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Postcards: Big Bend Bop

Viva Big Bend showcases music in West Texas venues

Soul Track Mind, an Austin band that performed at last year's Viva Big Bend, also is scheduled to play this year. (Photo by Tanya So/Courtesy Viva Big Bend)An abundance of live music will fill venues across the Big Bend region July 25-28 as more than 50 bands converge on Alpine, Marfa, Marathon, and Fort Davis for the Viva Big Bend music festival.

Texas artists including the Joe Ely Band, Texas Tornados, Randy Rogers Band, Jonathan Tyler and The Northern Lights, El Tule, and Terri Hendrix will perform as part of the event, representing the state’s diverse culture and musical genres.

Event producer Stewart Ramser said about 1,500 people turned out for last year’s festival, exceeding expectations and laying the groundwork for a bigger event this summer.

“I spend a lot of time in West Texas and realized there are a lot of great venues out here, and there are a lot of musicians who love to play out here,” said Ramser, who also publishes Texas Music magazine. “We have a wide variety of genres represented—local bands, as well as bands from across the state, and even a few from outside of the state.”

Venues in Alpine—among them the Granada Theatre and Railroad Blues—and in Marfa—in-cluding the Lost Horse Saloon and Padre’s—will host nighttime shows. Daytime performances will be held at the Gage Hotel in Marathon on July 26 and in Fort Davis on July 27 (venue pending as of press time). Viva Big Bend will provide shuttles to transport attendees between Alpine and Marfa during the night performances.

Viva Big Bend is also organizing events for music industry professionals during the festival, including a luncheon put on by the Texas Chapter of the Recording Academy and a songwriting workshop led by Hendrix and Lloyd Maines.

                                                      —Stephen Ray, Texas Music Office

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