Friday, 19 March 2010 19:03

The weather was perfect, tne music inspiring, the mood ecstatic.

It was the kickoff of the 2010 TMA Fanfair at San Antonio's Market Square.

Bands galore on multiple stages under a gorgeous blue sky Friday.

Artists that performed, were playing or scheduled to drop in included Rudy Palacios, Albert Zamora, Juan P Moreno, Da Krazy Pimps. Ricardo Castillon. The main stages area was jampacked

  with fans, moving from stage to stage as the bands rotated.

Sound problems were everywhere, schedules were hopelessly shot but it all mattered not.

The spirit of new Tejano music reigned everywhere. The focal point of the celebration remains in the same spot - the same spot where every genre hopes, wishes and dreams it remains - right in the pocket that will determine the future.

Young bands from California, Colorado, Illinois, were the hidden gems that provided the spark, the hope anf the dream that the music will go on to the next generation.

New faces included Grupo Exicto, Pura Vida, Conjunto Inizzio, West Texas Chicano Orchestra, Conjunto Los Guyz and others.

Meanwhile the showcase parties at Cadillac Bar and Cool Arrows proceeded.

Neither of those places were immune to the scheduled delays, technical headaches or general confusion that seemed to reign everywhere this day.

At the Cadillac Bar, the scheduled 7 p.m start time for four stages came and went as technicians scurried back and forth trying to get sound levels, monitor and speaker levels adjusted. The plan called for two acoustic and two main stages, which offered a thrill when young talent surprised and went beyond expectations. 

Rick Balderrama finally took the main stage at 8:10 p.m. to kick off the evening with a unit that included a four-piece horn section and wondrous vocal harmonies. Ouitside, Jorge Moreno, from California went on the outside stage - albiet 70 minutes past his scheduled time - no fault of his. Highlights included his kick*** bilingual versions of Brooks & Dunn's "Neon Moon," and Dwight Yoakam's "Guitars & Cadillacs."

"I knew this woudl probably happen so I told my guys to be ready, just in case something comes up and they want us on stage at a moment's notice," he said.

Scheduling and technical problems were not exclusive to the TMA weekend.

About 75 miles north in Austin, the massive SXSW Music festival began unfolding Wednesday. They also ran into technical headaches, delays and confusion but the rock and rocll spirit rolled on. (More on that in a separate report.)

More updates in 55 minutes 

9 p.m. Overcast skies with drifting clouds. Comfortable temperatures hovering in the high '60s and the party spirit rages on downtown San Antonio.


main stage is kicking with a series fo young singers from the Network for Young Aritsts, still run by Coach Terry Lowry. Record label deals are cooking, connections are rising (details coming)as the art and business of music rolls along.

Like SXSW, the TMA Fanfair weekend, and especially

 the Tejas Record bash is critical for other reasons than just new talent. It is also about schmoozing.

"VIPs love special events and they can retreat that night into the historic old Cadillac which is such a great setting, and talk to bands who have come from all over the country one on one," said Tejas Records' John Whipple. "That VIP element of it obviously had it's place in the scheme of things because it's a been huge success each and every year." 

Bocastria, an Austin group, led by singer Tanya Martinez, put on an exciting mix of rock, pop, Tex-Mex and more at their 9:30 p.m. slot. Tejano fans may have been perplexed, but the music rocked.

10 p.m. As the space gets really tight - elbows to elbow, more bands, more dance/music celebrating.