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2011 Stories by William Michael Smith

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  • Half a Paycheck

    published July 14, 2011

    Dave Alvin is talking via cell from Maryland, and he actually sounds glad to be doing the interview, genuinely wondering what we are going to talk... More >>

  • Rockabilly Musician Chadd Thomas Found Dead In South Austin (UPDATED)

    Rockabilly Musician Chadd Thomas Found Dead In South Austin (UPDATED)

    published Jul 12, 2011

    The Austin Police Department released more information in Thomas' investigation Thursday afternoon. Update (5:18 p.m.): The Austin American-Statesman and KVUE are both reporting that the Travis Count... More >>

  • Centro-matic Paints A Tighter Picture On Candidate Waltz

    published Jul 08, 2011

    Will Johnson, enigmatic front man of Denton rock outfit Centro-matic, is chuckling over reviews for the band's latest album, Candidate Waltz (Undertow/Thirty Tigers). "For the most part they've been ... More >>

  • Singer's Health Scare Prods Horseshoe Reunion

    Singer's Health Scare Prods Horseshoe Reunion

    published Jun 29, 2011

    With a band reunion facing him in a little less than three weeks, Greg Wood is just happy to be here. "Man, I had that heart attack when I was 35 and I never figured I'd ever see 47, but here I sit,"... More >>

  • Sheet Rocker

    published June 23, 2011

    Chatter first heard of Nashville songwriter Rod Picott (pronounced py-cott) when Slaid Cleaves issued his 2001 breakout disc Broke Down.... More >>

  • Valerie June Out, Krayolas In At Leon's, Volcano

    published Jun 21, 2011

    Win some, lose some. Pete Mitchell, owner of Under the Volcano and the recently reopened Leon's Lounge, just called to bemoan the fact that rising star Valerie June had cancelled her July 26 solo date... More >>

  • Juneteenth: A Gulf Coast Good Time In A Hipster-Free Zone

    Juneteenth: A Gulf Coast Good Time In A Hipster-Free Zone

    published Jun 20, 2011

    Sunday's Juneteenth extravaganza at Miller Outdoor Theatre proved to be another chapter in why, here at Rocks Off, we love our town. In spite of Hades-like mid-afternoon temperatures, brisk breezes co... More >>

  • Joe King Carrasco's Life Is One Long Party Weekend

    published Jun 16, 2011

    The best one-word descriptor for Joe King Carrasco? After a 20-minute phoner with the Sultan of Tex-Mex music, Rocks Off is going with ebullient. Something in Carrasco's upbeat, positive ramblings s... More >>

  • Krayolas Score Surprise Hit With Bob Dylan Cover

    published Jun 14, 2011

    If you follow these pages you may have noticed that Rocks Off recently tabbed Tipsy Topsy Turvy by veteran San Antonio rockers The Krayolas as our choice for best Texas album of the year so far. Yes, ... More >>

  • The Storyteller

    published June 16, 2011

    Ramblin' Jack Elliott, who rolls into the Houston exurbs for two shows this week, is truly a dying breed, one of the last mastodons looking down... More >>

  • The Napkin Files: Deep Thoughts From Shallow Waters

    published Jun 13, 2011

    Lonesome Onry and Mean spends quite a bit of night time in bars and music venues writing random thoughts on bar napkins. Lots and lots of bar napkins. Usually LOM is laboring under the delusion that h... More >>

  • Dick Dale Destroys Continental Club

    Dick Dale Destroys Continental Club

    published Jun 09, 2011

    In spite of a lifetime of healthy living that includes vegetarianism, martial arts, and an aversion to drugs and alcohol, Dick Dale, King of the Surf Guitar, realizes that he has a date with Grim Reap... More >>

  • Dick Dale Still Riding The Wild Surf At 74

    Dick Dale Still Riding The Wild Surf At 74

    published Jun 07, 2011

    Wednesday's show moved from 2016 Mainstage to Continental Club At 74, California surf guitar god Dick Dale has just about seen it all. He was in on the ground floor of the development of the Fender p... More >>

  • Saturday Night: Accordion Kings & Queens At Miller Outdoor Theatre

    published Jun 06, 2011

    Accordion Kings & Queens Festival Miller Outdoor Theatre June 4, 2011 Timing can be everything. And it only took about ten seconds standing in the wings 20 feet from Clifton Chenier's former guitaris... More >>

  • Jason Isbell, Americana Heir Apparent, Won't Run From Country

    published May 31, 2011

    It seemed a bit odd to be talking to Jason Isbell on Memorial Day. Lonesome, Onry and Mean had just watched a YouTube clip of Isbell doing "Dress Blues," his tribute to a high-school friend who died ... More >>

  • Bear Hug

    published June 2, 2011

    Guitarist and bandleader of the Honey­bears, Zach Ernst is Black Joe Lewis's main musical partner in crime. Originally from... More >>

  • My Head Hurts, My Feet Stink: Five Songs For A Hangover

    My Head Hurts, My Feet Stink: Five Songs For A Hangover

    published May 26, 2011

    Every now and then after a night out, Lonesome, Onry and Mean's head feels like it's been in a fight with some guy who owns a nail gun. While we may no longer be on a regular first-name basis with mor... More >>

  • Here to Stay

    published May 26, 2011

    While his drummer and bassist vamp solos halfway through his band's first set, guitarist John McVey walks to his amp, takes a long swig of Lone... More >>

  • Jesse Dayton & Friends Silence Old Quarter Cafe

    published May 23, 2011

    Aftermath is so busy in the city, we don't get down to Wrecks Bell's Old Quarter Acoustic Café in Galveston enough. But we caught a free ride down Saturday and rectified that situation. And what a un... More >>

  • Blues Community Going To The Doghouse For Earl Gilliam

    published May 20, 2011

    The Houston blues community will come together Sunday to pay homage to one of the godfathers of blues piano, Earl Gilliam. Gilliam, whose youth was spent in the company of giants like Albert Collins, ... More >>

  • A Cold Shot At Brittmoore Ice House

    published May 19, 2011

    It's not always about the music out there in Lonesome, Onry and Mean's world. For instance, two nights ago we drove to west Houston near the I-10/Beltway 8 intersection to hear local bluesman John ... More >>

  • Raging Moderate

    published May 19, 2011

    Let's be quite clear: Cracker/Camper van Beethoven front man David Lowery doesn't play the rock-star game. "The night before the news... More >>

  • Skarnales, Escovedo, Gaines Make Rockin' Nightlife Tour

    published May 16, 2011

    Friday was one of those nights when Rocks Off wished we operated one of those "show you the nightlife" tour buses filled with people from Omaha, Chicago, Des Moines, and Berlin. When's the last time H... More >>

  • Los Lonely Boys Mature, Get Goofy On New Rockpango

    published May 11, 2011

    Rocks Off suspects the last thing Los Lonely Boys guitarist and singer Henry Garza wanted to do on the day after arriving back in San Angelo from a European tour with Los Lobos was a phone interview. ... More >>

  • Street Soul

    published May 12, 2011

    Rolling Stone's David Fricke once described Alejandro Escovedo as being "in a genre of his own." Since jumping feet-first into the first... More >>

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