Monday, October 6, 2014

-- The Return of the Redneck Road Dogs
Looking Forward to Oil Festival Entertainment
by Brenda Kippa

Hello music lovers! Have you been taking advantage of opportunities to
see and hear live music over the summer? Your faithful road dogs have
been enjoying several favorites lately, and we hope to share
highlights soon. But today, we're looking forward instead of back; all
eyes are turning toward this year's Hawkins Oil Festival, and
excitement is brewing.

Our City Fathers - being busy with a full array of business items and
dramas -- have asked your Road Dogs to assist in luring talented
people to our town for the entertainment portions of the Oil Festival.
What an honor! We have approached the task with care, hoping that the
performers we asked would say yes, and hoping to give the good
citizens of Hawkins  some serious bragging rights after the event is

 After the last winner is announced in the float competition from the
parade that will open the day's festivities, we think we have a lineup
of entertainers that will keep toes tapping and faces smiling all day

First up will be Raphael Esposito.  Your Road Dogs haven't had an
opportunity to hear this performer, but we are very excited to have
this chance. He has wowed audiences steadily, having won the Heart of
Texas Blues Challenge at Antone's in Austin, leaving others in his
dust. Raised in nearby Golden, Tx., Raphael came out of the Berkley
College of Music in Boston with high academic honors. His music is
said to be "original music that is deeply rooted in the blues".

Next onstage will be Shinebox. This band generates excitement at the
mention of their name. Composed of Donny Hyles, Eric Dobbins and Marty
Arbter, this is a band that's long on credentials, with two of the
members having turned pro in their early teens. The band members have
each worked with many notable players in their years prior to meeting
up and forming Shinebox  in 2002. They have spent the last 12 years
touring the Ark-La-Tex area.

At about 4:00 PM, The Bigsbys is scheduled to begin. We were first
introduced to the joys of listening to this band when they opened for
the great Uncle Lucius on a winter evening nearly two years ago. We
can promise everyone that this will be a memorable performance, No
matter what you have scheduled for this time period on the 11th of
October, cancel it!  You will thank yourself later, after enjoying
their time onstage.

The final act of the day will be Stefan Cotter and The Rastabillys. We
are especially proud that this group has agreed to perform at our
Festival. When we try to tell people about the style of the
Rastabillys, we find ourselves all caught up in a jumble of
adjectives. We hear ourselves saying "traditional country", along with
 "jazz", "soul", "reggae", "cajun wonderfulness", etc., while we still
never quite define it. What's certain is that this band is  close to
the top of the list of  bands that we consider "must see" bands.

Here's an antcedote I can give you: At a festival in Ben Wheeler over
the summer, Stefan Cotter and the Rastabillys was scheduled to play in
the early afternoon, with another band scheduled after them, and with
Ray Wylie Hubbard scheduled later on as the headliner. Stefan Cotter
and the band delivered song after song after song in the intense heat
of the day, as the crowd continued to grow in size. We became aware
that the "next" band had failed to appear when they should have.
Continuing on in a seamless performance, these guys just kept on going
and going. Most in the audience probably had no idea that anything
might have been amiss, but we noticed several nervous
promoters/organizers in the wings. It's unclear whether this speaks to
their fine sense of responsibility to their audience or  their
willingness to jump at an opportunity to extend a joyful performance.
Either way, we can attest to the good fortune of both the audience and
the organizers, though. How's that, you say? Well.... we had heard the
"missing" band play once before. It was the only time this old Road
Dog was tempted to abandon my rule of saying only positive things
about the bands we see. (I elected to say nothing at all.)

Whether performing one of their own songs (all written by Stefan
Cotter), or a cover from a huge catalog of favorites, this band never
disappoints. Mark your calendar for this year's Oil Festival on the
11th of October, and be sure to bring all of your friends!

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