RED RIVER—The second annual Red River Folk Festival kicks off Thursday, Sept. 22 with a stellar line-up of country, bluegrass, Americana and folk musicians who will swap songs
and trade guitars in a saloon and a honkey-tonk and perform outdoors on the big stage against an alpine setting of peak fall foliage.
The three-day festival features 12 musicians playing some of the best roots-music in the country, including Thom Bresh, a Thumbpickers Hall of Fame inductee and the son of one of America’s most
influential 20th-century guitarists—Merle Travis. Bresh’s music has been described as “a drop-top version of his daddy with a souped-up engine and a whole lot more chrome.” Also appearing is Al Schackman, Nina Simone’s guitarist/musical director and lead guitarist for Harry Belafonte.
Schackman has also performed with Lightnin’ Hopkins, Joan Baez and Judy Collins and was “first call” studio guitarist for Atlantic and Columbia Records.
Florida singer-songwriter Elizabeth Cook is a Grand Ole Opry regular, a Sirius XM Outlaw Country hostess and a David Letterman favorite while Taos-raised Max Gomez is a singer-songwriter steeped in traditional Delta blues and American folk with his own unique sound. Also taking the stage are Sam Baker, Cruz Contreras, Tommy Elskes, Kelley Mickwee, Colin Brooks, Ollie O’Shea, Ruby Force and Mike Addington.
The festival dates to the early ’60s when, thanks to a few local legends, Red River became a music mecca for every picker west of Texarkana, so the story goes. Michael Martin Murphy started hanging his hat in town in the ’70s and even the local lifeguard—B.W. Stevenson—wrote a ditty called “My Maria” that became a chart-topper 40 years ago and earned Brooks & Dunn a Grammy when they released it as a cover in 1996.
The Red River Folk Festival runs Thursday, Sept. 22 through Saturday, Sept. 24. A three-day pass is $75 and tickets for individual events are $29 each. For the full schedule and more information, visit redriverfolk.com.