East Texas Country Music Festival Slated for July 4-6

Holly Tucker Scheduled to Perform

By Will Johnson
Messenger Reporter

GRAPELAND – It just might be one of the biggest events in the East Texas area that no one has heard of yet and it is right around the corner. It’s the first East Texas Country Music Festival (ETCMF), held over the Fourth of July weekend, at Salmon Lake Park.

“The festival will be held July 4 – 6 and will showcase Texas country music talent with three days of non-stop country music. With a large fireworks show on Friday, July 5, bands from across Texas will grace the stage of historic Salmon Lake Park. Over 30 Bands will perform at this three-day Festival including Sarah Hobbs, Holly Tucker, Cooper Wade, Curtis Grimes, Kody West, the Darren Morris Band, and Blue Water Highway will close the three-day event on Saturday night!” according to event coordinator Steve McNeil.

One of the artists slated to perform on July 5 – Holly Tucker – recently took time to speak with The Messenger about the event and what country music fans should expect during the festival.

“I’m really looking forward to the East Texas Country Music Festival coming up. I’m performing the night of July 5 at 8 pm,” she said.

Tucker appeared in season four of NBC’s hit music reality show, The Voice. According to her website, she rose to the Top 6 out of 40,000 hopefuls. She was on Team Blake Shelton and Shelton described her voice as “… the most effortless, accurate, and powerful voice he’s ever heard.” She is also the Texas Country Music Association’s (TCMA) reigning Female Vocalist of the Year, two years running.

As to how she became involved with the ETCMF, Tucker explained the event coordinator contacted the TCMA for possible acts and she was recommended for a spot in the line-up.

When asked how long she had been in music business, Tucker replied, “I’m been singing pretty much my entire life but I’ve been doing Texas Country Music (Red Dirt) for about the last five years.”

Concerning her performing career, she said good performers always have a little case of the nerves before taking the stage “… because that’s what gives you a boost to do really well. I’m never really had stage fright, per se, but it’s something where you have to turn those butterflies into fuel.”

Making a living in the music industry can be challenging at times and Tucker was asked to describe some the obstacles she faced as she tried to launch her career.

“There are a lot of roadblocks for women in this industry, in particular. Texas Country, however, is a very fan-oriented, concert-oriented live music venue-oriented genre. But being a female, it’s harder to sell out rooms and it’s harder to get people to come and see you as a girl. That’s probably been one of the biggest struggles. It’s just a little bit harder for girls,” she explained.

Changing gears, the up-and-coming songstress was asked about what festival goers could expect from her show.

“Oh man! I’m excited!” she exclaimed. “We have brand new music that is on the horizon. I am particularly excited about introducing these songs to East Texas. I haven’t gotten to do them for that area yet so I’m really looking forward to debuting the new songs. We’re also going to be doing our regular songs to where I play some of my older stuff people have really liked. I’ll also through in some covers people can recognize. It will be high-energy fun and wholesome. I’m a wholesome entertainer as well and I want everyone to be able to enjoy my show.”

Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at [email protected].

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