Wade Bowen has announced the details for his annual Bowen MusicFest. Now in its 20th year, the event, held on June 3 in Waco, Texas, will include performances by Midland, REO Speedwagon, Joe Nichols, Josh Abbott and Aaron Watson.
Proceeds from the MusicFest go to the Bowen Family Foundation, which benefits local family and children's charities.
"We started the event almost 20 years ago, right when I first started playing music," Bowen tells PopCulture.com. "It was a charity golf tournament, and it eventually spread into what is now a three-day event. We have a huge music festival, Bowen MusicFest, that goes with the golf tournament the next day. So because of that, we started our foundation about six years ago, and we have raised almost three million dollars in that six years. I'm really, really proud of that number."
The singer-songwriter admits MusicFest wouldn't be possible without the help of his family, including his sister and parents..
"It's a lot of work," concedes Watson. "[They] really run it and help make the thing go around. But there's nothing better than the hard work we put into it and then at the end to see the faces on people when you actually can help them and give them some money, or give them the necessities that they need. There's so many great people out there that are trying to do really good things in this world, and they just don't have the resources. It's really fun to be able to provide the resources for them."
Bowen released his latest studio album, Solid Ground, earlier this year. The record, Bowen says, shows how far he has come since his freshman Try Not to Listen was released in 2002.
"I've gotten obviously a lot smarter with how to write songs and how to make records and go out and play them," says Bowen. "We play 150 shows a year at minimum. And so, I feel like I'm a very intense and very emotional songwriter, and a very emotional artist. I think, just being older and wiser now, I know how to get that across a lot better than I did when I was younger. And I don't worry as much, like I did. I stressed out so much, and now it seems I know how to handle it a lot better, everything in this career.
"And I feel, coming out of this record especially, just feeling like I just made the best record I could ever make, best record of my career, in my opinion," he continues. "I feel like for the next five or ten years or so, I feel like it's going to be the best part of my career, because of that. I think open diary kind of songwriters like me, we get better with time, because we learn how to craft it a lot better, and open up a lot more."