Courthouse now a destination for acts


By Kyle Mooty

LPR Editor

The success of Courthouse Nights in Lockhart has made its founders, Rachel Lingvai and Will Rhodes of Rach & Rhodes Presents, approach lining up musical artists differently.

Now in its third season, Rhodes said people are calling them to get booked rather than them having to beat the bushes for acts.

“It’s growing in a way that bands are reaching out to us,” Rhodes said. “This is becoming an event where people want to come play. We got a call from Sun Radio. That’s huge. We’ve created a culture for the bands to come down here. They get paid, fed, a green room at Commerce Hall, and really taken care of. It really grew organically. It’s kind of what we envisioned. Bands know this is a really cool event. They love to come out here and play on the town square.”

Shortened to five months this year, Rach & Rhodes still made an effort to be inclusive of the entire community with its lineup.

The leadoff act is Friday, April 21 with Cajun Music Hall of Famer Jesse Lege and his band performing Zydeco music, mostly in its original French Creole language. There will be a season kickoff with Zydeco & Gumbo on the sidewalk beginning at 6:30 p.m. at the nearby Commerce Café. Available will be crawfish gumbo and rice, red beans and rice, and a vegetarian tofu and mushroom gumbo.

The May 12 Courthouse Nights is the only one on the schedule not set for the third Friday of the month. Hard Proof has a horn section Rhodes said is similar to the Black Pumas. It is Afro Funk Music that Rhodes said is “insanely cool.”

“They’ve been playing a long time,” Rhodes said of Hard Proof. “Everyone is going to be dancing. It’s so cool. We’ve tried to get them for two years.”

On June 16 will be Garrett T. Capps and his NASA Country band.

“They are really taking off,” Rhodes said of the San Antonio band. “They are Psychedelic country. He’s like the space cowboy.”

July 16 will be Sonora Explosiva Dinamita. Lingvai said that Cumbia band is fronted by two women.

“They are high energy and super fun,” Lingvai said. “People like to dance to that.”

The final concert will be Aug. 18 with the Talking Heads tribute band Hartbyrne. The leader of the Talking Heads was David Byrne.

“With five months, we wanted to make sure we did every genre.” Lingva said. “One of the reasons we wanted to do less months is because of fall football and everything else.”

Courthouse Nights is free of charge, however, people are encouraged to bring their lawn chairs.

This year, Market Street will be closed on both sides for the event, and Commerce Street will have a tailgating area on the side closest to the courthouse.

The concerts will be from 8:30-10 p.m., but will be preceded by DJ Island Time (Rhodes) performing as a deejay beginning at 7 p.m.

“We don’t have vending because we want to promote the businesses downtown,” Lingvai said.

Those attending Courthouse Nights will be allowed to carry alcoholic beverages in approved containers. They can also bring colors to the concerts.

Lingvai said the City of Lockhart is taking care of the trash, while Printing Solutions will handle most of the printing work. The original Black’s Barbecue is providing food for the bands.

“Every year we get new companies that come to town and they want to be a part of it,” Lingvai said. “One of the things that we want to do is preserve the small-town feel. I’m afraid to make this thing too big. It’s a labor of love. We don’t get paid. It’s making memories, for adults and the kids.”


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