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 |
May 31, 1996

Junior Achievement

Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Jerry Jeff Walker—and now Junior Brown? The former community college teacher is the latest outlaw to hijack Texas country music, and he may be the greatest.

Politics & Policy |
January 1, 1996

Bugging Out

Farmers in the Rio Grande Valley are reeling from last year’s crop disaster—and they don’t cotton to agriculture commissioner Rick Perry’s excuses.

Music |
May 31, 1995

Hit Picker

Each week, record promoters flock to see Redbeard, the Dallas radio programmer with an ear for the best new music.

Travel & Outdoors |
May 31, 1995

The Shore Thing

Our complete guide to a great vacation on South Padre Island: the best spot for tanning, who serves the freshest seafood, how to rent scuba gear, where to see the prettiest sunset, and more.

Travel & Outdoors |
May 31, 1995

Trip Tips

Travel InfoBefore you go, write or call the South Padre Island Convention and Visitors Bureau (Box 3500, South Padre Island 78597; 800-343-2368) and load up on the helpful brochures; or on your way in, stop at the Visitors Center at 600 Padre Boulevard.When to GoDepending on the time of year,

Environment |
November 1, 1994

Sea Change

Unchecked growth of microscopic algae has muddied the water—and threatened the future—of Laguna Madre.

Music |
September 30, 1994

Tour de Folk

Diverse styles and a shared devotion to fold music mark new releases by Nanci Griffith and Robert Earl Keen.

Literature |
August 31, 1994

Rave On

The world’s leading expert on rock legend Buddy Holly, Bill Griggs is alive and well and living in the fifties.

Reporter |
April 30, 1994

Reality Bit

With a song on a hit movie sound track, Dallasite Lisa Loeb is ready to make a deal.

Music |
August 31, 1993

The Natural

In his new release, Jimmie Dale Gilmore sings country music the way it’s supposed to be sung—pure and easy.

Music |
April 1, 1993

French Twist

In Texas, singer Calvin Russell can barely fill a club. In France, he’s more popular than Willie—and sells more records.

Sports |
November 1, 1991

Bummin’ Around

The most satisfying part of being a Houston Oilers fan isn’t their record this season or quarterback Warren Moon’s command of the run-and-shoot offense or the way the home crowds get so worked up that they threaten to blow the roof off the Astrodome. No, it’s that distinctive drawl on

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