Every year for the last 11 years, we can't wait for another Larry Joe Taylor Rhymes & Vines Music Festival in mid September - and this year was no exception. It's hard not to get excited about 4 days of excellent music, camping, and hanging out with some fun music fans.
This year Tommy Alverson and his son Justin kicked off Rhymes & Vines on Wednesday around 8 PM with "Welcome Happy Hour" at T-Birds Garage Pub. Tommy and Justin played to a packed house and it was enjoyable sipping a drink, in an air conditioned pub with close friends, and listening to some of Tommy's best songs. A fun and entertaining set from one of the best and an excellent way to start this year's Rhymes & Vines.
The next morning at 10 we were back sitting at the bar at T-Birds Garage Pub, a short minute walk from our camper, for Bloody Mary Morning with music from Kaitin Butts, winner of the Texas Regional Radio Music Award's Best New Vocalist, and Kensie Coppin. A great set from two fantastic singer songwriters.
After a few Bloody Marys which loosened me up and gave me some confidence, we headed into Stephenville to play golf at Legends Country Club. On the first tee as I got ready for my drive I was sure I saw two golf balls and not knowing which one to hit I dribbled my drive 75 yards down the fairway and lost all that confidence I had from Bloody Mary Morning. It didn't get much better - I bounced off a roof, scared squirrels and birds out of the trees I hit, lost 3 balls in back yards and the native grass, hit my head getting into the cart, couldn't decide which of the two cups I saw on the first three greens to putt my ball into, and almost ran the golf cart into a tree. I was ready to get back to my lawn chair and drinking beer and listening to some good music - I hate golf! Legends Country Club has changed hands and has a new superintendent and he's made significant improvement to the conditions. With two very different nines, some fun holes, and very affordable rates, it's worth playing Legends Country Club if you're not hung over. Here's a link to our review of Legends Country Club.
Each morning during Rhymes & Vines around 10:00 we started the day with "Bloody Mary Morning" at T-Birds Garage Pub. Delicious Zing Zang Bloody Marys and music from:
This year's Rhymes & Vines Music Festival was a great mix of musicians who have played the festival for years (Mike McClure and Ray Wylie Hubbard for example) and some bands that played the festival for the first time (Erick Willis and Blue Water Highway). The music started on the Colorado High Vodka stage on Thursday afternoon. Here's the lineup for the next 3 days:
In addition to some excellent music, great people, and good times we got to watch a funny cooking demonstration with Larry Joe and Davin James, a demonstration (and sampling) of Homebrewing, and a cooking demonstration by Nick Pugh.
Since Texas Regional Radio Music announced a few music awards during the festival (Bri Bagwell won Best Female Vocalist, Kaitin Butts got Best New Vocalist, and Larry Joe received an award for the Best Texas Music Festival) we decided to give out the first annual Texas Outside Music Festival Awards for Larry Joe Taylor's Rhymes & Vines. And the winners for 2016 include:
In addition to a fantastic lineup of Texas singer songwriters, what makes Rhymes & Vines one of the Best Music Festivals includes camping, a very fun mature crowd of music lovers, BYOB, an intimate stage, and vendors to provide the fuel to keep you somewhat sober.
Rhymes & Vines is held on Larry Joe Taylor's Melody Mountain Ranch which includes over 300 acres of rolling countryside 6 miles north of Stephenville, two stages plus the T-Bird Garage Pub stage, a VIP backstage area and seating, over 300 campsites you can reserve (and retain for the following year) of which over 200 have water and electricity (some are in the VIP camping area) and several acres for non-reserved camping, a store selling ice and beer, pay-for showers, and more. All of the campsites are within an easy walk to the stage and several are close enough that you can sit under your camper's awning and listen to the music. In the campground you'll see an interesting mix of huge expensive motorhomes and just about everything else you can image someone could spend the night in, smell a lot of food cooking, hear a lot of laughter, watch people competing in a variety of games like cornhole or washers, and listen to music around the campfires from 11 AM to 4 in the morning! Camping is the best way to experience this festival.
For this year's Rhymes & Vine the music was held in T-Birds Garage Pub and the Hemp Crafted Colorado High Vodka Stage. T-Birds Garage Pub is pretty cool and it has a covered outside patio with bar stools and tables, a well stocked bar with great bartenders, a small music stage at the end of the bar, lots of cool pictures from previous festivals, and a good amount of room for bar stools and tables. A fun place to hang out during the festival enjoying the air conditioning, generous drinks, and the music during Bloody Mary Morning.
Melody Mountain Ranch has a huge stage with open field seating that is used for Larry Joe's April Festival - 6 days of fun and excellent music. Read our review of Larry Joe Taylo'rs 2015 Texas Music Festival.
During the three days of Rhymes & Vines you can take advantage of several vendors - you can dine on pizza, BBQ, ice cream, nachos, meat pies, chicken on a stick, turkey legs, and more. You can buy a cowboy hat, some jewelry, some firewood, or a pearl snap shirt. Or you can get a massage or an IV rehydration injection and other services to give you energy and to cure your hangover. The wood oven baked pizza from Crusty's Wood Fired Pizza was our favorite - you can build your own pizza from a variety of ingredients or pick one off the menu.
If you're planning on coming to Rhymes & Vines next year you might consider a VIP pass which is one of the best ways to enjoy this festival because it includes VIP camping with water and electricity, back stage seating, and a VIP area with full bar, and very good free food for both lunch and dinner Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.
Our thanks go out to all of the Taylors (Larry Joe, Sherry, Zack, and Martha), the hard working staff that makes this so much fun for us, and all of the volunteers. See you next year.