Senior editor Michael Hall on spending time with Dallas musician Erykah Badu.
The Austin filmmakers traveled the country to explore the state of today’s popular music for their documentary Before the Music Dies, which features interviews with Doyle Bramhall, Elvis Costello, Branford Marsalis, and Eric Clapton, among others.How is today’s hand-wringing different from just another generation’s complaining that music is no good
Much has been written about BLAZE FOLEY over the yearsmaybe too much. His outsized reputation has overshadowed his recordings, which by comparison seem enigmatic, unfocused, and devoid of ambition. But this could actually describe Foley, who in his short lifetime (he was murdered in 1989 at age 39) never made
Looking to feed your indie-rock jones? San Antonio’s SNOWBYRD may be just what you’re seeking. Hard-driving, chugging guitar rhythms, melodic songs with off-kilter Phish/Meat Puppets/Grateful Dead (pick your generation) harmonies, a flair for weird turns, and, of course, a proud lo-fi aesthetic are all combined on the band’s self-titled debut
There may be a wait for Austin’s next big thing. In what has to be one of the longest teases in rock history, VOXTROT has released its third consecutive EP. As in, just a measly three more songs. The group’s previous two EPs met with the kind of acclaim that
“It’s immensely gratifying to work with people who are trying to do their best at what they do toward a common end. And whether it’s an arrangement or the performance of a single song, I just love the feeling of watching three or four or sixteen people all working together.”
Including: the sopa azteca at El Mirador, in San Antonio; the spring-fed pool at Balmorhea State Park; the humidity; elbow room; free advice at White Rock Lake, in Dallas; county courthouses; boots-and- jeans-clad Academy Award–winner Larry McMurtry; and—seriously— quail hunting.
“I always thought that if I was having fun doing what I was doing and making a living doing it, then I was already successful.”
Senior editor Michael Hall on musician Daniel Johnston and writing about mental illness.
He was, for a while, and look what happened: Today one of the great songwriters in the alternative-rock universe is a 44-year-old manic-depressive living with his parents in Waller. And the worst thing about it is that he’s about to be famous again.
No one’s more of a populist than JAMES MCMURTRY, whose tales put a human face on the downtrodden. The only thing surprising about his entry into protest music is that it took him so long. WE CAN’T MAKE IT HERE is a seven-minute state-of-the-union mantra that looks at the Bush
Michael Ramos used to be a coveted player in the Austin scene; now he’s sought out by the likes of Paul Simon and John Mellencamp. Ramos spent years as a member of the BoDeans, but it’s his current employer, Patty Griffin, who encouraged him to explore his own unique fusion
Like the blues, jazz is steeped in such tradition that players can spend decades finding their own voice. Many never do. Which makes what JASON MORAN has accomplished in just over five years of recording even more remarkable. Same Mother (Blue Note) is simply the latest in a series of—there’s
Musician Ian McLagan survived the British rock explosion of the sixties. Now he lives in Austin, a place he loves to call home.
Read twenty more letters about executive editor Paul Burka's article, "The Man Who Isn't There."
"My next assignment was supposed to be teaching English at the Academy at West Point, but I didn't go. I got out of the Army and went to Nashville instead, and I think Johnny Cash was probably the biggest reason."
Senior editor Michael Hall talks about Beyoncé and this month's cover story, "It's a Family Affair."
"The Dixie Chicks recorded 'Travelin' Soldier,' one of the first songs I wrote, and it did great until the girls got embroiled in that crazy media-frenzy."
"I'm the one who introduced guitar boogie-woogie in this country, with a song I called 'Gatemouth Boogie.' It was a big hit."
Before they had even cut a record, the five kids from Tyler who call themselves Eisley were the talk of the music business. Why? Let me draw you a picture.
"I moved to Austin in 1974, and it was this kind of magical place. The whole alternative culture controlled the town."
"I don't believe anything in this world could ever disturb or upset me enough to make me start drinking again."
You may never have heard of Ramón Ayala, but to his four generations of fans in South Texas and Mexico, he’s music royalty. He revolutionized norteño, a genre that reigns along the border, and—after more than one hundred albums—is still going strong.
According to Time, the Austin rock-pop trio Spoon "just might be your next favorite band." But Britt Daniel and the boys have been burned by such pronouncements before, so this time they’re carefully considering their options—and, as always, putting their music first.
Is Clear Channel, the San Antonio-based radio behemoth, as patently evil as everyone says? Don't touch that dial.
My Jerry Jeff Walker.
Secret Santas, take note: Here are my picks for the state's most underrated or underrecognized CDs of the year.
With the record business in the doldrums, what's a talented, ambitious band to do? If you're Austin's Grupo Fantasma, you make it on your own.
After years of ignoring Woody Guthrie's time in Pampa, residents of the tiny Panhandle community are finally singing "This Land Is His Land."
She was a country music sensation at age 13. Now, Tanya Tucker, a native of Seminole, talks about her life and her love of music 30 years later.
They may not be songs about Texas, but Tony Joe White wrote Rainy Night in Georgia and Polk Salad Annie while living in Corpus Christi. Currently on tour opening for Joe Cocker, the Louisiana native chats about old times, his new record label, and the Texas musician who first inspired
A new book on dance halls explains why Texans are itching to go boot-scootin'.
Executive editor Skip Hollandsworth talks about Pat Green and this month's cover story, "With Envy."
Pat Green’s fans—and they are legion—love his songs about the joys of Luckenbach and Lone Star beer. His critics—also legion—think his lyrics are trite. But no matter how you feel about him, there’s no denying that he’s the hottest country music act in Texas. And that he has made the
His cache of unpublished interviews and unreleased recordings is unrivaled—but both collector and collection are showing signs of age. Who will save the legacy of the man who saved Texas music?
The life of Roky Erickson—one of the most influential Texas rock and rollers of all time—has been one calamity after another. His family and friends have taken care of him with the best of intentions, but you know what they say about the road to hell.
LeAnn Rimes was a marshmallow-cheeked thirteen-year-old when she made it big. Now, five years later, she is locked in bitter legal battles with both her estranged father and her Nashville record company, and her life and career are collapsing around her. Can America's country princess get back on track?
Chalee Tennison wants to reclaim old-time country music.
He's produced albums for the likes of Roy Orbison and Elvis Costello for years, but now Fort Worth's T Bone Burnett is writing songs again and composing music for movies and plays. At 53 he's on a creative roll and, as he says, "Never bored."
Twenty essential recordings by Texas' best jazz musicians.
Artist Frank Kozik has been called a "rock-poster genius," creating jarring, macabre images for bands like the Butthole Surfers and Sonic Youth. So why did he leave Austin for San Francisco seven years ago? He had his designs.
Although Texans from Scott Joplin to Jack Teagarden have made noteworthy contributions to the history of jazz, a music form that may be our country's greatest artistic achievement, they are all but forgotten now. It's high time Texas did something about that.
Rick Sikes and the Rhythm Rebels could have been bigger than Willie Nelson—if only bank robbery hadn't been on the playlist.
Ten tunes by Texas artists to jingle your bells.
For brothers Charlie and Bruce Robison, making country music safe for men again is an intriguing proposition—and a risky one because of their wives.
You might have thought Waco’s Hank Thompson, a forebear of today’s alt-country scene, was dead and gone. But faster than you can say “No Depression,” he’s back, and even at 74, he shows no signs of slowing down.
How Lubbock’s Legendary Stardust Cowboy stays legendary after all these years.
Together for the first time: Two Tommys (Hancock and Shannon), two Montes (Montomery and Warden), two Hubbards (Blues Boys and Ray Wylie) and two Clarks (Carrie and W.C.), plus a Butthole Surfer, three Gourds, six Bells of Joy, a Tailgator, and 87 others who give their all, creatively speaking, to
Sixty-five years after his first recording sessions with the Texas Playboys, 25 years after his death, Bob Wills is still the king of western swing.
It has a nice beat, you can dance to it, and it unites us as nothing else does. The sounds of our state — past, present, and future.