The Straight Street Blues band revved up the crowd at the start of the 14th annual Blues Festival on Saturday.
The crowd began to gather as the five-member band played from 1 to 2 p.m., kicking off the festival.
“It sounds pretty good from the front,” said Lauri Bach, one of the band members. “The people are really into everything.”
The band formed to play for the event but has jammed together in the past, said Kelly Scroggins, another band member.
The two guitarists from the band, Tony Gomez and Trey Searcy, have played at the festival in the past, but it was the first time for the other band members.
Gomez, 19, has been playing guitar for about six years and Searcy, 16, has been playing for about four years.
Searcy, who performed alongside his dad, Don, on Saturday, also plays drums in his church’s praise band. Don Searcy plays the bass.
Don Searcy started playing blues music right out of high school.
“I like the expressiveness of it,” he said, adding that there is a lot of freedom in the music.
Trey Searcy likes that it’s easy to jam to.
“You can make it as hard or as easy as you want to,” he said.
Straight Street Blues played on the main stage, while Kangaroos played on the community stage.
Afzal Khorasani came to see his son, Abbas, play with his band, Kangaroos.
This was Khorasani’s second year to attend the festival because his son, who is a University of North Texas music student, also played last year.
“The stage this year is much better than last year,” he said.
Kangaroos is comprised of his son’s friends from high school, Khorasani said.
Over by the community stage was a bounce house, an area set up by Lowe’s where children could build something and a storytelling area.
John Baines, one of the event organizers, said the festival committee hopes to eventually add a third stage as well as possibly a third night.
“This year we have a lot of community booths,” Baines said. “People just want to be here.”
There were approximately 30 food vendors and information booths, he said, as well as about 65 volunteers.
Baines hopes to have 10,000 people attend the festival over the weekend, he said.
Other Saturday performers included Blue Jay Soul, Brian Wilkinson, Lance Lopez, Curtis Salgado and Bernard Allison.
The festival will continue today with E-Flat Porch Band, Voodoo Blue (a Stevie Ray Vaughan tribute band), Buddy Whittington and Sugar Blue.
Gates open at noon and the festival is free.
RACHEL MEHLHAFF can be reached at 940-566-6889. Her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.