The Checklist


I Got More Soul!, Bobby Patterson (Omnivore, July 22)
The seventy-year-old Dallas soul singer’s first album in sixteen years—ably produced in Austin by former Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears guitarist Zach Ernst, who did similar honors for gospel group the Relatives last year—finds him in astonishingly strong voice and good humor; a title like “Your Love Belongs Under a Rock” is all the hint you need that this is no mere reverential revival. 

The Archer City Kid

As he sat at the broad wooden table next to his godmother, Kim Whitsitt, Kelvin Cletus Green looked like a student working through an algebra problem with his tutor. But the sandy-haired eighteen-year-old, whose skin is as smooth and tanned as a brand-new pair of calfskin boots, wasn’t working on an assignment for math class. On this particular June evening, he was running his first city council meeting as the newly installed mayor of Archer City.

Payback’s a Glitch

The five members of the Dallas County Commissioners’ Court unanimously voted for a resolution commemorating Juneteenth without realizing that it also endorsed reparations for slavery. Aside from Commissioner John Wiley Price, who put forth the resolution, none of the other commissioners had bothered to find out what was in the proposal before voting for it.


Billy Joe Shaver Is Still Alive

Billy Joe Shaver celebrates two major milestones this month, and it’s hard to say which deserves the longer parade. On August 5 the Corsicana-born singer-songwriter will release his seventeenth studio album (and his first in seven years), Long in the Tooth. But the record’s title indicates what may be the greater accomplishment: eleven days later, the one outlaw-generation songwriter who everybody agreed was out of his mind and not long for this world will turn 75.

Asylum Politics

In a small visitation room with painted cinder-block walls and one-way mirrors inside an El Paso immigration detention center, Gurbinder Singh sits at a metal table fiddling with his blue ID bracelet. Printed on the plastic band are the 26-year-old’s grainy mug shot, his birth date, and, perhaps most important, his “date of arrival,” May 20, 2013. That was when Singh walked north across a bridge that spans the Rio Grande and, in the little English he knew, asked a border guard for political asylum.

Head of the Table

For a reporter, it’s the easiest thing in the world to pick out the big personalities, the ones who thrive in the spotlight. It’s much harder to notice the people who work behind the scenes, taking care of business. Which explains the fact that, until a couple of months ago, hardly anyone covering Houston restaurants knew much about Manuel Pucha. And why would they?

Peck of Pickled Peppers

Bartenders find inspiration for new drinks in all kinds of places. For Elisabeth Forsythe, of San Antonio’s Barbaro restaurant, the recipe for her Peck of Pickled Peppers came out of her garden. After tasting a cranberry liqueur from Portland’s Clear Creek Distillery, Forsythe began to imagine a tangy summer cocktail that combined the liqueur with tequila and a hit of lime juice. Except the lime didn’t work. “Too Cape Cod–y,” she says.


Subscribe to Texas Monthly RSS