The Big State Festival will take over Texas World Speedway in Bryan/College Station, Texas, October 13 & 14. BMI is proud to sponsor the new breed of festival, which marries country lifestyle and music through two days of nonstop barbeque, stock-car racing and performances by over 50 artists, including BMI’s Willie Nelson, Tim McGraw and Miranda Lambert.
In addition to sponsoring the event, BMI will present a stage both days featuring honky-tonk singer/songwriters pulled from Texas’ rich musical landscape and a crew of Nashville up-and-comers.
Saturday, October 13
Monte Warden, 11:15am - 11:45am www.myspace.com/montewarden Austin singer/songwriter Monte Warden drummed up early accolades with bands Whoa Trigger! and the Wagoneers, later finding success penning hits for a slew of artists including Patty Loveless, George Strait, George Jones, Travis Tritt, Bruce Robison and Kelly Willis.
Ginn Sisters, 12pm - 12:30pm www.myspace.com/theginnsisters Sisters Tiffani and Brit Ginn put an Americana spin on familial harmonies and flute-playing, successfully creating a novel niche for their sound; longtime Austin residents, the Austin Chronicle dubbed the Ginn Sisters “cool countrified tonic for the summertime blues.”
Rodney Hayden, 1pm - 1:45pm www.myspace.com/rodneyhayden Rodney Hayden attacks vintage country cool with innate contemporary awareness; a lonesome voice and unshakeable fondness for crying steel guitars prompted Billboard to explain, “For anyone who may be vague on the subject, this is country music.”
The Barbwires, 2pm - 3:15pm Chef Dean Fearing and his crew of culinary artists moonlight as rock band The Barbwires; fondly referred to as the “Father of Southwest Cuisine,” Chef Fearing is a bona fide barbeque expert with an encyclopedic knowledge of southwestern cuisine - a fitting judge for the Big State Festival’s barbeque competition.
The Gougers, 3:30pm - 4:30pm www.myspace.com/thegougers The Gougers bounce between dreamy reflections and wry observations; with their new offering, A Long Day for the Weathervane, the quartet dropped “Sidehill” from their name, went electric and added a rhythm section, breathing new life into the Gougers’ already refreshing sound.
Drew Kennedy, 5pm - 6pm www.myspace.com/drewkennedy Drew Kennedy’s songs snag his audience without any pain - this unaffected singer-songwriter is too smart to be pompous: Catchy hooks do the snagging, and Kennedy’s dry baritone does the heavy lifting.
Sunday, October 14
Colin Gilmore, 11:15am - 11:45am www.myspace.com/colingilmore Promising pop twanger Colin Gilmore’s 2007 release Black Wine showcases more of the young singer/songwriter’s jaunty melodies and colloquial observations; the son of Flatlander Jimmy Dale Gilmore, Colin’s roots are solid, his future: rosy.
Mark McKinney, 12pm - 12:30pm www.myspace.com/markmckinney Texas native Mark McKinney’s music aims to whisk his audience far away from daily headaches. Screaming guitars and McKinney’s energetic vocals call for rowdy exploits, good friends and hometown pride.
Blue Mother Tupelo, 1pm - 1:45pm www.myspace.com/bluemothertupelo Blue Mother Tupelo’s music emits southern swamp, gospel, hills and passion, punctuated with fervent tambourine and soaring vocals; the steady recipients of giddy critical praise, the pair prompted Paste to proclaim, “Blue Mother Tupelo is quite possibly the best husband and wife duo you’ve never heard of.”
Jerrod Niemann, 2pm - 3:15pm www.myspace.com/jerrodniemann The past year has been good to Nashville singer/songwriter Jerrod Niemann: The Category Five recording artist is currently watching his debut single, “I Love Women (My Momma Can’t Stand),” climb the charts, after co-writing the Garth Brooks No. 1 single and Chris LeDoux tribute, “Good Ride Cowboy.”
Sunny Sweeney, 3:30pm - 4:30pm www.myspace.com/sunnysweeney Sunny Sweeney’s disarmingly authentic honky-tonk charmed Nashville executives and diehard Texans, winning dual respect and valuable exposure in worlds often at odds with one another; the Austin360.com Best Country Artist crown is only the latest in a long trail of accolades for Texas-based Sweeney.
Granger Smith, 5pm - 6pm www.myspace.com/grangersmith Aggie Granger Smith cut his teeth on the Texas opry circuit while still in his teens, and jumped to writing his own songs and regional radio airplay while still in college; Nashville beckoned, and Smith made the move, only to realize what he really wanted was the Texas dancehalls he’d left behind. He’s back home now, earning loyal fans one gig at a time.