By AMANDA KIMBLE
ERATH COUNTY (April 2, 2016) – It has come down to just nine Texas Music talents.
Larry Joe Taylor’s Songwriters Showcase enters its semifinal round Monday, when Randall King, Buffalo Ruckus, Jackie Darlene, Buck Fuffalo and Cody Jasper take the stage at T-birds Garage Pub at Melody Mountain Ranch Monday. They will sing their hearts out and put their art on the line in hopes of landing a spot on LJT’s Texas Music Festival lineup.
And that’s a big deal. The annual event, which has history that spans almost three decades, welcomed more than 60,000 music lovers to hear the star-studded Texas Music lineup in 2015, according to Martha Taylor, event promoter.
The 2016 event promises – and will deliver – more of the same. Six Market Blvd. makes a return for the music festival, which will also feature Stoney LaRue, Sam Riggs, American Aquarium, Turnpike Troubadours, Randy Rogers Band, Wade Bowen, Mike Ryan, Casey Donahew Band, Mark McKinney, William Clark Green, Kevin Fowler, Luke Wade, Reckless Kelly and many more appearing April 18-23.
Competitors in the semifinal and final rounds of the songwriters’ showcase were a part of 24 acts in this year’s the fourth annual showcase. The songwriters have been taking the T-birds stage for the last four weeks. The top two acts of each of the Monday night lineups advanced to the semifinal or final round.
“We had six songwriters perform three original songs each night,” Martha Taylor explained. “We have anonymous judges – nobody knows who they are – who chose the top performers.”
The second place picks are playing Monday and top picks – Kaitlin Butt, John D. Hales, James Coo and Kensie Coppin – will take the stage April 11.
Larry Joe Taylor also works to tab the top talent.
“He gets a wild card,” Martha Taylor said. “He picks any one of the performers who didn’t make it into the finals to compete.”
Last year, Dalton Domino, who has been the host of the competition for the last two years, gained Larry Joe’s confidence and won the wild card entry. He also went on the win the competition and perform at the 2015 Texas Music Festival and will play the big event again this year.
The songwriter showcase, like everything, Larry Joe Taylor puts his name on, is growing in popularity. Not only do up-and-coming artists get a chance to play for a music festival crowd, the competition also invited music lovers to listen to their sets.
Admission is free, but space is limited. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the music begins at 8.
T-birds is located at Melody Mountain Ranch, 1290 Private Road 707 in Stephenville.
Visit larryjoetaylor.com for more information.