Patrick Tourville’s documentary film OK, Buckaroos: The Life, Music and Good Times of Jerry Jeff Walker chronicles the career of the musical maverick. In the late 1960s, Walker scored a huge hit with “Mr. Bojangles” (it’s been covered by dozens of singers from Harry Belafonte to Nina Simone to MC Neat). The song ensured Walker a place in the pantheon of songwriters. In the 1970s, he was a titan of the outlaw country scene alongside Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings and Townes Van Zandt. In 1985, he turned his back on the world of mainstream music and started his own record label. Walker’s outlaw, go-your-own-way tendencies are the focus of Tourville’s film, screening as part of the Bayou City Music and Film Festival.
The movie weaves archived interview footage of Walker’s long career with a 2009 concert given in Round Rock, Texas. It paints a wonderful picture of an artist who continues to challenge himself to be an artist, not just a personality. “The most important thing for any musician is to do it for the right reasons,” said Tourville. “If you want to be rich and famous, get out of it. Tourville will be on hand for a question-and-answer session after the screening.