Music

Storytelling and reviews about the artists and trends that define the sounds of the Lone Star State
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April 1, 2004

Pure Country

"I don't believe anything in this world could ever disturb or upset me enough to make me start drinking again."

Music|
April 1, 2004

King of the Accordion

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.

Music|
April 1, 2004

Spoon at a Fork

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.

Music|
April 30, 2003

Independent’s Day

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.

Music|
March 1, 2003

Prodigal Son

After years of ignoring Woody Guthrie's time in Pampa, residents of the tiny Panhandle community are finally singing "This Land Is His Land."

Music|
December 1, 2002

A Q&A with Tony Joe White

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

Music|
May 31, 2002

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

Music|
April 1, 2002

Mack McCormick Still Has the Blues

His cache of unpublished interviews and unreleased recordings is unrivaled—but both collector and collection are showing signs of age.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?

Music|
December 1, 2001

A Long, Strange Trip

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.

Music|
April 30, 2001

Daddy’s Little Girl

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?

Music|
March 1, 2001

T Bone, Well Done

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."

Music|
January 1, 2001

Poster Boy

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.

Music|
January 1, 2001

Hall of Justice

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.

Music|
November 1, 2000

Almost Famous

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.

Music|
June 30, 2000

On the Fringe

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.

Music|
April 30, 2000

A Great Day In Austin

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

Music|
April 30, 2000

Wills Power

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.

Music|
April 30, 2000

Y’all in the Family

How did Lloyd Maines get to be a revered guitarist and record producer? How did his daughter Natalie find fame as a Dixie Chick? Chalk it up to musicianship—and kinship.

Music|
April 30, 2000

Gotta Lubbock

Buddy Holly. Waylon Jennings. Carolyn Hester. The Hancocks. The Flatlanders. An oral history of the state's most storied music scene.

Books|
April 30, 2000

Hot Box

CDs by Ernest Tubb, Blind Willie Johnson, and Guy Clark; books about Janis Joplin, Buddy Holly, and John A. Lomax.

Music|
December 1, 1999

Songwriter

Move over, Anna Nicole Smith. Mexia’s biggest celebrity is Cindy Walker, who penned hits made famous by everyone from Eddy Arnold to Bob Wills.

Music|
August 31, 1999

Mex Appeal

Ricky Martin? Jennifer Lopez? The real Spanish-language stars of the moment are the Monterrey punk, funk, jazz, and hip-hop duo Plastilina Mosh.

Music|
July 31, 1999

Jandek and Me

Why is he a cult hero to deejays and record collectors— and why is he such a recluse? I wanted to know, so I tried to find him. And I did, in an upscale Houston neighborhood. And we drank beer.

Music|
June 30, 1999

CD and Book Reviews

MUSICTownes Van ZandtA Far Cry From DeadAristaA Townes joke: what has a front cover, a back cover, and “Pancho and Lefty”? The new Townes Van Zandt album! That song, and others like “To Live’s to Fly,” “For the Sake of the Song,” and “Waitin’ ‘Round to Die” filled the various

Music|
June 30, 1999

Blues Brothers

Long John Hunter and his guitar-slinging friends sharpened their axes in and around Port Arthur, so their recent return was truly a homecoming.

Music|
June 30, 1999

Jake Andrews

A seven-year-old guitarist who makes his stage debut alongside blues legend Albert King is a novelty, even after he has jammed with Buddy Guy, Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown, and Albert Collins. But what happens when the kid grows up? He becomes a seasoned veteran—more of a contender than less experienced peers

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