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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Texas-sized celebration

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Photo by Photo by Sam Mahler

Oklahoma native Kaitlin Butts took the Republic of Texas Fest stage to perform songs including “Marfa Lights” and “Wild Rose.”

Fans of Texas country music braved the cold, early spring weather in celebration of Texas Independence Day.
The Republic of Texas Fest was held on March 2 at Wolf Pen Creek Amphitheater. The lineup included Josh Abbott Band, Parker McCollum, Wade Bowen, John Baumann, Kaitlin Butts and Grant Gilbert. A portion of the proceeds from the event went to JAB Cares, Josh Abbott’s philanthropy that raises awareness and financial support for organizations close to fans’ hearts.
Josh Abbott Band headlined the show, opening with their song “My Texas” and following up with “She’s Like Texas,” another ode to the Lone Star State, as well as their new song with Carly Pierce, “Wasn’t That Drunk.”
Kaitlin Butts, a rising country singer, was the only female performer at the Republic of Texas Fest. The Tulsa, Oklahoma native said she always wanted to be a country singer, but didn’t think it was possible. She credits Texas radio and loyal country music fans for getting her name out there.
“In Oklahoma, we don’t have as much of a following as Texans do,” Butts said. “You guys have radio support here for even just local artists, where in Oklahoma, I kind of had the misconception that if you’re doing music, you’re either at Miranda Lambert, Carrie Underwood status, or you’re just playing bar gigs.”
Butts said College Station is a rowdy and wild crowd, which is why she likes it so much. She said her favorite part of performing is hearing the crowd get excited about music.
“I also get really giddy on stage and excited,” Butts said. “I don’t get nervous. I get too hyper to where my voice shakes.”
Raised about an hour and a half outside of College Station in Conroe, Parker McCollum has two studio albums under his belt. While performing at the Republic of Texas Fest, McCollum teased fans with a preview of a new song.
Though he said he’s never “gotten into trouble” in College Station, McCollum described Aggieland as a great town.
“It’s just wild,” McCollum said. “Any time you play college towns or towns this big, we always have so much fun. People love music, and country music especially. We’ll always come play in College Station.”
Spanish junior Cole Rodriguez surprised his girlfriend with tickets to the Republic of Texas Fest. Rodriguez said he was most excited to see McCollum perform, and that the musician exceeded all expectations.
“I thought that he was going to put on a hell of a show, and he did,” Rodriguez said. “I like that he’s upbeat — definitely the best part of the show.”
Architecture junior Nicholas Shofner had never seen any of the performers before, but said he will be buying tickets in the future to see Parker McCollum, John Baumann and Kaitlin Butts again.
“Seeing them was very exciting,” Shofner said. “I loved hearing ‘Eagle Ford’ for the first time in person, and I loved hearing ‘The Truth’ from Parker McCollum in person.”

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