The Katy Cajun Invasion comes rushing in Friday, May 16 through Sunday, May 18, 2014 at Katy Mills, 5000 Katy Mills Circle in Katy, Texas. The festival is at the north end, by Bass Pro Shop. If you love great Country, Zydeco, Blues and Rock music, fresh steaming crawfish, shrimp, alligator and more (spiced right and priced right) while supporting a great cause and reveling in the Bayou kind of crazy fun, this celebration is the place to be. Laissez les bons temps rouler, ya’ll.
The attack begins at 11:00 AM on Friday, the 16th - with free admission until 3:00 PM on Friday - and runs the whole weekend. Before we have you drooling over the delightfully Cajun/Texan fare (the succulent, boiled crawfish, crabs, shrimp, and fried alligator by Louisiana's renowned Crazy Alan of the Swamp Shack, to rich and spicy Cajun dishes such as étouffée, boudin, and jambalaya, to Texas BBQ.) Drooling, already? Nevertheless, your ears are begging for that soul-feeding mix of music as versatile as the food!
The delicious line up of artists and bands combining Texas Country with Louisiana Zydeco and Brass Bands, from great local talent to national headline acts, bring the flavors of everything from Country to Rock and to Zydeco:
Great White - The band’s 12th studio album, "Elation" thrives on Great White’s signature grit and blues-hued sound. Best known for the 1989 smash “Once Bitten, Twice Shy,” Great White’s worldwide sales are approaching 10 million.
Doug Stone - Doug debuted in 1990 with the single, “I’d Be Better Off (In a Pine Box),” the first release from his 1990 self-titled debuted album for Epic Records. The single reached number 4 on the charts. His first number one single, “In a Different Light,” was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Country Song. Stone has charted twenty-two singles on Hot Country Songs and eleven more Top Ten singles. Stone made his acting debut in the 1995 film “Gordy.”
Van Wilks - In his third decade as a veteran of the world-famous Austin music scene, Van Wilks has long been hailed as one of the Austin, Texas’ master players. With compelling, hard-edged, bluesy rock, his talent as a guitarist and bandleader is consistent praised with a string of honors. Voted by Austin music fans into the Austin Chronicle’s “Texas Music Hall of Fame,” Van stands alongside the state’s most legendary musical talents. Blues roots to the cutting edge, with funk, hard rock and melodic undertones. His music prompted England’s taste making “Kerrang!” to name Van Wilks’ Mercury Records release, “Bombay Tears” as “one of my all time faves,” declaring it “a masterpiece.”
Jason Cassidy - Keeping it “real” and steeped in the outlaw legend of the late, great Waylon Jennings, Jason Cassidy is dedicated to the neo-traditionalist movement and its outlaw ways. Jason’s ability to capture, in songwriting, his own life experiences, is captivating. His sincerity and honest telling of trials, tribulations, heartaches and blessings and masterful delivery of song, has endeared him to a fast growing fan base. Cassidy plays “real” country music reminiscent of George Strait, Merle Haggard, and George Jones. The latest Top 10 is an indication that Cassidy’s song, “Blame it On Waylon” (written by Josh Thompson, Rhett Akins,)shows even more proof of his steadfast roots and love for traditional outlaw Country music. Jason is “that” Country music artist to watch, because he’s definitely headed for the top.
Kimberly Caldwell - (Katy native from American Idol) For Kimberly Caldwell, it’s been full-speed ahead since she first stepped on the stage at 5 years old. At age 11, she won Ed McMahon’s Star Search 5 times holding the record for most number of wins for a Junior Vocalist. Until she was 15 years old, Kimberly performed two shows a day, 6 days a week as a featured performer in Country Tonite in Branson, MO. She became a finalist and fan favorite on the second season of American Idol.
After the nationwide Idol tour, Kimberly became the host and co-host of numerous TV Guide Network shows, teamed up with Mark Burnett Productions and hosting CBS’s Jingles, P.Diddy’s Starmaker on MTV, VH1′s Rock and Roll Fantasy Camp, and Oxygen’s Best Ink. Kimberly’s acting credits include the Fox sitcom “Life on a Stick,” the movie “Wrong Turn 2,” the mini-series “26 Miles,” opposite Jon Schneider, and recently landed a guest starring role on TNT’s “Franklin and Bash.” She steadily continues to entertain audiences nationwide and traveled overseas to perform for the grand opening of Singapore’s Universal Studios with Paula Abdul and then to Vietnam to open for Taio Cruz for Soundfest’s 60,000 fans.
Sheila Marshall - Sheila Marshall’s alluring, bluesy-soul, Texas-tinged country rock skyrocketed her from a Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo performer to one of the top 10 finalist on TV’s “Nashville Star” talent show, singing with Willie Nelson and Rodney Crowell. She’s had three singles rank on the Texas Music Chart — and live audiences from Alaska to Kuwait.
Her recently released EP, Sheila Marshall, and its first single, “Can’t Let Go,” is reaching even more fans. This Texas girl grew up in the East Texas town of Nacogdoches, attended Stephen F. Austin State University and fronted a rock band. Her love of Hank Williams, Willie Nelson and Patsy Cline merged with new-to-her artists such as Led Zeppelin and the Band. Playing the Houston Rodeo and other high-profile sporting events built her fan base and her acoustic EP, Beautiful For Situation, earned her a national Budweiser sponsorship.
Justin Van Sant - The strong baritone vocals of Lone Star native, Justin Van Sant, creates an infectiously upbeat vocal style and masterfully delivered songs has established him as force to be reckoned with on the Texas Music scene and beyond. Influenced by country’s ultimate entertainer, Garth Brooks and Texas music royalty like Pat Green, Randy Rogers and Robert Earl Keen, who’ve built their careers on legendary live shows, Justin Van Sant has the same inherent sense of showmanship. Check out Justin’s self-titled debut indie album, Justin Van Sant and see his live show. You’ll see why his Justin Van Sant’s name is well known on the Texas Music scene and beyond for the charismatic super-talent he is.
Jade Jack - She’s a singer, a songwriter and a fiddler and if you’re looking for real Country Music, see Jade Jack. Her new album entitled “Off the Record,” is now on the record and big things are happening for this beautiful, blue-eyed, country girl. When Jade, just 5 years old, first had opportunities to sing onstage at fairs, festivals, and honky-tonks, the crowds were wowed, expecting to hear kid songs of a 5 year old. They were in for a pleasant blast of Country as Jade would bust out with songs such as “Don’t Come Home a Drinkin’ with Lovin’ on Your Mind.” Performing with Aunt Dottie Jack, Jade caught the attention of the late Country Music legend, Ms. Leona Williams, who invited her to be Leona’s fiddle player on a series of shows. She has since done countless shows with Leona, appearances on Ernest Tubb’s Midnight Jamboree and “Midwest Country” for RFDTV, “TruCountry” on RFDTV, “Kelly’s Kountry Junctin” for PBS in the Ozarks, and more. Jade can be seen all over the country keeping traditional country music alive with her band at dancehalls all over Texas and can be found playing fiddle for Texas’ best artists.
Chubby Carrier and The Louisiana Swamp Band - Chubby Carrier, GRAMMY award winning artist that offer Intense, high energy, party music with his Bayou Swamp Band. For the past 21 years, they have traveled nationally and internationally bringing their style of swamp-funky zydeco party music to the world. Chubby Carrier and the Bayou Swamp Band have also won the 2010 Best of the Beat and Big Easy Awards and received the key to the cities of Opelousas, Lafayette, and Lake Charles, Louisiana. Chubby was be inducted into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame in 2012. Chubby was one of the main characters in the IMAX film “Hurricane on the Bayou” in 2006.
Blaggards - Blaggards play what they call “Stout Irish Rock”- traditional Irish folk music mixed with rock n’ roll, formed by everything from Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley to Thin Lizzy and Black Sabbath. Frequently compared to bands like Flogging Molly, and Dropkick Murphys, the Blaggards are guitarist/vocalist Patrick Devlin, bassist/vocalist Chad Smalley, drummer Michael McAloon, and fiddler Brittany Johnson. Front man Patrick Devlin grew up in Dublin, Ireland, and moved to Houston, Texas in his early 20′s. Blaggards are playing constantly throughout Texas and touring nationally several times a year.
Warrior Spirit Band “Our ultimate mission is to empower wounded warriors through music. As musicians we have the ability to share our love of music with others and present our story through lyrics and sound.” ~The Warrior Spirit Band~
Kosmic Latte - Featuring David DeLaGarza David is a member of the acclaimed Latin group, La Mafia and a solo artist in Kosmic Latte. With a Carlos Santana-like back up band and mezmerizing vocals, David is one you must see and hear.
Coastal Fury - A rocking blues quartet taking the Houston and Galveston area by storm with their powerful harmonic vocals and sounds mixed with solid rock. Each member of the band are exceptional musicians. This group will take you on a journey of your favorite hits. Coastal Fury consists of George Pappas – Lead Guitar/Keyboard, Becki Leon – Bass,Thaddeus Lewis – Drums and Shea Marie Smith – Lead Vocals/Rhythm Guitar.
High Steppers Brass Band - These high-steppin’ steamrollers of the “High Steppers Brass Band” are one of the Texas' and Louisiana's most sought after entertainment brass bands for their energetic Louisiana Cajun sound. Definitely a sight to see, their music will energize and put you in that Laissez les bons temps rouler party mood.
Benastar - Benastar is a tribute to the music of rock legend Pat Benatar and the biggest hits of the 80′s. Lead vocalist Teresa Cantu looks and sounds so much like Pat Benatar that they could be twins separated at birth.
Cassette Tape - Cassette Tape is more about the experience, than the genre. The psychedelic reggae rock band from the island of Galveston, express their passion through the musical connection between them and the audience. In the two years with their current outfit, they have garnered much attention and exposure from various media outlets including internet music revues, film, print media and local network television.
Food is a huge part of Cajun culture, and there will be plenty at the invasion! There will be more than crawfish, shrimp, and alligator! Some of what we'll be serving: Crab Cakes with Voodoo Salad, Louisiana Lobster Puffs, Alligator, Craw Fish Etouffee, Bayou Sweet Tea, Jambalyla, Cajun Sausages, Philly Cheese Steak, Funnel Cakes, Fried Sweets, Tex-Mex Burgers w/ Fries, Sausage, Lemonade, Shaved Ice, Corn Dogs, Nachos,Teriyaki Chicken-on-a-Stick, Shrimp-Fried Rice, Vegetable Lo Mein, Egg Roll, Jamaican Jerk Chicken, Wings, Pork, Ribs, Ribbon Fries, and more. Inventive cooks will offer new takes across culinary traditions, and, of course, festival classics such as corn dogs and funnel cakes will be in plentiful supply.
A world-class Carnival, sponsored by Funds4Houston, will offer rides and games to delight all ages. Arts and crafts vendors offer a stunning array of unique gifts, decoration, clothing, and art.
Specialty entertainment features the popular Splash Dogs, armadillo races and wildlife exhibits will entertain all ages.
Splash Dogs - Splash Dogs is a nationally recognized dog enthusiast company that organizes and promotes dock jumping events across the United States. Splash Dogs strives to provide a family oriented competitive atmosphere. Splash Dogs is a sanctioning body for dock jumping and dock diving events. Splash Dogs tracks overall event and individual rankings as well as offering a multi-level titling program for all participants. Click HERE for more information, or click SplashDogs.com
Armadillo Races - Nine-banded armadillos are “steered” down the track by guests selected as “jockeys.” The Houston Press says, “Armadillo racing is the purest sport in the world today: unfettered by the unsavory underworld types like pari-mutuel racing; unscathed by strikes, like the NBA, NFL, MLB, and PBA (Bowlers); untouched by ludicrous player salaries, the armadillos race only for joy and earthworms; and unrestricted by huge, expensive tracks like those licensed by the Texas Racing Commission. It just don’t get more Texas than ‘dillos!”
Discount VIP tickets available though Houston Press Daily Deals - With this one-day VIP pass, you will be be served festival food at scheduled times, issued 2 drink tickets, all-day ride pass, VIP parking, comfy seating in shaded tent area near a music stage, unlimited water, soft drinks and light snacks. bartender and drinks available in VIP tent - ID required - and convenient restrooms located near VIP tent.
Katy hotels are offering special rates for patrons to stay overnight or the full weekend. They say here, "You’ll love Katy," and you’ll love it even more with a dash of Cajun spice! Check the website for details.
Visitors and those rooted in the country living of Southeast Texas and Louisiana will share a love of great music, food, and good times. French and African influences gave the Louisiana culture a unique flavor surging over to mix with the tide of Texas Country, folk and rock music. It is that blend of cultures, disparate people, coming together to create a unique and a rich mixture of music, language and unique foods blending so beautifully, ever evolving and new – but, always grounded and spiced in tradition. It’s all here…in Katy, Texas. Join the Katy Cajun Invasion!
Laissez les bons temps rouler, ya'll!
Benefiting Katy ISD Education Foundation
For tickets go to the KatyCajunInvasion.com
Katy Mills - Free Parking
5000 Katy Mills Center
Katy, TX 77494
Hours: Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. – 11 p.m. and Sunday. 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Admission: Advance Online: $8 Adults, $21, 3-Day Pass $80 VIP, At the Door: $10 Adults, $24 3-Day Pass
Children 12 & Under & Military in uniform free | free Friday before 3 p.m.
Contacts for information or interviews:
Media Contacts and Sponsorship
Michael R. Martin
Food and Craft Vendors:
Katy Cajun Invasion Sponsors - The Katy Cajun Invasion would like to thank our sponsors for their generous support. Click on the links to go to their website, and learn more about the people and companies that help make this good time happen! Budweiser, Mountain King Potatoes, Houston’s Eagle Houston’s Only Classic Rock Station, Country Legends 97.1 FM - Houston’s favorite Pure Country Music Station – “Keeping Country Real!” and Applied Productions Services.
Vendor Page If you are interested in being a Vendor at the Katy Cajun Invasion, click the link to go to the online Vendor Form.
If you are interested in becoming a sponsor of the Katy Cajun Invasion, and enjoying the benefits of the promotion involved, click the link to request a Sponsor Packet. Online Sponsor Request