In 1999, a group of Selma citizens took on the task of raising funds to refurbish the remains of the El Camino de Tejas, a modest structure that was once part of a stage coach line that stretched from Indianola to San Antonio. Their dedication was rewarded with a $1.4 million TEA grant; renovations are set to begin in the fall of 2004. Until then, the site is off limits, which means that Selma's Heritage Festival is scheduled in the parking lot of the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater.
In addition to a kitschy smorgasbord of meat-on-a-stick, Texas-themed craft, novelty booths, gunslingers-for-a-day, and overpriced pony rides, the Selma festival on Saturday, September 20, offers a healthy serving of homegrown musical talent, including Flaco Jimenez, Augie Meyers, Mingo Saldivar, and Tex-Mex buzz band Los Lonely Boys.
Los Lonely Boys - Henry, Jojo, and Ringo Garza - hail from West Texas, where they were fed a peculiarly Texan diet of pop, blues, conjunto, and country through a conspicuously Spanglish sipping straw, producing a sound that falls loosely between Santana and Johnny Winter, with a little Chuck Berry thrown in for good measure. The Boys have shared a stage with Willie Nelson at Farm Aid, and recently taped a spot with MTV's Carson Daly. Their new album on NYC-based Or Records was recorded in Nelson's Perdernales Studio.
Other acts on the bill include the Gourds, Los Texmaniacs, Los Pioneers de Ramz, Ruben V, Joe Dynamite, Joe "King" Carrasco, Tish Hinojosa, and Steve Jordan. The music begins at 1 p.m. and continues until 11 p.m. For more information, call 651-6266. All profits from the festival will be donated to the Selma Stage Stop project. •