When it comes to the subject of rodeos and music in the state of Texas, there can be a little envy, particularly when casting an eye toward Houston and its reliably star-studded roster of performers.
This year is no exception: Willie Nelson, Chris Stapleton, Meghan Trainor and Alan Jackson are among the artists confirmed to appear at this year’s Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.
But rather than be blinded by star wattage, don’t overlook the formidable lineup of locally sourced musicians who have been drafted to appear at this year’s Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo, which kicks off Friday and continues through Feb. 4.
Almost every night at the Coors Light Roadhouse for the duration of the Stock Show, a variety of musical talents will take the stage and provide another dimension of entertainment for this venerable Fort Worth tradition.
Admission to the concerts is free with a rodeo ticket, Stock Show souvenir pin, badge, season pass or museum membership. Otherwise, there is a $10 cover after 9 p.m. in the Roadhouse.
Here are five can’t-miss gigs, guaranteed to make your Stock Show swing.
9:30 p.m. Saturday
The Austin-based troubadour was in North Texas not too long ago, performing at Dallas’ Kessler Theater with his longtime pal Ray Benson (of Asleep at the Wheel fame). Together, Watson and Benson cut a collaborative album, Dale & Ray, that is out now. While Watson might pull from this latest effort, his sure-to-be-rollicking set will also doubtless feature plenty of tracks from his own back catalog, including tunes from Watson’s most recent studio effort, Call Me Insane.
9:30 p.m. Jan. 21
If you happened to watch the just-concluded 11th season of NBC’s popular singing competition The Voice, then you’re already familiar with the potent pipes of Fort Worth-based musician Austin Allsup. He made it to the top 10 as a member of Blake Shelton’s team before being cut, and as he tweeted following his exit, “This ride’s far from over!” The veteran singer-songwriter has resumed his touring schedule, performing around the state in support of his most recent album, This Weary Land.
9:30 p.m. Jan. 25
Known to his family as Kevin Russell but professionally as the singer-songwriter Shinyribs, this Austin-based musician — who bills his unique sound as a fusion of “country-soul” and “swamp funk” — is taking full advantage of his other group, the Gourds, being on hiatus to release a new Shinyribs project, I Got Your Medicine, due out in February. A dynamic performer beloved in Texas and elsewhere, Shinyribs will surely provide one of the most enthusiastic and eclectic sets of the Stock Show.
9:30 p.m. Feb. 1
One of the most adored musicians in North Texas, tireless tunesmith Josh Weathers is keeping up a busy schedule of performances — he’s headlining a benefit to help homeless teenagers Jan. 28 at Shipping & Receiving — and as he told the Star-Telegram’s Steve Watkins last month, Weathers is also branching out into new avenues of musical collaboration: Josh Weathers and His Brothers and Sisters. “We all lead worship at churches and that’s just kind of the common thread with all of us — the heart of everything that we do is giving and being love anywhere we go,” Weathers told Watkins. “It’s going to be like an eight- or nine-piece band. It’s gonna be a powerhouse.” Weathers will be on his own during the Stock Show, but expect no less of a powerful evening.
9:30 p.m. Feb. 2
Domino hails from Lubbock and was born in Memphis, and the alt-country singer-songwriter’s description of his sound is fittingly nomadic: “[A] gritty blend of fast, energetic Southern rock with a hint of everything from Americana, red dirt, and Texas country to Delta blues and soul.” Domino is a relentless road warrior, racking up miles criss-crossing the country in support of his music, such as his 2015 debut, the long-player 1806, which Domino describes on his Facebook page as being truly lived-in: “I can’t just make up a song. I have to live in it, or I have to relive the emotions I felt in my life at the moment the song requires.”