By Jay Brakefield
As part of its summer fund drive, community radio station KEOS will present the third Lone Star Music Concert on Saturday, June 10. Two local favorites, Joey McGee and Matt Harlan, will kick off the show at 7:30pm at the Grand Stafford Theater in downtown Bryan.
The headliner will be the Folk Family Revival. With a sound that mixes the rootsy stomp of the Lone Star State and the Deep South with West Coast psychedelia, the Magnolia, Texas-based band defies categorization, a fact that doesn’t bother its members a bit. Three of the members are brothers Mason, Barrett, and Lincoln Lankford. They’re joined by family friend Caleb Pace. Beyond the obvious blood ties, the musicians who have passed through the Montgomery County community and hung out at the band’s house have come to be known as “The Family.”
Mason Lankford is a big fan of Bob Dylan and learned from the Nobel laureate’s live recordings that a song never sounds the same twice. “We want the song to sound different than it did last week,” Lankford says. “We’ve been changing our songs every day for the last five years, and once we get into the studio, we’ll think about which version worked best, and we’ll record it that way.” That process is showcased in 12 songs in the band’s latest CD, Water Walker.
Joey McGee is a constant and cheerful presence in Bryan College Station, where he often performs in local venues. The New Orleans native spent a number of years in Pittsburgh before settling in the Brazos Valley. His acclimation to his adopted home state is reflected in the title of his new CD, Terlingua Taproot. The inspiration for McGee’s fourth independently produced CD came from conversations with a friend, “a brassy artist-rancher type,” who lives in the iconic little West Texas town. The friend, McGee said, challenged some of his writing in rather blunt terms, providing “the splash of cold water I needed at the time.”
Matt Harlan is a native Texan who makes his home in Houston, but he’s performed widely in the U.S. and Europe and recorded his second album, Bow and Be Simple, in Denmark with his backing band, The Sentimentals. It earned the top spot on the Euro Americana charts, as did his debut, Tips & Compliments, and his third, Raven Hotel. His fourth, recorded with his wife and musical partner, Rachel Jones, debuted at No. 2 on the Euro charts. This will be a return performance for Harlan, who’s appeared in previous KEOS shows.
All-volunteer KEOS, which first aired in 1995 from a former tortilla factory in downtown Bryan, is largely listener-supported. The station is also pleased to present performers who bring the kind of independent music that’s seldom heard on commercial radio these days.
Tickets are $25 for reserved seating, $15 general admission (standing only) and are available at www.grandstafford.com. Tickets will be available at the door, but KEOS suggests buying them in advance. When you visit the Grand Stafford site, you can add a gift to the station in the “donation” field on the ticket page. The theater is at 106 South Main in Bryan.
The program is made possible in part by the hotel tax revenue funded from the cities of Bryan and College Station through the Arts Council of the Brazos Valley. KEOS thanks its sponsors. In addition to the Grand Stafford, they are Stearns Design-Build; Elizabeth C. Berigan, MD, The Internal Medicine Center; and Judge Tom McDonald and his wife, Caroline, in honor of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church’s Sesquicentennial.
For more information, visit www.keos.org.