The Blueberry Bluegrass Concert in the Park, 6 to 10 p.m. Friday, June 8 at Festival Plaza in Nacogdoches, featuring The Purple Hulls, The Baker Family, The Coleman Brothers and The Jeff Robertson Band. Family-friendly concert kicks off the Texas Blueberry Festival weekend. Food trucks and shuttle service available
FRIDAY NIGHT BLUEGRASS CONCERT KICKS OFF BLUEBERRY FESTIVAL
NACOGDOCHES, Texas -- The Texas Blueberry Festival kicks off with the Blueberry Bluegrass Concert in the Park, from 6 to 10 p.m. Friday, June 8
at Festival Plaza in downtown Nacogdoches. The toe-tapping fun continues on Saturday, June 9
, with Pickin’ on the Square, a new Blueberry Festival event that encourages bluegrass musicians and fans to stay for the whole weekend.
Rex Perry Autoplex is sponsoring Friday’s family-friendly bluegrass concert that will feature four musical acts: The Purple Hulls, The Baker Family, The Coleman Brothers and The Jeff Robertson Band.
Pickin’ on the Square will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday in three locations, the basement of the Convention and Visitors Bureau, City Council chambers and Regions Bank’s community room. Bluegrass musicians are encouraged to bring their instruments and jam with new friends in air-conditioned comfort.
“We’re excited about the growth of the Friday night concert, and we’re proud to build on that success and offer bluegrass fans even more music on Saturday,” said Scott Waller, chair of the Nacogdoches County Chamber of Commerce board of directors. “We started with about 500 people the first year and have grown to over 4,000 attendees last year. Bluegrass music fits Nacogdoches, and we’re looking forward to a whole weekend of it.”
The Purple Hulls are identical twins Katy Lou and Penny Lea Clark. The Clark sisters were raised on a working family farm in Kilgore and they paid for college with money from the family's purple hull harvest. After graduation, they moved to Nashville, where they began touring with various country artists and writing songs for Nashville’s largest publishing company, Sony Tree. The sisters returned home in 2012 to care for their terminally ill father and they stayed in East Texas after he passed away, helping their mother with the farm while continuing their music career.
From south central Missouri, The Baker Family performs Bluegrass, Gospel and Classic Country at events and competitions throughout the country. They were America’s Got Talent Season 12 finalists and were named the 2016 Bluegrass Artist of the Year by the International Country Gospel Music Association. They won the 2015 and 2014 Oklahoma State Band championships and in 2013 placed first in the Pickin’ in the Pines Bluegrass contest in Flagstaff, Ariz. The acclaimed family band includes 19-year-old Trustin on fiddle, banjo, and vocals. He has earned several accolades, including the 2016 Arkansas State Champion title, the 2015 Tennessee State Grand Champion Fiddler, the 2015 Grand Lakes Grand Champion, the 2014 Oklahoma Junior State Fiddle Champion, the 2013 Junior National Grand Master Fiddler, the 2013 Texas Freshman State Champion, the 2011-14 Missouri Junior Champion and the 2011-12 Arkansas Junior State Fiddle Champion. Carina, 16, who plays mandolin, sings and jig dances, was a 2014 nominee for the Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music for America’s female vocalist of the year. Elijah, 14, plays upright bass and sings, and their mother, Carrie, plays guitar and sings.
The Coleman Brothers and the Lone Star Boys include Craig Coleman on mandolin and Corey Coleman on fiddle and guitar, with both brothers bringing vocals to the mix. Throughout the years the Coleman Brothers have kept their vow to play traditional, hard-driving Bluegrass music. Harmonies and traditional instrumentation make for a highly energetic traditional Bluegrass band in the style of Bill Monroe and the Stanley Brothers. These Bluegrass disciples have shared the stage with the likes of Alison Krauss, the Dixie Chicks, Dr. Ralph Stanley, David Davis and the Warrior River Boys and many others
The Jeff Robertson Band plays traditional bluegrass, gospel and some rousing classic country performed bluegrass-style. Robertson is a guitar maker in Bastrop who plays with seasoned pickers from all over Texas.
FOOD, PARKING AND MORE
The concert will also feature food trucks, including some local farmer's market favorites selling homemade items, as well as catfish, barbecue, corn dogs, fried green tomato sandwiches, vegetarian options, soft drinks, blueberry lemonade and lots of water. Organizers encourage attendees to bring blankets and lawn chairs. The event is family-friendly, so no coolers or alcohol will be allowed.
Parking will be available downtown. However, some downtown streets will be closed due to the Blueberry Festival, so concert-goers are urged to visit www.tbf.nacogdoches.org or www.facebook.com/bluegrassnac/ for parking instructions. Parking with free shuttle service to the concert venue will be available at First Baptist Church, 411 North St. Parking at the venue will be at the Nacogdoches City Garage location at 114 W. Cox St.
Organizers are grateful for the enthusiastic partners that make the concert possible, especially Rex Perry Autoplex and the City of Nacogdoches.
The Texas Blueberry Festival presented by Tipton Ford continues Saturday with a full day of activities in downtown Nacogdoches, including a Blueberry pancake breakfast, competitions and more live entertainment. For more information, visit tbf.nacogdoches.org/ or call 936-560-5533.