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DENTON County the

MUSIC issue

MARCH/APRIL 2019 $5.95

THE BUZZ ON

Beekeeping

SPOTLIGHT ON

Krum

ON THE AIR WITH

DentonRadio.com THE FUTURE

County Courthouse

NORAH JONES And 50+ other people and places that put us on the music map


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DENTON County

MARCH/ APRIL Volume 2, Issue 2

Save the bees! And get some honey

62

FE ATURES

33 

Sound Check

Norah Jones and 50+ more artists, venues, studios and organizations that make Denton County one of the state's best places for music lovers.

62 68

The Buzz on Bees

Find out why buckets of honey aren't the only reason to consider this rewarding hobby.

Tuned In

DentonRadio.com founder Jake Laughlin has spent a decade helping to build the local music scene.

M A R C H /A P R I L 2 0 1 9 D E N T O N CO U N T Y

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DENTON County

MARCH/APRIL

24 DE PA RTME NT S

16 COUNT Y LINE

The world's largest inland grain market has transformed into a fast-growing town with a proud history and modern amenities.

28 Dining: Sweetwater Grill

This family-owned local favorite is back and enjoying its second wind.

30 Shopping: Recycled Books

Spend hours getting lost in the largest independent bookstore in Texas... and pick up some great local music while you're at it.

What defines our county today

11 On Top of His Game

Jackson Reed's path to the Civil Air Patrol's highest honor

12 Nonprofit Spotlight: CACDC

The Children's Advocacy Center for Denton County's important work for child abuse victims, their families and the community

14 Courthouse

A sneak peek at Denton County's new 94,794-square-foot courthouse

16 The Lawn Ranger

28

A historic collection of Western memorabilia in an unexpected place

18

18 All That Jazz

What to expect at this year's Denton Arts and Jazz Festival

20 Dream Home

A lavish $10 million Flower Mound estate

22 Time Machine

Merrill Ellis, UNT professor, composer and experimental music trailblazer

IN E V E RY ISSUE 8 About This Issue 72 New in Town 74 See & Do On the cover: Norah Jones spoke with us about her time as a UNT student, her memories of Denton's music scene and her plans for 2019. Cover photo by Clay Patrick McBride.

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D E N T O N CO U N T Y M A R C H /A P R I L 2 0 1 9

Top photo and pistol by Abigail Boatwright; Middle photo courtesy of Sweetwater Grill and Tavern; Bottom photo courtesy of the Denton Record-Chronicle

24 Community Spotlight: Krum


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A BOUT THIS ISSUE

Let the Music Play!

T

he music scene is one of the (many) things that makes our county an exciting place to live. This Music Issue makes mention of nearly 50 artists and bands; 25 venues, recording studios and music schools; two radio stations; UNT’s legendary music program; Flower Mound’s award-winning marching band; the Music Theatre of Denton; the Bach Society; DMAC, a nonprofit that helps local musicians; and Jake Laughlin, a man who has devoted his life to helping local musicians thrive. We caught up with nine-time Grammy award winner (and cover model) Norah Jones, who reminisced about her time in Denton, as well as favorites like Brave Combo, Bowling for Soup, Sarah Jaffe, Kaylee Rutland and the Eli Young Band. But even with all of these remarkable individuals and organizations, we didn’t have space for everyone who has helped shape the music community into what it is today. We would’ve needed another 150 pages for that. So we made some tough decisions, and we’re confident you’ll find music that’ll hit the right note for you in the magazine and on the playlist at bit.ly/dentoncountymusic.com. Also in this issue, you’ll find out why (and how) you should consider urban beekeeping as a hobby. (Did you know there is a Denton County Beekeepers Association?) You’ll learn about the important work done by the Children’s Advocacy Center for Denton County, meet a young man who earned the Civil Air Patrol’s greatest honor and get a peek at Denton County’s new courthouse. We’ve also got a spotlight on Krum, a peek at a very unexpected collection of Western memorabilia and a tour of what may be Flower Mound’s most lavish estate. As always, we welcome your thoughts, story ideas and letters to the editor. Get in touch at editor@dentoncountymagazine. com. To get the magazine delivered to your mailbox six times a year, subscribe at dentoncountymagazine.com. In the meantime, enjoy the music!

PUBLISHER Bill Patterson

EDITOR Kimberly Turner

M AG A Z I N E CO N S U LTA N T Rich Alfano

EXECUTIVE EDITOR Sean McCrory

A DV E R T I S I N G DI RECTOR Sandra Hammond S A L E S M A N AG E R Shawn Reneau ACCO U N T EXECUTIVES Becka Corbitt Joanne Horst Danielle Thompson Shelly Vannatta MAILING ADDRESS 3555 Duchess Drive Denton, Texas 76205 EDITORIAL 940-566-6879 A DV E R T I S I N G INQUIRIES 940-566-6843

DESIGN DI RECTOR Ben Carpenter DESIGNER Phil Lor CO N T R I B U T I N G W R I T E R S Kristy Alpert, Abigail Boatwright, Annette Carl, Jessica DeLeón, Mary Dunklin, Paula Felps, Lisa Ferguson, Nicole Foster, Rachel Hedstrom, Kylie Ora Lobell, Dru Murray, Marshall Reid, Ellen Ritscher Sackett, Donna Stokes, Leslie Thompson CO N T R I B U T I N G PHOTOGRAPH ER Abigail Boatwright C R E AT I V E PA R T N E R madison/miles media

SUBSCRIPTIONS Subscribe to Denton County magazine for $25/year. Subscribe online at DentonCountyMagazine.com or mail a check or visit us at 3555 Duchess Drive, Denton, Texas 76205. For subscription questions, call 940-387-3811. S T O RY I D E A S editor@dentoncountymagazine.com LETTERS TO TH E EDITOR Write to editor@dentoncountymagazine.com. Please include your full name, city and phone number. Denton County magazine reserves the right to edit for length and clarity. L I K E U S FAC E B O O K Facebook.com/DentonCountyMagazine FIND US ONLINE DentonCountyMagazine.com

© Copyright 2019: Denton County magazine is published by Denton Media Company, publishers of the Denton Record-Chronicle. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part of any text, photograph or illustration without written permission from the publisher is strictly prohibited. Editorial content does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the publisher.

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D E N T O N CO U N T Y M A R C H /A P R I L 2 0 1 9


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COUNTY LINE ACCOLADES

On Top of His Game Jackson Reed is the first from his Denton-based squadron to earn the Civil Air Patrol’s highest honor. BY MARSHALL REID

J

ackson Reed has achieved enough by age 18 to fill an impressive résumé. He’s served as a program ambassador to South Korea, taken behind-the-scenes tours of the Pentagon, CIA and Supreme Court, shared meals with generals and earned the Civil Air Patrol’s highest honor: the coveted Spaatz Award. Reed has spent more than a quarter of his life earning the award, which is named for General Carl Spaatz, the first chief of staff for the Air Force. Reed is only the 2,205th recipient of this honor since its 1964 creation. He is the 89th from Texas and the first from his Denton-based squadron. He transferred to the Denton Nighthawk Composite Squadron about three years ago from his original McKinney-based squadron. To even be eligible to attempt to earn the award, Reed had to spend at least 40 months in CAP and earn four milestone awards. He was required to read volumes on leadership, aerospace theory and military decorum and take comprehensive exams to prove his understanding of the concepts. He then completed a basic encampment, a process that has been compared to a slightly lighter version of military basic training. With all the prerequisite boxes checked, Reed took the final round of exams and completed his last physical fitness test — during which he completed 81 sit-ups, 62 pushups and a one-mile run in 6 minutes, 24 seconds. Finally, he wrote an essay on the theme of whether you can disagree with someone’s political or moral decisions and still be respectful of their ideas. Spoiler: Reed argued that you can and should. Once he’d finished the final portion of the exam, he says, “I just sat there on the train and I could not stop smiling.” The program, he says, helped him build confidence, public

One of fewer than 90 Texans to ever receive the prestigious Spaatz Award, Jackson Reed is shown below accepting the honor from retired Air Force Lt. Gen. John Campbell.

speaking skills, leadership abilities and connections that aren’t available to most young people. The Spaatz Award — which was formally awarded to Reed by retired Air Force Lt. Gen. John Campbell in January — is just a representation of that growth. Along with its inherent prestige, the Spaatz award comes with an automatic promotion to cadet colonel. M A R C H /A P R I L 2 0 1 9 D E N T O N CO U N T Y

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COUNT Y LINE NONPROFIT SPOTLIGHT

Children’s Advocacy Center for Denton County CACDC helps child abuse victims, their families and the community through education, healing and justice. BY NICOLE FOSTER

T

he Children’s Advocacy Center for Denton County (CACDC) in Lewisville is where the healing process begins for abused children. The nonprofit serves as a safe space for minors after an adult in their life has been accused of inflicting harm on them. Blue Light Moments Together with family advocates, law enforcement, Child Protective Services and prosecutors, CACDC ensures that mistreated children are removed from danger, that they recover emotionally and that justice is served. Once an allegation has been made and an investigation begins, CACDC’s forensic interviewers and clinical team get to work preparing for the “Blue Light Moment” — named after a light that glows outside the nonprofit’s interview room when a child is telling their story. CACDC’s interview process reduces the number of times a child has to recount and relive their story of abuse to receive help. “This is a day when families are very scared,” says CACDC CEO Kristen Howell. “Yet kids report feeling tremendous relief. Too often, they’re carrying this secret for months, weeks, years. They find it’s an enormous burden lifted.”

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Healing and Education Following the forensic interview, children return weekly for free therapy. CACDC’s expert therapists are dedicated to providing each client with the emotional resources needed to overcome challenges, develop boundaries and build healthy relationships and positive self-images. Therapy is available in both English and Spanish. “We believe that for kids, this will be a part of their story the rest of their lives, but it does not have to define them,” Kristen says. “They get the tools to make sense of [the abuse] and figure out how to cope with it. Families also need those tools.” In addition to helping children, CACDC’s eliminates stigmas surrounding abuse. Through free training programs, they teach adults how to recognize the signs of child abuse and neglect as well as how to effectively communicate with children about personal safety. Kristen says recent societal issues, such as the #MeToo movement and sexual abuse scandals within the Catholic church and women’s gymnastics, have opened the door to pivotal conversations. “We have found the best efforts

D E N T O N CO U N T Y M A R C H /A P R I L 2 0 1 9

have been made if we help other adults recognize a kid who has been hurt and report it so a proper investigation can be underway,” she says. “I’m so proud of the community for not allowing this to be a taboo topic anymore. If adults can’t talk about it, kids won’t talk about it.” You Can Help! The number of forensic interviews conducted by CACDC nearly doubled between 2016 and the end of 2018, and the nonprofit is expanding. Donations of time, money and services from the community are essential. In some cases, when a child is removed from their home, they never return. Because of this, the organization also accepts necessities such as clothing and school supplies. Their 10th annual Champions for Children Gala takes place March 23 at the Texas Motor Speedway. “Special events are a great way for people to participate, have a fun night, and raise critical dollars for us,” says Kristen. “They’re also a great sponsorship opportunity for businesses to say, ‘This is an agency we’re behind.’” For more information about the CACDC and to learn how you can help, visit cacdc.org or call 972-317-2818.


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COUNT Y LINE

IN WITH THE NEW

Future Landmark Denton County has broken ground on a new 94,794-square-foot courthouse just off Loop 288. BY KRISTY ALPERT

D

uring the groundbreaking ceremony for Denton’s new courthouse on November 29, 2018, it wasn’t a single shovel that pierced the ground, but 14. Fourteen shovels, each held by a representative of the Denton County community, swung in unison on that day as a symbol of the camaraderie and synergy that the new courthouse will represent for the county when it opens in summer of 2020. Consolidation of Services “The Denton County Courthouse was designed not only with county employees in mind, but also with the public’s needs and wants,” says Andy Eads, Denton County judge. The new facility — which is Phase III of the Denton County Administrative Complex — will combine offices that are currently in the Joseph A. Carroll County Administration Building and the Courthouse-on-the-Square. The courthouse will be near the existing offices of Denton County Public Health, Elections Administration, Technology Services, Facilities, Construction Management and the Emergency Services divisions and others.

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“The consolidation of administrative services to one campus will ease communication among departments now housed in several locations,” says Judge Eads. A Grand Plan The new courthouse will become a landmark for new generations in the years to come. A stately columned portico will invite visitors to enter beneath an elegant clock. The domed courthouse will act as the centerpiece for the structure, with centralized department services strategically placed around it to create an easy-to-navigate floor plan for guests and residents. Similar to the area around the Courthouse-on-the-Square — which will remain in service to Denton County as a museum and ceremonial courthouse — the outdoor spaces at the new courthouse are designed to be a gathering place for residents. A grand lawn sits just beyond a back-porch terrace, where native plants and pecan groves lead the way to outdoor event rooms and spaces for food trucks, festivals, community events and outdoor concerts. The Project “The Denton County Courthouse is part

D E N T O N CO U N T Y M A R C H /A P R I L 2 0 1 9

of a 2008 bond election approved by Denton County voters to improve facilities,” Judge Eads explains, noting that the project was made possible by the Denton County Commissioners Court and other passionate Denton County employees. The architectural firm is HDR and the contractor is Sundt Construction. The price tag is an estimated $41.9 million. “The courthouse, initially considered to be the first [project] to be completed, was pushed to the last to allow for the completion of other needed facilities. As good stewards of taxpayer dollars, Denton County is committed to providing quality customer service.” Room to Grow The three-story, 94,794-square-foot structure will be nearly three times the size of the historic Courthouse-on-the-Square, with ample space for indoor meetings and events. The courthouse will be located at 701 Karina, just off Loop 288, and promises to provide the room needed to bring numerous departments under one roof. It also allows for additional growth as the county’s population expands and the need for services continues to rise.


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COUNT Y LINE HIDDEN HISTORY

The

Lawn Ranger

A collection of historic cowboy memorabilia turns shopping for lawn care into a fascinating trip out West. BY ABIGAIL BOATWRIGHT

Bobby McNairy and one of his favorite pistols

B “These are the guns that were actually used to win the West.”

obby McNairy’s Lawn Land is known for its lawn care, wildlife management, equipment repair and even horse care products. But wander to the back corner of the store and you’ll discover an unexpected treat. One of Roy Rogers’ original saddles sits near a gunpowder flask from the Battle of the Alamo. Badges from Texas Rangers, Pinkerton’s men and other Western law enforcement are displayed beside a row of historic handguns. You’re not in modern-day Denton anymore; you’ve fallen into a time capsule of Western artifacts and Hollywood memorabilia. It Started With One Gun McNairy, 60, grew up idolizing the Western life. His dad gave him his first rifle when he was 6 years old and his first shotgun when he was 12. He’s been collecting guns ever since.

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“My generation grew up watching television in the 1960s, and there was nothing on but Westerns,” McNairy says. “Everybody thinks of John Wayne, but there were so many others. We played with cap guns back then. Roy Rogers reruns were on Saturday mornings.” In 1987, McNairy moved to Denton from his hometown of Vernon, Texas, with his wife, Peggy. He opened Lawn Land at 714 Dallas Drive — where “The Best Little Tractor House in Texas” is still located today. Diversion Turned Mini Museum Because lawn care can be seasonal, the store is packed in the springtime. McNairy wanted to offer customers a pleasant way to pass the time while they waited, so six years ago, he brought his now-substantial Western collection into the store. Though the space is small, you’ll find lots of items placed in early 1900s era


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“These are the guns that were actually used to win the West,” McNairy says. Lined up in a row are most of the early Colt pistols, including the Dragoon from the 1840s — the civilian version of which was carried by the Texas Rangers. Stop by Lawn Land during store hours and you’ll probably find McNairy caring for customers. Ask him about his Western collection. He can tell you the history behind any item that catches your eye.

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drugstore display cases. Elaborately engraved pearl-handled pistols from the 1880s, a wall of Hollywood promo posters from the golden age of Western films, a derringer in a hollowed-out book from card dealer Kitty Leroy (of Sam Bass and Wild Bill Hickok fame), Native American peace treaty medals and a collection of historic rifles from Winchester, including the first repeating rifle.

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M A R C H /A P R I L 2 0 1 9 D E N T O N CO U N T Y

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COUNT Y LINE STATE OF THE ARTS

All That

B

esides bringing worldrenowned, award-winning musicians to North Texas audiences for nearly four decades, the annual Denton Arts and Jazz Festival has also provided countless local amateur and professional musicians, dancers and artists with opportunities to showcase their talents. “We have lots of little kiddos doing their first dance recitals, and we have choral groups from schools that have never been onstage … That’s their first taste of what it’s like to be a professional [performer],” says Kevin Lechler, assistant director of the nonprofit Denton Festival Foundation that produces the festival. “The reason our event works is because we’re a community event,” he says. “Almost everyone in the community is involved in some way.”

JAZZ

Ravi Coltrane

Brave Combo

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Beyond Jazz As many as 250,000 people are expected to attend the 2019 Denton Arts and Jazz Festival on April 26 to 28. The free event will fill Quakertown Park (700 Oakland St.) with seven stages, a half-dozen food courts and nearly 300 vendor booths. Other attractions will include a children’s art tent, a popular percussion petting zoo activity and carnival-style rides. The Ravi Coltrane Quartet will take the stage at 9 p.m. Friday, and three-time Grammy Award winner Taj Mahal & the Phantom Blues Band will headline Saturday evening. Denton’s own Brave Combo, which has been tasked with wrapping up the festival for years, is set to play Sunday night. Denton Arts and Jazz Festival-goers have come to expect a “well-rounded” mix of genres at the “multicultural music” event, Lechler said. “We have everything from pure jazz to rock ’n’ roll to blues. We have country and Western. … Every time you turn a corner, you hear a different style of music.”


A Festival for Everyone The festival has expanded greatly since it was founded in 1980 as Spring Fling. It was staged for nine years at the North Texas Fairgrounds grounds before relocating to the Center for Visual Arts in Denton. In 1990, Spring Fling merged with the former JazzFest and became the Denton Arts and Jazz Festival. It settled the following year at Quakertown Park, which Lechler said has “become part of the event’s identity.” As has the festival’s lack of an admission fee. “The whole premise for the event was born out of an idea that concert-quality headliners should be available to everyone without having to pay concert prices,” explained Lechler, who has been with the Denton Festival Foundation for 16 years. “We wanted art and music to be available to the general public for free, so that’s the whole purpose of what we do. … Your average person can’t afford to pay $125 for a concert ticket, especially in a college town” like Denton. “It’s just

always been important to the foundation and it’s part of our mission statement to provide [the festival] free of charge.” A Labor of Love Lechler and Denton Festival Foundation Executive Director Carol Short spend about 18 months organizing the event. With an annual budget of around $560,000, the biggest challenge the pair faces is raising the funds to produce the event. In addition to “some very loyal, longtime sponsors that we’re very grateful for,” they welcome new sponsors each year. Some 400 volunteers, including the foundation’s own members called Top Hands, tackle onsite tasks. Proceeds raised by the Denton Festival Foundation through the festival have previously benefited public art projects and facilities. The foundation also contributed funds for renovation efforts at the Center for the Visual Arts and the Campus Theatre as well as improvements at Quakertown Park.

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COUNT Y LINE

DREAM HOMES

PL AYE R ’S PAR AD ISE This $10 million Flower Mound estate is every athlete’s dream come true. BY KIMBERLY TURNER

W

hatever your sport of choice, this lavish 16-acre property has you covered. The resort-style estate features a lighted tennis court, baseball field, volleyball court, indoor regulation basketball court, chipping and putting green for golfers, gym and bowling alley. If water activities are more your thing, fear not! You’re covered with two outdoor swimming pools, two hot tubs, two indoor exercise pools, a flowing stream and a stocked private pond for fishing or relaxing — all overlooking Triple R Ranch Lake and surrounded by more than 1,000 trees. Rest and Relaxation When it’s time to take a break from all that physical activity, relax in one of the entertainment cabanas out by the pool. They boast views of the oversized outdoor theater screen. You might also catch a flick in the theater building or head to the (wo)man cave to do some grilling on the hibachi table. When you’re finished, stop by the 12-car detached garage (that’s in addition to the five-car attached garage) to peruse your luxury car collection. If you get tired while admiring your autos, take a nap in one of the garage’s two loft-style apartments, complete with full kitchens. In a video tour of the property with NBA star and former Mavericks player Jason Terry, Rogers Healy of Rogers Healy and Associates Real Estate says, “I’ve been doing this business for about 20 years. I’ve never seen anything that comes remotely close to this, and I can promise you, I’m never gonna see it again.”

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now with a storefront off the square in DENTON

Home Sweet Home Inside the 35,000-square-foot main house, you’ll find seven bedrooms, six and a half baths and six fireplaces. As you’d expect for the $9.9 million price tag, the home includes every bell and whistle you can imagine: three dishwashers and a walk-in commercial-grade refrigerator in the kitchen, towering ceilings and a master bathroom with heated floors, a fireplace, a steam room and a shower large enough for you to play yet another game of basketball. “The great thing about this property is the balance,” says Diana Stewart of Rogers Healy. “It’s luxurious with resort-style amenities and entertainment options, but it also manages to be very family-friendly at the same time. A lot of thought went into making it great for family living.” If this sounds like the luxe life for you — and you can afford Zillow’s estimated monthly cost of $51,789, including property taxes and home insurance — contact the team at Rogers Healy and Associates Real Estate at 214-368-4663 or info@rogershealy. com for more information.

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COUNT Y LINE

Synthesizing Innovation Merrill Ellis (1916–1981) was a noted experimental music researcher and teacher, composer and performer. He is pictured here in the Electronic Music Center studio he founded in 1963 at North Texas State University (NTSU) — now the University of North Texas (UNT). The original Electronic Music Center was located in a modest house at 1721 Mulberry Street and was one of the most innovative centers of its kind in the nation. Ellis managed to convince Robert Moog, inventor of the synthesizer, to build a version of the new instrument for Ellis and his students. It was only the second synthesizer created. Ellis not only founded the electronic music program at what would become UNT, he also laid the foundation for the Center for Experimental Music and Intermedia (CEMI). Today, the Merrill Ellis Intermedia Theater honors his contributions to both the university and electronic and experimental music as a whole.

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Photos courtesy of UNT Libraries Special Collections via The Portal to Texas History

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COMMUNIT Y SP OTLIG HT

KRUM T

here’s something extraordinary about the small city of Krum that keeps those who grew up here coming back and inspires newcomers to come and explore. This city of 5,000 — 7 miles northwest of Denton and 42 miles northeast of Fort Worth — put itself on the map in a big way with its early 1900s agricultural feats and award-winning grain mills. Today, it continues to impress with its growing neighborhoods and schools; new library, fire station and public works building; and ambitious 10-year plan for its parks. Elbow Room and More The 2011 book Krum (Images of America Series) by Della Davis and George Hubbard of the Krum Historical Society explains what the city has to offer: “Krum is a wonderful place to live. Outstanding schools along with parks and playgrounds help make it a good place to raise a family. A well-stocked library and a weekly newspaper connect the citizens with the world,

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and a newly opened historical museum reminds residents of their heritage. Although the mills and gins are now gone, Krum still serves northwest Denton County in agriculture as well as in banking, public safety services, public education and restaurants.” City Planner Tom Elgin says, “Krum is unique in that it has the positive aspects of a Texas small town — a distinct downtown, a good school district, approachable people with direct ties to Krum’s heritage, a relaxing pace and ‘elbow room’ to move around — and yet, unlike most small towns, Krum is in close proximity to major Denton and Alliance business employment centers.” The city’s employers include C&G Electric, Krum Independent School District and the City of Krum. The 10-year Parks & Open Space Master Plan estimates that the city’s population could nearly double by 2037 — around 5 percent growth each year. Elgin anticipates that the growth will fuel the light industrial, retail and service businesses in town as well.

Photo courtesy of Captain Adam North

The world’s largest inland grain market has transformed into a fast-growing town with a proud history and modern amenities. BY DONNA STOKES


“I love that even though our city is growing, we still have a small-town feel and families that have been here since the very beginning.”

There's no pot of gold at the end of this double rainbow, but there is a modern new fire station, which may be an even greater treasure for the citizens of Krum.

Forward Momentum The city has approved three housing developments in the past two years, including Hopkins Meadows by Impression Homes, Fowler Farm by D.R. Horton and Brisa Meadows by Brisa Properties. According to Krum requirements, these and all new developments will provide open space and invest in trails, playground equipment and other park improvements. “Open space is critical to maintain Krum’s rural feel and helps preserve existing watersheds and tree cover” as well as provides entertainment and health benefits, Elgin says. In addition to city parks, Krum is planning a network of off-road hiking and bike trails — located along watersheds and parallel to major roadways — that will connect residential areas, schools, parks and downtown. A portion of Krum’s local sales tax collections is devoted for park purposes. “There’s a lot of investment in the community here,” Elgin says, citing a new public works building, library, a three-year-old wastewater treatment plant and a two-year-old fire station. “We’re proud of our new library,” he says. “It’s about a year old now. It’s pretty neat for a tiny town with less than 5,000 people to have their own stand-alone library. It’s got a public meeting space, and Director Donna Pierce does a lot of programming with just a few people and has a good physical collection of books and other publications. “It’s also unusual that a small town has a mostly paid fire department. We have a new fire station that’s about 2 years old.” The fire and police departments and emergency medical services all offer full-time services, he says, which is uncommon for a city this size.

Photo by Abigail Boatwright

Tudy's Kitchen, known for its breakfast tacos, is one of the dining highlights in the Outback Market.

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World’s Largest Inland Grain Market No one could have predicted the vibrant, growing city that Krum would become when the Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe Railroad established the town site in 1886. Like many small Texas towns, it was named for a railroad official, in this case Charles K. Krum, but details about him remain a mystery. Kathryn Dodd, a prolific author with the Krum Historical Society who shares her Museum Musings on the Krum Heritage Museum website, continues to search for information about Mr. Krum. Other members of the Historical Society, including Janice Cole Callarman, whose family history in Krum dates to its founding, are also fascinated by this mysterious man. “I fear I will go to my grave not knowing who Mr. Krum was and where he came from,” Dodd says. Yet despite the ambiguity surrounding its namesake, Krum made its name known far and wide by taking advantage of the area’s rich prairie soil to grow an abundance of wheat and other grains. More than a million pounds of grain were shipped out in 1900, and Krum became known as the largest inland grain market in the world. Shipments went out weekly to buyers all over the world. Krum’s superior quality wheat won prizes in many fairs, including a grand prize for its Rainbow Flour at the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair. “The grain elevator is still here,” Callarman says, referring to

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Photo by Abigail Boatwright

This historic grain elevator was built by R.L. Cole Grain & Elevator Company in 1927 to replace a smaller wood and galvanized steel elevator. It was converted into a residence in the 1990s.


the historic grain elevator built in 1927. It replaced a smaller wood and galvanized steel elevator built in 1904. By the 1990s, it was unsuitable for grain and transformed into a residence. “That was my father’s business. He came here as a boy in the very late 1880s.” Her father, R.L. Cole, was an influential figure in Krum’s history. He established R.L. Cole Grain & Elevator Company. By 1912, it was the leading grain and cotton dealer in Denton County. Over the next several years, he added a filling station, oil supply company and coal yard to the town. Callarman taught school in Illinois for 40 years, but returned to Krum with her husband in 2000. “Of course, I grew up here, so it’s just good to be home,” she says. “I’m in the [1905] house I grew up in. I’m back where I belong.” Visitor Highlights City Secretary Andrea Dzioba says, “I love that even though our city is growing, we still have a small-town feel and families that have been here since the very beginning. It is a city with a lot of history and pride.” Dzioba and Elgin recommend that visitors stop into the town’s stores and restaurants. “I do like to go and see what new things JoyGrace & Company has in their downtown boutique,” Dzioba says. “We have a number of great places to eat in the city. Tudy’s Kitchen located in the Outback Market has amazing breakfast tacos. Lunch downtown is always good at Portofino’s if you are in the mood for Italian, and Andy’s has wonderful cheeseburgers and fries. If you are in the mood for Mexican food, Miguelito’s can’t be beat.” When you’re finished shopping and eating, the Krum Heritage Museum is an absolute must-see. Members of the Historical Society, which now owns the museum, staff the attraction every Saturday from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Upon entering the museum, you’ll first see the old teller cages and granite walls from the Merchants Bank that used to occupy the building. The first floor also features a 1904 buggy, a 1940s model of the town, a military wall of honor, school room and more. On the second floor are railroad, farm and telephone exhibits as well as pictures of some of Krum’s families, including R.L. Cole. “The big second-story room takes you back in time with a parlor, a dining room, a bedroom, a kitchen and many other items,” Dodd says. The museum is maintained entirely by donations and volunteer labor and welcomes residents who would like to help preserve Krum’s unique history. Previous generous donations have supported repairs and modern updates to the 1909 building, including the addition of an elevator to the second floor, but more help is always needed. Every time a major repair is needed, someone who grew up in Krum or was passing through to visit the old family farm comes through with support for the museum just when it’s most needed. Families also bring in photos and historic items to contribute to the stories it tells. “It’s almost like that building is blessed,” Callarman says.

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DINING

Coveted Comeback

T

It’s rare for a sequel to be even better than the original, but Sweetwater Grill and Tavern is trying to do just that. BY ELLEN RITSCHER SACKETT

hey came for Jimmy’s food. They came for the jazz. For a cold one, camaraderie and corner-bar atmosphere. Sweetwater Grill and Tavern was at its peak of popularity in 2014 when the unthinkable happened: The owners sold it. Customers mourned. Four years passed. But now, Sweetwater is back. The Birth of a Favorite It started in the mid-1990s when Jimmy Meredith — longtime chef, caterer

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and former University of North Texas director of food services — decided that he wanted to open a restaurant. He found a corner building for rent, one block south of Denton’s then-sleepy downtown Square. “There were chunks of the ceiling hanging down, and chunks of the floor sticking straight up. Wires everywhere. It was a total disaster,” recalls Jimmy’s wife, Karen. “Jimmy was, like, ‘I have this vision,’ and he started telling me about it. I looked at him, and I said, ‘I don’t see it, but whatever you think.’”

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Jimmy was confident. “It was a no-brainer for me, and we had investors at that time who said, ‘Yeah, let’s do this!’” Jimmy designed the layout, renovated the space, and Sweetwater Grill and Tavern was born in August 1996. The Rise and Fall By 2014, Denton’s downtown was buzzing with business. It had become a hipster hotspot, and Sweetwater was a hallowed hangout. The patio was routinely packed and doubled as a live music venue for some of the region’s best jazz talents. “There are so many stories about this place… a lot of romances started here,” Jimmy says. “I get messages all the time from people who say they met here and got married.” Sweetwater became part of the community, celebrating occasions like St. Patrick’s Day, Mardi Gras, Oktoberfest and the Super Bowl. On Christmas, the homeless could come for a free hot meal. Karen joined the Denton Main Street Board and Sweetwater became involved


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in events such as 35 Denton, Day of the Dead and the Denton Arts and Jazz Festival. They cohosted block parties with nearby businesses. “We wanted to contribute to the community and show our support of Denton,” Karen says. “Jimmy wanted it to be a neighborhood bar and restaurant and a big part of the community. And that’s the success of Sweetwater.” But the business was wearing the couple out. “Jimmy and I were working so much,” Karen says. “We were here 24/7.” “We were tired,” agrees Jimmy. Much to the dismay of customers, the Merediths decided to sell the business and retire. The new owners went with a different concept, changed the name and renovated the space. They removed the booths, changed the fixtures and bricked over murals. Most people thought they’d never enjoy another night out at Sweetwater. The Return Then, an opportunity arose. Karen’s daughter, Stephanie Reinke, decided to buy it back — along with her husband, Ron, and restaurateur Joey Hawkins. The group, of course, also brought Jimmy and Karen back, though the couple will not run day-to-day operations.

Barrel-Aged Manhattan

There’s a new drink menu in town. General manager and mixologist Eric Vellekamp is the brains behind it, including this variation on a favorite: “It looks like a normal Manhattan, but it’s got the extra love of the rye and the vermouth aged together,” he says.

“Sweetwater is more than a restaurant. It’s like a part of the family,” says Stephanie, who has fond memories of her “home away from home.” Jimmy and Karen’s nine grandchildren grew up there and now their two great-grandchildren will too. “The chance to recapture that was too good to pass up,” Stephanie says. The buzz regarding Sweetwater’s return became apparent when muralist Warren Lunt and his team began painting a huge rattlesnake — the Sweetwater symbol — on the north side of the building. Once word got out, there was an outpouring of enthusiasm and support — and requests for menu items — on social media. “There was so much demand for the old menu that it’s almost entirely the same,” according to Karen. Despite pushback from regulars, Jimmy did pare the menu down because its large size became “unmanageable” in Sweetwater’s small kitchen. The restaurant reopened on November 23 with a redesigned space that strives to recapture the warmth of the original Sweetwater. The Sound of Sweetwater Live music was a big part of the original Sweetwater’s draw. “All the time we were gone, the jazz musicians cornered us and

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begged us to reopen,” Jimmy recalls. The music began with the formation of the Sweetwater Jazz Quartet, whose members include retired faculty from the UNT College of Music: pianist Neil Slater, saxophonist Jim Riggs and Ron Fink on drums. “We just want to play!” they told Jimmy. “Can we play here?” “How about Tuesday night?” replied Jimmy. “It happened just like that.” Karen started booking music every Tuesday night, increasing to four nights a week as the years progressed. Today, customers can count on hearing live music on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. Jazz lovers can enjoy talented musicians such as A Taste of Herb, the Count Basie Orchestra, Rosana Eckert and, of course, the Sweetwater Jazz Quartet. “I always wanted a jazz club,” Jimmy says. “You know, it was one of those pipe dreams. Wow! What a great opportunity to have that in this wonderful environment of musicians — without living in NYC, or Paris or Amsterdam — in Denton, Texas!” Sweetwater Grill and Tavern 115 S. Elm St., Denton, sweetwatergrillandtaverndenton.com, 940-484-2888

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SHOPPING

Spend hours getting lost in the largest independent bookstore in Texas… and pick up some great local music while you’re at it. BY DRU MURRAY

R

Finding a Home Owner Don Foster opened the store in 1983 with his ex-wife, Lucy, who worked in another bookstore before borrowing a small amount of money to start Recycled. She scoured several possible locations for their new endeavor, including a spot in Louisiana, but eventually settled on Denton because of the two universities. The Wright Opera House, where Recycled lives today, is actually the retailer’s third location. The first was on East University Drive — a 450-square-foot storefront that was quickly overcrowded and, according to Recycled’s official history “soundtracked by the regular crash of toppling books.” The second was malt shop turned women’s center on Oakland Street near Texas Woman’s University. The shop occupied a small section in the front of the building it shared with a photography business and art studio.

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Original illustration by Christopher Madden

ecycled Books, Records & CDs — the beloved local institution that anchors the corner of Oak and Locust streets on Denton Square — has been granting a second life to used books and music for more than 35 years. Some call it “Recycled Books” or just “Recycled” for short, but no matter what you call it, one thing is for sure: Denton would not be the same without this iconic cornerstone of the community.


Photo courtesy of Recycled

When the photographer left, Foster took the opportunity to expand, punching out a wall to accommodate his rapidly expanding business. Even with minimal advertising, word was getting around. It wasn’t long before Foster knocked out yet another wall. Recycled filled three areas of the building. “People loved it because it was a maze,” says Foster. “History books and novels filled it up.” By the 1990s, the space was too small and no amount of wall destruction could change that. Don and Lucy moved to the current location on the square, the former Wright Opera House building after the previous tenant (Kibler Office Supply) shut down. The purple building we all know so well goes back to the turn of the 20th century (though it wasn’t purple until 1998). After the Denton Courthouse was destroyed by lightning in 1894, retired rancher William Crow Wright used bricks from that structure to build his new opera house. The building operated in that capacity until 1913, after which it was a theater, a department store, office supply store and finally, Recycled’s home. At first, the popular store only needed the front area of the building, but when it added science fiction, horror and other inventory from a Dallas store as well as hundreds of mystery books from a Fort Worth store, it was time to expand once again. A Treasure Hunter’s Dream Even today, Recycled never stops getting new inventory. Foster and his employees — which include his daughter, Ivy; his oldest son, Miles; and his youngest son, Lucas — constantly assess and catalog buys from sellers, estate sales and other sources. Foster says that for one of the most interesting buys, he and an employee rented a large truck and drove to Austin to peruse more than 20,000 CDs. The haul, which was mostly classical rock and jazz CDs, had to be split with another buyer, so, says Foster, “the other buyer would choose five, and then I would choose five.” Even ordinary buys can surprise. “We’ll do a buy, and on the bottom of a box full of books, we’ll find something unusual,” he says. “Same goes for records.”

“People loved it because it was a maze.” Some of the more rare and valuable inventory can be found in Recycled’s eBay store. Among the offerings at the time of writing were a $10,000 first edition 1844 copy of Charles Darwin’s Geological Observations on the Volcanic Islands, a $1,500 1874 edition of Jules Verne’s A Journey to the Centre of the Earth and a $950 signed Andy Warhol and LeRoy Neiman poster. The treasure hunting isn’t restricted to eBay though. For those willing to explore the labyrinthine aisles and shelves piled high with tomes of every genre, there is always a gem to be found in its 17,000 square feet of nooks and crannies. Over the years, Recycled has become the largest independent bookstore in Texas and one of the largest in the nation. Its reputation has spread far and wide, attracting customers from around the county, state and world. Larry McMurtry, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Lonesome Dove and fellow bookstore owner, has even been spotted amidst the shelves.

Community Minded Besides its impressive collection of books, Recycled also offers customers a vast collection of vinyl records and CDs, including a section devoted to local music. The section is as eclectic as the scene itself, and the store encourages patrons to ask the knowledgeable staff for Denton County music recommendations. “Midlake has a big following and owns a restaurant across the street,” says Foster. “Another local artist who has gained national attention is Sarah Jaffe, who tours the country. Plus, the North Texas One O’Clock Lab Band creates CDs that sell.” Recycled also connects with the local community through occasional events. “One of the most interesting presentations was given by Grady Hendrix,” Foster says. “Grady wrote a book entitled Paperbacks from Hell about obscure horror paperbacks from the ’70s and ’80s. He knew his stuff and we sold out of his books.” Just as Recycled has evolved so, too, have customers’ tastes. “Previously, one of the most collectible items were Texana books,” says Foster. “Rarely do we now see anyone under 70 purchasing them. People in the area are from all over and have more varied interests than they used to.” Recycled Books, Records & CDs, 200 N. Locust, Denton, recycledbooks.com, 940-566-5688, open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily

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The Denton area is renowned nationwide for its vibrant and eclectic music scene. And while the closure of several prominent venues concerned some community members in 2016, Denton has since proven that the show must (and did) go on. In this issue, we’ll sneak you backstage to meet some of our county’s most promising up-and-comers as well as iconic legends. We’ll make you a playlist of local songs worth hearing, take you to our favorite venues and introduce you to the music instructors, community radio organizers and recording studios that help Denton County hit the right note every time. Let the music play!

, GHT, JESSICA DELEÓN BY ABIGAIL BOATWRI ON, A FELPS, LISA FERGUS MARY DUNKLIN, PAUL ANNETTE NEVINS, RACHEL HEDSTROM, MARSHALL REID, KYLIE ORA LOBELL, KIMBERLY TURNER LESLIE THOMPSON, M A R C H /A P R I L 2 0 1 9 D E N T O N CO U N T Y

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Photo by Danny Clinch

The nine-time Grammy winner and former UNT student talked to us about her memories of Denton, her new music and the effect Texas has had on her sound.


t is the late 1990s, and UNT student Norah Jones stands near The Square in Denton with her friends from the university’s jazz department. They are all in bands — some jazz, others not. Norah, a jazz piano major who sings with the UNT Jazz Singers, performs Brazilian songs with a Brazilian group. She is also in a band called Laszlo with guitar player and songwriter Jerome Covington. Laszlo is, she says, “not necessarily a jazz group” and is still trying to find its sound. She loves this exploration and uncertainty, loves the feeling of being around other young musicians who are trying to find themselves. On this night in 1999, the UNT friends are immersing themselves in Denton’s dynamic music scene, stopping to see artists like Rob G and the Latin Pimps, Dan Everly and the Bumpin Uglies at venues like Rick’s Place. Not one of them — Norah Jones included — can imagine that one of the friends will go on to sell more than 50 million records, win nine Grammy Awards and be named one of Billboard’s top jazz artists of the next decade. Or that she will someday return to UNT to receive the university’s highest accolade, the UNT Presidential Medal of Honor. Within three years, that member of their group will be living in New York City, having sold 27 million copies of her debut album, Come Away With Me. Norah Jones’ life will be unrecognizable. But for now, she shows her ID and walks inside the venue.

PUSHING BOUNDARIES

It is 2019, and Norah — with some initial reluctance and effort — has settled into her success. Her grounded attitude and easy laugh are as unpretentious as they are charming. She recalls her “inspiring” days at UNT. “Oh man, we had so much fun. A lot of my friends from college, we always talk about that time as sort of magical. “The music scene was really free,” she says. “We all went to school and studied jazz, but then outside of school, we were all kind of into different things and trying out different things, so I felt like it was pretty experimental. You know, you’re young and you’re still just figuring out what you love and what you’re good at.” What she is good at, it turns out, is a lot of different things. The soon-to-be 40-year-old’s career has continuously subverted expectations and rejected genre

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Norah met her future collaborator Jesse Harris — seen here with Norah during her Denton years — after she used her giant 1971 Cadillac DeVille to transport his friend’s band to a local show. Harris later wrote Norah’s hit “Don’t Know Why,” led The Little Willies (Norah’s country side project) and helped inspire her to move beyond jazz standards. It could easily be argued (and Norah does) that this Cadillac changed the course of her career.

labels. Norah has worked with artists as diverse as the Foo Fighters, Willie Nelson, Ray Charles, Ryan Adams, Outkast, Dolly Parton, M. Ward, Q-Tip, Belle and Sebastian and Keith Richards and has moved deftly between jazz, soul, pop, folk, rock, punk rock and country sounds. “I think inspiration just comes,” she says, explaining the diversity of her sounds. “It has a lot to do with what music you’re listening to at the time, where you are. I’m like anybody. I’m just drawn to certain music at certain times, and it usually just starts with just listening to a lot of different records, whatever genre that may be.” She acknowledges that the tremendous success of her first record helped give her the courage — and financial means — to follow her muse and disregard genre boundaries. “Of course, [the success of my first record] helped me take this attitude,” she says. “It might be different if I didn’t make any money from my first record, but after I did, I sort of took the stance that I was just gonna do what I enjoyed. You’re never gonna please

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“I just ached for Willie Nelson records and missed it so much… I moved away from Texas, and I just became more Texan, in a way.” everybody. That’s true in life — I find that too — but especially with art. Art is so subjective, all art forms. “People who love music might not like everything from their favorite artist even. And that’s fine. You know, I look to some of my favorite artists, and there’s a lot of

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that work of theirs that I don’t know that well and that I listen to once and don’t really listen to again. It’s not that I don’t worship them, but I’m drawn to what I’m drawn to.”

TEXAS INFLUENCES

Growing up in Texas with her mother, who was a concert producer, shaped part of what Norah is drawn to and exposed her to a wide variety of musical styles from a young age. She recalls singing choir songs in Latin at Grapevine’s First United Methodist church in Grapevine when she was just 4 years old and going dancing to the live country band at the Grapevine Steakhouse with her mom when she was small. Her love of country music, in particular, stemmed from her Texas roots and led her to join an alt country band called the Little Willies in 2003 and later, an all-female country project called Puss n Boots. “My mom was from Oklahoma, so I went to Oklahoma a lot,” she says. “And my grandparents were huge country music fans. They would listen to Willie


The nine-time Grammy winner released a new collection of singles called Begin Again in February. She'll also be touring Australia, New Zealand and parts of the U.S. in 2019.

and Linda Ronstadt and all the good old country music. Hank Williams. That was just kind of in the water.” As her teenage years approached, she “just sort of turned away from country music and turned towards jazz. I got into Nirvana and the Violent Femmes and then I got really into jazz in junior high and high school. And then I went to college for jazz.” Later, after her time at UNT, she moved to New York. “I just ached for Willie Nelson records and missed it so much,” she says. “And it was funny how I hadn’t really thought about it that much and then I moved away from Texas, and I just became more Texan, in a way.”

Photo by Clay Patrick McBride

NEW SOUNDS

In the last half of 2018, Norah released the new singles “My Heart Is Full,” “It Was You,” “Wintertime” and “A Song With No Name.” Those songs, along with three additional new tracks, was released on February 22 as a new collection of singles called Begin Again. When asked how her new material compares to 2016’s Day Breaks, the musical chameleon says,

“I wouldn’t compare it to be honest. I’d say this is its own thing.” “A lot of these new singles I recorded with Chris Thomas on bass and Brian Blade on drums, and they played on my last record, so some of the songs have the same trio,” she says. “It’s a feeling that is still there, and some songs were done with completely different people. Like the Jeff Tweedy [of Wilco, who collaborated with her on ‘Wintertime’ and ‘A Song With No Name’] stuff is very different, and the song ‘My Heart Is Full’ was done with my friend Thomas Bartlett, who uses a lot of electronic sounds.” The last year has been a busy one for Norah. “I’ve written a lot of songs this year because I’ve been super inspired,” she says. “When I was doing the recording with the trio, with Brian and Chris, I was writing a lot alone with that band in mind. It was very fast and inspired.” With some of her other collaborations, she says she would “go in with nothing — maybe a little snippet of ideas” and try to write in the studio with her co-creators. “For me, it’s really fun to mix it up,” she says. “Right now, I’m working

on something and I’m toiling away at it a little bit, which I don’t usually do. I try to keep it a little more natural, but this one, I think it will be worth it if I can work at it a little more. Every song is different. Some just come through you really fast, like lightning, and then some you really have to search for.”

THE IMPORTANCE OF BALANCE

Norah will take some breaks from writing in the studio this year to tour in support of her new collection of singles. The mother of two will be doing shows in Australia and New Zealand (“I’m trying to do some fun big trips before my son starts kindergarten next year, because I don’t want to take him out of school too much,” she says) as well as some U.S. shows. “I just want to enjoy my kids,” she says, when asked about her 2019 goals. “They’re at that young age. I love working and I love music. I want to be able to have a good balance this year of enjoying my family and also staying inspired.” Norah’s new collection of singles, Begin Again, is available now. —KT

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After 25 years of success, this Soup is still hot.

MAJOR LABELS AND POP HITS

BfS caught enough buzz (and sold enough indie albums through Denton music label FFROE) to land a deal with

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Jive Records, which released their major label debut in 2000. But it was Drunk Enough to Dance, their second release for Jive, that put them on the map. The single “Girl All the Bad Guys Want” earned a Grammy nomination for best pop performance by a duo or group. “Things really changed for us,” Reddick says. “We were used to getting in a van and touring around, but when you get a pop hit, you’re doing radio shows. We were on airplanes for the next two years. To be honest, we never thought we’d have a hit that big.” He says the band was ready for many aspects of success, but nothing could have prepared them for things like playing shows with Backstreet Boys and Chingy. “It was definitely a different world for us.” They followed that success with the album, A Hangover You Don’t Deserve, which hit the Top 40 and yielded the hit single “1985.” Since then, they’ve continued putting out smart, witty songs while delighting fans with surprises like Bowling

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for Soup Goes to the Movies, featuring cover songs from movies, and occasional covers like “Stacy’s Mom” and “I Melt With You.”

A MILESTONE ANNIVERSARY Their latest album, Drunk Dynasty, came out in 2016, and BfS recently released a live DVD, Older, Fatter, But Still the Greatest Ever! In June, they’ll celebrate the band’s 25th birthday with a four-day celebration in the Dallas/Fort Worth area to launch their summer U.S. and U.K. tours. “It’s crazy,” Reddick says. “We’ve been that band that families agree on and have had people tell us that we give them something in common with their kids. For whatever reason, it’s worked.” While fans are delighted to see (and hear) their longevity, Reddick says it has caught him and his bandmates by surprise. “I thought we’d move on to other things by now,” he says. “I always said I’m not gonna be 50 years old doing fart jokes on the stage, but guess what? I’m 46 now, so that’s totally going to happen.” —PF

Photo by Dave Kai Piper

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owling for Soup wasn’t born in Denton, but it’s still the city they call home. “Our relationship with Denton is really special,” says frontman Jaret Reddick. “We’re all from Wichita Falls, but our band is from Denton; things really started once we got here.” Moving to Denton in 1996, the band played their first show at Mr. Gatti’s Pizza, immediately creating a buzz with irreverent but irresistible lyrics in a pop-punk framework. They played a show at Rick’s Place, and by their third show, they were headlining — and selling out the place. “It snowballed really fast,” Reddick says. “There’s such an amazing music scene and Rick’s became home for us.”


Brave Combo

Sly Stone photo courtesy of Creative Commons/Simon Fernandez Music Photography

Finch — who plays accordion, guitar and keyboard — was an art student at what is now the University of North Texas when he met three other students who were all musicians. Together, they found a way to mesh polka with rock, creating an entirely new sound in the process. This brave, new combination turned out to be a recipe for musical success. “I was just in this weird land I didn’t know I had created. Everyone was openminded enough to try to understand what we wanted to do,” Finch remembers. The band that is synonymous with Denton itself turns 40 this year. And in true Brave Combo style, that means looking forward into uncharted territory. Finch refers to the team that recorded both of the band’s Grammy-winning albums — Polkasonic and Let’s Kiss, which won Best Polka Album in 1999 and 2004, respectively — as “classic Combo.” Those members (Alan Emert, Danny O’Brien, Jeffrey Barnes, Bubba Hernandez and Finch) are back together in the studio, recording new songs. They are also

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The band that has become part of the fabric of Denton is still keeping it quirky after 40 years. expanding their musical repertoire into other languages, covering and remaking popular world music and folk tunes with their unmistakable Denton flair.

AMBASSADORS FOR THE TOWN

How did the band become synonymous with Denton? It started as a case of mistaken identity, Finch explains. In the late ’70s and early ’80s, awareness of local music scenes from across the country was on the rise. Because the band was unique and from Texas, people assumed they were from Austin. So, the band made it a habit of introducing themselves to everyone as “Brave Combo, from Denton.” “Over time, in some ways, we were ambassadors for the town. We were just trying to focus attention on the great music happening in Denton, and what a great town it was,” Finch says, as he extols the virtues of the area for nurturing new musical ideas and supporting live music in local venues, like live jazz nights at Steve’s Wine Bar. “This town is full of musicians. Denton is this melting pot of over-the-top music talent — just impeccable music talent.” Thinking about 40 years in Denton has Finch feeling nostalgic. “We had an idea, and this town allowed us to nurture it while they supported it. It’s just a weird thing that’s happened. Now, we are kind of part of the fabric in a way, and there’s a great responsibility there. But at the same time, we’re still just radical and quirky.” —RH

SLY S ONE T  The flashy, freewheeling founder and frontman of Sly and the Family Stone created the first multiracial mixed-gender group, and their soultinged psychedelic sound shaped the future of funk music. Local connection: This homegrown legend was born in little d in 1943, the second child in a deeply religious family. That background became the springboard for his musical prowess when the Church of God in Christ put an emphasis on making a joyful noise. Stone quickly proved to be a prodigy, picking up piano, guitar, bass and drums all by age 11. His family moved from their home on Denton’s East Prairie Street to the Bay area when he was a child. Two hits: “Dance to the Music,” “Everyday People” Trivia: His real name is Sylvester Stewart. He became known as “Sly” after a classmate misspelled it as “Slyvester” and it stuck.

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Katrina Cain Performing for 9 million viewers on The Voice helped catapult this Denton electro-pop artist into the national spotlight.

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sk any aspiring musician whether they would like to perform in front of 9 million television viewers, and they would almost certainly jump at the chance. Not Katrina Cain. “I told him ‘no’ a couple of times,” says Cain of her initial response to a casting director from NBC’s The Voice, who had been following the singer/songwriter’s career after seeing her perform at Scat Jazz Lounge in Fort Worth. Already an official performer at Austin’s famed South by Southwest (SXSW) music festival in 2018 with her band TOMKAT, Cain was unsure whether reality TV would bode well for her ascending career. After some persuasion, she agreed to audition for show executives, and by the start of Season 15, the Denton-based electro-pop artist was on her way to becoming a Voice fan favorite. “Denton is such a great place to start doing original music. It’s got that small town feel, but it’s got a lot of music venues and the arts are so well supported.”

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PREPARED TO PERFORM Cain credits her studies at the University of North Texas for preparing her to step into the national spotlight. “The basis of the whole [music] program is that you’re performing in almost every class,” she says. While pursuing her undergraduate degree, the Connecticut transplant honed her chops in local venues like Andy’s Bar & Grill, Dan’s Silverleaf and Harvest House. “Denton is such a great place to start doing original music. It’s got that small town

feel, but it’s got a lot of music venues and the arts are so well supported there,” says Cain, who counts Joni Mitchell, Tori Amos and Radiohead among her influences. Although she was eliminated from The Voice during the knockout rounds, the experience helped catapult her to the next step in her career. The 29-year-old relocated to Los Angeles in January and promptly booked several shows as a solo artist, including a performance at the Springboard Music Festival in San Diego. She will be returning with TOMKAT to play SXSW in March and plans to perform at venues in Denton County around the same time.

KINDNESS PAYS

“I have met so many people to collaborate with and do shows with and to book tours with,” says Cain of her experience on the show with “Team Blake” (meaning she and her teammates were coached by country star Blake Shelton, who attempted to use the fact that he has recorded in Denton to woo her onto his team). Her fellow contestants also have become her greatest fans, sharing her music and liking her social media posts as her career gains momentum. Their support serves as a continual reminder that it always pays to be kind, Cain says, noting that every encounter is “a little bit of an audition when you’re in the music industry.” “Someone you meet when you’re 19 years old — seeing what you thought was the worst show of your life — might end up getting you on TV someday.” Cain’s debut EP, Rescue Me, is available now through streaming services and online music distributors. —LJT


No More Starving Artists A local nonprofit helps Denton County musicians and artists stay healthy and create locally.

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Tragically, just as the organization was expanding rapidly to help more artists, DMAC’s cofounder Andy Knapik lost his life to heart transplant-related complications. He passed away in January at the age of 45. Knapik, who was insured through a job, was making plans to form a band with Bagherpour. After he became ill, a benefit was held at Dan’s Silverleaf to help his family with medical and personal bills. “The guy fights for all of us — now it’s time for us to fight for him,” the fundraising site stated. “We are heartbroken to lose Andy,” says Bagherpour. “We dedicate his memory to helping those in the creative industry receive assistance.” Musicians and artists living within a 20-mile radius of Denton and who receive at least 51 percent of their income from working in the creative field are eligible to apply for subsidies through DMAC. They must meet the guidelines for federal subsidy insurance. The organization receives the majority of its donations from individuals, fundraisers and some local businesses, according to spokesman Wallace Campbell. For more information about DMAC or to donate or volunteer, visit DMACdenton.org. —AN

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Michael Martin Murphey photo courtesy of Creative Commons/Bede735c

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That nonprofit, the Denton Music and Arts Collaborative (DMAC) was founded in 2017 with the goal of keeping existing artists and musicians in Denton County and encouraging new creative talent to put down roots here. Austin’s Health Alliance for Austin Musicians has a similar goal for that city. “I moved to Denton for its music and arts culture,” said Bagherpour, who works full-time but is also a guitarist and singer. “Many of my friends have to work two jobs, which makes it hard to concentrate on creating. We want to help them stay to continue Denton’s cultural relevance.” To that end, DMAC’s stated goal is to “achieve the preservation, promotion and continuation of the unique and culturally significant musical and artistic heritage of Denton…” “We have heard stories of musicians and artists who got sick or had to be hospitalized and were nearly derailed financially,” Bagherpour said. “Our inspiration is to help our friends continue to create in their careers and stay healthy.” The nonprofit is growing fast thanks to solid community support. DMAC connected 20 Denton County artists with subsidized healthcare in December 2018, which is almost double the number (11) from the same time in 2017. Numbers fluctuate as members find full-time work.

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PROTECTING ARTISTIC CULTURE

Even adding one DMAC board members (left to right): subsidy can change Matt Mars, Nic Bagherpour, Tex Bosley, life for that member. Andy Knapik and Aubrey Mortensen Slobberbone lead singer Brent Best’s AL K O wife required an expensive, life-saving FF NW O operation. Thanks to DMAC’s support, T she was able to have the surgery a year early — and without acquiring life-altering debt.

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hen Nic Bagherpour found himself $32,000 in debt after pneumonia complications, he was inspired to work his friend Andy Knapik to create an organization to help artists and musicians afford healthcare coverage and pay medical expenses.

R U L M A RTI N M

 Michael Martin Murphey was a fixture in the Texas “Outlaw country” music scene in the 1970s. In 1990, he began writing and recording cowboy songs and has become one of that genre’s most successful artists. He has earned multiple Grammy nominations and six gold albums. Local connection: Dallas-raised Murphey enrolled in Denton’s thenNorth Texas State University in 1964 before heading to California, where he found moderate success both as a solo artist and with his band, the Lewis & Clark Expedition. He returned to Texas in 1971. Two hits: “Wildfire,” “What’s Forever For?” Trivia: In the 1960s, Murphey formed a band with fellow Texan and Monkee Mike Nesmith and even contributed a song to the fourth Monkees album.

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HONING HIS CRAFT

Lambert — who has been compared to artists such as Tom Petty and Hank Williams — has been finding inspiration and writing songs since he was a teenager. Now, his blend of country, folk and rock has made him a fixture in the Texas music scene. Lambert took up guitar during the grunge rock era of the 1990s. He went to see Robert Earl Keen in concert and was riveted by the literary approach to songwriting. “After I figured Robert Earl Keen was an English major, I decided that’s what I needed to do,” Lambert says. And he did. Soon the English major was writing songs in his dorm lobby at the University of Texas at Austin, making up songs about people who walked by. After graduating in 1998, he played with a band called Workhorse but didn’t pursue music as a career. He continued playing but worked jobs as a first grade teacher and stockbroker.

Brian Lambert The Denton-based songwriter and country/ folk/rock artist finds inspiration everywhere.

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rian Lambert can find a song in anything. In “The Ballad of Tony Romo,” he defends the now-retired Dallas Cowboys quarterback. In “Mama Please Help Me,” he sings about the pitfalls of drinking. “If you look around, there’s always a song,” he says. “If you’re alive and living a somewhat self-reflective life, it’s not too hard to come up with inspiration.”

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About 10 years ago, he got a job in an insurance office in Flower Mound, but he and his family chose to live in Denton. “Denton was the place that caught our hearts,” he says. “We loved the feel of the town. It felt like home.” In the evenings, he started playing at local venues like Banter, the now defunct restaurant in Denton’s downtown Square. Around 2013, at age 36, he took the plunge into a full-time music career. In Denton County, he can be found playing at Backyard on Bell, Dan’s Silverleaf and LSA Burger Co. in Denton and Bumbershoot Barbecue in Argyle. He also performs around the state, including a weekly residency at Adair’s Saloon in Dallas. He is also in the process of recording a new album and is, of course, continuing to write new songs. “I think it’s important to keep that tradition of songs that mean something to people,” he says. “Music is a life preserver to me. If I can throw life preservers to people, I’ve done a good thing.” —JD

Photo by Beau Foster of Broken Trail Productions

THROWING OUT LIFE PRESERVERS


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The Denton Bach Society brings beautiful renditions of Baroque compositions to a modern audience.

Roy Orbison photo courtesy of Creative Commons/Nationaal Archief

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he beautiful musical masterpieces of Johann Sebastian Bach and other beloved classical composers come to life in Denton County, thanks to dedicated local musicians and a community that chooses to support excellence in musical performance. The Denton Bach Society, founded in 1976, consists of the Denton Bach Choir and the Denton Bach Players. It is an organization of patrons, singers and others who contribute time, talent and/or support to the organization. In a season that runs September through May, the Society produces and performs four concerts featuring works from Bach and other Baroque-era and contemporary composers. The choir, directed by Andrew Dittman, is comprised of volunteers who spend their time rehearsing and performing pieces at local venues, including churches and retirement villages. The Denton Bach Society will hold its annual competition for high-school and home-schooled musicians on March 9 at the UNT College of Music. The competition aims to nurture and recognize young talent in the area. Winners receive a cash award, a gift certificate from Pender’s

Music and an opportunity to perform at a Denton Bach Society event on May 5. Details and an application can be found at dentonbach.com. The opportunity to perform with the Denton Bach Society is not limited to high schoolers, however. The choir — which includes everyone from accountants to real estate agents, veterinarians to professional musicians — is seeking new volunteers to raise their voices in sweet harmony. Members are expected to be able to read music, hold pitch and enjoy learning new things. “That’s what keeps us going,” says Hildegard Rainbow, a founding member and the group’s production manager. “We are very much interested in performing for our patrons, but we also are there to enjoy the work that we do during regular rehearsals. To many of us, the rehearsals are as important as the performance.” Conductor and musical director Andrew Dittman holds the baton during the spring season. Performances will include Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle on March 24 and the Denton Bach Showcase on May 5. To purchase tickets or donate to the nonprofit, visit dentonbach.com. —RH

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 With a distinctive voice that could easily cover a three-octave range, this Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Songwriters Hall of Fame inductee gave us more than 20 Top 40 rock classics (plus, those glasses…). He was part of supergroup The Traveling Wilburys at the time of his death in 1988. Local connection: Denton’s college was known as North Texas State College when Orbison enrolled to study geology in 1954, but the Texas native quickly discovered that rock ’n’ roll was much more interesting than plain old rocks. He broke out with the hit “Ooby Dooby,” penned by a pair of Lambda Chi frat brothers. Two hits: “Oh, Pretty Woman,” “Only the Lonely” Trivia: Elvis Presley once called Roy Orbison “the greatest singer in the world.”

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vast experience gained from projects I have worked on.” A few clients: Delegard recorded two Grammy-winning records for Brave Combo and has worked with country acts like Cross Canadian Ragweed, No Justice, Jason Boland and the Eli Young Band. Go there: 2408 N. Elm St., Denton, reeltimeaudio.net

ur many music makers need somewhere to record, mix and produce their magic for the world to enjoy. Fortunately, they don’t have to go far. These worldclass recording studios are right here in Denton County.

REELTIME AUDIO

Reeltime Audio is a full recording studio, rehearsal space and mastering studio that has been open since 1991. It can accommodate any artist, from soloists to 20-piece bands, and features a 700-square-foot tracking room, along with adjacent isolation rooms. What sets it apart: “Experienced ears and top notch gear,” says owner and studio manager Eric Delegard. “It is becoming increasingly easy for anybody to record on a computer at home. What sets myself and my studio apart is the

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Reeltime Audio

INDIAN TRAIL RECORDING STUDIO

Harvey Gerst, a producer with more than 60 years of experience, heads up Indian Trail Recording Studio in Sanger. Gerst got his bonafide music industry cred by being in bands Sweetwater and the Villagers, writing songs for The Byrds and working with Bob Dylan, Buffalo Springfield, Jimi Hendrix, Frank Zappa, Janis Joplin, Jefferson Airplane and the Grateful Dead. He doesn’t have one genre focus and has worked with musicians of all kinds in rap, rock, bluegrass, blues, jazz and folk. The facility has two studios as well as drums, guitars, basses and keyboards. To appeal to artists on a budget, Gerst charges per song rather than per hour, as most studios do. What sets it apart: Gerst brings decades of experience into his projects. “It’s been a vision for over 60 years,” he says. A few clients: Gerst opened Indian Trial Recording Studio in 1988 and has recorded artists like Free Reign, Flickerstick and Dark Star Honey Tree there. Go there: 8676 Travis Road, Sanger, itrstudio.com


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Indian Trail Recording Studio

Pat Boone photo courtesy of Creative Commons/Roger Pic

MOCKINGBIRD SOUND RECORDING STUDIO

Three musicians and sound engineers — Kelly Upshaw, Jason Rochester and Alex Hastings — started Mockingbird Sound Recording Studio in 2016. The 2,000-square-foot space includes two tracking rooms, a master control room and a variety of instruments like pianos, keyboards, guitars and drums. The Mockingbird engineers don’t cater to any one genre; they’ve welcomed punk, blues, folk, rock and electronic artists into their studio. What sets it apart: The studio is friendly to up-and-coming artists and offers affordable rates to record. “The ability to use the gear that we have at a reasonable rate is what I hope makes us attractive,” says Upshaw. “We’re all really investing in Denton as a music community.” A few clients: Musicians like Joe Stack, Bird Meets Winter, Flintlock Gypsy and The Hip Van Winkles have graced the space, and Upshaw and Hastings, who are in The Hope Trust, recorded their music there. Go there: 4229 Mesa Drive, Denton, mockingbirdsound.com

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What sets it apart: “Artists frequently comment that our studio is one of the most beautiful studios they have ever been in, but it still feels like a very comfortable place to work,” says Marc. “Since we just work with one artist at a time, we can really give a lot of personal attention to their project.” A few clients: The Panhandle House has recorded well-known artists like Blake Shelton, Don Henley, Norah Jones and Bowling for Soup. Erik Herbst, the main studio engineer, producer and co-owner of the studio, has produced albums for artists such as Eli Young Band, Josh Abbott, Zane Williams, Sam Riggs and Whiskey Myers. They also have a close relationship with the University of North Texas jazz department and record several projects every year for faculty and students. Go there: 313 N. Locust St., Denton, panhandlehouse.com —KOL

BOONE

 As one of the most successful pop singers of the 1950s and early ’60s, Pat Boone sold more than 45 million records and scored 38 Top 40 hits. Local connection: In 1954, 20-yearold Boone and his pregnant wife, Shirley, arrived in Denton so he could study music and speech at then-North Texas State College. He auditioned at area radio and television stations, hoping to land a singing job. Eventually, he was hired to host an hour-long variety show called the Bewley Barndance, which featured local talent — including a then-unknown singer named Roy Orbison. Boone left Denton in 1955 to attend Columbia University. Two hits: “Love Letters in the Sand,” “Speedy Gonzales” Trivia: He recorded an album of heavy metal cover songs in 1997 called In a Metal Mood: No More Mr. Nice Guy.

The Panhandle House

THE PANHANDLE HOUSE

Studio manager Marc Herbst says The Panhandle House’s “bread-and-butter work is producing Texas country artists.” The space, established in 1997, features two recording studios that include instruments such as a grand piano and drum kits. Panhandle also has a large warehouse space, where they host photo shoots and record songs and music videos. M A R C H /A P R I L 2 0 1 9 D E N T O N CO U N T Y

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These college friends turned “band of brothers” have left their Fingerprints on Denton County.

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hen the Eli Young Band formed in 2000, they weren’t looking to make it big; they just wanted to play some music. “I don’t think any of us had [success] in our brains, but we needed a creative outlet,” says Mike Eli, lead singer. “Music was a big part of our lives, so it was a natural thing to get together and play.”

HOW IT CAME TOGETHER

Eli was a vocal music major at University of North Texas; Jon Jones (bass) and James Young (guitarist) were also studying music there, while drummer Chris Thompson was studying philosophy. Their common interest in music brought them together, and they began gigging every chance they got.

“We played the R Bar and every bar on Fry Street,” Eli recalls. “Groovy Mule was the big venue, and we’d play it whenever we could. We were really lucky for it to feel right from the get-go. It was a matter of luck, hard work and the right guys coming together at the right time.” It has come together in bigger ways than they could have imagined. During their nearly two decades together, the band has earned Academy of Country Music (ACM), CMT, Country Music Association (CMA), Billboard and Grammy award nods, and they took home the 2012 ACM Song of the Year trophy for “Crazy Girl.” They have played to stadiums and amphitheaters across the nation and seen their play count on streaming services surpass 500 million.

DENTON DIVERSITY

Although their sound is rooted in country music, Eli says the eclectic backdrop of Denton’s vibrant music scene encouraged them to include influences that normally wouldn’t be part of the country music sound — and those influences broaden the appeal of their music. “Because we heard so many types of bands coming through, we didn’t feel like we had boundaries that we had to keep in some kind of box,” he says. “There was a lot of freedom in that.” By the time they earned their degrees at UNT, they’d released their self-titled debut and were earning money as musicians. Rather than pursuing day jobs, they played shows and worked odd jobs on the side to make ends meet.

LIVING IN THE MOMENT

In 2005, with the release of their second album, Level, they landed the opening slot for Miranda Lambert, found airplay on CMT and Great American Country (GAC) and were being discovered by a widening fan base. Since then, they’ve released four major label albums. Their latest release, Fingerprints, saw them team up with some of Nashville’s most elite songwriters to create what is arguably their best work to date. Eli says that the band’s live-in-the-moment mindset has been a key ingredient in their success. “If we were the kind of guys who were trying to plan it all out, I don’t know if we’d have made the same decisions. I don’t know if we’d still be a band. What’s worked for us is to look at what’s right around the corner and see what happens next.” —PF

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aylee Rutland was 17 years old when she left her hometown of Flower Mound to pursue her dream of becoming a country singer in Nashville. “When I flew to Nashville for the first time, I was bouncing in my seat up and down,” she says. “I still feel like that sometimes.”

Kaylee Rutland photo by Angela Talley Photography

AN ARTIST TO WATCH

Rutland, whose ultimate dream is to perform on stage at the Grand Old Opry, is well on her way to achieving her goals. At just 23 years old, she has already released one EP, This Side of Me, and is in the studio working on her second. Billboard and Country Living magazine both named her an “Artist to Watch.” The road to country music stardom began in Denton County, where she first performed at a church concert at age 8. As a teenager and Marcus High School student, she wrote songs and performed all over the county, from festivals to coffee shops. She’s moved on to bigger stages since her coffee shop days, and though she sometimes feels some nerves just before a show, she says, “When the music starts playing and I start singing, all the nervous energy goes away,” she says. “Nothing else in my life feels that way.” After making her way to Nashville, she worked on her first EP with singer Jamie O’Neal, who is best known for the song “There is No Arizona.” Rutland says, “She was always good about bringing the best out of me in my voice.”

When her sister, Madie, then 13, was becoming a teenager, Rutland remembered all of her own insecurities from that age. She wrote the inspirational anthem “Do You,” which later became a single, for her sister with lyrics such as “When you don’t know what to say, think, be or do… do you.” “I felt so much when I was talking to her that I was looking at my younger self,” she says. “So ‘Do You’ is my message to her.” “My Man,” in which Rutland tells another woman to stop ogling her boyfriend, is a fan favorite. With its strong banjo line and sassy lyrics, Rutland says it’s fun to play the character in concert. Today, Rutland, who studied music business at Belmont University in Nashville, is in the studio recording new music for her solid fanbase, which includes more than 164,000 followers on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube. —JD

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 As co-founder of the Eagles (the biggest selling band in U.S. history), Don Henley has earned the status of living legend. As a solo artist and member of the group, he’s had 25 Top 40 singles and has eight Grammy Awards on the mantle. Local connection: A native of Linden, Texas, Henley arrived in Denton to attend then-North Texas State University in 1967. He studied there for two years. Today, Henley has a home in Dallas and is active in environmental and political causes. Two hits: “Boys of Summer,” “Hotel California” Trivia: Sheryl Crow toured with Henley as a backup vocalist for the End of the Innocence tour in 1989.

“When the music starts playing and I start singing, all the nervous energy goes away. Nothing else in my life feels that way.”

FINDING HER MUSES

O’Neal was also “just a fun person to tell stories that would turn into a song four hours later.” Once, they talked about how glad they were that it was Friday and that they were done for the week. That simple conversation resulted in the single “Pick Me Up.” Inspiration also comes from her family. M A R C H /A P R I L 2 0 1 9 D E N T O N CO U N T Y

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Low-powered radio station KUZU-FM offers Denton its own little corner of the airwaves. “Everything was a challenge at first, because none of us had ever started a radio station,” Salisbury says. “We did a lot of studying, lots of research.” At only 67 watts (compare that to some other local stations at 100,000 watts), KUZU’s reach is small. It is truly a neighborhood radio station, centered just off Denton’s Square. “We appreciate it,” Salisbury says of the station’s tiny reach. “We love our three-mile protective radius. The idea is to keep it small, keep it local.”

KEEPING IT LOCAL

AN ECLECTIC MIX

Denton is home to a couple of great local radio stations, but Salisbury had a different vision. He teamed up with a group called Common Frequency, which focuses on bringing local voices and sounds back to radio. Together, they formed a nonprofit company to manage the new FM radio station they called KUZU.

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Boasting more than 40 shows, KUZU programming runs the gamut — from Colonel Burn’s Honky Tonk Hour and Spinn Mo’s Wicked & Wild Style to collective field recordings and world folk music, anything goes. There is even a show called Woods that is a collection of “soundscapes and oddball rare recordings.”

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“There’s something different for everyone,” Salisbury says. “There are a lot of really interesting shows. It’s just a super eclectic and interesting listen. You never really know what’s coming around the corner. If you don’t like what you’re hearing, tune back in 30 minutes later and you’ll probably hear something different.” Although a board of directors guides the nonprofit station, the programming is volunteer-run and often produced by local musicians and artists. “Our content is chosen by the individual producers,” says Salisbury. “It’s entirely up to them — we don’t tell them what to play.” With such a variety of programming, the main tie-together is a singular goal: “Our overall mission is to educate our community about music and playing things because we love music.”

WHAT’S NEXT?

If you live outside the station’s broadcasting radius — as many people do — you can still tune in online at kuzu. fm. Salisbury says listeners from around the world enjoy the station, which Alberto Lopez from  “Musica Sin Fronteras”  was named Best Radio and Sashenka Lopez, Station in D Magazine’s the organization’s vice “Best of Big D” contest. chair of the board of The Dallas Observer also directors. voted KUZU as the Best Station to Hear Local Music. “We’re still a fresh station, and we’ve got a lot of work to do to fill in what we’d like to do, how we’d like to represent our town,” says Salisbury. “We aren’t there yet, but we’re excited about what we’ve done.” —AB

Photos courtesy of Peter Salisbury

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ith the majority of radio airwaves dominated by a couple of media conglomerates, smaller stations are few and far between. But thanks to the lobbying efforts of grassroots organizations, a congressional law signed in 2010 created a new class of low-powered stations. In July 2017, musician Peter Salisbury launched such a station, KUZU 92.9 FM, and this scrappy channel began bringing all kinds of music to the welcoming and curious ears of Denton locals.


Center

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Meat Loaf photo courtesy of Creative Commons/Christopher Simon

Ragtime: Feb. 22-24 and March 1-3 My Fair Lady: May 3-5 and 10-12 Next to Normal: July 12-1 4 and 19-21 Newsies: Oct. 18-20 and 25-27 For tickets, visit musicthea treofdenton. com or call 940 -382-1915. For more information abo ut auditions and volunteer opp ortunities, email mtd@musictheatre ofdenton.com or call 940 -381-3562.

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Music Theatre of Denton per formances are held at the Campus Theater at 214 W. Hickor y St. in Denton at 7:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays wit h a Sunday matinee at 2 p.m. This yea r’s productions include:

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great talent pool. Next year, Music Theatre of Denton plans to merge with Denton Community Theatre, which shares the same building. This change will mean a collection of shared resources and less competition for the limited space at Campus Theatre. “We’ll have the luxury of extending a show’s run from six performances to nine performances,” he says. —MD

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s the managing director of Music Theatre of Denton, David K. Pierce has filled many roles for the nonprofit volunteer organization, including being somewhat of a historian with an instant recall of past productions. Those productions include everything from operas to classic musicals such as Les Miserables and Fiddler on the Roof to edgy new shows like Avenue Q. Trained as an organist, Pierce admits that he wasn’t initially drawn to musicals. In fact, it took a little coaxing for him to see his first one, a performance of Sweeney Todd. But since then, he has fallen in love with the genre. “I was hooked, and I wanted more,” he says. Luckily for him, he gets to share his passion in an arts-loving community that has been supportive of Music Theatre of Denton’s mission for more than three decades. “Denton is a very eclectic place with a high interest in public art,” he says. This strong community is especially beneficial to the group since almost no one is paid. The majority of the costumes, sets and props are created by people who simply believe in the value of musical theatre. The same goes for the behindthe-scenes work. “They all do it because they love it,” Pierce says, adding that many volunteers have other full-time jobs but still devote lots of time to ensure each musical is a success. He also credits the local universities for allowing the theater to pull from a

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A supportive arts community helps the Music Theatre of Denton share its passion for performing.

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 Meat Loaf exploded onto the charts with his epic 1977 album, Bat Out of Hell, which is one of the best-selling albums of all time, staying on the charts for more than nine years. He has had worldwide sales of more than 80 million records and has also appeared in more than 50 films and TV shows. Local connection: Dallas-born Marvin Lee Aday (aka Meat Loaf) briefly attended Lubbock Christian College in 1965 before transferring to Denton’s then-North Texas State University for two years. Two hits: “I’d Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That),” “Paradise by the Dashboard Light” Trivia: The Rocky Horror Picture Show, in which Meat Loaf played the role of Eddie, was set in a town named Denton.

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 The brainchild of Alan Palomo, the electronic music act Neon Indian emerged in 2009 with the widely acclaimed debut album, Psychic Chasms, and landed on Rolling Stone’s list of best new bands of 2010. Local connection: Palomo was attending University of North Texas when he birthed the music acts Ghosthustler and VEGA, both of which popped with dance beats layered in synth melodies and vocals. Those bands provided the inspiration for Neon Indian, which essentially redefined the chillwave sound of the 2000s. These days, Palomo calls New York City home, and in addition to Neon Indian, directs music videos and short films. Two hits: “Polish Girl,” “Annie” Trivia: Palomo’s father was a Mexican pop star for a brief period in the late 1970s and early 1980s, and Neon Indian samples some of his father’s work.

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had Bonduris never expected to own and operate a music school. His early music goal was simple: to play the guitar. “I had such a strong desire to learn that I picked up everything I could,” says Bonduris, who taught himself before there were quick-fix YouTube lessons or many accessible guitar teachers.

AN APPROACH THAT WORKS

His determination not only helped him learn to play guitar, it also helped him find gigs and eventually earn a master’s degree in music education from UNT. He laid the groundwork for Bonduris School of Music in Denton, where he has been teaching students of all ages and abilities for more than four decades. When Bonduris started teaching, he “didn’t have a businessman bone in his body,” but he had something else that enticed students: his approach. “I always addressed the individual learning needs and never taught music theory without application.” He also meets students at their skill and ability level rather than trying to “show them how intelligent I am.” When seeking music lessons, Bonduris says students should look for these sorts of qualities, plus the ability to consistently work with the same instructor each week and teachers with good academic and professional qualifications. Today, his popular school offers training in multiple instruments from 11 teachers, many of whom have been with him for years. He says these teachers help to promote the school in a variety of ways, such as by hosting clinics and extra recitals. “It makes me very proud that they believe in this place,” he says.

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HOW TO SUCCEED AT MUSIC

The other things that make Bonduris proud are students who have become competent musicians. “I’ve seen people that other teachers would have written off who go on to excel and have success,” he says. Although he admits that traditionally, it is younger students who are the most likely to find that success, he respects the work ethic of students who are older when they start taking lessons. “They’re usually solid and meticulous and ask the most and best questions.” For Bonduris, there aren’t many shortcuts when it comes to learning music. The ability to read sheet music, play by ear and improvise are “timeless” lessons that he imparts on all students. “The only way to not be successful is if they don’t practice and they don’t work at it,” he says. Spoken like a true teacher. —MD Go there: 813 N. Locust St., Denton, bondurismusic.com

Neon Indian photo courtesy of Creative Commons/Mike Cicchetti

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After 45 years in the music business, Thad Bonduris still loves teaching students of all ages.


Ready to Learn?

Teaches: Piano, guitar, voice, strings, drums, bass, trumpet, performance and more Unique features: Instructors from multiple specialties develop custom-made curricula personalized to each student’s ability and level — and all levels and ages are welcome. The school offers a wide range of lessons plus stage-performance coaching and audition prep. More info: 2021 Morriss Road, Suite 100, Flower Mound, lonestarmusicacademy.com

Deep Blue Something photo courtesy of Creative Commons

SCHOOL OF ROCK

Teaches: Guitar, drum, bass, voice and piano Unique features: This performancebased school caters to everyone from 3- to 5-year-old rock star wannabes to semi-professionals. It features numerous summer camps and workshops to give students actual on-stage experience and offers group rehearsals that let performers practice and perform as a band. More info: Multiple locations across the country, including 3501 Long Prairie Road #102, Flower Mound, schoolofrock.com

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LONE STAR MUSIC ACADEMY

Teaches: Piano, voice, woodwinds, composition and theory Unique features: Dr. Teresa Stewart, owner of the Academy, works to foster a lifelong love of music in students through relevant literature and student-focused performance opportunities. Whether it’s rock, Broadway, pop or soundtracks, the school tailors every arrangement to the individual budding musician. More info: 3909 Miramar Drive, Denton, stewartacademyofmusic.com

SUNNY SIDE MUSIC DENTON

Teaches: Music, movement, piano, voice and keyboard Unique features: This school not only offers multiple foundational classes for younger musicians, it can also modify materials and techniques for students with special needs. Group classes focus on ear training, movement, keyboard activities, pitch and rhythm awareness for both child and caregiver. More info: 1801 Broadway St., Denton, sunnysidemusicdenton.com

THE (GHOST) NOTE DRUM SHOP AND MUSIC SCHOOL

Teaches: Drums, bass, guitar, piano and voice Unique features: Since 2012, its drum shop has catered to local percussionists with new and vintage items as well as rental and repairs. The school, however, offers more than just drum lessons and caters to both beginners and experienced players who want to improve their skills. Students can also sign up to learn and develop music in a group setting with the goal of creating a live video performance for family and friends at the end of the 12-week semester. More info: 901 S. Elm St., Denton, theghostnote.net

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Teaches: Guitar, bass, piano, voice, woodwinds, strings, drums, synthesizers, recording and producing Unique features: The business started as a recording studio for the band Midlake (see Hall of Fame section) and is still run by band members Eric Nichelson and Jesse Chandler. Today, the DMW offers full recording and audio-production facilities as well as rehearsal space for ensembles and soloists. Instructors also offer monthly workshops on everything from songwriting to rock history.  More info: 221 N. Locust St., Denton, dentonmusicworkshop.com

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Denton County is home to a number of great music schools. Choosing one is, of course, a personal decision, based on multiple factors. In addition to Bonduris School of Music (see main story), here are a few options worth considering.

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 In 1996, the sparkling pop gem “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” pushed the band to No. 5 on the Billboard charts and into the national spotlight. In 2010, the song achieved the ultimate pop culture validation when it became the subject of a Saturday Night Live skit. Local connection: Brothers Todd and Toby Pipes were students at the University of North Texas when they formed DBS with fellow students John Kirtland and Clay Bergus. The band broke up in 2001 after four albums but has announced a spring 2019 U.K. tour. Two hits: “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” was their only single to chart but it does have nearly 100 million plays on Spotify alone, so that certainly counts for something. Trivia: The band was originally called Leper Messiah, after a line from David Bowie’s “Ziggy Stardust,” but they changed the name after it attracted too many (confused) metalheads to their shows.

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veryone loves a parade… even if marching in one means using new muscles. “My legs were a little sore, but it was totally worth it for an experience of a lifetime,” says junior drum major and French horn player Junia Lee of the Flower Mound High School Marching Band. She was among the 340 band members who had the honor of performing at this year’s 130th annual Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, California.

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After being invited to play, the Jaguars prepared for the five-mile parade route and show-stopping field shows with twice-weekly calf-building hikes around their stadium track. Once they had worked their way up to 20 laps, they felt confident that they were ready to step out before 52 million television viewers and another million people lining the parade route. It was the band’s debut television experience. It was chilly when they got up at 3 a.m. to load the buses for the 4:30 a.m. staging time — but none of the musicians seemed to mind. “Once we saw the bright TV lights, it

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hit us what a crazy big deal this was,” said Anna Glowski, 18, a trumpet player and senior drum major. “The cheers from our parents and friends really energized us.” A rousing arrangement of “Deep in the Heart of Texas” brought fans to their feet to welcome the only band from Texas invited to perform at this year’s parade. Students got to keep their colorful uniform jackets, which were designed to complement the parade’s “Melody of Life” theme. The once-in-a-lifetime trip also included a performance for their student peers at Band Fest and a Disneyland parade and backstage visit.

AWARDS APLENTY

The Rose Parade may be the pinnacle of the accolades earned by the band, but it certainly isn’t their only one. The highly decorated Flower Mound band has been named a finalist and regional champion in the Bands of America Texas regional and super regional competitions, earned multiple finalist spots at the Bands of America Grand National Championships in Indianapolis and won the 2016 Class 6A State Championship. Director Brent Biskup credits their success to dedicated students and staff as well as parent volunteers who help with

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The Flower Mound Hi gh School Marching Band did Denton County proud with their performance at the 2019 Tournament of Roses Parade. fundraising, organizing hats and gloves, moving props, driving trucks and serving lunches. “[The parade] was an awesome experience made possible by a great team,” he says. Just last year, the band placed second in the Class 6A UIL State Marching Band Contest with a pop-art-themed piece called “Pop!” The performance featured a band favorite, “True Colors” by Cyndi Lauper, and paid homage to the artwork of Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol and Keith Haring with graffiti backdrops, large soup can props, costumes with giant dots, flowing dresses with Marilyn Monroe imagery and students drawing on huge erase boards. "We get an amazing education in art and music with every show,” says Tharine Wells, a 10-year volunteer who slept overnight on the Pasadena parade route to get a prime spot to watch her youngest child perform. Her older three children graduated from the same band. As the musicians prepare for spring competitions, junior drum major Thomas Kall says the parade trip helped him bond with friends and motivated him for upcoming solo auditions on the alto saxophone. “Music helps me connect with others and with myself,” he says. —AN

Photo by Zach Ashcraft

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This songstress gives Denton its due for shaping her career.

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t has been more than a half-dozen years since Sarah Jaffe has had a Denton address. Yet the singer-songwriter’s name remains synonymous with the city that she says occupies an “apartment in my heart.” “I definitely, 1,000 percent would not be the musician or the artist and the person that I am if I hadn’t lived there,” says Jaffe, whose music ranges from acoustic folk to pop to hip hop.

Sarah Jaffe photo by Lindsey Byrnes; Snarky Puppy photo courtesy of Creative Commons/Urko Dorronsoro

A PIVOTAL POINT

That’s high praise coming from 33-yearold Jaffe, whose career has thus far produced four critically acclaimed studio albums and a trio of EPs. She has toured internationally with Cyndi Lauper and UNT alum Norah Jones, among others, and partnered with Waco-bred producer Symbolyc One (aka S1) to form The Dividends. The pair contributed lyrics to (and Jaffe sang on) “Bad Guy,” a track on Eminem’s Grammy-winning 2013 release The Marshall Mathers LP 2. Jaffe lived in Los Angeles before moving to Denton in 2007 and embarking on what she calls “a pivotal point” in her then-fledgling career. Here, she says, she “homed in on what kind of artist I wanted to be, and kind of fully realized that it wasn’t just one thing.” She also discovered her love of the creative process: “That’s what I enjoy most about music, and it was all through working with [musicians] like Matt Pence,” drummer for local alt-country rock band Centro-matic and owner of The Echo Lab recording studio in Argyle. “All these people in Denton just have changed my life, time and time again. It’s been pretty magical.”

FREE OF EGO

Despite having lived in Dallas since 2012, “I do love that Denton continuously claims me,” says Jaffe, who plays a pair of annual back-to-back gigs at Dan’s Silverleaf, where she formerly tended bar (“the best job I’ve ever had”). It’s also where she first crossed paths with Scott Danbom, formerly of Centro-matic, who became her keyboard player. “We were closing the bar one night, and we may or may not have both been very drunk,” she recalls. “He was like, ‘We should play music sometime’... It just clicked right in, as if we’d always been playing together.” While she does not yet have plans to record a full-length follow-up to her fourth album Bad Baby, Jaffe intends to release a few singles this year. “I’m never not making music,” she says. Most recently, she has been “top-lining” (penning hooks to accompany pre-made beats) for musicians whom she declines to name. “I’ve really been enjoying this new lane of writing songs for other artists. It’s definitely new territory.” Not like Denton’s music scene. “It’s interesting to me when I do go back, it still has the same pulse,” Jaffe says, and “offers this kind of accessibility in a way that’s, like, free of ego, free of pretentious whatever. There’s no airs about it. … It’s almost like a European mindset in the way that there’s no hierarchy” among musicians. “It’s like, ‘We’re all here to make music and have fun and laugh a lot and just have a really good time.’” —LF

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 The jazz-fusion band has won three Grammy Awards — two for Best Contemporary Instrumental Album and one for Best R&B Performance. Local connection: The University of North Texas Jazz Studies program makes Denton home to a disproportionate number of horn players, which created to perfect breeding ground for Snarky Puppy. With its assemblage of more players than you can count on three hands, the band was formed in 2004 by then-student Michael League. Pouring jazz, rock and funk into a pop-infused stew, they created a modern creative sound that was right at home in Denton but has since relocated to New York City. Two hits: “Shofukan,” “Lingus” Trivia: Founder Michael League is an accomplished record producer, including two albums for David Crosby and all 12 Snarky Puppy albums.

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Since 1999, local luthier and Little D Guitars owner Gregory Lange has been helping customers make music.

n Denton’s North Elm Street sits a bright-yellow house. Inside, you’ll find a number of unusual stringed instruments for sale — from a vintage Concertone open-back Irish tenor banjo to a B.C. Rich Revenge and a 1990s Korean Danelectro DC-59. The owner of these instruments, and the little house, is luthier Gregory Lange of Little D Guitars. For 24 years, Lange has been repairing, building and playing guitars, basses, banjos, mandolins and other orchestral stringed instruments. “The quality of an instrument’s construction is visible, like furniture, but the absolute measure of its quality is in how it performs and how it sounds,” he says.

THE APPRENTICE

Lange bought his first guitar from a Sears Roebuck catalog in 1968 and enjoyed playing throughout his teenage years. As he got older, he learned to love the technical side of instruments as well. In 1994, he became an apprentice with another luthier in town, Christopher Savino. “I told Chris I’d pay him the cost of the repair if he’d just coach me on how to do it myself,” says Lange. “Chris said I had to immerse myself in it. He said he was turning down hundreds of dollars worth of business every day, so he offered me an apprenticeship. I worked part time and learned the craft.” Five years later, Lange opened Little D Guitars inside his house and discovered that there was plenty of business to go around. “There is a pretty solid music scene in the community and the schools,” he says. “It allows me to thrive.” He loves being a luthier because every instrument is like solving a puzzle. “Even factory-made stuff is all very much alike but not exactly,” he says. “It all has its own special needs and problems and investigative work, which is what keeps it interesting.”

CHANGING TIMES, CHANGING INSTRUMENTS

Lange, who has been building electric guitars and is working on his first acoustic, has also started taking orders to build custom instruments under his own brand.

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In the market for an instrument? Denton County has no shortage of shopping options. Here are a few of the best…

PE N D E R ’ S M U S I C CO M PA N Y

Since 1967, Pender’s has been carrying sheet music for all genres and levels. It also sells a range of accessories for brass and stringed instruments, conductor’s batons, metronomes, tuners, microphones and headphones as well as books and musician’s gifts like decorative neckties, bags, mugs, socks and scarves. Go there: 314 S. Elm St., Denton, penders.com

Andy Timmons photo courtesy of Creative Commons/Alberto Carrasco Casado

S K Y G U ITA RS

Sky Guitars has a wide selection of instruments for sale, including electric and acoustic guitars, harmonicas, hand drums, basses, keyboards, mandolins, violins, violas and banjos, along with accessories such as effect pedals, microphones, stands, straps and amplifiers. Brands it carries include Gitane, Martin & Co., The Loar, Cordoba, Roland, Ernie Ball and Shore. It repairs stringed instruments, band instruments and amps and offers custom instrument set-ups by luthier Erik Anderson. Go there: 521 N. Elm St., Denton, skyguitars.com

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Go there: Little D Guitars, 2108 N. Elm St., Denton, littledguitars.com

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instrument follows the music.” Today, Lange sees a lot more factory-made guitars, which are smaller and have better hardware. “The modern instruments actually perform much better. The older ones are a little more challenging to work on.” In the end, no matter what the instrument, Lange says, “I love music, so I love making it myself and helping others do [the same].” —KOL

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When it comes to repairs, he has worked on just about everything. Orchestral instruments take more time because they require more detail and exacting specifications. Lutes, for example, have 13 to 19 strings and are “interesting and difficult.” Vintage instruments — like the 1966 bass signed by the Beatles or guitars from the 1920s — are also in the craftsman’s repertoire although, he says, they are not the same as modern instruments. “Guitars were very different back then,” he says. “They change according to the style of music that’s popular. The

DY TI M M ONS

 This acclaimed guitarist can be heard on albums by Olivia NewtonJohn, Kip Winger, Paula Abdul and many more. Timmons spent four years with pop metal band Danger Danger, during which time the band opened for KISS, Alice Cooper, Extreme and Warrant. They also sold more than 1 million records and landed two videos in MTV’s No. 1 spot. Local connection: Indiana-born Timmons moved to Denton to join the band Brinker. He found a city rich with talent and formed the Andy Timmons Band, which played in Texas for about a year before Timmons was offered the guitarist spot for NYC’s Danger Danger. He later returned to Texas to perform both as a solo artist and with the Andy Timmons Band. Two hits: “Naughty Naughty” (Danger Danger), “Electric Gypsy” (solo) Trivia: He has been Olivia Newton-John’s music director and guitarist for several U.S. tours.

Klein Pickups specializes in guitar pickups for Stratocasters, Telecasters, Humbuckers and P-90s. The store carries more than 50 models of pickups for both vintage and modern guitars. It offers reproductions of vintage pickups and boasts clients like Brad Paisley, Warren Haynes and Brad Whitford. It also sells other guitar parts and accessories such as saddles, capacitors and mounting rings. Go there: 122 E. Daugherty St., #5, Denton, kleinpickups.com

M C B R I D E M U S I C & PAW N

McBride Music & Pawn has been at the same Denton location since 1968, making it the oldest pawnshop in town. It sells about 5,000 musical instruments every year, including modern and vintage guitars, drums and keyboards. It also offers accessories such as guitar straps and amps. Go there: 116 W. Oak St., Denton, mcbridepawn.com

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Whether you’re looking to enjoy a chilled-out jazz show or a head-banging metal concert, an indie rock band or a country hoedown, you can head to one of Denton County’s many music venues for a great night out.

artists Saving Yesterday and Austin-based singer/songwriter Mark McKinney. Go there: 309 South Oak St., Roanoke, chopshoplive.com

Harvest House

Dan’s Silverleaf

Dan’s Silverleaf has been a Denton staple for over 15 years and has hosted artists like Sarah Jaffe, Charlie Crockett, Joe Ely, Wayne the Train and Razorbumps. While it started out as an Americana venue, it now welcomes all types of musicians, from folk and country to rap and metal. The venue can accommodate 220 comfortably, with a sound system that can compete with any venue. Mollee McFarland, who works at the venue, says, “You’ll see something new each time you walk in the door, whether it [is] art, music or a friendly, inviting face.” Go there: 103 Industrial St., Denton, danssilverleaf.com

ChopShop Live

You’ll find live music to enjoy almost every day of the week at ChopShop Live. The 22,000-square-foot venue, which opened in 2018, is made of car parts and can host up to 1,200 people at a time. Order some trashcan nachos, a hillbilly meat board, a Smoky and the Bandit cocktail or a good ol’ Bud Light, and listen to the sounds of original musicians and cover bands. Artists who have appeared there include Stoneleighs, a Rolling Stones Tribute band; Foreigner cover band Cold As Ice; country and rock

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A beer garden, bar, coffee shop, juice bar and live music venue all in one?! It’s gotta be Harvest House. It has been around since 2015 and hosts local DJs, yoga classes, music networking events, folk music, game nights and much more. Feel part of the soulful Denton community while sipping on a cold craft brew and listening to great tunes until 2 a.m. nearly every day of the week. The large covered patio features fire pits and a heated pavilion. Go there: 331 East Hickory St., Denton, dentonharvesthouse.com

Fridays and the occasional Sunday for performances by local musicians. Past artists include Gwynne Montgomery Johnson, Ginny Mac, Rosana Eckert, Jeremy Smith, Callandra Youngleson and Capital. The cozy space holds just 35 people, but owner Steve Severance says they’re working on getting a larger space that’ll allow them to host up to 75. “We are a wine bar first and foremost, with the commitment to providing great jazz for our guests.” Go there: 219 East Hickory St., Denton, steveswinebar.com

BackYard on Bell

Leash up your pooch and stroll over to the food truck park BackYard on Bell for some good eatin’ and live music on the new stages and upgraded sound system. Opened in 2016, BYOB hosts music several times per week. Pay just a few dollars at the entrance to hear music from artists like Elijah Heaps, Spaceman Zack, Grumbling Grandsons and Top Nachos. Come for the sweet tunes; stay for the cheesy delicious pizza. Go there: 410 North Bell Ave., Denton, backyardonbell.com

Steve’s Wine Bar

This intimate Denton wine and jazz joint, founded in 2016, hosts live jazz on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights as well as an array of international wine selections. Check out the piano bar on

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Midway Craft House

Midway Craft House — a beer garden that is also a convenience store — offers 37 craft beers on tap and a live music space for up to 80 people. In the three years they’ve been putting on events, bands including Hey Cowboy! and The Bralettes have performed there. The former, which is now gaining exposure all over Texas, played their first show ever at Midway Craft House, according to booker Rahim Dewji. The space presents a wide range of shows from punk, metal, bluegrass, jazz, noise and classical music artists. “We are unique because we give chances to artists other people won’t,” says Dewji. “Artists get exposed to an


audience they don’t get to normally at the MCH. Random people come in to buy beer and then they stay for the show and call their friends to come watch too.” Go there: 1115 W. Hickory St., Denton, midwaycrafthouse.com

Killer’s Tacos

Arriba, arriba! Tacos, tortillas and tunes? It’s time to vámonos over to Killer’s Tacos, a to-die-for Mexican restaurant and music venue that has showcased Levi the Poet, Mom Jeans and Artifas, among other artists. This 55-person space opened in 2016 and hosts open mics every Tuesday, a variety show on Wednesdays, comedy open mics every Thursday and music shows on the other days of the week. Shows tend to be more punk and hardcore than anything else. Another kicker? The restaurant and music venue is inside a home. “We are a restaurant, in a house, run by a father and son, with an indoor stage and an outdoor stage,” says Jeff Seley, the owner. “That’s all pretty unique.” Go there: 424 Bryan St., Denton, killerstacos.com

Denton County Brewing Company

Denton County Brewing Company, a locally owned and independent craft brewery that serves up delightful pizza,

opened in 2017 and hosts live music multiple times per week. Musicians like Blaine Mitchell from The Voice and Denton favorites Sad Cops, Two Knights, Echo Spring and Stymie have performed there. They tend to attract Americana and country groups, but everyone from jazz to punk and funk to psychedelic artists have played at DCBC. A couple times a month, it even hosts a traditional Irish music group. Staffer Madison Morgan says their setup is distinctive because they don’t have a stage. Bands perform on the patio, in the taproom or in the front of the brew house. “It helps guests connect with the music and the artists more when they’re playing alongside the tables where the guests are eating and drinking. It’s immersive, personal and fun,” she says. “Guests get to experience a local craft brewery in the bustling downtown area while enjoying live performances.” Go there: 200 E. McKinney St., Denton, dentoncbc.com

owner Eric Pulido. “A show, meal, and cocktail… the ‘wholly’ trinity of a great night out on the town.” Go there: 122 N. Locust St., Denton, andysdenton.com

Lava Cantina

Andy’s Bar

The 1877 building that was once a grocer and then a theater is now home to something completely different. On the top floor, Paschall Bar specializes handcrafted cocktails. In the basement, Andy’s offers a nautical theme and a quieter, recently renovated underground space with to-die-for waffles. But it is the middle floor where you’ll find live music every weekend — along with one of the friendliest, most welcoming staffs in town and great sound. This divey Denton institution, opened in 1997, has hosted a wide variety of local, regional and national acts from polka to indie rock to metal to hip hop. “We aim to cover all the bases for a patron in one spot,” says

It doesn’t get more rock ’n’ roll than Lava Cantina. After working in the music business for 40 years, Steve Vaughn teamed up with his father and fellow music lover, Ian Vaughn, to open a restaurant and venue that reflects their passion for rock. Autographed memorabilia and themed décor cover the walls, but it is the live music that takes center stage. “We are a family-owned and -operated business that develops personal relationships with some of the biggest artists in the world,” says Ian. They ultimately use those relationships to bring artists such as Dee Snider (of Twisted Sister), Gin Blossoms, Puddle of Mudd, Nelly, Warren G, Fuel, Steve Aoki, Mark Chesnutt and many others to Denton County for a night guests won’t forget. When they aren’t hosting national headliners, they also do celebrity meet-and-greets, movies, local artists, jazz brunches, cover bands and more — all while serving madefrom-scratch dishes for patrons who want a dinner-and-a-show night out. Go there: 5805 Grandscape Blvd., The Colony, lavacantina.com —KOL

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Violinist and Assistant Professor of Violin Scott Tixier

The world-renowned UNT College of Music continues to be at the heart of Denton County’s music scene.

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ormal music education in Denton is older than the police department or even the water and electric services. Four years before Denton saw the construction of its first city hall and seven years before the iconic Courthouse-on-the-Square was built, the Texas Normal College and Teacher Training Institute opened in 1890.

BUILDING A REPUTATION

The institute, known today as the University of North Texas, offered conservatory of music courses in its original

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curriculum. In addition to normal tuition fees, the 44-week course included private lesson fees in excess of $5,000, when adjusted for inflation. The music school gained approval for a graduate studies program in 1941 and began offering the nation’s first degree in jazz in 1947. In 1989, it officially rebranded as the College of Music. In the nearly 13 decades since its inception, UNT has become the largest public-university music program in the nation and now offers more than 1,000 student and faculty concerts each year. It

Midlake photo courtesy of Creative Commons/Jason Upshaw

 First finding popularity in Europe, this Denton indie-folk band has since amassed a solid following on both sides of the pond. Rolling Stone named its breakout single, “Roscoe,” one of the 100 Best Songs of the 2000s. The band’s side project, BNQT (pronounced “banquet”) is a supergroup that also features members of Franz Ferdinand, Band of Horses, Travis and Grandaddy. Local connection: Midlake was born in 1999 when a group of UNT jazz students got together to explore their musical passion. Originally playing Herbie Hancock-influenced jazz and funk, they started throwing in outside influences that included Radiohead, Jethro Tull, Björk and more. They continue to call Denton home. Two hits: “Roscoe,” “Young Bride” Trivia: Midlake singer Eric Pulido and actor Jason Lee opened Denton’s first gastropub, Barley & Board, in 2015.


has also amassed one of the largest music collections (with more than 300,000 printed volumes and 900,000 sound recordings). Most importantly, it has built and maintained an international reputation for outstanding musical performance, with both graduate and undergraduate students from around the world flocking to UNT to study music.

PERFORMANCE OPPORTUNITIES

The university’s proximity to the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex affords talented students the ability to gig frequently and gain professional experience. Enter the classic chicken-or-egg conundrum: Are students better experienced because of the professional possibilities next door, or are there professional opportunities in the area because a top-tier music school is nearby? “I don’t know that one caused the other,” says John Richmond, dean for the College of Music, who sees the interplay as a sort of musical symbiosis for the region. John Murphy, who chairs the Division of Jazz Studies, says he sees Denton as the perfect distance away from the metroplex. Because students’ cost of living is relatively low compared to Dallas, they can practice more and work less. Margot and Bill Winspear Performance Hall

INNOVATING FOR TODAY’S STUDENTS

“Looking back, it’s so good [UNT] was competitive because it’s all the kids who were the best musicians in their towns from around the world,” Murphy says. (More than 304 UNT faculty, students or alumni have been nominated for a Grammy Award, and 107 of those have won.) He notes that one of the biggest changes he’s seen — and he has seen many since the first CD hit the market during his undergrad years — is an increasing emphasis on entrepreneurship, along with a greater emphasis on newer technologies and innovations. “I think we’ve kept what has made the college strong while adding things that show we are responding to the needs of today’s students,” he says. UNT alumni Mikaela Beth Kahn and Jordan James Burchill are great examples of this. The pair formed the alternative indie/folk duo Beth // James and their song “Lion Eyes” is featured in Spike Lee’s film BlacKkKlansman. The pair circumnavigates industry norms by going straight to consumers through the internet. As the industry changes, students and faculty are changing with it. “I think [innovation] is an existential necessity,” Richmond says, laughing. It certainly beats the alternative. —MR

LISTEN UP!

Check out our eclectic online mixtape to hear all that Denton County has to offer.

Last year, Denton was officially certified as a “Music Friendly Community” by the Texas Music Office. The designation — while an honor — came as no surprise to anyone in Denton County. It is, after all, built upon a rich, vibrant, ever-changing music community. The only negative aspect to having so many incredible artists in our county is that it’s tough to mention everyone who deserves to be listed in our Music Issue. That’s why we made you a mixtape of local artists and songs worth hearing. Fair warning: Like Denton County’s music scene itself, the Spotify playlist is a beautiful mish-mash of genres and creative styles — jazz, indie rock, pop, folk, country, punk, hip hop, singer-songwriter melodies, alt-country, metal, psychedelic, synthpop and R&B. Thanks to this diversity of sounds, you probably won’t love everything you hear, but you’ll definitely hear something you love. You can listen at bit.ly/dentoncountymusic. It includes the music makers mentioned in this issue, artists covered in previous issues of this magazine (Claire Morales, Pearl Earl, Isabel Crespo’s For Now, Jessie Frye) and others such as Hey Cowboy!, Sad Cops, Riverboat Gamblers, Lift to Experience, The Baptist Generals, Fishboy, Lyle Mays, Leoncarlo, The Marked Men, The Drams, Bosque Brown, Felt & Fur, Matthew and the Arrogant Sea, Troy Garrick, Body English, Buffalo Ruckus, The BoomBachs, Criminal Birds and Sylvania Ave.

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More and more locals are becoming backyard beekeepers. Find out why buckets of honey aren’t the only reason you should consider this rewarding hobby. BY KIMBERLY TURNER

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Denton County Beekeepers Association member Mike Rekart got 40 pounds of honey and three more hives of bees from one backyard hive.

On a nice spring day like this, thousands of honeybees are zipping in and out of Mike Rekart’s hives. The Denton County Beekeeper Association member sits about six feet away with a beer, watching the ladies — all worker bees are female — return from their journeys. The “pollen baskets” on their back legs are packed with yellow dust from the 50 to 100 flowers each has visited. A steady buzzing emanates from the wooden box. That sound, as distinctive to bees as honey itself, comes from the insects’ wings beating up to 200 times a second. It does not rattle Mike, who is relaxing out the hard way during the first two in his Denton garden with no special gear on. years of his hobby. “One of the big things the beekeepers in this area are after is “I didn’t do well,” he says. “I made it gentle bees,” he says. “I can get close to mine. They don’t sting through the summer and then it all died. I tried my dog. The strain I have is not aggressive. We’re able to to redo some things myself, and I was just failing. live in harmony with them very easily.” Bees are very forgiving if you get on something that Mike is watching his hive not just for his own happens to them fast, but I was uneducated about the signs enjoyment, but to see if he notices anything of things happening. I needed some guidance.” amiss or unusual. Catching a problem early Fortunately, that guidance is available through the Denton and responding to it is crucial to successCounty Beekeepers Association (DCBA) for any Denton County ful beekeeping — something he found resident who is considering the rewarding hobby of beekeeping. “I joined the club, and man, it was the bomb,” says Mike, who now has one “giant” hive in his backyard, eight more on shared land, more honey than he can eat, and a garden of well-pollinated lemons and avocados. “I feel like I’ve got 30 years worth of knowledge now, not three, because the club is really more than the sum of its parts. There’s a whole host of people you can go to to get information that’ll help you, and beekeepers are very excited to swap knowledge and give advice freely.”

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The growing club of around 120 members is a little over three years old. DCBA President Candi Pardue says the goal is to support Denton County beekeepers while educating residents about our county's pollinators. Awareness is important because pollinators such as honeybees are responsible for one out of every three bites of food humans eat, according to Bee City USA, which designated Denton as the state’s second Bee City USA (after Beeville, obviously) in 2016. The certification indicates Denton’s commitment to helping these important pollinators survive.

Jody Bowman of Lily Point Farm in Argyle (left) and Denton County Beekeepers Association President Candi Pardue (right)

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Beekeeping 101 One way to help is to consider becoming an urban (or suburban) beekeeper yourself. Start by checking your local ordinances, which vary from city to city. Denton’s, for example, stipulates that you may have up to four hives on an acre of land while Flower Mound says you can have no more than three on less than an acre. If you live in an HOA neighborhood, check there as well, and, of course, take neighbors into consideration. Bees sting as a last resort (each bee can sting only once because the act of stinging kills them), but a neighbor with a life-threatening allergy to bee venom won’t care much about that fun fact. You need not have a lavish garden or orchard. Your bees will forage within a two- to three-mile radius of their hive and can zip around at speeds of up to 15 miles per hour. “They can go up to five miles,” says Candi. “I try to tell people not to have tunnel vision.” Take an Intro to Beekeeping workshop hosted by the DCBA, join a club to network with other beekeepers and consider private lessons. “A lot of people prefer to take lessons,” says Candi, who has been teaching beginner beekeeping for five years. “It’s not a requirement, but I tell people that it’s always wise to invest in your education first because you don’t want to spend the money and time and then fail miserably.” So how much money and time will you be investing in your new endeavor? Candi says the financial component can vary a lot depending on your choices. Bees cost between $175 and $300, but if you wait too late in the year, you could pay as much as $500. (Hint: Start right now.) “Most people wait until about May,” says Candi. “The sun is shining, we have beautiful weather and the flowers are blooming, then they want to become a beekeeper. At that point, it’s almost too late. The earlier in the year you can start planning, the better.” Order now and your bees will be delivered in May. You’ll also need protective equipment. For that, you can spend as little as $30 for a simple hat, veil and gloves or get a top-of-the-line suit for $300. The same flexibility goes for your wooden hives. “Do you want to go on the cheap? Or is this something that is going to sit right near your home that you want to look really nice?” asks Candi. “You could spend $350 or you could cut some corners and probably get that down to around $200.” As for the investment in time, “I tell my first-year students to get in the hive two or three times a week [from May to August or September],” says Candi. “There are beekeepers that have more of a hands-off approach. They believe you just let the bees be bees


and maybe check them once a month. That first year, it’s a good idea to be very hands-on. That’s your learning, your education. The more you learn and the better you’re able to anticipate what your bees need, the less time it takes. Around your second or third year, you kind of hit your stride and have a good visual on what they’re doing and what they need from you.” God Save the Queen (and Her Girls) When you do inspect your hives, Candi says you’re looking to make sure that the queen is healthy and laying enough eggs (as many as 2,500 a day during certain times of year); that the bees have enough but not too much room; and that they are bringing in enough pollen and nectar.

“We do have times of the year in North Texas where there’s a dearth,” she says. “That means there’s no food available for your hive. During that time, we can supplemental feed with sugar, syrup, pollen substitute and things like that. You just want to make sure they’re fed. Honeybees are the only livestock that you really want to be fat because a fat bee is a happy bee, and we want happy bees.” Those are some things you’ll be checking for during inspections, but you will likely run into a lot of other fascinating behaviors as well. Let's start by meeting the three types of bees you’ll find inside your hive: the queen bee, worker bees and drones. There is only queen, and she’s key to the colony’s success. They'll know quickly if she's gone. An experienced eye can find her; she

Bee Gone!

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ees are fantastic when they’re where you want them to be, but a lot less fun when they’ve made a home in your walls. That’s where Larry Dean, librarian for the DCBA and experienced bee removalist, comes in. He is quick to point out that there’s a difference between a swarm removal and a “cut out” (removal of bees that have built inside a cavity or structure). A swarm is simply a hanging ball of bees on their own. “Once a swarm is hanging on some kind of structure, they are looking for somewhere to go, whether that be into that structure or another structure nearby.” They may go away on their own, but that’s a risky game to play. “Unless you’re 100% sure that you have no cracks ¼ inch or bigger and that your neighbor has no cracks ¼ inch or bigger, it’s always best to have somebody come out and put them in a proper hive. That way, you don’t run that risk of you or your neighbor having to tear up your house to get those bees. I’d much rather come out there and get them for free than to have to charge anywhere from $500 to $1,200 to remove them.” That’s one of Larry’s other top tips: If you do spot a swarm hanging around, call DCBA. “I don’t charge for swarms,” he says. “All I’m gonna do is walk up, put a box underneath of them, shake them in there, put a lid on it and walk away. There are companies that have charged people hundreds of dollars to do that.” Once bees are in your walls, you’ve got a bigger problem, but it’s one that, as Candi points out, can be prevented with a simple case of caulk and a couple of hours. When Larry arrives on site, he finds out if the bees have been sprayed (don’t do this) and determines where the bees are with a FLIR camera. After that, “I’ve got a vacuum that’s set to suck bees in with just enough pressure that it doesn’t hurt them,” says Larry. “I’ll suck all the bees I can then start removing comb. I cut it to fit into frames then put it into a hive… I keep the ones that have recently been removed at my house so I can feed them and build them up until they’re established.”

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is longer and leaner than the other bees and has a more pointed abdomen. She takes one mating flight when she’s young, mating in mid-air with up to 15 males, then in many cases, never leaves the hive again. She can live up to five years but may be replaced by her colony sooner if she’s inefficient at laying eggs. Drones (boy bees) are created when the queen chooses to lay an unfertilized egg. They make up a very small percentage of the colony because their entire job is to hang out in the sky in drone congregation areas — the bee equivalent of a singles bar — waiting to mate. Because they don’t contribute to the hive (they can’t even fend off invaders because they lack a stinger), they are usually kicked out as winter approaches and food becomes scarce. The vast majority of a colony is made up of worker bees — daughters of the queen — who hold several jobs during their short lives. They are janitors (cleaning out cells for eggs), nurses (feeding baby bees), construction workers (building honeycomb cells from wax and repairing damaged cells) and guards (keeping the hive safe). They may also regulate the temperature of the hive, bring in water, pack up pollen, seal off finished honey, remove the dead or even tend to the queen. Busy bees indeed! The last stage of their lives is, of course, foraging. These girls need to gather nectar from about 2 million flowers and fly about 90,000 miles to make a single pound of honey, so there’s no time for wasted flights. That’s why they have an ingenious method of communicating when they’ve found a sweet stash of flowers.

It’s called the waggle dance. (Yes, really.) When a forager finds something exciting, she returns with the news and a sample. She shimmies in a figure-eight then does an elaborate dance to communicate where the others can find the treasure. “Beekeeping is the most fascinating thing,” says Candi. “And you will never in your life taste honey as good as your first honey harvest. True local honey is amazing and hands-down, 100% better than what you’ll buy in a store.” Threat Watch In addition to the intriguing behaviors of these social little creatures and the pounds of golden honey you’ll get to share with friends, there may be another reason to become a backyard beekeeper: “It wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility that our bees are actually saved by our small-scale beekeepers because the commercial guys are losing so many,” says Candi. “It’s not a fault of theirs. I love and respect them. They have a really hard job and are doing the best they can, but we need that older style of farming too.” The oft-talked-about colony collapse disorder is, according to Candi, not one single condition but rather the result of a number of factors in our agricultural system. Large commercial pollinators truck hundreds or even thousands of hives around the country to pollinate almonds, berries, canola and other crops. Those bees eat only one thing and are stressed by travel. “It would be like you and me working 80 hours a week and

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only eating cheeseburgers,” she says. “At some point, we’re going to be unhealthy and that’s kind of what those bees face. Bees are not meant to be put on an 18-wheeler and locked in for three days while they travel across the country.” In addition to stress and poor nutrition, the EPA notes that other risk factors for honeybees include the invasive varroa mite, new and emerging diseases, pesticide poisoning and habitat changes. We can help with many of these factors as community beekeepers. “Our hives aren’t moving around. They have a very diverse diet with trees and wildflowers. We’re able to supplement and feed them when we need to. They have kind of a cushy job.” And creating more healthy bees with cushy jobs is never a bad thing.

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Good Stewards Whether you have an interest in beekeeping or just want to help keep these important pollinators safe, you can help by planting bee-friendly plants, supporting legislation that helps bees and using caution when using chemicals in your yard. “Bees are amazing, and they’re fun,” says Candi. “The more beekeepers and non-beekeeping residents in the county can work together and benefit each other when it comes to herbicide and pesticide use and hive management, the better. We’re stewards for this tiny bee, so let’s put our best foot forward and do the best we can for everybody, so everyone is happy, and bees aren’t ever a nuisance in Denton County.”

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Music promoter and DentonRadio.com founder Jake Laughlin has spent the past decade helping to build the local music scene. BY LESLIE J. THOMPSON

Photo by Courts Griner Photography

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Millennials get a bad rap. They are often accused of having a sense of entitlement and a poor work ethic. Jake Laughlin makes that stereotype seem preposterous. The affable 29-year-old with all-American good looks has been a go-getter since his days at the University of North Texas, when he first recognized an unmet need to more effectively connect local musicians with a wider audience. “I wasn’t super aware that there was even music here,” admits Laughlin, who grew up in Ponder, 10 miles west of UNT’s campus. Although he had spent his teen years hanging out in Denton and later moved to the city to pursue a degree in communication studies, he didn’t know much about the local music scene until his senior year.

A STATION IS BORN “I started booking a couple of acts and was just blown away by the talent,” Laughlin says. After continuing to connect artists with venues around town, he soon realized that the issue was not a lack of musicians; it was a lack of ways for people to hear about them. A natural-born entrepreneur, Laughlin came up with the idea

of launching an online radio station that would play local music, supported by advertising from area bars and restaurants. With the help of his friends Pat York and local music legend Bone Doggie, Laughlin kicked off a crowdfunding campaign, and in 2011, DentonRadio.com was born. The online station quickly gained a following and caught the attention of the Denton Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB), which soon became a partner. The CVB later acquired the station, keeping Laughlin on as its manager and building a glass-enclosed studio at the Visitor Information Center in the heart of the city square. The station serves as a testament to the city’s support of the music community, letting passers-by see Laughlin and other on-air hosts in action as they showcase Denton’s musical talent and upcoming events. Today, DentonRadio.com reaches 30,000 to 50,000 listeners and has broadened its programming to include everything from on-air poetry readings to Free Beer Friday, when local craft brewers offer free samples to visitors at the Discover Denton Welcome Center.

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BEYOND THE WEBSITE of what’s happening in Denton. “We end up having much more success trying to meet people where they are, rather than trying Laughlin’s passion for supporting area artists means that he is continuously looking for ways to reach a wider audience. “We’re to get them to adopt a new platform,” says Laughlin. pushing local music in every possible avenue we can think of, to get it in front of people as much as we can,” he says. GET TING THE GIG In recent years, Denton Radio has become a mixed-media platThroughout the years, Laughlin also has continued to book shows for form, creating video content on YouTube and putting out regular local artists, in an ongoing effort to help the Denton music scene grow podcasts on Spotify, iTunes, GooglePlay, iHeartRadio and TuneIn, and thrive. Although talent is hardly in short supply, he often found in addition to its online streaming broadcast. that the artists themselves were the sticking point to booking gigs. Then there is social media, which Laughlin inadvertently “I realized that I was trying to create opportunities for artists, discovered presents a broad but not necessarily helping new opportunity to promote them understand how to take “We’re pushing local North Texas music. “We had advantage of that opportunity,” the opportunit y, a couple he says, explaining that musimusic in every possible years ago, to interview Charlie cians often focus on their craft avenue we can think of, Daniels,” who was coming to rather than the business side of to get it in front of people play the North Texas Fair & their career. “They don’t think Rodeo, he says. The famed to work on their web presence as much as we can.” country and Southern rock or to meet somebody at a artist had agreed to do a phone venue.” interview, so Laughlin decided to place a phone in the corner of The talent buyer believed that he could provide useful guidthe studio and broadcast the call on Facebook Live, which was ance and began organizing his thoughts around best practices brand new at the time. for aspiring artists. Last spring, he released the book Get the Gig: “There’s nothing to see — just a guy on the phone talking to A Musician’s Guide to Booking More Live Shows, and he has since Charlie Daniels,” he recounts, laughing. But, the experiment launched a podcast by the same name. paid off. “We had 18 people listen on the radio, and we had 8,000 “Little tweaks here and there can make a massive difference people watch on Facebook Live,” he says. in a lot of artists’ lives,” says Laughlin, who gains tremendous Since then, the station has added Twitter, Instagram and Pinsatisfaction from helping musicians further their careers. The goal terest to its arsenal of promotional tools, continually putting out is not just for them to earn a living through their craft, he says, content to reach music fans who might not otherwise catch wind but to believe in themselves and their talents.

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“What breaks my heart is when a really talented artist is giving it their all and thinking, ‘I must just not be good.’” Too often, a lack of knowledge about how to market themselves effectively results in really good musicians losing hope when they don’t get booked for shows, he says. “What breaks my heart,” he adds, “is when a really talented artist is giving it their all and thinking, ‘I must just not be good.’”

EXPERT ADVICE The most common mistake Laughlin sees artists make is that they try to connect through email, rather than building relationships with decision-makers. Instead of sending an email, Laughlin recommends that musicians visit local venues to meet the person who handles bookings and invite them to a show. “Personally, when I book an artist, I like to see them play live. I want to know how they interact with the audience,” Laughlin says. To this end, he also advises up-and-comers to create a well-produced video of a live music performance that they can send to talent buyers and others in the industry. “If you sent me a short email with a video of your performance and it’s a really quality video, I just might book you off of that,” he says. Once they do get booked, artists should focus on nurturing the relationship they have with the management and staff at the venue, which can pay big dividends in a smaller city like Denton. “If you can develop a personal relationship and a great reputation with one venue, the venues all talk to each other,” says Laughlin, so “eventually that reputation spreads and it becomes easier to open those doors, because they already know who you are.” Another common gaffe artists make is ignoring their online presence. “Facebook is essential,” he says, and performers should have a separate Facebook page for their music in addition to their personal profile. “Even if the likes are low, that doesn’t matter, but if you get 1,000 likes, now you’ve really got my attention,” he notes. Those who prefer other social media platforms, like Instagram or Twitter, should use post-forwarding to still get their content onto Facebook, which is the primary platform that music venues use for promotions, he says. UPLIFTING EACH OTHER Laughlin remains as passionate about promoting the Denton music scene as he was during his days at UNT, and he believes the city provides a great launchpad for an artist’s career. Although he works tirelessly to help musicians get a foothold in the industry and earn a living doing what they love, he believes the community deserves the most credit for supporting Denton’s wealth of artistic talent. “I want to give back, because it’s an amazing culture and amazing family.” What makes Denton cool is not just all the interesting things to see and do, Laughlin says, “It’s the community that embraces and uplifts each other.”

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NE W IN TOW N

Open for Business

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xciting businesses ar e always opening in our growing county. Welcome these new businesses to our community by paying them a visit. Golden Boy Coffee Co., 1803 N. Elm St., Denton, goldenboycoffee.com. Baristas Andy Cunningham and Trey Suire worked together at Ascension Coffee in Dallas and helped open more than a dozen coffee shops for other people before they decided to start their own. Finally, they have a shop all their own. With beans from roasters across the state, a state-of-the-art water system, a $22,000 espresso machine and years of experience with coffee, they are destined for success. The trendy space transforms into a craft cocktail bar at night with late-night bites. Golden Boy is open from

6 a.m. until midnight during the week and from 7 a.m. to midnight on weekends.

takes more than a day to create and is available as the customary pork-based flavor as well as chicken/soy-based or vegetarian options. Create your own by choosing meat and vegetables, or order off the menu. Po-K Loko, 119 Ave. A, Denton. From the masterminds who brought us Komodo Loco comes a new fast-casual destination

Kurume Ramen & Izakaya, 1435 S. Loop 288, Suite 117, Denton, ramenkurume.com. There are plenty of places to get ramen, but not many make it the traditional Japanese way. The rich, authentic broth

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for poke bowls. Build your own meal with your choice of base (sushi rice, arugula, romaine or cauliflower rice) proteins (tofu, salmon, chicken, shrimp, beet or tuna), veggies, fruits, herbs and sauces. Andy B’s, 200 Panhandle St., Denton, bowlandybs.com. Andy B’s packs bowling, laser tag, VR activities, more than 70 arcade games, classic table games like Jenga and a full menu into one fun-filled building. It's open from 11 a.m. until midnight Sunday through Thursday and from 11 a.m. until 1 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.

Andy B's

Gnome Cones, 421 U.S. Highway 377 S., Argyle, gnomecones.co. Gnome Cones isn’t new, but its permission to operate permanently is. Initially opened in spring of 2017 under a six-month permit (and again in 2018 for the same period), the pointy-hatted rascals applied successfully to stay open year round by offering hot chocolate and cookies in the winter and their traditional cones during the spring and summer. The application was unanimously approved by the Argyle Planning & Zoning Commission. Stanley Black & Decker distribution center, Southwest of I-35W and Highway 114 in Northlake. One of the world’s largest tool and storage companies is opening a 1.2-million-square-foot regional distribution center that will bring more than 300 jobs to Northlake and the surrounding area. It will distribute tools from 30 U.S. plants to central and southern states.

Aria Nail Bar, 4271 Esplanade Place, Suite 110, Flower Mound. This new Flower Mound salon at River Walk offers manicures and pedicures, as its name would suggest, but also facials, lash extensions, waxing and more. Cotton Patch Café, 1803 N. Elm St., Denton, cottonpatch.com. This popular chain for comfort Southern food has opened its newest location in Denton. Expect fried everything — fried green tomatoes, country fried steak, fried catfish, fried pickles, chicken fried chicken sandwiches, chicken fried tacos and more. They also offer some salads, but they aren't fried. Vault Controls and Vault Coffee, 304 N. Oak St., Roanoke, vaultcontrols.com. Get your caffeine fix and security system all in one spot with Vault. The company’s app allows you to monitor and control your home’s security, thermostat and access from anywhere. Its coffee allows you to stay awake while you’re doing it.

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See&Do YOUR GUIDE TO THE BEST UPCOMING EVENTS IN DENTON COUNTY

Cotillion Lessons

When: March 24 – May 19, times vary Where: Denton Country Club, 1213 Country Club Road, Argyle Students in grades four through seven can register now for cotillion sessions where they’ll not only learn social dances such as swing, Latin and ballroom styles, but also the art of first impressions, respect and courtesy, table etiquette, leadership skills, codes of conduct and effective communication skills. The five-session program is hosted by JDW Cotillion, which has been helping young people develop confidence and social skills for more than 70 years.

Roanoke Library Medieval Faire

When: March 16, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Where: Roanoke Public Library, 308 S. Walnut St., Roanoke Sword fighting demonstrations, belly-dancing, musical acts, workshops, leather working demos and even a mermaid tank! It’s just another day at the Roanoke Public Library, which hosts wonderful events for kids and adults all year long.

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When: April 13, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Where: Corinth Community Park Softball Fields, 3700 Corinth Parkway, Corinth This fun event has activities for all ages: bounce houses, rock climbing, pony rides, face painting, carnival rides, food trucks, music, a petting zoo and of course, an Easter egg hunt and The Bunny himself. Egg hunt times are determined by age, with the littlest (ages 1 to 2) starting at 9:30 a.m.

GreenFest on the Greenbelt 5K When: April 6, 8 a.m. to noon Where: Greenbelt At 428, Aubrey Hosted by GreenFest Denton, this timed, mostly off-road 5K will take you along the beautiful Greenbelt Trail and across the historic Elm Fork Bridge. The health and wellness-themed day also features healthy food, music, vendors and fun activities for the whole family. Last year’s event raised more than $4,000 for the Texas State Parks and Wildlife Department, and the goal is to double that this year. Funds are used locally to improve the Greenbelt and Ray Roberts Lake State Park.

DMAC Community Garage Sale When: March 31, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Where: Armadillo Ale Works, 221 S. Bell Ave., Denton Read about DMAC’s mission to help local musicians on page 43 of this issue, then help the cause by donating items that no longer spark joy or by shopping at this community garage sale. There will, of course, be live music.

Courthouse-on-theSquare Museum’s 40th Anniversary Celebration

Annual Home & Garden Show

When: March 30, 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Where: The Robson Ranch Women’s Club, 9428 Ed Robson Circle, Denton This one-day event raises money for Our Daily Bread and Monsignor King Outreach Center, both of which work to help the needy and homeless in Denton County. More than 60 vendors will offer innovative products and ideas for your home and garden. This event is free to the public.

Corinth’s Annual Easter Egg’stravaganza

10th Annual Champions for Children Gala

When: March 23, 6 p.m. Where: Texas Motor Speedway See our Nonprofit Spotlight on page 12 for details on this event to benefit CACDC.

D E N T O N CO U N T Y M A R C H /A P R I L 2 0 1 9

When: March 30, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Where: Courthouse-on-the-Square Museum, 110 W. Hickory St., Denton This free event celebrates four decades of memorializing Denton County history with a special showcase of 40 items from the museum’s collection. From apple corers to zithers, the museum’s artifacts offer vignettes into the stories of our community. Clock tower tours will be available, as will live music, kids’ crafts and more.


The Big Fat Sharpie Showdown When: April 6, 7:30 p.m. Where: The Bearded Monk, 122 E. McKinney St., Denton Eight local artists are given one hour, one 5'x3' canvas and a stack of fat Sharpie markers in this rowdy speed-based art competition presented by The Bearded Monk and Denton County Brewing Company. The eight completed murals will be on display for two weeks then auctioned off on April 20 to benefit the Greater Denton Arts Council. Murals from the previous event will be auctioned off at 8 p.m., and proceeds will be used to help Traci Batson with her MS-related medical bills.

For Eternity…

Roselawn Memorial Park is staffed with a caring team who is available to assist you in selecting from many burial options, for both full body and cremated remains. To learn more, call and make an appointment. All are welcome. Call to meet with a Pre-Planning Advisor, 940-382-5532

Annie

When: March 29-31, April 4-7 Where: Denton Community Theater, 214 W. Hickory St., Denton Denton Community Theater presents this classic musical about a plucky, red-haired orphan and her adventures. This production is directed by John Evarts with musical direction by Jett Cheek. Madison Verre stars as Annie. Andy Komanchak plays Daddy Warbucks.

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See&Do

YOUR GUIDE TO THE BEST UPCOMING EVENTS IN DENTON COUNTY

Denton Arts & Jazz Festival

Infinite Journey

When: April 26-28 Where: Denton’s Quakertown Park, 321 E. McKinney, Denton See page 18 of this issue for full details.

Introduction to Drawing

When: March 28, 6 p.m. Where: Wildflower Art Studio, 715 N. Locust St., Denton This popular class is designed for beginners, and no artistic experience or talent is required. You’ll learn everything you need to know to get started with

When: March 30, 9 p.m. Where: ChopShop Live, 309 S. Oak St., Roanoke This high-energy Journey cover band is back at ChopShop Live, and audiences are sure to welcome them with Open Arms. Infinite Journey has opened for Loverboy, Starship and Kool & The Gang and appeared on TV’s The World’s Greatest Tribute Bands. Don’t Stop Believin’ that it’ll be a great night out.

basic drawing techniques. Tickets are $65 or $105 with Wildflower’s signature drawing kit (Prismacolor colored pencil set, sketchbook, ebony graphite, black micron fine liner, set of oil pastels, set of drawing pencils, sharpener and eraser). Come unleash your inner artist.

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DONNA JETT WATSON Owner/Agent 940-383-1528 | donna@jettsettravel.us Independently owned and operated since 2003.


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The Waterfall Tour

When: March 30 and April 27, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Where: Liberation Coffee Co., 314 South Shady Shores Drive, Lake Dallas Spend your Saturday taking a day trip with Lake Dallas locals and DFW

Adventures to Oklahoma’s Turner Falls Overlook. Meet at Liberation Coffee Co., stop for a picnic, enjoy the Turner Falls Overlook, visit the waterfalls and Native American Cultural Center, tour Chickasaw National Park and take in the natural springs and/or sulfur fountain — all in one day. The trip is just $20 per adult and minors can attend for free.

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See&Do 20th Annual Father Daughter Prom

When: March 23, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Where: Courtyard by Marriott Dallas Flower Mound, 4330 Courtyard Way, Flower Mound This long-standing annual event by Flower Mound Parks & Recreation invites dads and daughters to dress to impress for an unforgettable night of dancing, food, entertainment and father/daughter bonding. Registration is required by March 15. Call 972-874-6276 for more information.

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SHRA Nostalgia Drag Racing

When: March 16, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Where: North Star Dragway, 3236 Memory Lane, Denton The Southwest Heritage Racing Association presents the season opener with six classes of old-school drag racing action. It’s fun for the whole family!

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When: March 8 and 9, 7:30 p.m. Where: Campus Theatre, 214 W. Hickory St., Denton For 26 years, this event has been bringing dancers, choreographers, directors and dance companies of all levels and genres together for an impressive two-day display of dance artistry. This year’s performing companies are the Denton City Contemporary Ballet, Cholorock Dance Collective, Green Space Dance, Simple Sparrow Dance, Cassie Hobbs Collaboration and Muscle Memory Dance Theatre.


Tails & Trails 5k and 1-Mile Fun Run/Walk

When: March 30, 9 a.m. Where: North Lakes Park, Denton Leash up Fido, get your hiking shoes on and make your way to North Lakes Park, because from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., The Denton Animal Support Foundation is hosting a pet-friendly fun run and fundraiser for its organization. The course will run along the North Lakes Trails to the Linda McNatt Animal Care and Adoption Center. Following the run, there will be a half-price adoption event at the City of Denton Animal Shelter. Registration costs $15 (for the 1-mile fun run) or $25 (for the 5k).

Fat Tuesday Crawfish Boil

When: March 5, 3 p.m. to 2 a.m. Where: Fry Street Tavern, 121 Ave. A, Denton It’s Fat Tuesday, so celebrate with Fry Street Tavern during their third annual Crawfish Boil. Pay $20 for an unlimited amount of the 350 pounds of crawfish on offer. Dallas legend DJ Rev will be playing tunes all night long. The Boil starts at 3 p.m. and goes until 2 a.m.

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When: March 16, 10:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Where: Bridlewood Golf Club, 4000 West Windsor Dr., Flower Mound Tee up and support the Denton County Friends of the Family, an organization that provides compassionate and comprehensive services to people who have experienced rape, domestic violence and sexual abuse. Starting at 12 p.m., the event will offer golfing, grub, silent auctions and prizes.

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See&Do

YOUR GUIDE TO THE BEST UPCOMING EVENTS IN DENTON COUNTY

Denton Wine Walk

When: March 27, April 24, 6 p.m. Where: Denton Square Purchase a glass ahead of time or one at the event, and sip reds and whites from local merchants. Listen to live music, wander the Square with friends and buy goods from pop-up merchants. While you’re there, register to win gifts from Denton businesses as well! The Wine Walk starts at 6 p.m., and the gift drawing is at 9:15 p.m.

She-Rock

When: March 8 and 9, 6 p.m. Where: BackYard on Bell, 410 N Bell Ave., Denton To celebrate International Women’s Day, Friends with Benefits and BackYard on Bell are featuring two days of music from artists such as Alsace Carcione, Ursa

Minor, Jenn Whitlock Music, Class Action, Thelma and the Sleaze, Pearl Earl, Sarah Jaffe and more. The event is a fundraiser for Women Veterans of America – Denton, and money raised will go to help homeless women veterans in North Texas. The Saturday market from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. is free to attend. One-day passes are $15. Two-day passes are $25.

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GO

MEAN GREEN

It was another historic winning season for our Mean Green teams in 2018. We send a heartfelt “Thank You” to all the fans and donors who show up every week to support our student-athletes. You are a big part of our success and the legacy that’s still being created by our fine athletes and coaches.

Learn more at meangreensports.com

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Profile for Larry McBride

Denton County Magazine March-April 2019  

Denton County Magazine March-April 2019  

Profile for lmcbride