Featured photo: Nashville-based rock quintet Moon Taxi, who will perform at the 40th annual Red River Revel. Photo courtesy ridethemoontaxi.com.
I love live music and make an effort to get out and see as many performances as possible. Each year, I look forward to the announcement of the Red River Revel Arts Festival‘s music headliners, hoping to pick out two or three personal must-see performances among the festival’s eight days of music on three stages. Eight days and three stages is a lot of entertainment to program and, naturally, everything won’t be for everyone. But I can always pick out a few performances that I’m really excited about, and it’s even more exciting that I’ll get to see these acts at a festival that costs a maximum of $5-$10 to attend.
The music schedule for the Revel’s 40th anniversary quietly appeared on the festival’s website today. A couple of standouts on the list, for me, are:
CHASE Entertainment Stage
8:30-10 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 8
I’ll just hazard a guess that Moon Taxi may be the only band at the Revel this year who performed at Lollapalooza this past July. The Nashville-based indie/jam rock quintet have also performed on late night shows including Conan and The Late Show with David Letterman. Their fourth studio album, Daybreaker, will be released on Oct. 2, 2015, which’ll put them in Shreveport at the beginning of a whole lot of touring. The first song I’ve heard off of Daybreaker, “Year Zero,” is pretty great.
Robert Earl Keen
CHASE Entertainment Stage
8:30-10 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 10
Another surprise for me, and another artist currently touring behind a new album, is Robert Earl Keen. Keen’s most recent album, Happy Prisoners, is a cover album of bluegrass standards, but he’s better known as a Texas songwriter in the tradition of Guy Clark or Lyle Lovett. He was inducted into the Texas Heritage Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2012, along with Lovett and the late, great Texas songwriter Townes Van Zandt.
My third pick for this year won’t be a national touring act, it’ll be the Louisiana Music Prize‘s Power to the People showcase at the Revel, 3-6 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 3. The energy at Louisiana Music Prize events is always just off the charts – these bands are competing for $20,000 worth of cash and prizes – and it’s fun to see that energy being brought to the Revel’s stage.
For me, the surprise was when I looked at the headliners pictured at the bottom of their website – 12 bands, 11 with only Caucasians, and one with only one woman, the rest men. I for one would like to see richer diversity in the musical line-up of the headliners.
I know there are other tons of performances throughout the festival, but that pictorial representation really took me unaware.