Some musical eras are defined by the instruments that moved from the backing band to center stage as they unfolded. Electric-guitar sales boomed in the 1960s, thanks to Clapton and Hendrix. In the 1980s, synthesizers were popular enough to make one-hit wonders out of groups like A-ha and A Flock of ... More >>
Did you know last week was Foreigner singer Lou Gramm's birthday? Well, it was on May 2, when he turned 63. So what better way to (belatedly) honor him than to look back at some of the strangest places Gramm has managed to promote his musical career? Yes, Foreigner is a ubiquitous band. The use of ... More >>
TSU restarts its jazz program, tapping into the talents of the fabled Joe Sample and kids looking for a place to play.
Welcome to the Rocks Off 100, 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 in there too. See the entire Rocks Off 100 at this link. Who? All of the greats start out in church ... More >>
Who? Miss Leslie if you're country, Leslie Anne Sloane has played fiddle/violin in both the classical and country/bluegrass styles since age 5. In 2004, she started Miss Leslie and Her Juke-Jointers, which can usually be found once or twice a month at finer roadhouses and honky-tonks in the greater ... More >>
Train Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion September 14, 2012 Train's music isn't going to win an award for composition anytime soon; it's far too generic for that. But the San Francisco band has found a number of other ways to be creative and prove their worth to even someone like me, who doesn't drive ... More >>
The music world truly lost one of the greats when songwriter Hal David passed away at age 91 following a stroke this past Saturday in Los Angeles. To borrow an old joke, the lyricist wasn't from the old school, he was from the school they tore down to build the old school: The artists who covered hi ... More >>
Country's biggest summer tour an alt-pop blond bombshell.
By now you all know that today is Sir Paul McCartney's 70th birthday. Over on chron.com, there is a wire story on the milestone with a curious headline: "Say It Ain't So: Mop Top Paul McCartney Turns 70." Now does this mean that it's a shame he made it seven decades of service, or does it suck that ... More >>
March is Women's History Month, and Rocks Off has been thinking a lot lately about the indelible contributions to popular music made by women over the last few decades. After all, where would Elvis Presley be if it weren't for Big Mama Thornton? Probably still dead, we guess, but you get the point. ... More >>
Being behind the scenes is what most musicians who don't write songs or sing expect of their lives once they start seriously playing. A career backing someone up can be extremely rewarding, particularly if you are part of a transcendent group of musicians that goes from simply backing up an artist i ... More >>
Saturday I got a text from a close friend saying that Whitney Houston had passed away. Needless to say, I was a bit shocked. I honestly thought she would be around for years to come so that she could could keep blessing us all with her terrific voice.. I grew up listening to Contemporary Christian ... More >>
The best joke in the music business right now is, according to Cactus Music's Quinn Bishop, something frequently heard recently at his cash register: "Dude, you're getting Adele." Even I bought 21 yesterday, the swiping of a credit card that completed a cycle that began several months ago. One nigh ... More >>
There's a reason why we lauded Alicia Keys when her debut album Songs In A Minor dropped a little more than a decade ago. The young piano prodigy had the look of a new age starlet, Billie Holiday with a fedora and braids and on her 31st birthday, revisiting her classic debut album is a necessity. K ... More >>
Alabama Shakes doesn't like the "retro soul" label that often is attached to their brand of music. But, if their raucous set at Continental Club on Friday night is any indication, they should embrace it because they certainly owned it. "Y'all gon' be alright," singer Brittany Howard told the packed ... More >>
The Alabama Shakes ride their momentum right into Houston.
Photo By Marco TorresGuns N' Roses are Rock Hall bound, but which version of GNR will show up? This morning (well, it leaked last night) the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame in Cleveland announced their 2012 class of inductees. Included on the list are Guns N' Roses, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Beastie Bo ... More >>
If you're a Texan of a certain age, this week you've probably spent some time mourning the death of Jerry Haynes, the children's TV host better known as Mr. Peppermint. Haynes' show on WFAA-TV in Dallas, Peppermint Place, ran from the '60s to the '90s and was widely syndicated across the state, incl ... More >>
Chris Nelson/FacebookClint Broussard in his natural habitat.Rocks Off was happy to run into our friend and Blues In Hi-Fi DJ Clint Broussard the other day at Leon's Lounge (where else?). We were a little surprised too, because it was the first time we'd seen him with two shoes on in months. ... More >>
A jukebox musical entrances audiences at the Ensemble.
As most of our readers know by now, E Street has lost its most prominent resident and Block Captain with the death of Clarence Clemons. In poor physical health for years due to various ailments, he died on Saturday night from complications due to a stroke less than a week earlier. The Big Man ... More >>
Agnostic Front, The Mongoloids: Mon., Sept. 19. Walter's On Washington. Amon Amarth: Fri., Aug. 26. House of Blues. Aretha Franklin: Tue., June 14. Arena Theatre. blink-182, My Chemical Romance, Matt & Kim: Mon., Sept. 26. Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion. Buxton: Fri., July 8. McGonigel' ... More >>
Photos by Groovehouse Diana Ross Verizon Wireless Theater March 1, 2011 Wham, bam, thank you ma'am. Blame it on David Bowie, but Aftermath couldn't help thinking that while settling into our balcony seat at Verizon Tuesday. Diana Ross and her deluxe band were pounding out "I'm Comin' Out" a ... More >>
Tumblr"Aw, dammit, I grabbed Dad's iPod by mistake. Paul Simon... is that one guy, or two Beatles?" Remember emo kids? Only a few short years ago, the nation's venues of the nation were filled with kids in all black, wearing ultra-skinny jeans, eyeliner, white belts, and identical chopped-mea ... More >>
Rocks Off sincerely prays that those of you with today off are at least peripherally aware of why you have today off. For our annual MLK Day reflection this year, we thought we'd leave the songs about Dr. King to Bono, and instead share a few of our favorite songs that set his dream to music ... More >>
One righteous vintage vinyl party.
On her current tour in support of her new CD The Way Home, soul/folk singer-songwriter Mary McBride - best known for the touching "No One's Gonna Love You Like Me" from the of the movie Brokeback Mountain soundtrack - has given herself a challenge: in addition to each club date she will be makin ... More >>
Thankfully, 2009 was a sorry year for the Greil Marcus Rock Death Meter. Aside from the not terribly unexpected (but still weird) demise of the King of Pop, few bona fide legends went on to the Great Green Room Beyond the Sky. The Rock Death Meter rates rock deaths on a ten-point scale in three c ... More >>
Photos by Chris Gray Quebec's Chic Gamine: a cappella gospel with percussion and soul.iFest needed a breezy, not-too-hot, sunny Sunday to get back on track after Saturday's torrential festival-cancelling rains. The festival got great weather; as I drove down Allen Parkway toward downtown, it ... More >>
Willie Nelson & Asleep at the Wheel Willie and the Wheel www.willieandthewheel.com The late Jerry Wexler, who passed away last August at age 91, was best known as an advocate and producer for top R&B and soul artists like Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin and Wilson Pickett. But Wexler was a ... More >>
American Doll Posse
When the jukebox is an art form
From journalist to songwriter to singer
Saturday, April 30, at McGonigel's Mucky Duck, 2425 Norfolk, 713-528-5999.
Music that made the world safe for the word ³alternative² again
Music that made the world safe for the word "alternative" again
Talking to Strangers (Alligator Records)
Beaumont's Barbara Lynn lucks out with a song that almost died
Wednesday, March 27
7 Year Bitch does it faster and harder