Best Song About Houston Houston 2008 - "Montrose Boulevard Blues," by Craig Kinsey
"See the Chinese meditatin' / smell the Dietrich's coffee percolatin' / hear the train whistle blow down at Main Street Station / when it's springtime / down in the 'Trose." So runs our favorite verse of this lovely little Dixieland ditty. Too often, songs that mention Houston do so only in passing, and the city comes across as generic as our detractors claim it to be. But here, Kinsey, one of the frontmen of local old-time/punk/bluegrass ensemble Sideshow Tramps, conjures Montrose magic with a keen eye for telling details like the ones mentioned above and the "bells of St. Thomas," picnics in Menil park and "ladies fine as dandelion wine." And it's all set to a sweetly melancholy fiddle, guitar, banjo and clarinet melody. Not since Juke Boy Bonner's evocations of Fifth Ward misery has any one neighborhood been so specifically evoked in song.