Fowler, Eli Young Band ready for stage

from Longview News-Journal on

The stars at night really are big and bright in the piney woods of Texas.

The 2010 Great Balloon Race stage entertainment is packed with a line-up featuring bright stars, all free with gate admission. The fair is set for today through Sunday.

A Texas homegrown favorite rides the stage after the balloon glow today.

Kevin Fowler's new release "Pound Sign (#?*!)" enjoyed a five-week ride at No. 1 on the Texas Music Chart.

No novice to the Great Balloon race, Fowler makes music for people who like their country real, raw and rough.

"We've packed clubs and halls from one end of Texas to another," Fowler said by phone while on the road for one of the 160 shows he has lined up this year. "They come to sing along to the Kevin hymnal of 'Beer, Bait and Ammo,' 'The Lord Loves The Drinkin' Man' and 'Speak of the Devil.' Those are all originals — I wrote them."

If he does say so himself.

Fowler cut his teeth on the hard rock band, Dangerous Toys, before forming his own hard-edged Southern rock band, Thunderfoot.

His songwriting, though, led him back to his Texas roots, he said.

"We're just a bunch of every day Joes making music for regular folks," said Fowler, who lives in the outskirts of Austin on his "little three acres of Texas."

Fowler said he has enjoyed watching the Lone Star country-western music scene explode.

"It's been a heck of a ride, watching this thing grow," he said. "It used to be in front of 4- to 500 people at a time, but now it's more 4- to 5,000. Right now Texas music is enjoying a huge surge of popularity. I'm grateful to be a part of it."

The Eli Young Band will bring its love of live performing and the glow of a recent national release to Saturday's show.

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