Polka News: Mollie B Update, ECB On Air, Big Squeeze, and Cowboys

mollie_b_tix_example_1Mollie B Update: Looks like a great lineup for Mollie B’s Polka Party taping at Sokol Hall in Ennis February 21-24, featuring 29 bands and five special guest appearances. Buy tickets!

Thursday, February 21 1:00 SqueezeBox with Abby Broeniman (WI) 1:30 SqueezeBox with Jim Busta 2:15 Matt Hodek & the Dakota Dutchmen (ND) 4:00 Die Kurtzbuam (GA) 5:00 Karl & the Country Dutchmen (WI) 6:00 SqueezeBox 7:00 Chris Rybak (TX) 8:15 Czech & Then Some (TX)

Friday, February 22 1:00 Shiner Hobo Band (TX) 2:00 Red Ravens (TX) 3:30 Das Ist Lustig (TX) 4:30 PM Texas Tribute Band (TX) 5:30 TubaMeisters (TX) 6:15 Eurofest (TX) 7:15 Texas Sound Check (TX) 8:15 Jerry Haisler & the Melody 5 (TX)

Saturday, February 23 1:00 Polka Nuts (CO) 2:30 Polka Nuts with Mollie B 3:00 The Moravians (TX) 4:00 Texas Dutchmen (TX) 5:00 The Bohemian Knights (OK) 6:00 Jodie Mikula Orchestra (TX) 7:00 Ennis Czech Boys (TX) 8:00 Brave Combo (TX) 9:00 David Farias & the Farias Brothers (TX)

Sunday, February 24 1:00 SqueezeBox with John Gora and Al and Robbie Piatkowski 2:15 The Royal Klobasneks (TX) 3:15 Conjunto Kidz (TX) 4:00 Kenny Brandt (WI) 5:30 Walburg Boys (TX) 6:30 Yesey G & Her Stars (TX) 7:15 Alpenfest (TX) 8:15 Czech Harvesters (TX)

ECB CDEnnis Czech Boys on the Air: The Ennis Czech Boys and their new CD "You Have The Right To Polka" will be featured on Ray Zalokar’s American Polka Hour on Monday, February 18 at 8 PM Central. The program will be streamed live on www.247polkaheaven.com. The CD can be purchased online in the Polka On Store at polkabeat.com.

2013_thebigsqueeze_headerThe Big Squeeze Is Calling Young Accordionists: Texas Folklife announces its seventh annual Big Squeeze accordion contest for up-and-coming Texas musicians, 21 years of age or younger. The non-profit that endeavors to preserve and promote Texas’s diverse cultural heritage is looking for great players in any genre of accordion-based music, including zydeco; Cajun; German, Czech, and Polish polka; Tejano; conjunto; and norteño; as well as other genres.

The popular contest kicks off its 2013 season with two auditions in Houston! On Saturday, February 23, the audition will be held at Talento Bilingüe de Houston. Registration and auditions will begin at 3:00 p.m. An accordion jam will follow with former Big Squeeze champ and Houstonian Johnny Ramirez and Tina Vega of Promesa Mortal, a young, energetic Houston-based family band. The next day, Sunday, February 24, the action moves to The Big Easy Social Club. Again, registration begins at 3:00 p.m. and auditions begin at 3:30 p.m. Zydeco squeezeboxers will lead the accordion jam to follow the auditions—former Big Squeeze champ Keyun Dickson and finalist Ruben Paul Moreno. The Big Easy will host the National Zydeco Foundation’s Accordion Jam at 8:00 p.m., but it is only open to those accordionists 21 years and older.

Additional dates include: March 2: Edinburg at the University of Texas—Pan American March 3: Corpus Christi at Hacienda Records March 8: San Antonio at Gallista Gallery in partnership with Conjunto Heritage Taller March 23: Tomball at the German Heritage Festival, Bluegrass stage March 24: Dallas at the Latino Cultural Center Auditions are free and open to the public. Contestants may register on site or in advance by calling Texas Folklife at (512) 441-9255 or online at www.texasfolklife.org. Those who cannot attend the audition may mail or e-mail their entries to arrive at Texas Folklife no later than April 1, 2013. The complete contest rules and entry forms are available online or by calling Texas Folklife.

Semifinalists selected by audition or mailed entries will be hosted in Austin to take part in the Semifinals held on April 20 at The Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum. At that time, up to four finalists will be selected. The finalists will be awarded a cash prize and hosted in Houston to compete for the title of The Big Squeeze Grand Prize Winner at the Accordion Kings & Queens Festival on June 1.

The Big Squeeze 2013 Grand Prize Winner will receive a prize package valued at more than $4,000, including a cash prize, a brand new Hohner accordion, performance opportunities in Austin and Houston, publicity, professional development, and other professional opportunities.

cowboyIt’s All About the Cowboy: “If you don’t come early and stay late, you’re gonna miss something. And don’t worry about the weather—you’re not getting stuck—we just go indoors as we did with 7 inches of rain last year!” That’s the message for the public from the originators of the captivating 5th Annual Best Little Cowboy Gathering planned for March 5-7. This celebration of cowboy culture (with proceeds going to youth scholarships), held at the Fayette County Fairgrounds (one mile north of La Grange on Highway 77) has become not only a tradition but an educational venue to those that may have not ever embraced that “cowboy persona.”

A full day of activities has been added to this rapidly growing event that is earmarked with incredible music, trick ropers, fiddling, cowgirl ball, all-star swing band, horse clinic, the “Best Little Cook-Off in Texas,” the Brazos Valley Cowographers, Single Action Shooting Society, Cowboy Art, Exhibit Booths, church wagon exhibits cowboy art, dutch oven cook-off, and loads of children’s events, food, arts and crafts. If you know nothing about the history, culture, and climate of the cowboy, you’ll leave with some lasting memories through music, demonstrations, and activities for all ages—and all at a small cost for the entire family that can’t be beat. Check out the great music schedule!