John Morthland

Articles by John Morthland

Unsentimental Journey

Jan 20, 2013 By John Morthland

Ornette Coleman's radical theory of harmolodics helped redefine jazz. His relationship with the music business has always been troubled, however, and today the Fort Worth native suffers from benign neglect. But his tenor sax still packs an emotional wallop.

Voice of Amerykah

Jan 20, 2013 By John Morthland

Whether or not Erykah Badu is the Billie Holiday of hip-hop, her uplifting songs and soulful singing are winning fans from coast to coast.

Gone To Kansas City

Jan 20, 2013 By John Morthland

I went; I ate; for the most part I snickered. Of all the alleged barbecue capitals in the United States, the only serious rival to Texas is Kansas City, Missouri. This is because Kansas City barbecues beef, whereas Memphis, the Carolinas, and the rest of the Deep South barbecue pork.

The Other Cabeza de Vaca

Jan 20, 2013 By John Morthland

At seven on a Saturday morning, I find Armando Vera and his assistant in the prep room of the tin smokehouse behind Vera’s Backyard Bar-B-Que in Brownsville. The assistant is cleaning about fifty cow heads with a powerful spray hose; when he finishes, Vera wraps them in extra-heavy aluminum foil. In…

Lockhart and Soul

Jan 20, 2013 By John Morthland

It’s been the same for years. At Kreuz Market in Lockhart, you enter from the dirt parking lot through the hellishly hot pit area in the rear. If the line is long enough—and the line at Kreuz is seldom short—the exposed post-oak-wood fire at the end of the pit may…

Pit Stops

Jan 20, 2013 By Patricia Sharpe, Eileen Schwartz, Joe Nick Patoski, Katy Vine, John Morthland, Paul Burka, John Spong, Michael Hall, Jane Dure and Christopher Keyes

Where are the best places to eat barbecue in Texas? Six years ago we published a highly subjective—and hotly debated— list of our fifty favorite joints, and now we’ve gone back for seconds. Ten intrepid souls drove more than 21,000 miles in search of 2003’s worthiest ‘cue. Here’s what they came back with: the top 5 and the next 45, plus honorable mentions, great chains, and meat by mail.

Clifford Antone

Jun 30, 2006 By John Morthland

ZZ Top guitarist Billy Gibbons, environmental activist Robin Rather, and others remember the legendary Austin nightclub owner who died May 23, 2006.