In the Houston of 1959 and 1960, Willie Nelson was just another unknown musician. But not for long.
This week and into next, the State of Texas and the rest of the world will join together in saluting American hero Willie Nelson on his 80th birthday. Rocks Off would certainly like to add our congratulations, but we woke up today -- well, yesterday -- looking to start an argument. The standard li ... More >>
This past weekend I found a copy of Rosemary Kent's 1981 book The Genuine Texas Handbook at a thrift store off Highway 290. The 224-page golden treasury of Texicana hails from a time when 1980's Urban Cowboy and the oil boom was coloring the worldview of the Lone Star State, for better or worse. T ... More >>
Our second installment of Houston connections in the recently published second edition of The Encyclopedia of Country Music is a truly monumental list of writers, performers and performances that show that while Houston may not have been the musical business center that Nashville became, the Bayou C ... More >>
Today would have been country legend and pioneer Ernest Tubb's 98th birthday. Born in 1914 in Crisp, Texas near Dallas, his hometown is now designated as ghost town. For forty years, Tubb was a mainstay on the country circuit and the charts, with songs like "Walking the Floor Over You", "Waltz Acros ... More >>
Another Austin music legend, Joe Gracey, passed away this morning of cancer complications. He was 61. When Lonesome, Onry and Mean arrived in Austin in June, 1973 after having worked in radio in West Texas, Gracey immediately became our hero. A disc jockey at the notorious KOKE-FM, Gracey an ... More >>
Photos by Jim BrickerRobert Ellis & the Boys (CD release), Jonny Corndawg Fitzgerald's July 6, 2011 See more Photographs from Ellis' homecoming in our slideshow. Robert Ellis' record release show last night wasn't short on thrills, from the openers to the closing moments from Ellis and his ... More >>
West VitaRight here, right now, and in print all damn week, you can read the Houston Press' interview with perhaps the hottest new band on the South 40, San Antonio's Hacienda (above). Whether or not they go on to become a South Texas Kings of Leon - Hacienda is also three brothers and a cous ... More >>
West Texan Ned Sublette reflects on pre-Katrina New Orleans in a new memoir.
Another 30-plus-year vet of Viet Nashville got his bowels in an uproar about the Nashville Scene's country music poll. In a long email to Lonesome Onry and Mean, this denizen of the songwriting trenches and the recording alleys who has had songs recorded by Johnny Cash, Emmylou Harris and other g ... More >>
For once, Rocks Off is grateful for this sinus-splitting headache (thanks, Mike Stinson!), because it gives us something to focus on besides the fact that we are crawling out of our skin waiting for kickoff tonight. At this point, sports pundits have analyzed the Longhorns and Crimson Tide to wi ... More >>
Photo by GroovehouseThe old Cactus Music signSick of corporate Christmas? Try shopping local. Hair Balls presents a 12-part series highlighting ideas for holiday gifts made and sold in Texas. Hair Balls is headed to Cactus Music tonight for another in-store, and it got us thinking -- Cactus ... More >>
In our previous story regarding black artists who took the country music route, we omitted a huge talent who, though he never achieved Charley Pride's level of commercial success, was a respected artist among those in the know in Nashville. Stoney Edwards was a farm boy from Oklahoma who eventually ... More >>
Is Houston ready for country? Again?
He Said Grandpa Songs He Said was lucky to have spent twenty-five years on Earth with his Grandpa Hlavaty, who passed away in the summer of 2008 of a brain hemorrhage. The man was arguably one of the biggest musical influences in He Said's life. The intrepid and stealthy Grandpa Gonzalez is kicking ... More >>
Markus CuffHonky-tonk man and recent Houston transplant Mike Stinson knows a thing or two about a bottle. Lonesome Onry and Mean asked him to list his all-time favorite drinking songs, many of which you will no doubt hear this evening at Under the Volcano. "So many classic drinking songs, I could ... More >>
If we were to tell you that one of the most influential guitarists and innovators in the early '80s hardcore movement was living in the tiny town of Taylor (30 miles outside Austin) you would call us crazy. But that's where Greg Ginn, founding guitarist of hardcore's lode-bearing Black Flag has ... 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 >>
And here is the final installment of David Beebe and John Lomax's 20-plus mile hike from Intercontinental Airport to Spanish Flowers restaurant. Part one is here and part two is here.David Beebe's accounts of the same hike are here and here.Airline's furthest reaches are lined by sprawling and run-d ... More >>
A case for a new or different, anyway state song
Much More Than Words Cavender Castle
The annual return of the Greil Marcus Rock Death Meter
A Rhino rerelease celebrates Willie's new concept for country
Willie, Dylan, Kinky and the Ghost of Bob Willis descends on Fort Worth. Wack is there too.
Which Greek god is your favorite musician?
And coping with Yankee slander
Austin's Meat Purveyors beef up their songbook with unlikely grade-A covers
Former Squirrel Nut Zipper Jimbo Mathus gets back to basics
The Supersuckers clean up their act offstage, but the songs remain the same
Turning a pedal steel into a trombone, and other tricks of Junior Brown's trade
Pinpointing when Texas music jumped the shark
Houston can't join the ranks of other cities until it has an anthem of its own
Houston's Texas Guinness Lovers is an original cover band
Don Walser's yodeling can bring tears, even to the eyes of a Nashville record exec
Tish Hinojosa hops from one style, and company, to another
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