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Local Performers Bring Crowds to J. Gilligan's

By Rachel Snyder

UTA biology student and musician Timmy Dixon sat at J. Gilligan's crowded bar laughing and drinking a beer with friends. Dixon had just finished performing a set of country/rock music on his acoustic guitar to a crowd of other patrons on a Friday night.

Dixon  said the relaxed vibe of J. Gilligan's, sometimes affectionately known as J. Gill's, is a welcome change from his usual formals and big events. He is a frequent performer at the restaurant.

“I like the people here,” Dixon said. “The environment is really chill and the crowd is very supportive. I don't want to leave when I come here.”

Dixon released his first album, Ten Mile Bridge, in 2007 at the age of 14. He now has two albums and 14 total songs on iTunes. Dixon also reached the final audition round of singing competition show, The Voice. He stopped making albums last year to focus on his education.

“I left the business last year because it wasn't what I wanted to do to support myself,” he said. “I want to be a doctor Monday through Friday and jam out on the weekends.”

Rema Atiya, a waitress at J. Gilligan's, said the restaurant only hires local bands, so Dixon is a good fit as a local artist at UTA.

“We hire local bands because they’re the ones who attract people and bring friends,” Atiya said.

Atiya said J. Gilligan's has live performers Wednesday through Saturday and usually has a lively crowd.

UTA student Lia Closel likes to go to J. Gilligan’s on the weekends to hear music and relax after a long week of classes

“I like to go hear good music with friends and eat Irish Nachos on Fridays,” she said. “My favorite are the rock-style bands.”