Frankie Leone

Frankie Leonie effortlessly weaves between the ethereal realms of dreamy pop and the heartfelt melodies of soft country. Writing since a young age, Frankie has a way of speaking directly to the soul. Since her debut single, “Johnny Cash,” in 2018, Frankie’s musical evolution has been steady and impressive, but she has remained true to her unique and quietly powerful voice. 

Madi Davis

Born just outside of Chicago, IL in the dawn of the new millennium, Singer-Songwriter Madi Davis has become a North Texas local at heart. Madi has performed at countless venues, released two EP‘s and her Debut album, ‘Above The Waves, independently. Pharrell Williams once described her sound as “Urban Folk” in 2015. For now, Madi has taken to labelling her sound Neo-Folk, which encapsulates her love for classic folk writing styles and Neo-Soul/R&B melodies and melismas. 

Her vocal prowess and multi-genre influenced writing style naturally evoke comparisons to artists from various musical eras, showcasing a timeless quality that resonates with listeners of all backgrounds. Madi draws inspiration from a diverse spectrum of musical legends. Early in her career, Madi was enchanted by the poetic brilliance of Joni Mitchell and the soul-stirring melodies of the great women songwriters from the ’70s. She also finds kinship with contemporary genre-bending artists such as James Blake, Caroline Polachek, and Moses Sumney. This eclectic blend of influences infuses her music with a rich, ever-evolving tapestry of sounds that emanate even during her acoustic performances.

Madi Davis’s journey in the music industry is marked by a series of remarkable milestones, including: Her time on The Voice where she soared to the top 6 in the ninth season of NBC’s hit show, gaining international recognition for her exceptional vocal talent. Performing during the halftime show for the Panthers vs. Buccaneers NFL game, and delivering a stirring rendition of the national anthem at the Packers vs. Giants game in 2016. A Debut Album tour performance at the Rockwood Music Hall, and subsequent concerts at Paul McCartney Auditorium and The Zanzibar Club in Liverpool, England left a lasting impression on audiences worldwide.

Since 2013, Madi has independently released two EP’s–Madi Anne Davis in 2014, and What I Know‘ in 2015, and her debut album Above the Waves in 2016, as well as her emotive single Ann’s Song . All of Madi’s music is available online–on CD BabyiTunesSoundcloudGoogle Play and Spotify

Frankie Leonie

Texas singer-songwriter, Frankie Leonie, is inspired by, and often mixing country, folk, and rock, while also weaving in many modern sounds. She’s at times reminiscent of Emmylou Harris … but also, Phoebe Bridgers. She reveres country and folk acts from decades gone by and masterfully paints pictures of heartbreak and hardscrabble lives … yet she’s only just entered her twenties. And when you put it all together it works beautifully, bound together tightly by Frankie’s distinctive voice. Simultaneously silky and strong, her voice carries you along through each song, shifting seamlessly from quietly soothing to powerfully booming.

Taylor Young Band

With his scruffy beard, pearl snap shirt and soulful blue eyes, Taylor Young certainly  looks the part of a Texas born and bred singer-songwriter. However, his solo debut,  Mercury Transit, reveals an artist unafraid to break from convention and unwilling to be  typecast. 

That figures, since he’s taken such a roundabout journey to get here. As a teenager,  Young broke onto the Dallas music scene as the drummer for local psychedelic heroes  Hi-Fi Drowning. His frenetic-yet-flawless playing style quickly earned gigs with the likes  of Young Heart Attack and The Polyphonic Spree, but after years of touring he longed  to step out from behind the kit. When he finally did, Young defied expectations and co founded folk-country duo The O’s, honing his songwriting, guitar playing and frontman  presence over four albums and hundreds of live shows. 

With Taylor Young Band, these seemingly incongruent split personalities meet. Under  the guiding hand of producer and bandmate Toby Pipes, the entire album was recorded on analog outboard equipment in Pipes’ College Station, Texas home studio. Over a  year of laid-back regular sessions, the two discovered the perfect balance of Young’s  uncanny gift for melody and a clever turn of phrase with Pipes’ shimmering  atmospherics and pop sensibility. 

The result is an album that’s more power pop than country, with breezy harmonies and  big hooks seasoned with just a pinch of Southern twang. Opener “Get Around” gets the  point across right away, sounding like Alex Chilton fronting Teenage Fanclub. The  genre-bending continues on the lead single, “Rattled,” which wraps a Tom Petty style  ballad in a cozy shoegaze blanket. 

A persuasively optimistic hopeless romantic, Young sings earnestly about almost  blowing it (“Make You Wanna Stay”), post-breakup second thoughts (“Out of My Mind”),  and cosmic eternal destiny (“Shine On Me”). He’s also an old-school storyteller, ripping 

through honky tonk stomps “Daze of the Week” and “Drinkin” with a wink and self deprecating smile. 

Ted Lasso with a telecaster, Young imbues the entire record with relentless positivity – even against all odds. Album standout “Wrong Place, Wrong Time” turns a string of bad  luck into the jauntiest jangle pop this side of The Smiths. It’s this disarming sort of  charm that turns strangers into friends, and helps friends feel sure everything will work  out fine in the end. 

The current incarnation of Taylor Young Band sees Young and Pipes joined by guitarist  Michael Smith and drummer Austin Green – further evolving and expanding the  signature Americana dream pop sound established on Mercury Transit. Expect the TYB  good vibes to continue into 2022, with a much-anticipated European tour and second  album on the way. Until then, take a bit of advice from Young and “don’t let it bring you  down, ‘cause it will always come back to you.”

Join us on The Kessler Green (lawn behind The Kessler Theater)!

The Kessler Green is open every Thursday through Saturday starting at 5:00pm, music starts between 7:00 and 7:30pm.*

These events are currently free, but space is limited and is first come-first served (as seated by our hosts). 

Want to reserve a picnic table? You can select and pay for a table of your choice here! Each table seats up to 6 guests and will be reserved for you from opening to close on your selected evening.

Food will be available on-site each night from a rotating lineup of food truck & pop-up favorites, with beverage service from The Kessler Bar crew.

Please remember to wear a mask when not seated and stick to your party, maintaining a social distance from others.

*Note: On dates with indoor concerts at The Kessler, The Kessler Green will be open, but there will not be a live artist performing outside.

Join us for a special night welcoming Dallas’s own Joshua Ray Walker back from his first tour in Europe PLUS celebrating his birthday!  His friends Pedigo’s Magic Pilsner & Frankie Leonie open the evening.

A good night out drinking can find us making best friends out of people we’ve just met, but the best nights out are the ones that catch us unexpectedly sharing our innermost feelings and secrets with a complete stranger. Those uninhibited moments of truth and vulnerability are the same ones mined by Dallas singer-songwriter Joshua Ray Walker on his debut full-length Wish You Were Here. Through his incisive songwriting, Walker faithfully captures both the highs and lows of working class living. 

In 2018, Walker opened for several of Texas’ favorite acts, such as Old 97’s, Eleven Hundred Springs, Two Tons of Steel, Vandoliers and James Hand at legendary venues like The Blue Light in Lubbock, Stubbs in Austin and The Dance Hall at Luckenbach. For an average of 250 nights a year, Dallas’ classic country torchbearer shares pieces of himself with an effortless sincerity that has brought his audience to both tears and laughter – often at the same time. Told through a melodic, character-driven writing style that’s honest to a fault, Walker depicts a cast of subjects on his debut that are down but never out. 

There’s the portrait of a 13-year-old lady of the streets painted in his lead single “Working Girl,” which melds an up-tempo melody with clever wordplay projecting the strengths and struggles of a young woman just “doing what she’s gotta do to get by.” 

“I often unintentionally write from the perspective of characters that I dream up,” says Walker. “I can usually attribute a character to a person I’ve met, or people that I’ve known, combined with similar traits I find in myself. If it’s by poor decisions or circumstances beyond their control, I find inspiration from the downtrodden and destitute. I see myself in these characters. I use these characters to explore things about myself in songs I’d otherwise be too self-conscious to write about.” 

But Wish You Were Here’s best moments come when Walker sets aside the pretense of his characters, letting down his guard on tracks like the second single, “Canyon,” to reveal his own fears, biggest insecurities and insatiable longing felt throughout his father’s ongoing battle against Stage 4 lung cancer. 

“I’m a big, big man,” he sings in its gut-wrenching chorus. “Not just in size or in stature, but in terms of space that can’t be filled. I’m a bottomless canyon without a drop to spill.” 

Raised on the sounds of the Smoky Mountains, Walker has been playing music since he was a small child, walking next door to his grandfather’s house — an avid bluegrass fan and novice musician himself — every day after school to listen to records together. He also learned his first 

banjo and guitar tunes in his grandfather’s workshop. It wasn’t long before Walker grew into a well-seasoned multi-instrumentalist by grade-school and a working musician since the age of 13. 

After playing in bands throughout his teens, Walker wrote his first country song, “Fondly,” in the early morning, on Christmas Eve, 2009 — just hours after his grandfather passed away from lung cancer that had only been diagnosed two weeks prior. 

“Death and disease in loved ones seems to be a common theme in my life,” Walker admits. “I think it’s given me an intense understanding of the brevity of life. Sometimes that’s what drives me to create something worthwhile, and sometimes it’s just the motivation behind my anxiety, but either way it plays a large role in my life and music.” 

That’s not to say Wish You Were Here is comprised of nothing but tear-jerkers. For every “Canyon,” that lays itself bare at your feet, there’s the wry, self-deprecating humor of a “Last Call,” that jokes about it being better, at the end of the night, to just get out of the bar before the lights come on. For every “Keep,” where the discovery of an ex’s old trinkets sends the narrator over the proverbial cliff, there’s a “Love Songs,” that gives a lighthearted kiss-off to lovers past. 

Recorded by John Pedigo of The O’s (Old 97’s, Vandoliers) at Dallas Audio (where Willie Nelson recorded Red Headed Stranger) and Studio B at Modern Electric Sound Recorders, Joshua Ray Walker’s debut instantly earmarks him as one of Texas’ most gifted lyricists and musicians and a major force in the songwriting community moving forward. 

“Life is about timing I guess,” Walker says. “I haven’t changed my approach or work ethic in years, but people are starting to pay attention. I’m glad it took this long. If it had been possible to make my record any sooner, it wouldn’t be this record that I’m very proud we made.”