George Strait is parking his tour bus for good, but not before playing a final blowout in his home state.
One musical director, 6 days of rehearsal, 3-hour concert, 60 artists, 38 songs and 3 reasons to celebrate. It’s a labor of love for Austin’s musical roots, Kris Kristofferson and the life of beloved musician Stephen Bruton.
The swagger and self-reliance that inspired our forefathers to strike out on their own in 1836 has shaped Texas ever since, including its music.
Lubbock musician Andy Hedges has put out a fine new album featuring his characteristic interpretations of classic cowboy and traditional folk tunes.
There's a certain glamour to the musician's life, no doubt. But for many working musicians, the reality of scratching out a day-to-day living means long hours, multiple jobs, and low income.
Sometimes in music as in fashion and architecture, “timeless” trumps “edgy.” As Central Texas music festivals go, the Old Settler’s Music Festival may lack the cutting-edge trendiness of South By Southwest or the brand-name recognition of the Austin City Limits Music Festival, but it has achieved an enviable under-the-radar reputation as a go-to destination for fans of acoustic, bluegrass, Texas, Americana, and jam-band music.
In the January 2013 issue of Texas Highways, writer Gene Fowler explores the history of the Light Crust Doughboys, which began in Fort Worth in 1931 when Burrus Mills hired some musicians to advertise their Light Crust Flour on the radio. In the course of his research, Gene visited with longtime bandmember Art Greenhaw about the group's long career.
Across the globe, when talk of music festivals come up, two Texas events always make the list - spring's South by Southwest and fall's Austin City Limits Music Festival, both in Austin – the Live Music Capital of the World. Austin's Fun, Fun, Fun Fest, in November, is also starting to rise to similar ranks.
Miranda Lambert would be the first to admit her career in country music sounds like something straight out of a fairytale factory: Once upon a time, a teenage singer/songwriter from small-town Lindale, Texas, auditioned for a TV show called Nashville Star, the country-music version of American Idol. She bombed with her first audition, but tried again, sang the iconic Willie Nelson composition Crazy, and nailed it. Lambert reached only third place on the show, but that was fine with her. She already had a career playing Texas honky-tonks. Nonetheless, Sony Music Nashville soon came calling.
One of the first things you notice about Robert Earl Keen is that he talks the way he writes. The balladeer—whose iconic song “The Road Goes On Forever” marks its 20th anniversary this year—is sitting under a tree outside The Zone recording studio in Dripping Springs, some 100 miles east of his home near Kerrville. The wind’s whipping, the sun’s shining, and he’s reflecting on life, how good it is, and about the good, big year he’s living. As he talks, he spins yarns in his innately cadenced way, unfurling narrative as he goes.
Of all the vaunted singer-songwriters who serenaded the Lone Star State with a rock-tinged country-and-folk sound when Austin was putting down its Live-Music-Capital-of-the-World roots in the 1970s, it is Jerry Jeff Walker who perhaps best wears the mantel of troubadour. Part Jack Kerouac, part Woody Guthrie, and part French Quarter busker, he is a music-poet in the truest sense. Even though he performs less frequently these days, Jerry Jeff still tells stories and sings songs that interpret the human condition with insight and soul. He reminds us why life is worth living.
Austin may tout itself as the “Live Music Capital of the World,” but San Antonio is undeniably the “Ukulele Capital of Texas”—and at no time is this more evident than in April, during the annual Texas Uke Fest. The three-day event is one of several national festivals (and the only one in Texas) that celebrates the diminutive instrument. Each year, about 150 people travel to Lions Field recreation center near Brackenridge Park to sign up for a busy schedule of ukulele workshops and performances. Having recently inherited a ukulele, I decided to join their ranks.