1995 Houston Press Music Awards

One thing that becomes clearer each year with these awards is just how varied the music available in Houston actually is. You want blues? We got 'em. Rock? Got that, too. Country? Absolutely. Tejano? Of course. Rap and hip-hop? Yep. And then there's the jazz, the folk, the Irish, the Indian, the reggae, the pop, the alternative, the cover tunes ... it's a polyglot collection, perfectly suited to the polyglot population that makes up the most diverse city in Texas, and one of the most diverse in the nation.

But what also becomes clearer and clearer with these awards is that the expansiveness of the sounds isn't necessarily matched by an expansiveness of the audience. As too many of the ballots revealed, too few of Houston's music fans bother to listen to much beyond their favorite bands, and way too few people make any real effort to hear any unfamiliar styles of music. Breaking through those barriers was part of the idea behind the Houston Press Music Awards Showcase held July 30 on the Richmond Strip. Despite the predictable tropical deluges -- this is Houston after all -- some 3,000 people turned out for the opportunity to trek through eight clubs and listen to 45 bands. If not everyone moved around as much as they might have, at least they were in close enough proximity to something new that by osmosis alone they got a broader taste of what the city can offer musically.

That broader perspective is also what we're after in the profiles of the Music Awards winners on the following pages. Forget the winners you already know; look to the winners you haven't heard yet. And consider the votes that put them in first place a nudge from your neighbor to get out there and listen to the fact that we're not alike. And that we're all the more entertained because of it.

(Stories by Tim Carman, Joe Hon, Jim Sherman and Brad Tyer.)


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