By ASHLEY INGE
MELODY MOUNTAIN RANCH (September 16, 2018) – Rhymes & Vines, the popular, laid-back music festival is back for their 13th annual music celebration.
The fun begins on Wednesday, Sep. 19 and continues through Saturday, Sep. 22 at Melody Mountain Ranch located at 1290 Private Road 707 in Stephenville.
Martha Taylor, public relations and production member of the event, explains more about what Rhymes & Vines is.
“It’s a very low-key laidback version of LJT. The music starts on Wednesday night and then it’ll start back up on Thursday afternoon and continue on Friday and Saturday, but what we also like to do with this is, it’s fall so everyone’s outdoors and grilling and cooking and hunting and things like that on their mind, so we incorporate a homebrew contest with beer and wine and folks that have crafted their own beer and wine, they like to compete with that, so we’ve created a little competition for them,” Taylor said.
“We’ve also added a jalapeno popper cookoff, which has brought in about 30 contestants this year and I believe last year it was 22. That turned out really well,” Taylor said. “And then we have cooking demonstrations by a celebrity chef. This year, it’s Nick Pugh. He used to be an attorney here in Stephenville, but he’s also a chef, so it’s very interactive. Everything is [interactive]: the music, the cooking, there’s vendors. It’s a great place to hang out and enjoy some good music.”
Musical performances kick off with a T-Birds Garage Pub “Welcome Happy Hour” event with Coalition at 7 p.m. and Max Stalling at 9 p.m.
On Thursday, T-Birds Garage Pub “Fall Fest Kick-off Happy Hour” with John Baumann starts at 4:45 p.m. with performances by Shea Abshier & the Nighthowlers, Mike McClure and Shinyribs from 7-9:30 p.m.
On Friday, T-Birds Garage Pub “Bloody Mary Morning” with Jarrod Morris starts at 10 a.m. A cooking demonstration with celebrity chef, Nick Pugh, will start from 1-2 p.m. Musical performances will start after that from 3-10 p.m. that night with performances by The Powell Brothers, Walk Wilkins, Kody West, Bri Bagwell, Randall King, Deryl Dodd and Josh Weathers.
On Saturday, T-Birds Garage Pub “Bloody Mary Morning” continues at 10:00 a.m. with Larry Joe Taylor and Davin James. From 10-11:30 a.m., contestants will turn in their homemade brew and wine concoctions. The world championship jalapeno popper cook-off will take place on the west stage from 12-2 p.m. The rest of the afternoon, there will be performances by Coby Weir, Giovannie & the Hired Guns, Davin James, Mark McKinney, Tejas Brothers, Larry Joe Taylor and Bruce Robison & Kelly Willis with a couple of breaks between some of the performances to announce the winners for the homebrew and winemaker contest as well as the winners for the jalapeno popper cook-off. There will also be a T-Birds Garage Pub “After Party” at 11:30 p.m. with Tommy Alverson.
Taylor said she is most excited about the jalapeno popper cookoff or the “pop off.”
“It’s our second year to do it. Everyone seems to be very excited about it. A lot of them take their cooking poppers very seriously, so it’s really exciting to see these people get worked up and excited. They put a lot of time and effort into their craft,” Taylor said. “This is a new thing we’ve added that’s been doing really well and has had a great response. For winners, we’ve got an autographed guitar [and] a custom-made popper grilling rack as the grand prize. We started this last year [and] it’s done really well. It’s fun to see it grow.”
Tickets for Rhymes & Vines can be purchased online at larryjoetaylor.com.
A four-day ticket is $68 or $78 at the gate; a three-day ticket is $52 or $60 at the gate; a two-day ticket is $37 or $44 at the gate; and a one-day ticket is $19 or $25 at the gate.
“It’s a great place to be,” Taylor said. “This time of year, the weather is looking pretty good. You can bring your lawn chair. You can bring your ice chest. It’s very laid back. If you want to listen to some good music and enjoy the outdoors and camping and cooking, this is the place to be.”