Community radio station KEOS will cap its summer fund drive with a concert featuring acclaimed Texas singer-songwriters Walt and Tina Mitchell Wilkins. A favorite local band, Ben Morris and the Great American Boxcar Chorus, will open the show at 8pm Friday, June 24, at the Grand Stafford Theater in downtown Bryan.
Walt Wilkins is a San Antonio native who fell in love with words and music at an early age. He started writing poetry and listening to his dad’s records by artists such as Jimmy Webb and Glen Campbell while in elementary school and formed his first band at 15. His compelling voice and powerful, sensitive songs have earned him comparisons to giants such as Texas singer-songwriters Townes Van Zandt and Guy Clark and author John Steinbeck.
“That’s a remark to keep close,” Walt has said of being placed in the same league as the author of The Grapes of Wrath. “I do try to take my given work in the world seriously, and try not to shy away from the heavy subjects in life: commitment, faith, death.”
Spending several years in Nashville gave Walt the opportunity to work with some of his heroes; Ricky Skaggs’ recording of Wilkins’ song “Seven Hillsides” appeared on a Grammy-winning album. But the call of home was powerful. Since Walt’s return to Texas, he’s produced records by a number of artists, including Brandon Rhyder, Pat Green, Jamie Richards, Sam Baker, and Bonnie Bishop, as well as Tina Wilkins, his personal and musical partner.
“My most memorable moments throughout my career always have my wife in them,” Walt told The Daily Texan. “Whether it’s a long drive across Texas, or singing on stage with the woman I love, we’ve created some priceless memories.”
KEOS, an all-volunteer station, has held down the 89.1 spot on the FM dial since 1995, when it made its debut in a former tortilla factory in downtown Bryan. The June 24 concert will be the second in its Lone Star Music Series, which debuted last year at the Grand Stafford, featuring Sam Baker, Carrie Elkins, and Chip Dolan. The series is made possible in part through hotel tax revenue provided from the cities of College Station and Bryan through the Arts Council of Brazos Valley. The station is largely listener-sponsored, and the summer pledge drive runs through June 26, though donations are welcome any time.
Music fans of all ages will enjoy this family-friendly performance. Tickets are available through the theater’s website, www.grandstaffordtheater.com. Admission is $15 for general admission/standing room and $25 for reserved ground-level seating. For assistance with accessibility, please email email@example.com. Tickets will be available at the door, but KEOS suggests buying them in advance. When you visit the Grand Stafford site you can also add a gift to KEOS in the “donation” field on the ticket page.
The Grand Stafford Theater is located at 106 S. Main St in Bryan.