Throw your plans out the window. We scoured the state in search of the top events and offerings, from Steve Martin jammin’ on the banjo in Dallas and a good old-fashioned barbecue cookoff in Taylor to singing along with Emilio Navaira, the “Garth Brooks of tejano.” Here’s our super select guide to the things you absolutely can’t afford to miss.
[Aug 19–Aug 26]
Steve Martin has done wonders for the banjo’s reputation. He democratized the instrument by bringing it out from under the shadow of Hee Haw and Deliverance and onto the lawn of the U. S. Capitol, where for the Fourth of July, Martin and the band Steep Canyon Rangers united a cross-section of Americans with the bluegrass song “Orange Blossom Special.” But playing banjo is something Martin does only when he’s not acting in movies, writing books or collecting art. The wild and crazy Renaissance guy—born in Waco and reared in Southern California—taught himself to play when he was seventeen, with his girlfriend’s father’s banjo. Martin reacquainted himself with his own banjo two years ago and has been playing steady