• Mary Jane Farmer & S.I.T Crew
The Scene In Town crew
Mary Jane Farmer
Scene In Town — Owner, writer, photographer, musical event producer, booking agent, and more
Buddy Magazine — Reporter
Overdrive Entertainment — Photographer
Choctaw Casinos (Durant and Grant, Okla.) — Photographer
Kerrville Festivals — Photographer
WoodyFest — Photographer
KHYI 95.3 — Former Photographer
TownSquare Experitial — Former Photographer
Although she had volunteered and been around music festivals for several years before, Mary Jane Farmer jumped into the music business with both feet in 1980, when she accepted the position of assistant to Rod Kennedy, the producer for the world-wide acclaimed Kerrville Festivals in Kerrville, Texas.
It was a year-round, full-time job in which, during festivals, she was responsible for overseeing the 250 volunteers over 18 days of the big festival, and at several other events throughout the year, plus woking as each event’s business management, allowing producer Rod Kennedy the freedom to host the stage with ease. Together, the team also produced classical, bluegrass, folk, and country music festivals, and traveled and held festivals across Texas, the United States, and Mexico.
In 1986, Texas Governor Mark White invited Mary Jane to produce the state’s 7-stage, 2-day official Sesquicentennial Festival at San Jacinto Battleground State Park. She provided a representation of the music of every ethnic group that settled Texas, added superstars who made their home in Texas, and culminated that event by combining Willie Nelson and his band with the Houston Symphony.
Mary Jane has also been a booking agent and office assistant for several performers including Steve Young and Allen Wayne Damron; reviewer of songs for Tompal Glaser’s studio in Nashville; and a record distributor (both independent and with Polygram Records), all while holding down “real” jobs, including delving into the newspaper reporting business.
In 2001, after moving (in 1996) from Kerrville to Grayson County, Texas, Mary Jane became the police and fire beat reporter for the Sherman Herald Democrat. Three years later, she and fellow reporter Ken Studer convinced the paper to begin publishing more about live music, hence the birth of the “Texoma Live Music Scene.”
“I sat at home between 1996, when I moved to Van Alstyne from the very musically-active Kerrville and the Texas Hill Country, until 2004, not knowing there was so much incredible music in the area,” Mary Jane said. “No one had a comprehensive listing of nightly events until then.” Creating a calendar, along with providing features, became a focus interest/passion for Mary Jane.
Studer left the paper, and Farmer kept up with the newspaper’s music scene until the paper shrunk, as newspapers are doing, and the “Texoma Live Music Scene” was dropped. Quickly, she established SceneInTown.com to take up the slack, not wanting to let the musicians and venues down.
After leaving the newspaper in August 2012, Mary Jane again began dedicating all her time to the music business, bumping up music news and the live music calendar on SceneInTown.com as one way of letting the public know just how much incredible talent there is out there. She began working again as an event promoter, and enjoyed producing the music stage at the Grayson County Fair (Texas), naturally called “The Scene In Town Stage.”
She is also an accomplished photographer, taking most of her own pictures. Mary Jane currently is photographer for Overdrive Entertainment’s events in North Texas and southern Oklahoma; and numerous festivals and venues; Choctaw Casinos‘ national music concerts., Kerrville Festivals, back home where she started decades earlier, at WoodyFest in Okemah, Okla., and for Mountain Jam 2017 in Oklahoma. Her pictures have also been used on several CDs; were published in East Texas Outdoors; in several books written by Vicki Penhall; and used for promo by countless musicians. She formerly was photographer for all KHYI events, including the Shiner Rising Star contests, Cooler’n Hell Fest, Rusty Wier songwriting contests, and Texas Music Revolution; and for Experiential’s Crude Fest in Midland, Texas.
2013 was an even-busier-than-usual year. February saw Mary Jane joining the reporting staff for Buddy Magazine, the oldest music magazine in Texas. In October, 2013, she began working with singer/songwriter Tony Ramey, as she had many years previously for singer/songwriter Steve Young and Allen Damron. She now books the live music for El Patio Escondido in Van Alstyne, and a portion of the Thursday night events at Hank’s Texas Grill in McKinney. And since Choctaw Casino in Durant has opened its Grand Theater, that venue is hosting concerts by more and more national touring musicians, and Mary Jane is keeping up with most of those for the casinos, including photographing the venue’s and bands’ Meet n Greets.
The online magazine, SceneInTown.com, is enjoying considerable success, as noted by the growing numbers of dedicated, repeat readers, many of whom return regularly to search its Live Music and Festival calendars, others for the feature stories and CD reviews, and many just for the numerous photographs.
Mary Jane Farmer, PO Box 1422, Van Alstyne TX 75495
Angie may well be the world’s prime example of loyalty to jobs accepted. Angie works with the Live Music and the Music Festival calendars, doubling the number of entries in each day’s listing. She began working with Scene In Town.com in 2013, and has stayed diligently with it since Day 1, all while working her daytime job; working with her own travel agency Waves Travel; and volunteering for other entities, such as the Po Boys Picnics. She can be reached online at Angela@SceneInTown.com
Billy Keith Bucher
Bucher has always been torn, and tenacious, between two paths: music and writing.
G. Houston Hall
Houston Hall fell into the Texas Music Scene by chance when he worked at local bars and music venues in the Stephenville and the Dallas/Fort Worth areas. With his love of music metamorphosing not only from the written word or the visual story, he also has embraced his talents as a fill-in musician.
He attended Landmark College in Putney, Vermont, for two years and received an Associate’s degree in Communications. He then attended Tarleton State University where he received his Bachelor degree in Communications with an emphasis in broadcast journalism.
From the school newspaper titled The Texan News Service, he honed his skills in the art of reporting and broadcast production. He also garnered two awards for best runner-up story of the month for Texan News Service and a Mark of Excellence award from the Society of Professional Journalists. From those experiences, Houston then found his calling in the profession of videography, photography, and writing. But, most importantly, those skills that he had gained played into his true passion for music and his addiction to the Texas Music Scene.
In the spring of 2014, Houston took a big leap in the right direction when he began following and reporting on the Larry Joe Taylor Singer-Songwriter Showcase. After the showcase, he was than invited to be a part of the press team at the LJT Music Festival. Since then, he has been to at least 25 different music festivals yearly throughout the state of Texas and four in the state of California.
Houston also has extensive experience in live and studio video production. His first full-time job after college was with Video Streaming Services, which is a small firm based out of Sacramento, California.
For more information about Houston and what he’s doing feel free to follow him on Facebook at RedDirtMusicPhotojournalist or here at Scene in Town.