Wildflower Festival

Wildflower Festival

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ERIC BETTENCOURT – SONGWRITER, BARBER, MECHANIC & MUSIC PRODUCER

Eric Bettencourt, photo credit Pledge Music

Award-winning songwriter Eric Bettencourt is making the journey from Austin to compete as a finalist in the Al Johnson Performing Songwriter Contest at the Wildflower! Arts & Music Festival in Richardson. Over the years Bettencourt has released four albums, two EP’s, and collected a steady stream of national recognition and prestigious songwriting awards.

Bettencourt rested his guitar long enough to vibe through our set list of questions as we attempted to seek answers about the unique sound that labels his songwriting career.

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CHRISTINE HAND SEES MAGIC IN THE MUNDANE

It only takes a few moments to be completely enchanted and inspired by soulful folk-rock singer Christine Hand who was selected as a finalist in the Al Johnson Performing Songwriter Contest.  The Americana songwriter is a native of Fort Worth, Texas and recently released her first album, The Book of the World, now available on iTunes, Spotify, and Amazon.

Wildflower! Arts & Music Festival spent a bit of time chatting with Christine to find out a little more about the momentum and spurring that led to becoming a finalist in this competition.

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KYLE DONOVAN – A MODERN DAY RENAISSANCE TROUBADOUR

Denver-based singer and songwriter Kyle Donovan is no stranger to competition. Who is this guy, anyway? His website says he’s “a singer-songwriter based on the Front Range of Colorado. He’s also the singer and guitarist in Miles Wide, an acoustic rock band also based out of Denver, Colorado. But that’s not why he’s on our radar at the moment. He’s gained our attention because as a songwriter and acoustic folk music performer, he’s been selected as one of ten finalists in the 2018 Al Johnson Performing Songwriter Contest.  Previously, he’s won recognition at the 2016 Rocky Mountain Folks Festival Songwriter Contest and has been featured in American Songwriter Magazine.

Donovan stays pretty busy with his music, playing in several different projects in the Denver area, including Summerland Sun, The Constellation Collective, and Clandestine Amigo, as well as the aforementioned band, Miles Wide. Suffice it to say, he’s so busy these days that his hands aren’t idle long enough for him to get into any trouble.

His selection as a finalist for the Al Johnson Performing Songwriter Contest presented the opportunity to sit down and ask Donovan some questions about his entry into the competition, what draws him towards folk music and how he came into being a musician, as well as any formal training it took for him to get to where he is with his music today. We also inquired as to his personal musical influences and how those influences helped him to evolve his particular style of folk music, and his approach to writing what he believes is a good song.

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MIA ROSE LYNNE LOVES HER REALITY, AND TEXAS TACOS

Mia Rose Lynne has made a name for herself as an up and coming award-winning singer and songwriter. She’s originally from Novato, an eclectic upper-middleclass town in Northern California. And now, living in “Music City, USA” — Nashville, Tennessee, she’s joined the ranks of “young, progressive songwriters working outside the pop country mainstream,” according to the bio page on her website.

Lynne spent a lot of time working on both the theatrical stage as well as the music stage, honing her craft through songwriting and live performances, as well as garnering accolades for her efforts along the way, including taking home the First Place prize at the 2017 Kerrville Folk Festival, Second Place at the 2017 Rocky Mountain Folks Festival Songwriter Showcase Contest, and the 2014 American Songwriting Awards, and more.

This year, Lynne has been advanced as a finalist in the Wildflower! Arts and Music Festival’s Al Johnson Performing Songwriter Contest, and it’s because of this that we interviewed her to get a better feel for what she’s all about:  how she came to enter the competition, what her background in music is, and what inspired her to become a performer and songwriter.  Lynne is fun, full of energy, and it seems she’s got the right idea about how to celebrate if she wins the contest this year.

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BRIAN POUNDS – SEARCHING FOR HIS PLACE IN THE MUSIC INDUSTRY

Brian Pounds is a performer and songwriter with a lot to say about music, especially how the business side of it has become fundamentally inequitable in the way the creators – songwriters in particular – have been largely cut out of the financial loop through online sales and streaming services such as iTunes, Spotify, and other web-based music streaming platforms that are taking huge bites out of the potential revenue stream for songwriters and performers alike.

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METHODIST RICHARDSON GIVING AWAY VIP PASSES!

Methodist Richardson Medical Center is the WILD title sponsor of the Methodist Richardson Amphitheater Stage featuring Kool & The Gang, Gin Blossoms, Lifehouse, Goo Goo Dolls, Starship featuring Mickey Thomas, The Vinyl Stripes, Local Yoakam, Reckless Kelly, Infinite Journey and more!

They are so WILD that they are also giving away VIP passes to the 26th Wildflower! Arts & Music Festival! The winner may select to attend one of three days, May 18, 19, or 20, 2018 and the prize is valued at $125. This rock star prize package includes admission for two (2), a parking pass, and access to the VIP hospitality area that provides complimentary food and beverages.  Click here to sign-up for a chance to win free passes.

Wildflower! Arts & Music Festival is a family-friendly award-winning event that includes a full line-up of bands on six (6) stages: Methodist Richardson Amphitheater Stage, Plaza Stage, Bud Light Stage, CityLine Stage, United Healthcare Singer Songwriter Stage, and Hill Hall in the Eisemann Center. General admission is $30 online or $40 at the gate and a three-day weekend pass is $65 online only. #WAMFest2018 www.wildflowerfestival.com

Kristen Grainger’s Musical Compass Points True North

Kristen Grainger photo credit Eric Frommer Photography

As her band, True North’s website states, “Kristen Grainger, (vocals, ukulele) is the voice of True North. Her songwriting has received national recognition — “Be Here Now” was named Song of the Year, folk category, for the 2015 IMEA Awards; she placed second at the 2015 MerleFest Songwriting Contest; and she was one of ten finalists in the 2014 Telluride Troubadour songwriting contest, performing solo in front of 10,000 ‘Festivarians.’  Kristen and Dan Wetzel’s song, “Mountain Boy” was featured on the European World Bluegrass Festival’s compilation CD released in 2008. The duo also was chosen from more than 800 entries to perform two originals, “Limbo” and “Doris Dean,” in the finals at the Kerrville New Folk Songwriters’ Contest. Their song “Hard Place to Suffer (And That Really Gets Me Down)” won the 2010 Wintergrass Song Contest.”

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Local Bands Rock the Bud Light Stage

The Rich Girls have a simple motto: We will make your dreams come true! Don’t be fooled by the name- this is not your typical Hall & Oats cover band. The Rich Girls have been making the rounds in the metroplex and wowing audiences with their unique renditions of traditional Hall & Oats tunes, as well as, clever interpretations of current pop, rock, and rap. They take the stage on Friday, May 18 at 9:00 pm.  Read the recent article featured on our blog: “The Rich Girls Will Make Your Dreams Come True.

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BRAD YODER — Pennsylvania Educator and Folk-Rock Balladeer

Brad Yoder (photo credit Vada Kelly)

Brad Yoder is not your typical coffee shop crooner. He’s worked hard to get where he is, and to have been able to open for such diverse artists the likes of the Cowboy Junkies, Emmylou Harris, Peter Paul and Mary, Steve Earle, and Jackson Browne, it’s taken a lot of perspiration and inspiration along the way.  Playing more than 150 shows annually — everywhere from your local coffee shops and cafés, churches, and festivals all over the mid-Atlantic and Appalachia — Yoder has made it his business and personal quest to get his music out there before the masses.

Yoder has managed to sell more than 7000 copies of his five self-released CDs, including 2010’s Excellent Trouble, 2007’s Someday or Never, 2002’s Used, 1999’s Talk to Total Strangers, and 1997’s debut CD, Best Sunday Heart. Music from these releases have also been featured on CBS’s “NUMB3RS,” NPR’s “Car Talk,” ABC Family Network’s “Beautiful People,” and as part of the Pittsburgh Regional History Center’s 9/11 Memorial Exhibit.  Read More

MEET & GREET PACKAGES: GOO GOO DOLLS, KOOL & THE GANG, RECKLESS KELLY, AND STARSHIP FEATURING MICKEY THOMAS

Fans always want to know how to get a Meet & Greet pass and access backstage during the Wildflower! Arts & Music Festival.  This year we have four Meet & Greet Packages to give away and each one includes two (2) passes and two (2) general admission tickets to the festival the day of that performance.  Register for your chance to win two (2) tickets to the 2018 Wildflower! Arts & Music Festival and two (2) Meet & Greet Passes. One registration per person. Participants may register through Sunday, May 13, 2018 at 12:00 a.m. Winner will be announced Monday, May 14, 2018 on the Wildflower! Facebook page and also via email. #WAMFest2018

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SPONSORS

logo image for the Renaissance Hotel
Logo for Colleman Moving
Logo for DART
First Baptist Richardson