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Local talent perform at Viva Big Bend music festival

July 27th, 2017 under Arts


MARFA, ALPINE, FORT DAVIS – With the 6th annual Viva Big Bend music festival just a heartbeat away, local musicians are readying their craft for performances at the festival.

For Viva Big Bend organizer Stewart Ramser, the addition of local talent alongside such luminaries as Dale Watson and Ruben Ramos is imperative in keeping true to the mission of the festival; which is to highlight the assets of the Big Bend Region.

“It’s critical to have local participation in Viva Big Bend. That’s one thing that’s been consistent about the festival. It’s very important to involve the local venues, artists, restaurants, and businesses. We want to promote and make people aware of all the great stuff we have here,” said Ramser.

This year’s lineup, he added, features local musicians Los Pinches Gringos of Brewster County, Alpine’s Anthony Ray Wright and The Doodling Hogwallops, Primo and Beebe of Marfa, and Fort Davis native Doug Moreland, some of whom have performed at all six iterations of Viva Big Bend.

“I think it’s good, in principal, to give local bands a chance to be seen by people who’ve never seen them before,” said veteran musician Mike Davidson of the storied group Los Pinches Gringos. “We usually play at Padre’s, which is a big, imposing place with a large platform of a stage, but the crowd usually responds really well and dances.”

With the closing of Padre’s, however, Los Pinches Gringos –who are on their 22nd year as a band – will take the stage at Planet Marfa, following Primo and Beebe’s set at a free show starting at 7pm and which is sponsored by the City of Marfa.

“We usually play til midnight during Viva Big Bend, but this year, we quit at 11, which gives us more time to get to Alpine and hear the Hogwallops,” he said with a laugh. “I just have to be sure not to get beat to s*** before we finish.”

The festival, Davidson added, also gives him a chance to see local musicians he usually doesn’t get a chance to see often.

“Anthony Ray Wright always knocks me out. It’s good to hear the other local artists improving on their work. It’s always a good surprise,” he said. “It’s a great event for everyone.”

Wright, a 24-year-old Alpine native, will be returning for his fifth Viva Big Bend performance.

“I really enjoy playing Viva Big Bend. I’ve had a lot of fun every year and hope to keep playing it,” said Wright, who will play at Kokernot Field following an Alpine Cowboys game on Saturday, July 29. “I think it’s important to keep local music in festivals because helps keep live music alive, not only in town, but in general. And who knows, a local act might be the next big thing.”

Until Wednesday, July 26, Ramser added, tickets will be available for locals at the special price of $45 for a three-day pass at Porter’s grocery stores.

“It’s a great rate for what you get,” Ramser said. “Each show for the bigger bands alone anywhere else is usually around $20 – $25. Those with local IDs, Sul Ross IDs, local Law Enforcement IDs will get over 60 shows for just $45.”

For the full lineup and schedule, please visit

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