Welcome to Main Street Fest!
The City of Grand Prairie Parks, Arts & Recreation Department is hosting the 6th Annual Main Street Fest. The 3-day event is scheduled for Friday through Sunday, April 21 – 23 on the 200 block of W. Main St. and surrounding areas. The festival, with FREE parking and admission, will celebrate the fun, festive, family atmosphere of Grand Prairie with live music featuring Texas Country Singer-Songwriter Pat Green, Reckless Kelly, La Mafia, Grand Prairie’s very own Tejas Brothers, Jolie Holliday with Sonny Burgess, Monica Saldivar, The Inspiration Band, Cleghorn and so much more! Throughout the event enjoy a variety of Novelty Entertainment, more than 14 Carnival Rides, Arts & Crafts vendors, Business Expo vendors, 4 Entertainment Stages, plenty of Food & Beer Gardens, a KIDZONE and plenty of FUN for all!
Music Headliners on the Main Stage
Friday, April 21 @ 10:00 p.m.
PAT GREEN BIO
Pat Green has finally come full circle — and all the way back Home.
After rising through Texas’ college-town and dancehall scene years ago, Green earned himself major-label support in Nashville and became the poster child of Texas music for a whole generation of fans. His list of achievements includes over 2 million albums sold, three Grammy nominations and a sold out Houston Astrodome.
But after releasing six albums in eight years, sending singles like “Wave on Wave” and “Let Me” up the charts, touring with powerhouses like Kenny Chesney and Keith Urban and dealing with accusations of “selling out,” the meat grinder of mainstream stardom proved to be too much. He was spent.
“I felt so much pressure during the years I was with the big record labels to put out a record almost every year,” he explains. “There was a constant loop of having to be creative with new music, and that’s just not my style. I like it to happen when it happens.”
Now, after breaking the cycle for a three-year recharge, Green is back in his comfort zone and playing by his own rules again. His is new independent album Home is his first set of originals in several years, and directly speaks to the hardcore fans that have been with him since the beginning.
Featuring a mature country sound that is both modern and exposes his roots for all to see, his new tunes are full of ringing acoustic guitars, slippery steel and dobro, wailing fiddles and heartfelt, personal lyrics, making Home the return to form many fans have been waiting for.
“I’m very comfortable with this record, it came out exactly as I wanted it,” Green says.
Produced by the all-star team of Jon Randall Stewart, Justin Pollard and Gary Paczosa, the album captures some of the unbridled energy of his first three self- released projects.
“It’s not too over-the-top produced, and it’s not bare bones,” says Green. “It grooves well, you can turn it up or you can leave it down. It’s a very comfortable spot.”
Of 13 new songs, Green co-wrote seven with big names like Scooter Carusoe, Liz Rose and Chris Stapleton, while six more were pulled from A-listers like Jessi Alexander, Brett and Jim Beavers, Chuck Cannon, Shane McAnally and Josh Osborne.
The album begins with the title track, boldly tackling the singer’s contentious mainstream rise and any lingering naysayers right off the bat. Green doesn’t regret taking his shot at the big time — and says he had a lot of fun doing it — but he does understand why some fans felt left out in the cold.
“I was blind to the game, I sang the wrong songs, and disappeared for way too long,” he sings. “But I’ve finally found my way home.”
“That song was very, very easy to write,” he says. “I was writing with Patrick Davis for a couple of days here in Ft. Worth, and that song was really fast, just because I could hear those lines so easy — ‘Yeah it was fun, we were drunk as sailor’s sons’ — we were heroes in our hometown, we were all those things.”
With that out of the way, Green gets down to business, laying out a series of songs aimed straight toward his core fan base in the Lone Star state, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana.
The album’s first single, “Girls From Texas,” is a prime example, and also features the first of Home’s stellar guest appearances. A sugary, grown-up lullaby that explains why Texan girls are just a little bit better than the rest, the track spent 10 weeks on top of the Texas Music chart. Green calls recording the song face-to-face with Lyle Lovett a highlight of the whole project.
“That’s a Jon Randall song,” he explains. “He sent it to me and I’ll never forget it. I was on the plane coming home from Louisiana, and he goes ‘What do you think about this?’ and I literally had chills all over my body. I was like ‘I’ll cut that son of a gun right now!'”
“While I Was Away,” the project’s second single, will strike a chord with anyone who leaves his or her family behind to travel for work. Written by Zane Williams, it’s a tearjerker of the highest caliber — one that even Green has trouble getting through. “It’s just such a ringing truth,” says the father of two. “Everyone says ‘That got me. This thing made me cry. God dang, why’d you have to do that?'”
For lighter fare, Delbert McClinton and Lee Roy Parnell guest on “May the Good Times Never End.” With a twisting, generation-spanning storyline, it features a hot- rod beat and Parnell’s burning slide guitar, as well as McClinton’ rabble-rousing vocals and harmonica.
“Break It Back Down” speaks to Green’s new outlook on life and music, while “No One Here But Us” brings in Sarah Buxton to tell a steamy tale of desperate romance. Meanwhile, “Right Now” is a broken-hearted duet with Sheryl Crow that tells the unflattering-but-true story of Green dumping his now-wife on Valentine’s Day. “I was 22 years old and she was 21, I was ready to move on from Texas Tech and get to Austin and whatever was next,” he says. “It was the biggest mistake of my life, but at the same time it paid off, because once I realized it was a mistake, I knew our love was the real thing.”
And finally, “Good Night In New Orleans” ends the project on a high note, featuring a celebratory storyline and Louisiana-native Marc Broussard for added Cajun authenticity.
“I kind of have a standard rule to start and finish strong,” Green laughs. “The story behind it is great, and everything about that song is cool and fun and funny to me. Everybody around here loves a trip to New Orleans.”
According to Green his time off was very much needed, but even though he always intended to return, it still feels like a risk.
“There’s a lot of fear, of course, and a lot of ‘Is anybody interested? Has the landscape changed so much that I can’t have an impact?'” he admits. “It’s a mix of excitement and fear, but it’s a welcome challenge.”
Mainstream country may have changed, but Green is back in his groove, back to loving and making music on his own terms and happier than ever. And that’s a recipe for a comeback of epic proportions.
“I think I’m having the best year of my life,” he says. “I feel happy and I feel smarter now. I look back and I wish I could go back in time and tell myself to slow down a little bit, but the truth is life is just enjoying the passing of time, as James Taylor says. There’s a lot of drama and there’s mistakes and you’ve gotta get through all of it to get to what you’re looking for.”
What he was looking for was right at Home all along.
(Friday) 10:00 pm
Main Street Fest
200 W. Main Street, Grand Prairie, Texas 75050
Saturday, April 22 @ 10:00 p.m.
RECKLESS KELLY BIO
￼Understanding the virtuosity of Reckless Kelly requires the perspective of where the band has been. Cody and Willy Braun grew up in the White Cloud Mountains of Idaho. They moved to Bend, Oregon, and then migrated to that great musical fountainhead, Austin, Texas.
The band’s co-founders and frontmen toured the country as part of their father’s band, Muzzie Braun and the Boys, as children. They performed on The Tonight Show twice. Their father taught his four sons a professional ethic – integrity, persistence, hard work and professionalism – honed over three generations. They overcame hardships, struggled for recognition, and learned the lessons of the trial and error that defined them.
In one sense, it’s remarkable in the way of any musician, athlete, or businessperson who bucks the odds.
In another, though, it’s utterly natural that Reckless Kelly, born in the dreams of the two Braun brothers and their heritage but nurtured in the bumpy road of maturity, became the very essence of Americana music in all its far-flung glory.
“We came along in that second wave of the movement,” Cody Braun says. “Son Volt’s album Trace had a major effect on us. People like Joe Ely, Ray Kennedy and Robert Earl Keen were always big supporters. Our goal was to make music that had a country vibe but a solid rock edge.”
In the end, all the recipe required was to just add water. Water facilitates life. It enriches the soul.
As Music Row magazine proclaimed, “In my perfect world, this is what country radio would sound like.”
“This” is Reckless Kelly.
The heartland gave the band authenticity. Musical lives honed its skill. Adversity instilled its persistence. Moving to Austin gave it wings to fly.
As kids, the Brauns – Cody, Willy, Micky and Gary – shared a stage with the likes of Johnny Cash, Glen Campbell and Merle Haggard. Micky and Gary Braun now helm their own band, Micky and the Motorcars. In Bend, Cody and Willy added drummer Jay Nazz, who brought with him his own unique experience.
“I had grown up in the Northeast, performing at clubs and weddings with my dad and brother from the age of 13,” Nazz recalls, “so, when I met Willy and Cody, we already had that in common. Both of our dads were musicians with a very similar kind of performing discipline. That helped us bond immediately.”
￼The band took its name from the legend of Ned Kelly, the Australian highwayman, and the three moved to Austin in the autumn of 1996, where they carved a niche of their own. Early on, Keen, a Texas legend himself, took them under his wing and became their first manager. They listened, watched and interacted with the creative dynamos of the outlaw country scene – Townes Van Zandt, Steve Earle, Billy Joe Shaver, Guy Clark and others – and joined them in a redefinition of what contemporary country music had become. Theirs was gritty, hard-edged, uncompromising and convincing. They turned country music real again.
Willy Braun wrote half the songs of Millican, 1998’s self-released debut, in an abandoned school bus, where he had lived for six months in Bend. The effect of that album was to emblazon Reckless Kelly with a reputation as a band of no-nonsense insurgents that could raise the rafters while still retaining a heart and soul of honesty, soul and conviction.
They evolved, adding David Abetya, a graduate of the Berklee School of Music, on lead guitar in 2000. Kansas-bred bassist Joe Miller — who had grown up on a family farm before becoming a broadcaster at his college radio station and migrating to Austin – signed on 2012.
Reckless Kelly’s string of critically acclaimed albums – Under the Table and Above the Sun (2003), Wicked Twisted Road (2005), Bulletproof (2008), Somewhere in Time (2010), Grammy-nominated Good Luck & True Love (2011) and Grammy-winning Long Night Moon (2013) – set a standard of reliable excellence and commitment to an instinctive vision of Americana. No band exemplifies the broad genre better.
Independent? Oh, yeah. Doggedly so. Nothing demonstrates it more than the band’s path through a succession of prestigious record labels – Sugar Hill and Yep Roc, among them – en route to a label, No Big Deal, of their own.
For two decades, the band has toured coast to coast relentlessly. It has demonstrated its longevity in a world where trendy newcomers are proclaimed the Next Big Thing by spinning a couple pop hits. They disappear from the radar, doomed by the very fad that invented them. Not unlike the pioneers who preceded them on the western frontier where the Brauns were raised, they have forged their survival without compromise, combining hard work with a resolve that success is only satisfying when achieved by their own standards and definition.
The group’s new album, Sunset Motel, is, like all its predecessors, distinctive in its own way while true to form. Self-produced and recorded in Austin’s renowned Arlyn Studios (where Millican was made two decades ago) and mixed by Jim Scott (Rolling Stones, Dixie Chicks, Tom Petty, Sting, Roger Daltrey, Crowded House, et al.), it reflects Reckless Kelly’s attention to craft and continuity.
￼Twenty years since its founding, Reckless Kelly continues to fight for wider recognition, secure in the knowledge that fans, critics and contemporaries will continue to sing its praises.
The songs hit one emotional peak after another: the infectious “Volcano,” the urgent “One More One Last Time,” the desperate desire that comes full circle in “How Can You Love Him (You Don’t Even Like Him)” and the bittersweet title track. With steady guitar drive and a series of insistent choruses, they all ring with power and conviction that make Sunset Motel a breathtaking listening experience.
“Willy wrote 30 or 40 songs for the new album and we cut about half of them,” Cody says. “We ended up using 13 of them, but there were still some good ones left on the cutting-room floor.”
Cody, Willy and Nazz have been constants since the beginning. Abeyta and Miller add their own wrinkles to a signature sound that remains intact. The populist following grows, but the band has also moved on to play in performing arts centers and listening rooms that provide more focused encounters.
“We’re at the point where we’re not content to be categorized as simply a party band anymore,” Willy says. “We would like folks to really hear these songs, to be able to hear the lyrics and appreciate the musicianship that goes into the arrangements. Yes, we still want our audiences to have a good time, but we also want to show that this is a real band with a cohesive attitude and a muscular backbone, as well. We don’t want to be pigeonholed as simply a Texas-based, beer-drinking, rowdy bunch of party boys. There’s a lot more to it than that.”
“This is a really good place to be,” Cody adds. “We’ve built a solid fan base, which gives us a nice safety net. At the same time, we can take things at a more leisurely pace because we can control our own destiny.”
Great bands know good music. They make it the way they like, confident that what they love, what excites them, will also gain traction with thousands and thousands, perhaps even millions, of passionate fans.
Reckless Kelly is, by the best possible definition, a great band.
Freedom to pursue its own destiny has always been at the center of the band’s ambitions. Their fate is as much in their own hands as is reasonably possible.
“We’ve toured extensively over the course of our career,” Cody says. “We’ve traveled front and back, up and down, across this country. Happily, we’re at a point where we’re not killing ourselves to pay the bills.”
That point liberates them to be true to their background, their heritage and, most importantly, themselves.
￼“We’ve always been hands-on in terms of our marketing and our delivery,” Willy says. “The labels always gave us the freedom we asked for, but an A&R person doesn’t always know what’s best for the band.”
The fierce self-reliance and independent spirit keeps Reckless Kelly happy, appreciative and charitable. Their annual festival, The Braun Brothers Reunion, in Challis, Idaho, has been ongoing for 37 years now. They reunite with their brothers, Gary and Micky (and the Motorcars). The Brauns run it without major sponsors or outside promoters.
The band also hosts the yearly Reckless Kelly Celebrity Softball Jam to raise money for Austin-area youth charities, putting $300,000 in those coffers over the past seven years.
“It’s a great way to give back,” Cody says. “It’s great to be able to share our success in such a positive way.”
Collectively, they’ve played over 3,000 shows and traveled over 1,500,000 miles to 49 states.
Reckless Kelly is a great band with an apt name. The outlaw’s spirit pervades the ambiance. They are rugged individualists who dedicate themselves to advancing the state of their art.
They’re good guys, too. Their hearts dwell in the right places, and those are where the music follows.
(Saturday) 10:00 pm
Main Street Fest
200 W. Main Street, Grand Prairie, Texas 75050
Sunday, April 23 @ 6:30 p.m.
LA MAFIA BIO
After three decades, 38 albums and over 12 million copies sold, La Mafia is back with their new single “Que No Quede Huella / Como Me Duele Amor” Oscar de la Rosa and Armando Lichtenberger Jr., leaders of the Mafia, started promoting their new single “Que No Quede Huella / Como Me Duele Amor”, with the participation of guest artist Bronco.
La Mafia’s returning to the studio could not be more spectacular than with this new single, which is an innovative project titled “Unicos” which has as a special guest Bronco. “Que No Quede Huella” is their most representative theme and one of the biggest successes of the Monterrey based group, but this time performed by La Mafia, in their unique style, while the hit “Como Me Duele Amor”, one of La Mafia’s biggest hits now interpreted by Bronco, but in their own unique way. Definitely a great idea by La Mafia lead vocalist Oscar De La Rosa who’s idea gives a fresh take on two classics.
Oscar “when Armando and I talked about our beginnings where in different places and cities La Mafia and Bronco had our separate presentations, both always breaking box office records I admired songs by Lupe Esparza, leader of Bronco, and I always liked “Que No Quede Huella” and that’s right where my idea of us playing their song in La Mafia “UNICOS” (Unique) style and inviting Bronco to play one of their favorite La Mafia songs in their “UNICOS” (Unique) style. We talked to our Management agency Prime Time Entertainment, and they helped organize this new concept asking Lupe if he was interested and he loved the concept and decided to record La Mafia’s “Como Me Duele Amor”.
La Mafia has just released a new single “Alejate” with a music video shot on the Texas beaches. The song and video have a classic meloncoly feel.
Armando : “We’ve returned to touring Mexico, Mexico gave us awesome album sales and a lot of recognitions and we have always loved and respected our fans there and after a few years of fulfilling personal projects we are back touring Mexico with a new energy, new musical projects and concert presentations.
La Mafia are creators of hits like “Me Estoy Enamorando”, “Estas Tocando Fuego”, “Nuestra Cancion”, “Un Millon De Rosas”, “Alas De Papel”, “Que Hare Yo,” “Si Quiere Dios” “Aqui Esta Mi Amor” “Yo Me Morire, “Ahora Y Siempre”, “Vida”, among many others. Awards:
1995 Grammy Nomination – VIDA “Best Pop Album”
1996 Grammy Nomination – Exitos En Vivo “Best Mexican-American Performance”
(Sunday) 6:30 pm
Main Street Fest
200 W. Main Street, Grand Prairie, Texas 75050