The Festy

Jackie Venson is one of the don't-miss acts at this year's Festy. Publicity photo by Ismael Quintanilla III

ARTS Pick: Jackie Venson

Axe grinder: Texas singer-songwriter Jackie Venson is starting to escape a tagline. Winning Best Guitarist at this year’s Austin Music Awards pushed Venson past all of the gender references that typically surround a woman with an electric guitar in her hands. Combining power, skill, and dreamy vocals, her music draws comparisons to Jimi Hendrix and […]

Gillian Welch is among the artists scheduled to perform at this year's Festy Experience. Publicity photo

ARTS Pick: The Festy Experience

It’s not often that you can learn about mushroom cultivation, experiment with the didgeridoo, get an acupuncture treatment, and take a yoga class while the Hackensaw Boys, Gillian Welch, and Ricky Skaggs belt it out in the Blue Ridge Mountains. The Festy Experience is defined by three days of Americana music in a family-friendly, comfortable […]

Erin Lunsford performs and emcees at the gender-balanced Festy Experience that includes Ani DiFranco, Joan Osborne and Drive-By Truckers on October 5-8 at Infinity Downs. Photo by Ron Paris

The Festy balances male and female talent

When Erin Lunsford is on the road with her band, Erin & the Wildfire, she’s often overlooked. Because she’s a woman, Lunsford says, many assume she’s a groupie—even though she’s the band’s lead vocalist and it’s her name on the bill. Though it’s initially difficult for her to pick just one, Lunsford recalls a particularly […]

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