Joe Nick Patoski

Author's Profile Photo

Joe Nick Patoski is a former senior editor for Texas Monthly and a one-time reporter for the Austin American-Statesman. He has authored and co-authored biographies of Selena and Stevie Ray Vaughan, collaborated with photographer Laurence Parent on books about the Texas mountains, the Texas coast, and Big Bend National Park, all published by University of Texas Press, in addition to writing Generations on the Land: A Conservation Legacy (TexasA&M Press) and Texas High School Football: More Than the Game (Texas Historical Commission). His 2008 book, Willie Nelson: An Epic Life, published by Little, Brown, was recognized by the Friends of the TCU Library with the Texas Book Award for the best book about Texas written in 2007/2008. His most recent book for Little, Brown is The Dallas Cowboys: The Outrageous History of the Biggest, Loudest, Most Hated, Best Loved Football Team in America. Patoski’s byline has appeared in the Los Angeles Times,the New York Times, TimeOut New York, Garden & Gun, and No Despression magazine, for whom he is a contributing editor.

Articles by Joe Nick Patoski

Chris Rybak

Apr 1, 2000 By Joe Nick Patoski

TAKE A LANKY 22-year-old kid in a cowboy hat who cites Flaco Jiménez and Myron Floren as major influences alongside Hank Williams, Garth Brooks, and George Strait, and you just know there’s a whole lotta polka in his country soul. And that’s precisely what Chris Rybak’s self-titled CD is all…


Mar 1, 2000 By Joe Nick Patoski

Clever lads, these Austin boys called Dynamite Hack. On their debut CD, Superfast, they lift the street thugga lyrics from Eazy-E and Ice Cube’s “Boyz-N-The Hood,” rework them with breathy, sensitive vocals and folk-rock instrumentation, and wrap the whole thing up with a musical nod to the Beatles’ “Blackbird.” Voila!…


Mar 1, 2000 By Joe Nick Patoski

At heart, Dewey Winburne was an educator, not an entrepreneur; he saw technology as a tool for doing good rather than doing well. Even so, he was able to survive in Austin’s heady new economy—until the pressure got to him.

Land That I Love

Mar 1, 2000 By Joe Nick Patoski

City folks with money to burn are driving up the cost of living in the Davis Mountains and the state’s other pretty places. What’s a rancher to do?

Hot CDs

Feb 1, 2000 By Joe Nick Patoski

Mean Gene Kelton’s Most Requested (Avatar) offers fifteen scorching boogie and blues tracks, including the signature “My Baby Don’t Wear No Panties” from the journeyman Houston bar warrior, with his two sons as his rhythm section.

Hot CDs

Feb 1, 2000 By Joe Nick Patoski

Quiero Un Camaro (#3), by Los #3 Dinners, marks the first recording in more than a decade by San Antonio’s loosest garage band.

Hot CDs

Feb 1, 2000 By Joe Nick Patoski

Catfish, Carp, and Diamonds: 35 Years of Texas Blues (Catfish), a survey of homegrown sounds recorded by folk scholar Tary Owens, includes tracks by the Grey Ghost, Mance Lipscomb, and Dave Tippen, an elderly prisoner who delivers a heart-wrenching performance recorded behind prison walls.

Briefly Noted

Feb 1, 2000 By Joe Nick Patoski

Little Jack Melody and His Young Turks’ Noise and Smoke (Kilroy), celebrating Texas’ most twisted cabaret act, finally captures the group in its element (i.e., recorded live). . . . Catfish, Carp, and Diamonds: 35 Years of Texas Blues (Catfish), a survey of homegrown sounds recorded by folk scholar Tary…

One Endless Night

Feb 1, 2000 By Joe Nick Patoski

Jimmie Dale Gilmore’s voice reminds me of reading the Bible. The speech is so stilted and hopelessly antiquated, it somehow rings poetic. Since 1991’s groundbreaking After Awhile, though, the voice and the songs seem to have been either muddled in the mix or overwhelmed by bombast passing for production values.

Hot CDs

Feb 1, 2000 By Joe Nick Patoski

Rob Roy Parnell’s Jacksboro Highway (Blue Rocket) manages to pay righteous homage to jump blues, T-Bone Walker, the Jacksboro Highway, and the Texas roadhouse experience on this eleven-song compilation produced by his brother, Lee Roy.

Live at the Austin Outhouse

Jan 1, 2000 By Joe Nick Patoski

One of Austin’s most intriguing musical tribes over the years is what can be best described as the folk outlaws—a fringe element that drinks and drugs too much and lives on the street just this side of homeless, all for the sake of the song. In this realm, where Townes…

The Two Oswalds

Nov 1, 1998 By Joe Nick Patoski

It’s the most intriguing theory of all: two men with the same identity, one a patsy and the other a murderer who got off scot-free.

The Wild Coast

May 31, 1998 By Joe Nick Patoski

The birds of High Island. The wilderness of Matagorda Island. The untamed beach of Boca Chica. These and other hidden treasures await you-if you know where to look.


Apr 1, 1998 By Joe Nick Patoski

The billionaire Basses had a vision—and money, of course. Now, thanks to their efforts, Fort Worth has the hottest downtown in Texas.

What’s Left?

Jan 1, 1998 By Joe Nick Patoski

When you listen to Jim Hightower’s talk radio show, that’s the question you inevitably ask—about him, the medium, and Texas liberalism.

Out There

May 31, 1997 By Joe Nick Patoski

For seven days Rick McLaren and his armed cohorts were holed up in their Republic of Texas “embassy” while reporters dug for stories, lawmen kept watch, and the residents of nearby Fort Davis wished they’d all go away.

Dumped On

Mar 1, 1997 By Joe Nick Patoski

It’s almost certain that Hudspeth County will soon be the site of a nuclear-waste dump—but officials in neighboring Presidio County think they’re the ones getting dumped on.

He Writes the Songs

Dec 1, 1996 By Joe Nick Patoski

Though Jerry Lynn Williams is practically unheard of outside the industry, stars like Eric Clapton know him as one of the best tunesmiths anywhere.

So You Wanna Be a Storm Chaser?

Jun 30, 1996 By Joe Nick Patoski

Take Marty Feely’s Whirlwind Tours from Amarillo (707 W. Timberdell Road, Norman, OK 73072). Or attend a Skywarn spotter training seminar (call your county emergency services office). On the Internet Check out the Storm Chasers page on the World Wide Web (, featuring essays by Alan Moller and…