From our perspective, Thomas Michael Riley (TMR) is one of the best singer songwriters in Texas with a wide repertoire of songs that you can’t help but love, sing along with, shake your booty, or stand up and dance to. Last year we had a blast at his Texas Music Festival in Luckenbach and when we heard about his first annual Red Neck Riviera Music Festival in July at Buckhorn Lake Resort in Kerrville, we immediately added it to our calendar. Wow, what a fun Texas music festival and we hope it becomes an annual music festival.
Before the Festival started there was a golf tournament that sounded like fun according to TMR’s description and truly lived up to the lyrics of one of his songs – “hitting five, hollering fore, and writing 3 down for my score!” I can only imagine how much beer was consumed during those 18 holes of golf – another reason we’ll sign up for next year’s game. We weren’t aware of the tournament but we were lucky to get on and play two of the three nines at Kerrville’s Comanche Trace Golf Club – read our review of Comanche Trace to learn more about this fantastic 27 hole private course which made our Top 25 Private Texas Golf Courses list. By the way, they do have a Stay & Play option which gives you rights to play the course.
The Red Neck Riviera Festival kicked off around 6 PM on Friday in Buckhorn Lake Resort’s air conditioned recreation hall with a sit down delicious dinner – some of the most tasty and tender pork I’ve tasted, beans, potato salad, fixin’s, and an excellent dessert and every time my wife turned her head to talk to our table mate, I stole a bite from her plate! Just about the time I finished licking my spoon on my last bite of dessert, TMR was introduced and started his set – which was outstanding
It’s hard for me to decide what to call Thomas Michael Riley (Thomas, Tom, Tommy, TMR, Mike, Michael, Thomas Michael, Michael Riley, etc.) and it’s about as hard to describe his personality. Thomas Michael Riley is animated, witty, energetic, high energy, quick, warm, sarcastic, friendly, sincere, funny, lighthearted, tall, personable, social, genuine, and a great singer, songwriter, story teller, and down home good guy with big wide smile, an infectious laugh, and a hi, pat on the back, or hug for everybody! Maybe each of his names has two or three unique personalities and they all come out during his sets and in his songs. And we, as well as his fans, love it! TMR had us laughin’, singin’, dancin’, hollerin’ and swollerin,’ and havin’ fun. And he seemed to be having as much fun as we were. At one time he joined the dance line in bare feet and his mic. We hated to see his set end!
Saturday morning was spent recuperating around the pool and hot tub at Buckhorn Lake RV Resort and getting ready for the next round of music which started around 2 in the recreation hall. Bryan Burns kicked it off with a great set of his witty, funny, serious, and creative songs (over 500) about Texas. What a unique songwriter with songs about travel, drinking, loving, living, and even one about “a Sioux Named Boy.” His songs explore both the poignant and the humorous sides of humanity, drawing out the things we’ve all felt and wish we could have said. He also played some great Rusty Wier songs which brought back some fond memories of one of the best – Long Live Rusty!
Bryan had us laughing, but Chris Wall had me rolling on the dance floor with laughter. After his set of funny stories and sarcastic humor between each song, my tummy was sore and my cheeks hurt from laughing so much! A funny and entertaining set with some excellent songs. Here is what the legendary Ray Wylie Hubbard says about Chris, “Chris Wall is a cowboy savior/hero/poet who with his words and music gives us redemption from the atrocities of this illusion that is presently known as country music.â The outstanding Kenny Grimes backed Chris up with fabulous guitar picking.
Chris had us giggling in our chairs while Tommy Alverson and his band had us waltzing, swinging, and two stepping on the dance floor. Known as the “Godfather of Metroplex Honky- Tonks,” Tommy has long been a dynamic fixture on the Texas music scene and like one of his recent albums, “Country to the Bone,” he is country all the way. What a great set from another one of our favorites. Tommy had Bryan Burns join him on stage for a duet of “Upside Down” which starts with “officer it was upside down when I got here!” And “Una Mas Cervesa” got the fans dancing, in fact, Tommy is usually responsible for keeping the boot marks on the honky-tonk hardwood floors. If you like country music, then you need to add Tommy’s Family Gathering Music Festival to your calendar – this year it is three days of great music, camping, and partying from October 4th to the 7th in Grand Prairie. Read our review of Tommy’s 2011 14th Annual Family Gathering Music Festival.
Following Tommy, Thomas Michael Riley and his band kept us dancin’ and drinkin’ and havin’ fun to another great set. It doesn’t surprise me a bit that Thomas Michael Riley was the 2010 winner of Album of the Year by the Academy of Texas Music and the Texas Music Awards plus the 2010 and 2011 Texas Music Entertainer of the Year Nominee, CMAA Song of the Year Winner, and lots more well deserved Texas awards.
In addition to some outstanding music, what made this a fun Texas music festival were the fans who were here for the music and a good time. It was a small group, that loved music and all of the artists, and were here to have fun and appreciate the artists. For Tommy Alverson and Thomas Michael Riley’s set, most of the time the dance floor was full.
Buckhorn Lake Resort was a fantastic venue for the Red Neck Riviera Music Festival and they were the perfect host – courteous, friendly, helpful, and out to ensure that everyone had a great time. The sit down dinner was excellent and throughout the festival in the recreation hall they dished up some outstanding food, cold beer, delicious homemade cookies, and lots more – all at very reasonable prices. A big juicy cheeseburger with fries was $6 and cold beer was $2!
Everyone was raving about Buckhorn Lake Resort – wow, this park is what every RV park should aspire to be when they grow up! Some of what separates Buckhorn from all the other Texas RV parks includes:
- a variety of great sites (level, full hook-up, paved, grass, etc.) to choose from – back-in, pull through, adult only section, or lake front
outstanding amenities, some of which include: two pools, two hot tubs, tennis courts, rec hall, rally room, outdoor bar, fishing ponds, laundry mat, restrooms with private showers, country store, fitness center, and more
well landscaped and decorated and meticulous clean
conveniently located with easy access to lots to see and do
Sunday, before heading home we played golf on a Byron Nelson designed course in Kerrville – RiverHill Country Club. Another great private Kerrville golf course which also has a Stay & Play option. Here is a link to our review of Riverhill Country Club.
If you come to next year’s Red Neck Riviera Music Festival make sure you stay an extra day or two or between the music you plan some time to take advantage of some of the fun things to see and do around Kerrville. Here are some suggestions:
take one of the most scenic drives in Texas along the Guadalupe and into the most scenic hill country in Texas – you’ll find it listed on our Texas Scenic Drives Page
play some golf – use this golf map to find a nearby golf course
tube, fish, swim, or kayak on a beautiful stretch of the Guadalupe River
go antique shopping in Bourne, Comfort, or Kerrville
sip some wine in any of the nearby wineries
climb Enchanted Rock
- explore the Kerrville shops or restaurants or other attractions – here is a map of Kerrville to help you find something to do as well as our Top 10 Things To See & Do In Kerrville
Thanks TMR for a fun weekend – can’t wait to do it again next year! See you in Luckenbach!