Some local legends of the North Texas gay music scene are back in town. This is how music is made


Gary Lynn Floyd follows up with his cabaret two days later at the Women’s Museum on May 19.

ARNOLD WAYNE JONES  | Executive Editor

With all due respect to the Queen (Bey) and the Lady (Gaga), musical royalty existed long before Spotify, before Pandora, even before Napster. (Remember that?) In fact, the North Texas music scene has known how to produce great (local) musicians back to the 1920s (Leadbelly, Blind Lemon Jefferson), 1930s (Robert Johnson) up until the 1970s (Steve Miller Band), ’80s (Erykah Badu) and beyond. And some in the gay community who didn’t become household names were among the best ever… and many still are.

DeborahSo with Sue Ellen’s 9th annual Music Festival kicking off on May 17, expect to see some veterans who don’t appear enough in Dallas to show the youngsters how it’s done.

The festival’s headliner, Deborah Vial, fled the heat of Texas for the sun of Maui more than a decade ago, but as anyone who has seen the hard-rocking Vial at one of her annual visits back in Dallas (last summer, at the House of Blues) knows that the chick can wail on a bluesy number like nobody’s business. And she’s not the only one — Hunter Valentine, Anton Shaw, Heather Know, Yoza and Barefoot Hippies are all on the ticket for the all-day concert that starts with doors opening at 1 p.m.

Sue Ellen’s, 3014 Throckmorton St. May 17. 1 p.m. $20–$50.

The men have their king as well, in the form of Gary Lynn Floyd. The honey-voiced singer-songwriter-pianist’s delicate tenor has enough spiritual heft to get you believing again. And the current Los Angeles resident will give you a few opportunities to see it. First, he’ll be tickling the ivories at Alexandre’s for a late set on May 8, starting at 10 p.m. Then on May 19, Floyd will be the headliner at fellow singing legend Denise Lee’s new cabaret series at the old Women’s Museum space at Fair Park with When Gary Met Harry: The Music of Harry Warren. It starts at 7 p.m. and is free and open to the public.

Alexandre’s, 4026 Cedar Springs Road. May 8. 10 p.m.

Women’s Museum at Fair Park, 3800 Parry Ave. May 19, 7 p.m. Free.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition May 8, 2015.