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.
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.
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.
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.
Professor Rafe & the Fables is an indie-funk band from Austin, Texas. The band has made television appearances on KVUE and was recognized by the Austin Chronicle as one of the Best Under 18 Bands in Austin. This foursome serves out a vibrant mix of bluesy jams, funky pop tunes and up-tempo Indie Rock covers. Formed in early 2017, the group consists of siblings Avery Johnson (Guitar/Vocals) and Will Johnson (Vocals/Keys/Guitar), Jimmy Mercado on Drums, and the Professor (Rafe Marie) on Bass.
Brace your mind for some “Hot Thoughts” as Austin’s esteemed rock ambassadors’ Spoon takes the stage at this year’s Wildflower! Arts and Music Festival in Richardson. Spoon is set to headline Friday, May 18th, and it’ll be a show you won’t want to miss. Established with nine studio albums under their belt, Spoon continues to mesmerize critics and capture the ears of new listeners everywhere.
Mike P. Ryan – Top Finalist | 2017 Wildflower! Performing Songwriter Contest
1. Do you have a favorite quote, lyric, or credo that you live by?
My credo is real simple: be kind and be thankful. I do my very best to treat people the way I want to be treated and to show kindness and generosity whenever I can. I suppose the thing I try hardest to do is be thankful for what I have. I’ve seen the worst parts of the world and been to war five times. I know what real suffering looks like and I know how good I have it every day. I try never to forget that.
As a songwriter, I have a simple goal for every song–something I learned when I attended a Songwriting Seminar last summer with the legendary Songwriter Steve Earle. One of the things Steve said was “your goal as a Songwriter should be to make the listener feel the emotion you felt when you wrote the song.” He explained that when a listener shares an emotion with the Songwriter (who is a total stranger) it reminds the listener that they not alone in the world. Making that connection is something I hope to do in every song I write. Read More
It’s been a wild weekend here at Wildflower! Arts & Music Festival! We are so excited to update that the gates are going to open at 6:30 p.m.. The festival has been partially open since this morning and indoor performances inside the Eisemann Center have continued as scheduled throughout the day.
Unfortunately, Blue Oyster Cult had to cancel its appearance at the Festival due to its flight into DFW International Airport being cancelled because of the severe weather. All acts prior to 6:30 p.m. set to perform on outdoor stages have been removed from the schedule.
Want the good news? The Methodist Richardson Amphitheatre Stage, Plaza Stage, and Bud Light Stage are ready to rock (after a lot of hard work by the festival folks).
Methodist Richardson Amphitheatre Stage 8:15 p.m. The Guess Who 10:00 p.m. Grand Funk Railroad
Plaza Stage 8:45 p.m. Judah & The Lion 10:30 p.m. Fitz and the Tantrums
Bud Light Stage 6:45 p.m. Devil’s Sooty Brother 8:15 p.m. Joshua Ray Walker 9:45 p.m. Big City Outlaws
Hill Hall 9:00 p.m. Aeromyth
UnitedHealthcare Singer Songwriter Stage 6:00 p.m. Jason Castro 7:45 p.m. Darrell Scott 9:15 p.m. Crystal Bowersox
The Plaza Stage viewing grounds consist of solid concrete but you’ll want to bring a lawn chair for the Methodist Richardson Amphitheatre Stage area, or wear comfy boots to navigate the soggy grass. The wet conditions have created high humidity of 94% and cool temperatures in the 60’s.
Due to schedule changes caused by today’s severe weather, all Saturday general admission tickets to the festival will be honored for use, either today or tomorrow. We scan it once and you can decide whether that will be for Saturday or Sunday. Ticket prices for Saturday have been dropped to $30 at the gate. On Sunday, children 12 and under will be allowed free admission.
Street performers scheduled to appear on Performance Row have been cancelled for today. Due to wind damage, the WF! Kids area is closed for the rest of the weekend.
All gates to open at 6:30 p.m. with most national acts set to perform
The Wildflower! Arts and Music Festival will open all gates at 6:30 p.m. The Festival has been partially open since 11 a.m. this morning, with indoor music performances taking place as scheduled on Eisemann Center stages.
Weather Impacts On Performances With the exception of Blue Oyster Cult and Quiet Company, all performances set for this evening on outdoor stages at Wildflower! will perform as scheduled. Blue Oyster Cult had to cancel its appearance at the Festival this weekend due to its flight into DFW International Airport being cancelled because of severe weather. Tonight’s 7:15 p.m. performance by Quiet Company on the Plaza Stage has also been cancelled along with all other acts scheduled to perform on outdoor stages prior to 6:30 p.m.
Weather Impacts From Today’s Storm At approximately 1 p.m. and again at 3:30 p.m. this afternoon, severe weather passing through North Texas impacted the festival grounds causing limited wind damage. Festival staff are in the process of cleaning the grounds and all six gates at the festival will reopen at 6:30 p.m.
Patrons Asked To Prepare For Wet Conditions People planning to attend the festival this evening to enjoy the outdoor stages will want to prepare accordingly for wet conditions. Bring water resistant clothing and lawn chairs are recommended.
Saturday Passes To Be Honored Today Or Tomorrow Due to schedule changes caused by today’s severe weather, all Saturday passes to the Wildflower! Arts and Music Festival will be honored for use either today or tomorrow.
Saturday Pass Dropped To $30 For Saturday Performances / Children Get In Free Sunday Ticket prices for Saturday have been dropped to $30 at the gate. On Sunday, children 12 and under will be allowed through the gates free of charge.
Other Updates Street performers scheduled to appear on Performance Row have also been cancelled for today and, due to wind damage, the Children’s Area on the festival grounds is closed for the rest of the weekend. Information on the performance schedule for all acts is available at www.wildflowerfestival.com.
Festival grounds expected to fully open at 5 p.m., or once area storms pass; performances on Eisemann Center stages continue as scheduled
(Richardson, TX) – Richardson’s Wildflower! Arts and Music Festival will partially open at 11 a.m. due to the threat of severe weather in the area. Gate F, located on the north side of the event, is open for patrons to directly enter the Eisemann Center to enjoy performances on the Singer Songwriter and Hill Performance Hall stages. The closest parking area to Gate F is the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas parking garage. View the Festival Map for locations.
All six gates on the festival
grounds are expected to reopen at 5 p.m., or once the threat of severe weather
has passed. People planning to attend the festival to
enjoy the outdoor stages this evening are asked to prepare accordingly for wet
conditions. Bring water resistant clothing, umbrellas and lawn chairs. All
afternoon performances scheduled to take place on outdoor stages prior to 5
p.m. have been cancelled.
Wildflower! Arts and Music Festival has historically had bouts with rain over the past 27 years of its history in Richardson, but the event has always been held rain or shine. Richardson’s Emergency Management team consistently monitors the weather, and public safety personnel have plans in place to shelter people if necessary.