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Ziegenbock Festival

Mike Sudhalter  |  September 1, 2008

On Sunday afternoon/evening, I got to take in the experience of a Texas Country festival on beautiful Lake Bryan in Brazos County, Texas. It was a nice, smooth drive from Northwest Houston up to Aggieland.

The show seemed to turn around the mood from Saturday when the hometown Aggie football team dropped a shocker to Arkansas State.

One thing about Texas Music is the ability to unite people from all walks of life. And there's a lot of different sounds within the subgenre. But the best part is the fact the fans' grassroots support for the artists and the fact that everyone knows the words to all the songs.

Yes, Pat Green and Jack Ingram may have left Texas Country for the larger audience of Nashville, but that just proves that the scene is bigger than any one artist. And Green/Ingram laid the ground work for how big things are today.

I believe they'll be back, too, when Nashville is done with them. Nashville's problem is trying to mold artists in a certain way. If I'm a record executive, I look at these Texas acts and say 'don't change what you're doing at all'.

If Texas Country has to be modified for the rest of the nation to enjoy it, then I'd just as soon see all of the music stay here and not branch out. I know that sounds selfish, but there's something very special, very electric about this scene.

I think a proper analogy for those who move on to Nashville would be like the NCAA coaches who have a winning program and a fan base that loves them. They see dollar signs and sign a big-time contract with some mediocre pro team. But that pro-fan base isn't going to see them the same way the college folks did.

That's why I'm hoping Green and Ingram return to the Texas scene after they make their big bucks in Nashville.

Back to the festival, it was a cool opportunity to see acts that I liked. The ones I didn't know much about, I came away enjoying even more, like Honeybrowne, Eli Young Band and Wade Bowen.

Of course, the closing trio of Roger Creager, Kevin Fowler and Aaron Watson marked the highlight of the night, because I knew every song, and it was great to sing them along with fellow Texans.

Just as I was about to leave, I ran into Todd Fritsch at the bar/lounge on the lake. I thought he was going to perform again, but apparently there was a noise complaint in quiet Bryan.

I returned to Houston-town about 3 a.m. and there were virtually no cars on the road. It was a peaceful, serene drive through some of the most beautiful country in Texas.

:: Posted at 12:30 PM by Mike Sudhalter ::
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