Warren Hood will headline this year's Llano Fiddle Fest. Courtesy photo
DANIEL CLIFTON • PICAYUNE EDITOR
LLANO — A month before the annual Llano Fiddle Fest, folks from across Texas were calling for more information.
“We’ve been getting a lot of calls about the fiddle contest, where to stay and just questions about the festival,” said John Caballero, one of the event organizers. “We’re getting more calls earlier this year than we’ve had in previous years. It just shows that Fiddle Fest is growing. It’s already one of the biggest in Texas.”
The event is April 3-5 in Llano. Most of the events are at the LanTex Theater, 113 W. Main St., but there are other activities, including an exhibit at the Llano County Museum, 310 Bessemer Ave., and an Easter morning service and cowboy breakfast April 5 behind the museum.
The 2015 Llano Fiddle Fest builds off one of the strongest events in 2014 with great performances and competitions. The word is last year’s overall winner, Wes Westmoreland, will be back to defend his title. He’s actually won it two years in a row.
The Llano Open Fiddle Contest is also the first of the year for the Texas Old time Fiddlers’ Association, so a number of top musicians should be on hand. The contest starts at 10 a.m. April 4 at the LanTex Theater.
“Even though it’s on Easter weekend this year, in the past when it fell on Easter weekend, we still had a great turnout of fiddler players and crowds,” Caballero said. “People really pack into the theater to hear these fiddlers and see them.”
While the contest is typically the biggest draw, there are lots of other things going on during the weekend. Two other crowd favorites are the Air Fiddle and Anything Goes contests, which are April 3 at Badu Wine Pub, 601 Bessemer Ave., starting at 6 p.m.
“In the Anything Goes contest, you can do anything in the contest that you can’t do in the open fiddle contest — as long as you have a fiddle,” Caballero said. “You’ll see a lot of great tricks and licks during the Anything Goes. And as always, the Air Fiddle (contest) is a lot of fun.”
After the open contest April 4, the Warren Hood Band takes the stage at the LanTex Theater. Ruby Jane joins the show.
Hood brings a family legacy of music. His father is Champ Hood of the Uncle Walt’s Band that had a large following from the 1970s through the 1990s.
“Warren is an incredible singer and songwriter,” Caballero said. “He’s performed with people like Lyle Lovett.”
Ruby Jane performed at the Grand Ole Opry when she was 9. She’s gone on to perform with or open for major acts, including Willie Nelson, ZZ Top, Big and Rich and Sheryl Crow.
“So, it’s going be a great show,” Caballero said.
While admission to all the other events is by donation, tickets for the Warren Hood Band and Ruby Jane show are $5 in advance (available at the Llano Chamber of Commerce, 100 Train Station Drive) or $10 at the door.
On Sunday, April 5, folks can attend an Easter morning service with the Sawyer Family at 8:30 a.m. at the Llano County Museum Park followed by a special Sunday program featuring Howard Rains and Tricia Spencer at 10 a.m. And, you can even enjoy a cowboy breakfast.
Go to www.llanofiddlefest.com for more information.