Cherokee Creek Music Festival 2016

We just returned from another fantastic time at Cherokee Creek Music Festival and it remains one of the best music festivals in Texas. Some of John Cthe reasons we can make the claim that Cherokee Creek Music Festival is one of the best includes:

  • the line-up is unbelievable and as the MC said "every artist is a headliner"
  • the setting is stunning with a beautiful wood and stone pavilion and stage, bouquets of colorful flowers everywhere you look, picnic tables along the creek with flowers and an umbrella all along side a creek with a stone waterfall
  • free food each evening and for lunch on Saturday
  • close by camping and BYOB
  • fun mature music loving fans

The Setting For Cherokee Creek Music Festival

The festival takes place on Kelcy Warren's ranch a few miles from the very small town of Cherokee, Texas. A creek with a couple dams and small waterfalls run through the property and beside the music stage and on one side of the camping area. The stage is under a stunningly beautiful rock pillar and wood ceiling pavilion with lush artificial grass and white outdoor chairs - all of which is surrounded by colorful plants and flowers in front of the stage and along side the stone pillars. Absolutely beautiful and a really unique and enjoyable setting for music.

Cherokee Creek Music FestivalCherokee Creek Music FestivalThe Pavillion at Cherokee Creek Music Festival

On one side of the pavilion is one of the houses on the property and the front yard is open to festival attendees to enjoy the swings, fire pit, wooden chairs, and shade from the tall trees. The other side of the pavilion is set with a number of picnic tables with flowers, umbrellas, and a floral decoration that are used for enjoying the good food or sitting with friends and enjoying the music.

At the entrance to the pavilion is where you can buy some of the artists merchandise and sign up for one of the silent auction items. There is also a large playscape for kids with swings, slides, bounce house, and more.

The Cherokee Creek Music Festival Line-up

Every year that we've attended Cherokee Creek Music Festival the line up has been a superb combination of award winning artists and a pleasant mix of genres from county to blues to rock and roll to funk, Americana, folk, and more. This year was no exception and it's really true that every artist could have been a headliner.

This year the music started on Thursday at the VIP and Sponsors Party with a line-up of music that included:

  • Charlie Faye & The Fayettes - craft smart soul-pop that merges the swinging, swaying sound and style of '60s girl groups with a vibe that's still current
  • Jonah Smith - critically acclaimed singer-songwriter from Los Angeles, CA who pulls from the deep well of American blues and many of its offshoots, including soul, country, and folk
  • Bob Schneider - a popular fixture in the Austin music scene, Bob combines the traditional singer/songwriter aesthetic with elements of funk, country, rock, and folk

Charlie Faye & the FayettesJonah SmithBob Schneider

In addition to some excellent music there was free food (some of which included: BBQ, delicious pork, sausage, fresh wood fired oven pizza, and more) and an open bar with beer, wine, liquor, and soft drinks - all of which was accompanied by a beautiful sunset.

Pizza at Cherokee Creek Music FestivalSunset at Cherokee Creek Music FestivalBBQ at Cherokee Creek Music Festival

A truly very enjoyable evening - the food was delicious, the music was outstanding, and the fans were great. Bob Schneider was, as usual, dynamic, entertaining, and full of some great songs.

Friday's line-up included:

  • Dave Barnes - American musician/singer and Grammy Award nominated songwriter from Nashville
  • Jackie Greene - Armed with a persuasive voice, a vivid songwriting skill and an instinctive mastery of several instruments, Greene has carved out a unique musical niche
  • Brett Dennen - American folk/pop singer and songwriter from Northern California

Dave BarnesJackie GreeneBrett Dennen

  • Chris Robinson Brotherhood - Chris Robinson Brotherhood is an American blues rock band formed by Black Crowes singer Chris Robinson
  • Counting Crows - adult alternative rock that makes them one of the few alternative bands to appeal to listeners who thought that rock & roll died in 1972
  • Dwight Yoakam - Dwight David Yoakam is an American singer-songwriter, actor, and film director, most famous for his pioneering country music

Chris Robinson BrotherhoodCounting CrowsDwight Yoakam

Dave Barnes, Jackie Greene, and Brett Dennen were outstanding with enjoyable sets that I hated to see end and Dwight always puts on a good set of country music.

Friday night after the music stopped on the main stage, we headed to the campground to the after party sponsored by John Nolan who retired from Kelcy's company, Energy Transfer. John has set up a huge white tent with a stage and some picnic tables and this year he hired a very good country band and cooked hundreds of pounds of delicious ribs (some of the best ribs I've ever had), cold slaw, and beans for everyone who was there. What a great way to end the evening. Saturday morning I was back at John Nolan's area for a tasty Bloody Mary and breakfast of bacon, eggs, and pancakes - all at no charge - Thanks to John, the cooks, and crew!!!

Breakfast at NolansNolans after party Ribs at Nolans

Saturday the music started around noon and included:

  • Lance Canales - guttural vocals combined with a hard edged storytelling (Canales lived the life that so many songs have been written about since the birth of roots music – hard labor, one room shacks and taunting ghosts whispering of a better life).approach beneath stripped down, foot-stomping, acoustic instrumentation
  • Jimmy LaFave - an Austin staple who is an American singer-songwriter and folk musician that crafted a musical style called Red Dirt music and became a disciple of Oklahoma's most famous folk musician, Woody Guthrie:
  • Bruce Hornsby & The Noisemakers - an American singer and keyboardist who draws frequently from classical, jazz, bluegrass, folk, Motown, gospel, rock, blues, and jam band musical traditions

Lance CanalesJimmy LaFaveBruce Hornsby

  • Josh Ritter - an American singer-songwriter, guitarist and author is known for his distinctive Americana style and narrative lyrics
  • Lyle Lovett & His Large Band - not satisfied within the traditional confines of country music Lyle continues to experiment in jazz, folk and pop within the country framework and he has won several Grammy Awards
    John Fogerty - best known as the lead singer and lead guitarist, as well as the principal songwriter, for the band Creedence Clearwater Revival and later as a successful solo recording artist. Fogerty was listed on Rolling Stone magazine's list of 100 Greatest Guitarists and the list of the 100 Greatest Singers

Josh RitterLyle Lovett & his Large Band John Fogerty & Son

We attend a lot of festivals each year and I can't remember a more fun and entertaining line-up than Saturday's music at Cherokee Creek Music Festival. John Fogerty was outstanding and extremely energetic and I must have known every song he sang and just when I said "I don't know any more of his songs" he would belt out another one like Proud Mary or Centerfield or Have You Ever Seen The Rain or Rock & Roll Girls, and on and on! Lyle Lovett and his big band were outstanding, and Lance had us all on the edge of our seats as he stomped across the stage delivering a stark blues twang-and-thump set that sounded like it had been born somewhere between a back alley and a field worker’s camp. Bruce was great and we hated to see Jimmy LaFave's and Josh Ritter's set end. Truly a day of music to remember.

Following that it was back to Nolan's area for the after party with live music, dancing, and more delicious ribs and fixings. And the campground was alive with pickin', singin', and story tellin' around several campfires until just before the sun rose!

Food and Camping at Cherokee Creek Music Festival

One of the food boothsThe free food at Cherokee Creek is just about as good as the music line-up and it's hard for me not to gain several pounds as I graze the food booths from noon to 8 PM. This year the options included:]

  • a salad area with chicken and tuna salad, grapes and fruit, lettuce and all the fixings plus delicious deserts that ranged from cheesecake to brownies to chocolate chip cookies
  • a fajita station with chicken and beef fajitas, beans, corn, salsas, chips, and more
  • a station with BBQ pork and sliced beef, BBQ sauce, cold slaw, and lots of other good stuff
  • burgers,hot dogs, corn dogs, roasted corn on the cob, and fries
  • some tasty Cajun gumbo, fried catfish, cheese sticks, and fried poppers
  • ice cream, pop corn, soft drinks, water, and more

The campground at Cherokee Creek Music Festival is a huge field with the creek running along one side. Sponsors have the option of staying in an RV or at the Horseshoe Bay Resort which means that there is row after row of luxury RVs for the sponsors. If you call early enough you might get lucky and get one of the few sites with water and electric for a fee. There is plenty of open field for free dry camping in an RV and tent campers can pitch their tent under a large cluster of trees or along the creek. If you're on the far fringe of the camping area it's still only a 3 or 4 minute walk to the stage or you can jump on the shuttle golf cart for a free ride to the music stage. Campers can also take advantage of the showers, free ice or RV water and pump out service.

Camping at Cherokee Creek Music FestivalCamping at Cherokee Creek Music FestivalCamping at Cherokee Creek Music Festival

The Cherokee Creek Music Fans

The people who attend Cherokee Creek are a good mix of oil executives, some of their employees or family, and private individuals - all of whom are here for good music and good times. Everyone is friendly and outgoing and it's hard to not meet someone new that you look forward to reacquainting with again next year.

Cherokee Creek Music FansCherokee Creek Music FansCherokee Creek Music Fans

Check out this link on more Cherokee Creek Music Festival pictures to see some additional pictures from this years festival.

The Cherokee Creek Music Festival venue was established to accomplish fundraising goals for donations to several charities, some of which include:
Cherokee Home for Children, Children’s Medical Center of Dallas, Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center, Grant A Star, and Heroes For Children

Bottom line: it just doesn't get any better than Cherokee Creek Music Festival - beautiful setting, superb line-ups, excellent food, close by camping, BYOB, and fun friendly fans. Our thanks go out to the Warrens; the musicians who spend hours getting to and from the festival, setting up and breaking down; and all the volunteers and staff who make this enjoyable and pain free for us! See you next year.

Dinner staff at Cherokee Creek Music festival staffThe WarrensDinner staff at Cherokee Creek Music festival staff

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