Jan Reid, Philip Burke, and Patricia Sharpe.
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Though the late Doug Sahm was one of Texas’s most accomplished musicians, Austin-based writer-at-large Jan Reid acknowledges that he didn’t always recognize the importance of the man best known for fronting the Sir Douglas Quintet. “I didn’t connect with Doug personally when I wrote about Texas music in the early seventies, and in some ways I underestimated him,” says Reid, who devoted two years and interviewed more than a hundred people to write the forthcoming Sahm biography, Texas Tornado, excerpted here. “Later, I became a fan of Doug’s music, but I never really got to know him. I wish I had.”
Known for his gracefully distorted lines and playful use of color, Philip Burke has established himself as one of the country’s most prominent—and prolific—artists, contributing to the New Yorker, Rolling Stone, and texas monthly over the years. For this issue, he turned his eye on Governor Rick Perry (“Right Place, Right Time). “Believe it or not, I didn’t know anything about him,” says Burke, who lives in Niagara Falls, New York. “But it was pretty easy to catch up.”
This issue marks the eighth edition of Where to Eat Now, executive editor Patricia Sharpe’s annual roundup of the state’s best new restaurants. And as usual, the venture was fraught with occupational hazards: long hours on the road, mountains of rich food, and, perhaps most terrifying, the overzealous restaurateur. “Here I thought I was being surreptitious, taking notes under the tablecloth,” Sharpe says. “But at one place, the chef came and stood at one side of the table and the owner at the other side. ‘Soooooo, how was the food?’ they said. I’d been caught! Thank goodness I had already finished eating.”