For Sonya Waters, it’s extremely important to draw different types of music to downtown Kilgore, the better to draw more and more members of the community to the Main Street District.
According to the city’s community relations manager, “We love to provide live music. We do that at a majority of our events,” including KilGogh, the Fourth of July Extravaganza, Oktoberfest and more throughout the year.
The next gig features a Tyler-based band June 7 in their first Fridays After 5 appearance: the Matt Raker Trio will start the show at 7 p.m. on the Winter Elder Stage of the World’s Richest Acre. The concert is, as ever, free and open-to-the-public through the city’s sponsorship.
“We’re always trying to provide the community with opportunities to see free music,” Waters added. “It also provides opportunities for people in the community to perform as well.”
The new recruits to the no-cost concerts bring a new flavor to the repertoire.
“I’m really looking forward to hearing the Matt Raker Trio live,” Waters said. “They have a large following for their three-piece band out of Tyler.”
The band includes the eponymous Matt Raker along with Elbert Wright and Keith Jones.
According to the trio, their musical style “is somewhat of a melancholic and upbeat mix, with (mostly) moody progressions, reverb-covered, chiming guitars and inspiration from shoegaze, dream pop and surf rock.”
Raker handles vocals and guitar for the group with Wright on drums and Jones taking up the bass. Their album “Phases” is available for purchase on CDBaby and iTunes with streaming through Spotify and Apple Music.
“It’s very laid-back,” Waters added, good sounds to chill to in the heat of June. “It’s a very progressive style of music. It’s something that I don’t think we’ve seen before at Fridays After 5.”
In addition to the music under the derricks, Charlie’s Sno-Ball will be there with cold treats for people who need dessert after dinner at one of downtown’s eateries.
If someone misses their meal before the concert, “We’re going to have a new food vendor called Bistro To Go. It’s a nice food truck, first time in Kilgore,” Waters noted. Based in White Oak, “She sells crepes – such as a Nutella crepe” along with sandwiches along with fresh-cut russet potatoes.
Fridays After 5 concerts are Bring-Your-Own-Chair events. The free shows typically run about two hours on the Acre.
Next month, the City of Kilgore’s 2019 Fourth of July Extravaganza takes the place of Fridays After 5 with the Chad Cooke Band in the spotlight under the amphitheater at Kilgore City Park.
On Friday, Aug. 2, Main Street will welcome the Tyler Dudley Band for their 7 p.m. Fridays After 5, set for Kilgore City Park. The final performance of the season will feature Shelia and the Caddo Kats, again at the park.
For more information about Fridays After 5 and other events hosted by the Main Street Program for the City of Kilgore, log on to KilgoreMainStreet.com or Facebook.com/KilgoreMainStreet. Learn more about the Matt Raker Trio at MattRaker.com.