Live Music Fills the Air This Summer

Justin Moore performs May 11 at the Toyota Texas Bass Classic at Lake Fork. For a second consecutive time, Moore debuted at #1 on the Billboard Country Albums Chart and #2 on the all-genre chart with Off the Beaten Path. The project has already produced Justin’s fourth #1, "Point At You," and current Top 25-and-rising single "Lettin’ The Night Roll," which has sold over 120,000 downloads. Combined with his previous gold-certified albums — Justin Moore and Outlaws Like Me — Moore has sold over 5.3 million digital downloads. While his music has been featured on the ABC hit drama Nashville, Hannity & Colmes and NFL Rewind, he has been profiled by publications such as The Washington Post, People Country, Billboard and USA Today. Justin is currently headlining the Off the Beaten Path Tour with special guests Randy Houser and Josh Thompson. Courtesy photo.

Headlining the first Red Dirt BBQ and Music Festival May 3 in downtown Tyler is the Randy Rogers Band. Randy Rogers (lead vocals), Geoffrey Hill (guitar), Jon Richardson (bass guitar), Brady Black (fiddle), and Les Lawless (drums) have recorded four studio albums and two live albums, and have charted seven singles on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts. Courtesy photo.

Maestro Tonu Kalam returns with the Longview Symphony June 7. Photo by Susan W. Rogers

Party band Vince Vance & the Valieants are set to perform at A Sock Hop with a Twist May 31 at Harvey Hall in Tyler.

This year’s July Fest concert in Gun Barrel City takes place July 5 at the amphitheater in the city park. The Casey Donahew Band and Vanilla Ice perform along with several other shows including a Battle of the Bands. For more information visit or call 903.887.6666.

Nouveaux Cajun Xpress kicks off the 2014 Fridays After 5 concert series May 2 in Kilgore’s World’s Richest Acre Park.

Event coordinators and venues have some great music lined up for those living and visiting in the Upper East Side of Texas this summer. From Red Dirt and classic country to rock to folk to symphonies, there’s something to please everyone.

Toyota Texas Bass Classic

One of the biggest events of the season is the return of the Toyota Texas Bass Classic in Lake Fork May 9-11. The Sabine River Authority in Quitman hosts this world-class bass fishing tournament and outdoor country music festival. Besides the tournament, a kids zone, and other entertainment throughout the day, the big stage features country super stars, Pat Green, Little Big Town, and Justin Moore.

 "The anticipation and excitement for the Toyota Texas Bass Classic is off the charts this year. TTBC will be bringing premiere country music artists, as well as the world’s best anglers to Lake Fork. We hope to break records on and off the water" said Tournament Director Lenny Francoeur. "Not only do we have family friendly ticket prices, but the sale of tickets will help us in our ongoing effort to support the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department."

Pat Green will kick off Friday’s country music concert and Little Big Town takes the stage Saturday.  Rounding out the event’s entertainment is Justin Moore on Sunday.  In addition to the headlining entertainment artists, the TTBC also features a variety of regional bands, including Tyler and the Tribe, Southern Slang, Backroad Anthem, and Sister C. 

Single day, general admission tickets are available for $15 in advance (or $25 at the gate).  That ticket includes parking and kids 17 and under get in free with a ticketed adult. Tickets are available now at, local Toyota dealerships, Academy Sports + Outdoors, and Brookshire’s.

For additional information, visit or call 1-866-907-0143.

Herman’s Hermits Return

Peter Noone performs with Herman’s Hermits May 2 at the Corsicana Palace Theatre. At the age of 15, Noone achieved international fame as "Herman" lead singer of the legendary sixties pop band Herman’s Hermits. Ultimately, Herman’s Hermits sold more than 60 million recordings. In all, 14 singles and seven albums went gold. The Hermits were twice named Cashbox’s  Entertainer of the Year. Call  903.874.7792 or visit for more information.

Longview Museum of Fine Arts

Brian Martin performs at the Longview Museum of Fine Arts May 16. Interweaving old-time country blues and mountain folk music with southern soul, funk and gospel, Martin seamlessly creates a style that he refers to as "front porch soul." Tickets are $20 online or $25 at the door. Visit or call 903.753.8103.

The Old Firehouse in Edom

John Batdorf performs May 17 at The Old Firehouse in Edom. Hailing from the seventies, Batdorf has continued to write and sing his heartfelt songs for over four decades. As one half of the group Batdorf and Rodney, he is experiencing a comeback through house concerts, civic events, and recognition of his albums old and new. His recent solo album One Last Wish returns to his friendly, warm brand of singing stories. At times confessional, at others flowing with emotion, Batdorf’s songs cover the shared human experience. 7:30 p.m. $12 advance / $15 door. The Old Firehouse in Edom. 8241 FM 279, Downtown, 903-852-2781.

Athens Old Fiddlers Reunion

Thought to be the oldest fiddlers contest going on for more than 80 years now, the Athens Old Fiddlers Reunion is scheduled for May 31 this year on the courthouse square in Athens.  A jam session takes place on the square the night before and a street dance takes place Saturday after the contest. Concession stands and a carnival are also going on from 9 a.m. to midnight. For more information visit or call 903.675.1859.

Rockwall Founders Festival

Rockwall celebrates it’s 160th birthday this year with a festival May 17 in Harry Myers Park. Headlining is the Charlie Daniels Band. Other shows feature Treeside, Cole Risner, Burning Sky, and David Whiteman. For more information visit or call 972.771.7761.

Pops in the Park Concert

The East Texas Symphonic Band performs May 22 at the Teague Park Amphitheatre in Longview. The concert is free and guests are invited to bring lawn chairs and blankets. For more information call 903.738.9442 and visit

A Sock Hop With a Twist

Vince Vance & the Valiants, billed as the "Worlds’ Best Party Band," rocks the house at A Sock Hop with a Twist May 31 at Harvey Hall in Tyler.

Vince Vance & the Valiants began in 1971 and they’ve performed more than 6,000 shows in 13 countries and 34 states including two shows at the White House. The band has recorded 22 singles and 11 albums with number one hits including All I want for Christmas is You.

The event features a car show and a dance contest to set a world record for twist dancing. Tickets range from $10 to $100 and proceeds benefit the Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary and Sharon Shrine-Shriner’s Hospital. Call 903.881.9733 or visit for more information.

Mineola Summer JUNEbilee

Mineola’s former May Days celebration is now a summer JUNEbilee promising two fun-filled days June 6 and 7 at the Mineola Civic Center RV Park. Free concerts are scheduled for both nights with local bands and guests are invited to bring blankets and lawn chairs. Go to or call 903.569.2087 for more information.

Russian Romantics Show

The Longview Symphony performs Russian Romantics June 7 at S.E. Belcher Center in Longview with guest conductor, emeritus Tonu Kalam. At this season finale, Maestro Kalam will conduct a program of Russian Masterworks that is sure to please the ear of music lovers young and old. With a full orchestra Maestro Kalam will demonstrate his artistic podium skills in this program of thrilling compositions. For more information call 903.233.3080 and visit


40th Annual Salt Festival

JB and the Moonshine Band are the headliners at the 40th Annual Salt Festival taking place June 12-14 in Grand Saline. The East Texas-born group has tunes atop the Billboard Texas music charts and they’ve recorded and released two acclaimed albums—Ain’t Goin’ Back to Jail and the current Beer for Breakfast on the Average Joes Entertainment label. They are rapidly gaining many fans from all over the country. They play Saturday night after opener Matt Fisher.

The festival also celebrates the Morton Salt girl’s 100th birthday this year, there’s a gospel concert on Thursday, and Clay Thrash performs Friday night.

Visit or call 903.330.7815 for more information.

Symphony at the GMA

Music Director Jaap van Zweden returns to Greenville June 20 with stirring selections personally chosen for this special performance, Maestro’s Moments with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. Call 903.457.2994 or visit for more information.

June Bug Music Festival

The June Bug Music Festival takes place June 21 in Ben Wheeler along with an art fair both Saturday and Sunday with an art car parade and juried art show. Ray Wylie Hubbard, Damn Quails, Oil Boom, and Stefan Cotter and the Rastabillys perform. Visit or call 903.833.5970.


Brooks Gremmels July 4

In memory of the late Brooks Gremmels, a community of musicians, family, and friends are coming together to present six hours of free family fun on four stages in downtown Ben Wheeler.

The event includes live music, a movie, fireworks and food.

Emceed by John Wilson of Bowley & Wilson fame, the music line up includes Wesley Pruitt, Heather Little, Craig Wallace, Travis Bolt, Chase McClanahan, Blacktop Gypsy, Stratoblasters, Jimmy Wallace, Jerry Don Branch, and Mouse & The Traps.

For more information call 903.833.1070 and visit

Great Texas Balloon Race

Roger Creager performs August 1 and Tracy Lawrence August 2 at the Great Texas Balloon Race in Longview which attracts the very best competitive pilots from across the United States and the world. Balloon flights begin on Tuesday morning, July 29, with a flight over Longview and continue each morning through Sunday over Kilgore, Longview and East Texas Regional Airport. Launch and landing sites change each day as they are always determined by wind and the weather.

Balloon Glows on Friday and Saturday night entertain crowds with an awesome display of color and excitement and Kids Land is a safe restricted area for children. For more information see

Country Music Hall of Fame

The Texas Country Music Hall of Fame in Carthage presents three days of music-filled fun August 8-10. On Friday they’ll host the John Ritter Tribute Showcase Talent Competition at the Carthage Civic Center. On Saturday at the center is a show and induction ceremony. This year, the Oak Ridge Boys are being inducted. Also appearing are Clay Cooper, Becky Hobbs, Tim Watson, Leona Williams, Ron Williams, Jan Howard, Linda Davis, Holly Tucker, Jake Penrod, Billy Jo Russell and others.

On Sunday there will be a Gospel Show with special guests at the Hall of Fame.

Call 903.693.6634 for tickets and visit

Jawbone at the Perot

Dance band Jawbone plays at the Perot Theater in Texarkana August 23 covering a variety of music from Black Eyed Peas, Maroon 5, Adele, Prince, Elton John, and Madonna to name a few. The band formed in Texarkana and includes Lisa Childress, vocals; Meko Radomski, drums/vocals; Paul Whitt, keys/vocals; Randall Lee, bass/vocals, and Sean Womack, guitar/vocals. Call 903.792.4992 or visit for more information.

Ongoing Music in Town

Many of the communities in the Upper East Side of Texas have music happening on an ongoing basis in their downtowns and other areas.


Mineola has a gathering of musicians every Saturday beginning at 11 a.m. at the Johnson Street gazebo, in Peterson Park, and elsewhere throughout the downtown area Musicians are invited to bring their acoustic instruments including fiddles, guitars, dobros, banjos, stand up bass, dulcimers, autoharps, mandolins and harmonicas to join or create song circles. Players and listeners alike should bring their own chairs. For more information call 903.569.2087.


In Marshall, Boogie Woogie Wednesday presents great performers every Wednesday from 7-9 p.m. at the OS2 Pub on the courthouse square including The Jive Jumpers, Bobbie Oliver, Robin & The Mystics and Airheart. Marshall groups host music gatherings several nights a week and on second Saturdays there’s an outdoor festival hosted by Marshall Main Street with arts, crafts, vendors, a car show, and live music. There’s more information and a great history of boogie woogie music in the area on For more, call 903.935.4414 and visit


Ben Wheeler has live music every Thursday through Saturday  on at least two stages and often more. It’s an open airy walk-friendly town with two award-winning restaurants — both serving cocktails, beer and wine — several art and other shops, an ice cream and motorcycle shop, and more. Call 903.833.1070 and visit for more information.


Sulphur Springs has a thriving downtown area with live music often happening Thursday through Saturday during markets and in adjacent venues.  Celebration Market is a "mini festival" taking place most Saturdays from 6-10 p.m. where farmers sell produce and other vendors offer arts, crafts, handmade soaps, baked and canned goods. Food vendors offer a variety of choices including Mexican street tacos, Salvadoran pupusas, gorditas, shrimp tacos, cotton candy and funnel cakes. Kids love the lighted, interactive water fountain and people come from all around to see one of the only see-through restrooms in the world. The plaza includes the award-winning Hopkins County vintage courthouse and a stunning veterans memorial. Festivals, concerts, and other events are held regularly on the downtown square. For more information call 903.885.5614 and go to


Throughout the summer free music takes place at the Concert By The Lake series in The Harbors on beautiful Lake Ray Hubbard every Thursday. This year’s line up includes a variety of mostly tribute bands:  James Wages (Elvis), Buster Brown Band (Soul variety), Warehouse (Dave Matthews), Professor D (funk, R&B variety), Escape (Journey), Razzmatazz (80s & 90s Pop), Sgt. Peppers Lonely Bluegrass Band (Beatles), J.D. Monson (Country and Rock), Thunder Road (Bruce Springsteen), Incognito (Rock), With or Without U2 (U2), and Metal Shop (80s Rock).

Rockwall has numerous restaurants offering live music weekly. Visit for more information. 

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.