Joe Nick Patoski's Profile Photo

Former senior editor Joe Nick Patoski has been writing about Texas and Texans for five decades. He is the author and coauthor of biographies of Willie Nelson, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Selena, and the Dallas Cowboys, and he wrote the texts for various coffee-table books on the Texas mountains, the Texas coast, and Big Bend National Park.

One of his more recent titles is Austin to ATX: The Hippies, Pickers, Slackers, and Geeks Who Transformed the Capital of Texas, published in 2019. His 2020 book, The Ballad of Robert Ealey and His Five Careless Lovers, is an oral history of the seminal blues band Patoski grew up with in Fort Worth in the early 1970s. He has also written Generations on the Land, published by Texas A&M University Press, and Texas High School Football: More Than the Game, a catalog of an exhibit he curated for the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum in 2011, and has contributed essays to the books Homegrown, Conjunto, and My Soul Looks Back in Wonder.

A staff writer for Texas Monthly for eighteen years and a onetime reporter for the Austin American-Statesman, Patoski currently serves as a writer-at-large for Texas Highways and hosts The Texas Music Hour of Power on Marfa Public Radio and Wimberley Valley Radio.

He directed the documentary film Sir Doug and the Genuine Texas Cosmic Groove about the musician Doug Sahm in 2015.

He lives in the Texas Hill Country near Wimberley.

330 Articles

Music Review |
April 1, 2000

Chris Rybak

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

Profile |
April 1, 2000

The King of Clubs

The longtime impresario of the coolest chain of nightlife spots in Texas remembers well what it was like to be a Cellar dweller. Me too.

Music Review |
March 1, 2000

Superfast

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!

Feature |
March 1, 2000

Crashed

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.

Feature |
March 1, 2000

Land That I Love

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?

Music Review |
February 1, 2000

Hot CDs

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.

Music Review |
February 1, 2000

Hot CDs

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.

Music Review |
February 1, 2000

Hot CDs

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

Music Review |
February 1, 2000

Hot CDs

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.

Artist Interview |
February 1, 2000

Briefly Noted

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

Music Review |
February 1, 2000

One Endless Night

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.

Music Review |
January 1, 2000

Live at the Austin Outhouse

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

Reporter |
June 30, 1999

Clean Living

How the fight over a toxic waste dump has changed the lives of three West Texas activists.

Business |
April 1, 1998

Wowtown!

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

Politics & Policy |
May 31, 1997

Out There

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.

Politics & Policy |
March 1, 1997

Dumped On

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.

Music |
December 1, 1996

He Writes the Songs

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

News & Politics |
June 30, 1996

So You Wanna Be a Storm Chaser?

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 (http://taiga.geog.niu.edu/chaser/chaser.html), featuring essays by Alan Moller and

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