Big Folkin' Preview + Interview

This Saturday, March 30th Big Folkin' Festival returns to Deep Ellum, TX at The Prophet Bar with a rad line-up of touring and local acts.

William Beckett and Jillette Johnson join the bill this year along with some local favs like Holy Moly, QCNH, The Roomsounds and Fox and the Bird will be performing with some new local projects like The Venetian Sailors to watch out for that night!

We caught up with fest. co-founder Jeremy Drake who also fronts a local fav. band Parallel Play to find out a little more about the band and festival this year...

GBS: How long have Parallel Play been together?
Jeremy: We started as a duo in 07.  August 07 was our first performance. Now we're a four piece, we've been a four piece since 2010.
GBS: You guys have been around for awhile then!
Jeremy: Yeah, once we went full band it's kinda a different circuit when playing with drums. 
It's been kinda like starting over a little bit but we've already built up some fans from our harmonies and songwriting.  Now we get to deliver the full energy sound that we've always possessed.

GBS: You guys cover some Green Day and Cranberries material on your album"The Floors Made of Lava" in a folk style.  How did that idea come about?
Jeremy: Basically I'm a grunge kid and I didn't listen to folk music.  The reason I got into grunge in the first place is because it sounded honest.  It's not all the synth and makeup from the 80's it was just bare and dirty.  When alternative started sounding polished I started going the acoustic route and bands like the Avett Bros,the early stuff I just ate that up. So the natural transition was for us to go that route.  Since that was our love and we had so much fun at the time doing 90's covers, I was like why not?  In the 90's Ska bands were doing 80's covers so let's have folk bands do 90's covers.

GBS: So this is the second year for Big Folkin', what lead yourself and Joel at Prophet Bar to develop the idea for a folk inspired fest in Deep Ellum?
Jeremy: The name came to me several years ago.  Parallel Play being kinda off beat we always try to find a home in the music world and we always play with bands that aren't folk. 
Honestly we just say we're folk because we think it's funny.  The name came to mind and I thought that would be the perfect festival for us.  So by November 2011 we had played at Prophet Bar a lot, it was actually our second show back in 2006, so me and Joel had built a good relationship and I mentioned the idea to him and he ate it up so we put on the first one in three months and everyone loved it that came out and we did pretty well.  We decided to make it an annual thing.

GBS: William Beckett is one of the main touring acts playing this year.  That's pretty cool, was he one of the first acts you had in mind for this years event?

Jeremy: It just kinda happen.  The good thing about working with Joel is he books seven nights a week at Prophet Bar he always books multiple stages.  He knows what tours are coming through and we saw he [William] was going acoustic and you can obviously look at our playbill and there are stretches in there, we don't take folk so literally.  We thought he'd be good this year and he would bring a different kinda of audience to kinda expand the dynamic in our crowd. We thought he'd be a good fit.

GBS: Have you heard Jillette Johnson's cover of Creep by Radiohead?  Pray that she plays it or that the crowd talks her into it.  Her dynamics on it will blow your mind live, I hope she plays it!
Jeremy: No I haven't but I bet that's awesome!  I will put in a request! haha  I was pretty excited to see you guys have covered Jillette because me and Joel had never heard of her.  We were looking at William Beckett and they are touring together so we took them on as a package. We thought she was cool and to see the buzz locally I thought that was awesome, I'm pretty excited!

GBS: Put you on spot now, who do you think will be the standout performance for the night?
Jeremy: Oh man, it's tough.  We have a really good playbill.  Holy Moly, we played with them last spring while LaGrange was still around and what they've done in these past twelve months they've really exploded.  I know their show is going to be dynamite.  I'm excited to see Loyal Sally this year, they played last year too, they are another band that's been gaining a lot of steam.  I think another band that's going to be a favorite is The Venetian Sailors are going to win over a lot of people, they are a new band.  Obviously because Robbie Saunders is in it, that's the new project.  I think people are going to walk away with new favorites, that's what happen last year and I hope that's what happens this year.

Be sure to RSVP and grab your TICKETS before it's too late!  In the meantime check out William Beckett in studio recording "Dear Life" from his new acoustic album "The Pioneer Sessions" out now!

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