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2014 Stories by William Michael Smith

Archives: 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003
  • Jim Lauderdale Is Way Past Where the Sidewalk Ends

    published Oct 23, 2014

    One of the most respected songwriters in the suddenly-chic genre called Americana had been chasing the dream of a recording deal ten years when he finally found success through the backdoor to Nashvil... More >>

  • James McMurtry Knows What Works by Now

    published Oct 10, 2014

    From the my-how-time-flies category: James McMurtry, who plays a solo show at McGonigel's Mucky Duck Saturday, marks a quarter-century as a professional musician this year. He began his career in the ... More >>

  • Jim Mize Falls Down the Rabbit Hole

    published Oct 03, 2014

    "Tie me to the chair and lock the door/ Take my shoes and nail 'em to the floor" Nothing short of an envelope stuffed full of crisp new payola $100 bills moves Lonesome, Onry and Mean like hearing a ... More >>

  • 10 Houston Acts to See Before You Can't
    FEATURED STORY

    10 Houston Acts to See Before You Can't

    published Sep 26, 2014

    The passing of Texas Johnny Brown last year hit me and a bunch of people pretty hard, so the September 12 death of Crusaders pianist Joe Sample was another slap in the face that many of Houston's musi... More >>

  • Sampling Joe Sample: 1977
    FEATURED STORY

    Sampling Joe Sample: 1977

    published Sep 18, 2014

    By 1977, the individual members of the Crusaders were so successful that the pressure to record two albums a year no longer applied. There was no new Crusaders album in 1977, but that doesn't mean the... More >>

  • Sampling Joe Sample: 1976
    FEATURED STORY

    Sampling Joe Sample: 1976

    published Sep 17, 2014

    If 1975 was a whirlwind year for Joe Sample, the Crusader who passed away last Friday, 1976 was a full-blown hurricane. The newer, funkier Crusaders were increasingly popular, so much so that United A... More >>

  • Sampling Joe Sample: 1975
    FEATURED STORY

    Sampling Joe Sample: 1975

    published Sep 16, 2014

    With the wild, platinum-selling commercial success of Joni Mitchell's Court and Spark in 1974, Joe Sample's studio-session career went into warp drive. Throughout the remainder of the decade, he would... More >>

  • Sampling Joe Sample's Album Credits: 1964-75
    FEATURED STORY

    Sampling Joe Sample's Album Credits: 1964-75

    published Sep 15, 2014

    Anyone who follows jazz or has much sense of Houston's music history knows that Joseph Leslie Sample, who passed away Friday night after a losing battle with lung cancer, is a giant. But Sample was no... More >>

  • Always a Fighter, Bilal Learns to Let It Flow

    published Aug 29, 2014

    It hasn't been an easy ride to international stardom for vocalist and composer Bilal Sayeed Oliver, who performs simply as Bilal. The Philly native, who roomed for a while with jazz pianist and Housto... More >>

  • L.A. Rockers 7Horse Have a Thing For H-Town

    published Aug 12, 2014

    For two battle-hardened rock and roll road dogs who spent two decades touring the world as the rhythm section for dada (1992 MTV hit "Dizz Knee Land"), Joie Calio and Phil Leavitt of emerging power du... More >>

  • Robbie Fulks at the Mucky Duck, 7/26/2014
    FEATURED STORY

    Robbie Fulks at the Mucky Duck, 7/26/2014

    published Jul 28, 2014

    Robbie Fulks McGonigel's Mucky Duck July 26, 2014 Chicago songwriter and flatpicker extraordinaire Robbie Fulks made it look easy before an almost sold-out crowd at the Mucky Duck Saturday night. In ... More >>

  • South Mouth: Alt-Country Firebrand Robbie Fulks Returns
    FEATURED STORY

    South Mouth: Alt-Country Firebrand Robbie Fulks Returns

    published Jul 25, 2014

    It's been interesting to watch the career transformation of Robbie Fulks. The Chicago picker and writer grabbed some notoriety -- and a decent alt-country cult following -- after his frustrations wit... More >>

  • FEATURED STORY

    Houstonian Helps Archive Gay History (Part 5)

    published Jun 26, 2014

    This is the final part in a series for Houston Pride Week. J.D. Doyle, the male grand marshal for this year's Pride Parade, is on a mission: To gather as much of Houston's LGBT history as possible an... More >>

  • FEATURED STORY

    The Fight for Pride Week (Part 4)

    published Jun 25, 2014

    Part four in a series for Houston Pride Week. Once formed, "The Caucus," as the Houston LGBT Political Caucus became known, quickly organized a series of actions that would see the political power of... More >>

  • <em>Rolling Stone</em>'s Ridiculous Top 100 Country Songs: The Second Half
    FEATURED STORY

    Rolling Stone's Ridiculous Top 100 Country Songs: The Second Half

    published Jun 25, 2014

    Given the spread and the appeal-to-all-age-groups nature of Rolling Stone's "100 Greatest Country Songs of All Time," the possibility that the list was computer-generated seems more and more likely. ... More >>

  • FEATURED STORY

    'The Homosexual Playground of the South' (Part 3)

    published Jun 24, 2014

    Part three in a series for Houston Pride Week. The trials, tribulations, and awakenings during the war against fascism led to a spate of coming-out items in the immediate postwar years. In 1944, poet... More >>

  • FEATURED STORY

    Houston's Earliest Gay Scenes (Part 2)

    published Jun 23, 2014

    Part two in a series for gay pride week. It didn't take Ron Levine and partners like the club-savvy Gene Howle long to turn the new Palace into a hot spot. In October, 1970, the private club -- priva... More >>

  • FEATURED STORY

    Looking Back at Some of the Hurdles Houston's Gay Community Had to Overcome (Part I)

    published Jun 20, 2014

    Part one in a series for gay pride week. With the 36th annual Pride Week Festival and Parade upon us, the largest city in a leading Tea Party state finds itself on the cutting edge of gay politics, c... More >>

  • <em>Rolling Stone</em>'s Ridiculous Top 100 Country Songs: The First Half
    FEATURED STORY

    Rolling Stone's Ridiculous Top 100 Country Songs: The First Half

    published Jun 20, 2014

    In further efforts to reassure us that it is still relevant, Rolling Stone magazine recently started a country clickbait section called most cleverly (drum roll, maestro) RS Country. I know, the heart... More >>

  • Austin Weirdos The Hard Pans Know From "Mount Bullshit"

    published Jun 11, 2014

    The Hard Pans do just about what their quizzical name implies. To quote Mike Stinson, "they scratch and cuss and fight and moan," hoping to get by in this crazy, confusing, mixed-up maze people call a... More >>

  • FEATURED STORY

    Houston Woman Bares All in Stripper Memoir

    published May 30, 2014

    "It is a truth universally acknowledged that in a room full of suits, the naked chick holds all the cards." Ever wonder what it would be like to walk in to the Men's Club and take your clothes off fo... More >>

  • The Rocks Off 200 Jo Bird, Bow-Caster of Fiddle Witch & the Demons of Doom

    published May 27, 2014

    Welcome to The Rocks Off 200, our portrait gallery of the most compelling profiles and personalities in the far-flung Houston music community -- a lot more than just musicians, but of course they're i... More >>

  • FEATURED STORY

    3400 Montrose: Piece of Houston History Going...Going....Gone

    published May 15, 2014

    The parking lot of Disco Kroger at the corner of Montrose and Hawthorne has been an ideal vantage point from which to watch the two-month-long demolition of yet another curious piece of Houston histor... More >>

  • The Rocks Off 200: Leslie Krafka, Onward Through the Fog

    published May 01, 2014

    Welcome to The Rocks Off 200, our portrait gallery of the most compelling profiles and personalities in the far-flung Houston music community -- a lot more than just musicians, but of course they're i... More >>

  • Kinky Friedman Campaign Makes One Last Play for Houston Voters

    published Apr 30, 2014

    With the state primary runoff election only a month away, Cleve Hattersley, who is steering Richard "Kinky" Friedman's run for Texas Agriculture Commissioner, says the big push is on in Harris County... More >>

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