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20 Aug 09 Ragweed Ready for Red Dirt Roundup

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It began will Willie and his Fourth of July celebration. And over the past four years, the theme of having a mega-act as the front of a huge music celebration has grown.  The fourth annual Cross Canadian Ragweed Red Dirt Roundup will be Labor Day Sunday, September 6, in Fort Worth.

The festival will once again take place outside of Billy Bob’s Texas in Fort Worth.  Two stages will showcase 15 bands. They include Ragweed, Charlie Robison, Lucero, Randy Rogers Band, Brandon Jenkins, Jonathan Tyler and the Northern Lights, the Gourds, Seth James, the Bart Crow Band and Robert Earl Keen.

Marty Travis, general manager of Billy Bob’s,  said anyone with a wrist band proving paid admission to the show will get in free to Billy Bob’s that day, as well.

Travis said the original organizers of Willie’s picnic provided the spark for the Roundup. Rick Smith and Billy Bob’s had been in business making the Live at Billy Bob’s Texas recordings. Smith, Billy Minick and Willie got together and began the picnic in 2004. It remained in Fort Worth for three years.

“In 2006, we realized how hot Cross Canadian Ragweed had gotten, and we got those guys to hold a Labor Day Sunday event with them being the headline,” he said. “The music that they play and are associated with is referred to as Red Dirt music – not Texas, not Oklahoma or any place else, just Red Dirt.  And when you round all those guys together, you have a Red Dirt Roundup.”

Who gets to play at the Roundup each year?  That is pretty much left up to the members of Ragweed. Some pretty big acts have played before, including Gary Allan, Black Crowes, Stoney LaRue and the Drive-by Truckers.  Travis said the acts change each year because Ragweed’s tastes change. They also have to route all the acts to get them to Fort Worth.

In addition to the outdoor stages, Billy Bob’s will have live music inside, for those looking for a break from the Labor Day weather.  Travis also promised that they will have plenty of liquid refreshment, “to keep everyone hydrated, if you know what I mean,” he commented.

As for anyone who is not sure whether to attend, Travis has an answer.

“People will come out and see some of the best music of this genre and share the event with about 20,000 of their closest fans.”  What could be better than that?

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