The 10th Annual Canadian River Music Festival kicks off at Jones Pavilion this Saturday, with a full-day lineup of terrific live music.
Gates will open at 11:30 am, with Comanche Moon kicking off the celebration at noon. Comanche Moon is a roots-rock, alt-country, “Texicana” band from Amarillo. Their music lays out an expansive soundscape that conveys the desolation and toughness of the band’s native Texas Panhandle and often slips effortlessly into upbeat rock-and-roll.
John Fullbright takes the stage at 1:30 pm. John Fullbright got his start at the legendary Blue Door listening room in Oklahoma City. It was there that he recorded a live album and found his base, opening for many other writers, including fellow Oklahomans Kevin Welch and Jimmy Webb. His 2012 studio debut, From the Ground Up, received a Grammy nomination for Americana Album of the Year. Later that year, he won ASCAP’s Harold Adamson Award for lyric writing. In 2014, John released the critically acclaimed Songs, toured all over America and the UK, and appeared on Late Night with David Letterman.
Texas native, Grammy-winning songwriter Bonnie Bishop opens her set at 3 pm and has been making music on the road almost her entire adult life. Raised in Houston, she graduated from the University Of Texas in Austin with a degree in sociology and a minor in theatre, planning to pursue musical theatre after college. But when Austin piano player Riley Osborne took an interest in the young singer and helped her record her first demo of soul music in 1998, it forever changed her path. Osborne introduced Bishop to the local blues scene, where she got the fever for live music. After writing her first song by accident her senior year (inspired by a broken heart, of course) she fell in love with the songwriting process and began cutting her teeth onstage, playing her original music in bars, dance halls, and honky-tonks across Texas.
At 4:30 pm, take a seat for JD McPherson. With an unaffected take on vital American music and a voice that channels the spirit of Little Richard and James Brown, JD McPherson presents traditional rhythm and blues, and rock-and-roll with fresh, exciting songwriting. When he talks about his new album, Undivided Heart & Soul, there’s no glimmer of self-adulation, or even the confidence one might expect of a veteran artist. Instead, there’s a snapshot of McPherson’s creative process bringing the record to life, a journey filled with fear and change, then boldness, and, eventually, catharsis.
The Great Divide has long been considered pioneers of the red-dirt music movement. Throughout their long journey together, The Great Divide never wavered from their commitment to original music beset with powerful, heartfelt lyrics intertwined with their distinctive country-rock sound. Their success and their legacy remains a proud part of Oklahoma’s tradition of harboring some of the best damn music talent on the planet. The Great Divide will take the stage at 6 pm.
With legends like George Jones, Johnny Cash, and Merle Haggard all passed on, country music purists often echo the question Jones himself asked: “Who’s going to fill their shoes?” The answer, in part, is Marty Stuart. While he’s too gracious to admit it himself, the Grammy-winning singer, songwriter, and musician is living, breathing country-music history. He’s played alongside the masters, from Cash to Lester Flatt, who discovered him; been a worldwide ambassador for Nashville, Bakersfield, and points in between; and safeguarded country’s most valuable traditions and physical artifacts. When it comes to transforming country songs into tangible experience, Stuart has a secret weapon: the Fabulous Superlatives. Made up of guitarist Kenny Vaughan, drummer Harry Stinson, and new member, bassist, Chris Scruggs, the Superlatives are an extension of Stuart himself. See for yourself at 7:30 pm.
Finishing out the night will be Robert Earl Keen on stage at 9:30 pm. “The road goes on forever …” It’s not always easy to sum up a career, let alone a life’s ambition, so succinctly, but those five words from Robert Earl Keen’s calling-card anthem just about do it. You can complete the lyric with the next five words—the ones routinely shouted back at Keen by thousands of fans—“and the party never ends!”—just to punctuate the point with a flourish, but it’s the part about the journey that gets right to the heart of what makes Keen tick. Some people take up a life of playing music with the goal of someday reaching a destination of fame and fortune, but from the get-go, Keen just wanted to write and sing his own songs, and to do so as long as possible.
All-day passes will be pre-sold for $30/person online until midnight Friday, May 10, and will be sold for $40 (cash only) at the gate.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
For more details or to purchase your tickets, go to the Canadian River Music Festival website.