Tippy Balady and Jason Burt
Can Turkyilmaz
Tippy Balady and Jason Burt

The Booker T. Washington senior recently announced an impending move to Los Angeles, where the angel-toned Balady will surely be discovered before exiting the plane. Her playful arrangements and emotive scope suggest the maturity of an artist post-burnout and recall — and put her on par with — fellow singer-songwriter-pianist Regina Spektor. Balady's music videos easily surpass 100k views, like last year's "Merry Go Round," a stunning slice of cinema focused on a hypnotic interpretive dancer. But it's the singer's bubbly, uptempo outlook, in songs like "Mustard" and "Begin Again," that will propel her into a playlist must-have.

Sons of Hermann Hall

Sons of Hermann Hall is undoubtedly a landmark of historical significance , but once you step into the bar on the right side of the entrance, that sense of formality is tossed aside immediately. It always feels like an episode of Cheers when you get settled into your barstool, and if you come at the right time, you'll see some people circled around an electric campfire for a jam session that anyone with an instrument is welcome to partake in. Sons gets aptly recognized as one of the best country music venues in town, but not enough people mosey in just to drink. You owe it to yourself to down some dirt-cheap Shiners from plastic cups beneath a ballroom where Townes Van Zandt once stood.

Ruins

The Limbo Room in the back of Ruins is a gigantic music venue squeezed into one of the smaller music venues in Deep Ellum. For a venue with a maximum capacity of 200 people, Ruins' Production Manager Christopher Kent Cotter has gone above and beyond to ensure that everyone has the best concert experience possible. Cotter was instrumental in finding and installing the sound system along with Emerald City productions, owned by Ryan Kyle McGinnis of Arlington. He is also obsessed with how every show booked by Matt Battaglia looks and sounds, turning to respected freelance audio engineer Eric Anthony Rogers for tuning and Granada Theater's Josh Gully for the venue's incredible lighting rig. Shows in The Limbo Room are typically varied in genre. Accompanied by Ruins' signature drinks and food menu, any show you catch at this small venue is sure to make you feel like a VIP.

Homegrown is all right with us.
Melissa Hennings
Homegrown is all right with us.

The 10th Anniversary of Homegrown Music and Arts Festival may have been forced to split into two days due to inclement weather, but you never would have known it. Despite the absence of regularly scheduled performers, the packed festival was treated to performances by favorites like Pearl Earl and 40 Acre Mule, the first live performance ever by Oscar DeLaughter, the ATO Records label-signing celebration of Black Pumas and a mind-blowing performance by Tripping Daisy featuring a walkthrough by the long-lost brother of Guglielmo Achille Cavellini, the Italian artist on the cover of the band's breakthrough 1995 album I Am an Elastic Firecracker. Capped off with an electric performance by Toadies, Homegrown proved to be North Texas' favorite festival with its never-say-die attitude and dedication to showcasing the best musicians from all genres across the state.

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