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Brazos River Music Festival

Granbury, Texas

March, 2008

 

This is the third year that we have attended the Brazos River Music Festival in Granbury and each year it has gotten better. Some of what we love about this festival includes:

  • it has been expanded to two days
  • the venue has improved
  • the music lineup gets better each year
  • the vendors are good
  • there are a few RV sites which are close to the music
  • the crowd is small, friendly, and loves country music
  • it's held on the same weekend as General Granbury's Birthday Celebration
  • its for a good cause and benefits the Boys & Girls Club of Hood County
  • and it takes place in Granbury, which is a fun city to explore
Great fiddle player who played with a number of bands

The Brazos River Music Festival has been held at the Granbury Reunion grounds just a mile or so north of the Granbury square for the last couple years. The venue is an open field with some grass and a gentle slope down to the stage - so any place you park your chair or blanket has a good view. A few arts and crafts vendors and some food and drink vendors are are at the top of the slope to the stage.

Each year the Brazos River Music Fest is held on the same weekend as General Granbury's Birthday Celebration, which includes: a parade, bean and BBQ cookoff (and sampling - yummy!), carnival, and arts and crafts fair - all of which is held around the Granbury historic square. We always head downtown on Saturday morning to shop around the square, watch the parade, check out the arts and crafts, and sample some of the beans and BBQ. Then we head back to the Reunion grounds for a day of great music.

Clown in the paradeCarnival ride in the parkBear ride at the square

On Sunday, you can explore Granbury which is one of our favorite small towns because it offers a wide variety of things to see and do, the people are laid back and friendly, and there some fabulous B&Bs. Some of what we like to do when we visit Granbury includes:

  • tour the square - you'll find quaint antique shops, playhouses, good restaurants including a old time soda fountain, and more
  • go golfing - Harbor Lakes Golf Course in Granbury is an excellent course plus you have a number of other nearby choices, for example, Whitestone in Benbrook or Squaw Valley in Glen Rose - see the Texas Outside Golf Map to locate a course and read our reviews
  • bike the trails - there is a paved trail from the park and along the creek which is an easy relaxing ride - over the summer the trail will be expanded further along the creek
  • enjoy the lake - Lake Granbury, which is formed by a dam along the Brazos River, runs through Granbury and it's good for skiing/boarding, swimming, and cruising

Granbury Square ShopsGranbury Lake Beach ParkGranbury Historic House

Enough about Granbury, the primary reason we came to Granbury was to enjoy two days of excellent country music - and it was outstanding! Friday night's venue was BYOB (we also love that part!), started around 5, and included:

  • Allen Parsons
  • Zach Edwards
  • Tom McElvain
  • Brady McCool & Young Guns - runner-up for the Ranch's Battle of the Bands
  • Mike's Garage Band -winner of the Ranch's Battle of the Bands

Everyone who played Friday night was very good. For their age - 16 to 18 - Brady McCool & Young Guns is a band to watch. Mike's Garage Band was excellent - very lively, great voices, good original songs, and fun to watch and listen too. The stand-in fiddle player was fantastic, lively, and entertaining - he frequently left the stage and joined the crowd, fiddling all the way!

Saturday, the bands took the stage starting around 1:00. The line-up included:

  • Mother Truckers - an irreverent harmony driven country band telling original tales with pristine voices singing authentic country with non-traditional lyrics and blazing guitars
  • 80 Proof - they easily blend the popular styles to come up with a distinct sound making it easy to get lost in the ballads or rock to the some of their livelier songs
  • Cody Gill Band - they take the stage with a chemistry not found in other musicians - there's a fire burning in the underbelly of this nomadic foursome and a wide range of good sounds
  • The Hawks - we loved these guys who were lively and made you wanta dance to a varied range of original works and some of the classics - one of the most entertaining shows of the weekend
  • Randy Brown - Randy is always great with his dynamic personality, charming smile, deep voice, enthusiasm for true country music, and steady dose of western swing and dynamite honky tonk
  • Tommy Alverson - Tommy is a long time favorite and his show never disappoints us with his six piece band, straightforward honky-tonk, and his new CD titled "Country to the Bone" - which typifies his legendary music
  • Ray Wylie Hubbard - speaking of legendary, Ray Wylie Hubbard is a true legend, a lot of fun to listen to, and according to one source "Ray Wylie is rock 'n rolls last samurai. He writes like he has the devil in his tail, the Good Lord in his heart, a saddlebag of poetry, and a pistol in his boot."
  • Reckless Kelly - Reckless Kelly provided a perfect ending to an outstanding day of music with their high octane mix of rock, country, folk, and Americana

Cody Gill BandTommy AlversonRandy BrownRay Whlie Hubbard

In addition to some fantastic music, Brazos River Fest includes a variety of vendors selling food, cold beer and margaritas, and merchandise. One of favorite food vendors, Katie's Cafe, was at the festival and they serve the best paddy melt in the world - at least in my sampling of paddy melts around the world! In addition to good paddy melts they have excellent hamburgers, chicken sandwiches, very good fries, and more. Oh, and make sure you save some room for one of their Fried Twinkies - your traditional cream-filled sponge cake, battered, deep-fried and covered with powdered sugar. Have it with chocolate sauce, or my favorite, raspberry. Be sure to let it cool a minute or two to experience the full flavor. This is one you shouldn't miss.

In addition to some fantastic music, Brazos River Fest includes a variety of vendors selling food, cold beer and margaritas, and merchandise. One of favorite food vendors, Katie's Cafe, was at the festival and they serve the best paddy melt in the world - at least in my sampling of paddy melts around the world! In addition to good paddy melts they have excellent hamburgers, chicken sandwiches, very good fries, and more. Oh, and make sure you save some room for one of their Fried Twinkies - your traditional cream-filled sponge cake, battered, deep-fried and covered with powdered sugar. Have it with chocolate sauce, or my favorite, raspberry. Be sure to let it cool a minute or two to experience the full flavor. This is one you shouldn't miss.

Make sure you bring your lawn chairs, blankets, and peanuts, but you're not allowed to bring in any drinks on Saturday.

Katies Cafe

The Brazos River Music Festival has a limited number of RV sites that are next to the entrance gates - making it a minute walk back to the RV after the music ends. Some campers listened to the music from the top of their RV. If you don't want to camp, then Granbury has plenty of choices for lodging. Granbury may well be the B&B capital of Texas with some excellent choices in a variety of houses, some of which are really neat historic homes and a couple B&Bs which are on the square. The Lodge of Granbury is three blocks from the square and has waterfront one bedroom suites if you're not into B&Bs. About 5 blocks from the square and adjacent to the park, a new Hilton Garden Inn is being built in 2008, right on the shore of Lake Granbury.

You can get two days of outstanding music and good family fun for just $30 bucks. A big thanks to Julia Toth and her cast of thousands who made this an outstanding event and better each year.

 

 

 

 

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