belt out everything from country blues to Americana folk. She started singing at the age of 13, first at Tyler’s Green Acres Baptist Church, then she veered towards country music. She sang at a number of oprys: Gladewater Opry, Texarkana Opry, the Cotton Pickin’ Theater in Point, Mount Pleasant Jamboree, Johnnie High’s Country Music Revue in Arlington, and even as far away as the Texas Jamboree in Houston. Today she performs more roots rock and Texas soul. She writes her own songs and some of her covers are real crowd pleasers.

Best Arts or Cultural Destination

Winnsboro Cultural District. The Texas Commission on the Arts selected the Winnsboro Cultural District as an official district of the state in 2009. The district has numerous offerings for visual and performing arts as well as culinary artistry. The district is anchored by the Winnsboro Center for the Arts which features ongoing art exhibits, a gift shop, and monthly musical and other performances on The Bowery Stage. The Winnsboro Art & Wine Festival is held each year in November bringing local, state, and national artists. In 2018, Culture Club Art Gallery opened downtown featuring a collection of talented artists working in a variety of art mediums.

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