Guitarist Johnny Winter, one of the true greats of Texas blues, passed away Wednesday night in Switzerland. His publicist sent the following message at 5 a.m. Thursday, and said a longer official statement would follow "at the appropriate time." "His wife, family and bandmates are all saddened by t ... More >>
Houston promoters Pegstar launch a new series of benefit shows this weekend.
"Thanks Bob! Thanks for having Bob Fest!" Neil Young enthuses at one point during his set at the Bob Dylan 30th Anniversary Concert. And though methinks that the October 1992 show at Madison Square Garden paying tribute to the Bard of Hibbing was due more to the planning of Columbia Records than t ... More >>
"He was the greatest guitar player I ever heard" -- Bob Dylan "[He] is music on two legs" -- Eric Clapton "You could put [him] with James Brown, and he'd be a motherfucker." -- Miles Davis Wow. What other unknown axe-slinger could garner such praise from such music heavyweights? But this is only a ... More >>
Free Press Summer Fest unveils its pricier 2014 lineup.
A December 1968 edition of Rolling Stone featured Texas musicians who were at the time making inroads into the magazine's home city of San Francisco. Featuring a cover photo of cowboy-hatted Doug Sahm (balancing toddler son Shawn on his knee), it mentioned players and singers both known (Janis Jopli ... More >>
A country-music traditionalist, Moe Bandy stands with guys like Johnny Bush and Johnny Paycheck as one of the true masters of the three veins of honky-tonk that matter most: loving songs, drinking songs, and cheating songs. If Bandy does a cover, he goes straight to the source code: Hank Williams an ... More >>
Funny thing about songwriting. I can speak from personal experience: sometimes you spend days, weeks, or years getting a song right, and sometimes you just throw some crap into a microphone at the last minute and hope that someone doesn't hate it. In the hands of master musicians, though, that las ... More >>
Keep Calm, Fight Cancer Benefit Walters, September 6-8 Leave it up to Houstonians to stand up and join the cause. Not even 48 hours after Walters announced that longtime owner/den mother Pam Robinson was battling Stage 4 cancer, that single status update had already reached 15,000 people through sh ... More >>
Kids of the '80s have to face the fact that it's time to put that "Beat It" jacket in cold storage, because the '90s are officially all the nostalgia rage. While the editor of this blog was vacationing last week, he happened to take in a screening of the very funny The World's End, whose plot pivots ... More >>
True story: once, we were entertaining some people at home and my rat terrier, Mingus, got loose and began mingling with the guests. Because he's an insufferable attention-seeker and since people are nice and tend not to be threatened by terriers, a woman petted him and asked what his name was. I t ... More >>
Daft Punk, the mysterious French EDM duo that doesn't tour, dresses like robots, has not performed live since 2007 and is more influential on pop music than at any point in its 20-year history, is currently schooling everyone on what a state-of-the-art contemporary music-marketing campaign looks lik ... More >>
Ranking the 30 best Texas albums of the past 30 years seemed like an impossible task. We did it anyway.
Once upon a time, record labels were the most important thing to an artist who chose to work within the music industry. They could make or break anyone and even world renowned artists knelt at the feet of their masters. Getting dropped from a label was, at one time, a death sentence. Even today man ... 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 >>
Photo by Marc BrubakerThis guy's crazy rant at Fun Fun Fun Fest made the list.All things considered, 2011 was a pretty bitchin' year for popular music. It wasn't all high-fives and Grammies for our musical heroes, however. More than few steaming flops, blown gigs and sour notes made the yea ... More >>
Yeah, it's like that.Once again our mailbox has filled to overflowing with CDs (and zip files). The desk looks like a Three Mile Island nuclear meltdown of jewel cases, and the entire room is littered with (largely unread) piles of hype-and-tout. And while much of what comes over the transom ... More >>
Photo by Steve Harris/Compadre RecordsHayes Carll before he was old enough to shave... not that he ever has.The other day, one of the Rocks Off Crew was rummaging around in the Houston Press office and came across a bunch of publicity stills for various musicians. Allow us to explain what th ... More >>
Last week, Slayer's 1986 album Reign In Blood turned 25 years old. We were so wrapped up in doing that dog-ass Pink Floyd facts blog - that we paid dearly for in the comments section - and getting ready for our high school reunion, that we forgot all about this anniversary. We apologize for l ... More >>
Last week, the music world laughed up a hiccup as Lil Wayne pranced around the VMA stage in nut-suffocating, Le Tigre-inspired jeggings. While that performance affirmed that Wayne is no fashion guru, his chart performance a week later reminded us that he's very good at something else-selling ... More >>
Alex Steinweiss' first illustrated cover for Columbia, aka THE first illustrated album cover.Rocks Off likes to think of ourselves as the cultured sort; in other words, it's not all booze and boobs around here. We also enjoy literature, the cinema, sometimes even the theat-ah, but our favorit ... More >>
Can the celebrated rapper get out of trouble long enough to top the charts again?
Forty-six years ago today, a group of teenagers gathered in a Portland, Oregon, studio to record a ridiculously simple anthem that would go on to become one of the most influential - and most misunderstood - songs in rock history. The group was the Kingsmen - none of whom was over age 17 - and the s ... More >>
Who Dat? Collectively, Moby Grape probably was one of the most talented bands to come out of San Francisco area during the golden age of hippiedom. Formed in 1966 by drummer Skip Spence and manager Matthew Katz (both of whom had just been fired from Jefferson Airplane), the lineup included ... More >>
ZZ Top: Still with the legs. Rick Rubin was already working for ZZ Top - the Houston trio recently enlisted Rubin to produce its next album - and now ZZ Top works for Rubin as well. Billboard reported yesterday that ZZ Top has signed a new record deal with Rubin's American Recordings, an imprint di ... More >>