fh-header fh-header fh-header fh-header

KFAN DJ Rick Starr (below) gets set to introduce songwriters before the picker's circle. All week long Texas Rebel Radio hosts talent for its Windows on Texas event.


Windows on Texas features several dozen artists performing at various clubs this Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Artists and events are highlighted in this week’s live entertainment listings. You can also contact Texas Rebel Radio Network by calling 830-997-2197 or visit the web site at www.texasrebelradio.com.

Do you have a musical artist, event, or topic you would like featured in this column? I love to hear from readers. Send comments to:
phil@ fullhouseproductions.net.

webmaster: phil@fullhouseproductions.net

Open the Windows On Texas

by Phil Houseal
Jan 11, 2006

The only way it could get any easier to hear Hill Country music this weekend would be if the singers came to your house and serenaded you through a window.

That’s almost what happens when more than 25 artists converge on Fredericksburg for Windows on Texas, a four-day music festival designed to showcase the best emerging talent in the state.

This musical happening has long been a glimmer in the eyes of Jayson and Jan Fritz of Fritz Broadcasting. Since creating the concept of “Texas Rebel Radio,” the Fritzes have wanted to sponsor an annual music event. In 2002, Ernie Loeffler of the Convention and Visitors Bureau provided the spark when he broached the idea of creating an event to fill what traditionally has been a “quiet” time in Fredericksburg’s tourist calendar - the few weeks just after the first of the year.

“We said ‘yes,’ and the madness had begun,” Jan Fritz recalled.

What they came up with was an idea to showcase bright new Texas talent, not only with the public, but also with the music industry. With less than three months to prepare that first year, they were able to pull together nine concerts and three sponsors.

In just four years, Windows on Texas has grown to fill four nights featuring dozens of artists and venues, panel discussions, 16 sponsors and 25 music industry reps.

KFAN radio Program Director Rick Star has already heard from one visitor who came last year from New Jersey and told him, “I’ll never miss it again... it’s the best vacation I’ve ever taken.”

Of course it’s not just for fun. Experts in the business will hold panel discussions on marketing and songwriting. Those are great incentives for musicians to try to get on the schedule, and why KFAN received 130 submissions this year.

“We’re looking for that Texas sound - Texas blues, Texas rock, Texas country,” Star said, describing how his staff sifted through the applicants. “This is all about Texas.”

A sampling of who you will hear this week includes The Mighty Orq, Clay DuBose, Miss Leslie & Her Juke Jointers, Johnny Gringo, Chute 9, Colin Brooks Band, Debbi Walton, John Arthur Martinez, Stephen Bruton, Ben Beckendorf, and CMA Award Winner Jon Randall. The event even brings music to places you might not expect it, such as the Sunday morning songwriter circle at the Fredericksburg Athletic Club.

One especially exciting area of growth is the screening of original Texas films and music videos.

“Jayson’s dream is for ‘Windows on Texas’ to become the ‘Sundance’ of Texas,” Jan confided, referring to the famous film festival.

Jan sees this event as an all around “win.” Unsigned musicians get exposure and advice; industry reps can hear a lot of talent in a short time; the hosting venues draw crowds; and sponsors generate business and goodwill.

Best of all, we, the listening public, get to hear incredible talent in one amazing weekend jammed with 16 totally free concerts right down the street.

Experiencing Texas music really can’t get any handier than this. So trade in the comfort of your couch for the adventure of a favorite club to enjoy some fresh talent blowing through town.