The Fort Worth music scene has been growing rapidly in the past few years. From the recently announced Fortress Festival, to the open mic nights at The Grotto, Lola’s Saloon or the Live Oak, it is undeniable that Fort Worth has talented musicians. And while a city nicknamed “Cowtown” may sound like a place where country music rules, there are some artists that offer something a little different. Here are just a few of them:
If you ask the underground world of beatboxing who Mike Lackey is, they would all have something to say about his undeniable talent. It’s impossible to explain the sound of his music, but it would be something similar to a drum set, DJ and hand claps put together.
“I’ve always played guitar and found beatboxing online,” he said. “From there it changed from a hobby into something I really wanted to pursue.”
Although very humble, Lackey is a force to be reckoned with. He’s done American beatbox championships and placed in shows around the US. He said that he plays as many open mics as he can to stay fresh on the microphone, but more than anything, he would like to support himself.
“I really just want to make a living off of beatboxing,” he said. “That’s it.”
You can keep up with his artistry on his Facebook page.
Singer-songwriter, actress, director, choreographer, filmmaker, writer, teacher and overall do-it-all creative Sheran Keyton graduated from O.D. Wyatt High School in Fort Worth and has been a professional performer for more than 30 years.
“Most things come innately,” she said. “The first time I made a song that ever made sense was in Eighth grade after I called myself being in love and got my heartbroken.”
Keyton, along with her band the Joe Rogers Trio, have performed all around Texas as well as New York, Chicago and Europe. Her most recent honor was being a two-time pick in the Sammons Center for the Arts’ cabaret series. The series picks four performers in the DFW area.
“That was a really great show where we were all just cutting up and having a good time,” Keyton said. “It’s such an honor to be chosen to do a one-woman show with just me and my pianist.”
The Fort Worth venue where she most frequently performs is the Scat Jazz Lounge.
“The Group” @ The Grotto
Just 10 minutes away from TCU, The Grotto hosts open mic events to let local artists get their shine. A stock band equipped with a pianist and three guitarists named “The Group” perform every Tuesday to warm up the crowd before the open mic music starts.
“We basically just jam here at the Grotto,” vocalist/guitarist Jered Parker-Harlan said. “I write songs and stuff and these guys can play anything you throw at them.”
All of the band members are Fort Worth natives and don’t have any official pages as of yet. Parker-Harlan said they like to “jam out” together and look forward to doing that regularly for the interactive crowds in Fort Worth. The band’s gig is at The Grotto each Tuesday.
TCU graduate LJ Wilson, better known by his stage name “Lou Charle$,” is a longtime rapper and performer in the Fort Worth area. Charle$ has opened for national acts such as Chamillionaire, Dom Kennedy and Joe Budden, as well as gained recognition in the Texas area.
In recent years, he has stayed local and is working on his upcoming EP. You can keep up with his gig calendar at his official website.
Since his father was a local rapper in Fort Worth, it made sense for this artist to follow suit. Rapper and producer Nicholas Redwine, better known by his stage name “Nick Red,” is a longtime favorite among east side Fort Worth listeners.
In his 10 years as a rapper, he has performed more than 100 times in the area and releases projects regularly. His hope is that his music will help listeners better understand him as a person.
“I went to a school where most kids didn’t have their father present in their lives,” he said. “I had to learn to understand and relate to the other kids , so that they would want to learn and understand me.”
You can keep up with his music endeavors through his Facebook page.