One of my personal spring rites is to drive 45 minutes southeast of Austin to the Old Settler’s Music Festival on the third weekend in April. Although the OSMF doesn't go by the name of an Austin City Limit or Coachella, it was ranked in the top 10 festivals in the country. There are a number of reasons for this. Music comes first. Jean Spivey booked music in Austin for decades, and she has informants everywhere. You will almost certainly hear your new favorite band when they make an early appearance on the show. Grammy winner Sarah Jarosz won the young talent competition when she was a teenager and sat on mandolin with some of the best acts in the business for a few years. Wood & Wire, also a Grammy winner, made its first public appearance on the campsite after-hours stage.
I am with her
Another factor is likely to be camping. No, a wooded enclave in Tilman, Texas doesn't have the majestic beauty of a telluride or a strawberry. But this one was specially built on the area of the old settler and scores with many functionality points. Oh, and the epicenter of Texas BBQ is 15 minutes down the street in Lockhart. Did I mention the music?
Amada Shires, with her guitarist Jason Isbell
This year, as the event has been postponed to the fall for pandemic reasons, it seems as strong a line-up as ever. The official show starts Thursday night at the campsite and features the reunited Della Mae, local phenomena The Peterson Brothers and ends with the most entertaining man in the music business, Steve Poltz. Poltz opens the Bluebonnet Stage on Friday, followed by another local favorite, The Deer; joins Wood & Wire frontman Tony Kamel in a solo appearance; and ends strong with Portland indie weed stars Fruition. The other stage, Black & # 39; s BBQ, begins with country punk Sarah Shook & the Disarmers; presents James McMurtry and Jade Bird; and rounds off the evening with Cedric Burnside. The festival ends on Sunday at the campsite, where songwriting co-op House Of Songs will present Austinites Suzanna Choffel, Carrie Rodriguez, Matt the Electrician and Western Youth Leader Graham Weber. Ray Wylie Hubbard closes the whole thing.
Brandi Carlile, with the Hanseroth twins
So if you are in the mood for live music, want a festival experience that is impossible at the mega-events, or are only accessible by car and are looking for a weekend activity, I can unreservedly recommend Old Settler’s Music Festival.
About the author: I actually drove from Tehatchapee to Tonopah. And I saw Dallas from a DC-9 at night.