Note: Garden City’s annual Tumbleweed Festival will light up Lee Richardson Zoo’s West Green this weekend with music, art, children’s shows and Flat Mountain Brewhouse beer gardens. This week, we’re featuring different performers leading up to the festival. Once the music starts Friday, let us know who your favorites are at www.facebook.com/GardenCityTelegram or @GCTelegram on Twitter.

Near the end of June, the Garden City band AB Licon performed its first gig — a fast-paced show in Garden City’s Samy’s Spirits and Steakhouse. The show was equal parts rush and relief, which was to be expected, said lead singer, guitarist and band namesake AB Licon. Two weeks ago, all band members had met for the first time.

This weekend, they’ll take the stage again at the Tumbleweed Festival — their biggest show yet.

The band — comprised of Licon, Wyatt Marstellar on acoustic guitar, Zach George on bass and Dusty Kelly on drums — is a fresh one. Licon, who released his first solo album earlier this year, is the oldest of the group at 24. Their first show at Samy’s was thrilling, but still a learning experience, he said. The four young men are still growing together.

“We’re really just feeding that connection and understanding each other and how we play. We’ve known each other for just over two months, so we’re getting to know each others’ styles and adapting as a band,” Licon said.

Licon has played music for about eight years and writing for three, he said. A preacher’s son, he began drumming for his church’s worship band in Johnson as a teenager and has gradually shifted to guitar, he said. So far, he’s mostly played alone, but he’s always written for and wanted to be part of a band, he said. He produced his album alone, playing the different parts himself. Now, he rehearses and arranges music constantly with a group of collaborators, some of whom he just met.

“It’s brought me back to a ‘let’s just jam’ type of vibe … Hanging out with them and jamming with them has really been a ‘let go’ type of experience,” Licon said.

AB Licon’s music is hard to categorize, Licon said. It’s rock mixed with “a little bit of everything,” Licon said, like southern rock, blues and soul. It’s a blend of old and new, he said.

As a music student at Garden City Community College, Licon came to Tumbleweed for the first time to help his instructors. He watched performances, spoke with musicians, and eventually sang on the open mic community stage. Joining the lineup has been a goal for years. This weekend, that goal will become a milestone, he said.

And he encourages everyone to see what the band can do.

“I think we’re definitely something new to the area,” Licon said. “I feel like it’s something new that Garden City hasn’t seen before.”

AB Licon will perform at 7 p.m. Friday at the Tumbleweed Festival.

Festival wristbands are $20 in advance or $25 at the gate for adults and $15 in advance and $20 at the gate for kids ages 11 to 17. Kids under 10 get in free. All wristbands are good for the whole weekend and can be purchased at www.tumbleweedfestival.com or in person at Dillons East, Dillons West, Garden City Arts, Patrick Dugan’s, The Corner on Main, The Safari Shop, Family Bookhouse, Golden Plains Credit Union and High Plains Public Radio in Garden City, Dillons in Dodge City, Dillons and Golden Plains Credit Union in Liberal, and Golden Plains Credit Union in Ulysses. The entrance to the festival will be to the south of the zoo.

 

Contact Amber Friend at afriend@gctelegram.com.