Every year the Big Folkin Fest gets bigger and better. What will year five bring us? Photo Courtesy: Michael Kolch
Every year the Big Folkin Fest gets bigger and better. What will year five bring us?
Photo Courtesy: Michael Kolch

By Sarah Badran

Despite Dallas’s bipolar weather tendencies, the Big Folkin Festival came back this year for its fourth installment to a great turnout despite the monsoon like thunder storms. Over 40 bands folked up four stages throughout two days at Dallas’s staple music venue, The Prophet Bar. Headed by Parallel Play’s Jeremy Drake and The Prophet Bar’s Joel Fruth, this year’s line-up boasted fresh new names such as Wesley Gieger and Lincoln Durham intertwined with returning Dallas favorites such as Goodnight Ned, Whisky Folk Ramblers, Kirby Brown and The Roomsounds, who closed the festival out Saturday night.

“The festival all started with a great pun that turned into a great idea,” Big Folkin Festival co-founder Jeremy Drake said. Back again for the fourth year, the festival had vendors, delicious food and even a personal pop-up t-shirt printing press rounding out a big folkin dream world. The bands rotated throughout four-stages with 15 minute sets each.

“I love this festival! This is the second time I have done it and every year it’s a great combination of good people and music!” Jewelry designer, Kat Hillard spoke of the night.

Day one of the festival featured artists such as Rise & Shine, a collaboration of two former members of Johnathan Tyler and the Northern Lights who have joined forces to create a harmonious blend of rhythm and blues, rock and gospel with some southern swag. Another artist featured on Friday was Gleewood which is comprised of a cowgirl, hippy and a jazzman blended together to create their own unique distinct sound as well. New band McAllister have only been playing together for the past year and have their first independent project soon to be released.

Day two of the Big Folkin Festival brought together an all-star line-up including The O’s, who have been touring throughout the US and UK since 2011. Also on the line-up was Lincoln Durham who blazed the stage armed with old bastardized mid-century guitars, hand-me-down fiddles and banjos, home-made contraptions to form a new kind of depraved music. Hometown favorite, Goodnight Ned, hasn’t stopped moving since their new album release last year at Trees and are already releasing new music which they debuted at this years festival. The Bodarks of McKinney, Texas were a beautiful blend of delightful harmonies that had the audience singing along to their songs as if it were their favorite karaoke jam.

Parallel Play hit the stage at 10 p.m and front man Jeremy Drake was overwhelmed by the support he received from the audience for the festivals continued growth and success. “There is a lot of Americana-ish and folk-ish acts in area and so much talent in this city and we just want the opportunity to bring them all together. People come to check out their favorite band and leaving loving a new one and that’s our mission accomplished!” Drake said.

Closing out the night was The RoomSounds, led by singer and guitarist Ryan Michael, who delivered their classic masterwork of blues-rock with guitar tones straight from the early-70s Rolling Stones.The Roomsounds have closed out the festival as a tradition every year with their brilliant songwriting, along with versatile vocals that walks the listener though a museum wof country, garage rock, gospel, folk, punk and more which makes them a worthy to end the two day festival with a glorious bang!

With all the goodness this year’s line-up brought forth we can’t wait to see what next year’s Big Folkin Festival has in store!