The 11 best Houston records of 2013.
Ray Price, one of the singular voices of country music for 60 years, has passed away, according to country-music elder Bill Mack, who posted "Ray Price left for heaven about 4:43 p.m. Central time" on Facebook about 25 minutes ago. Price was 87, and had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer a year a ... More >>
This time last year, Danielle Bradbery was a 16-year-old student at Cy Ranch High School who loved dancing and riding horses and hadn't done much singing outside her own bedroom. Then her family entered her into the Dallas auditions for NBC's high-rated singing show The Voice -- without asking her f ... More >>
Troy Wayne Delco, fearless leader of the Beaumonts, is not your average alt-country fool. Or tool. No, Mr. Delco is an extraordinary alt-country fool, a buffoon of Country Dick Montana stature, a bard of Mojo Nixonesque talent careening about as far into the bar ditch as he can take his band of sla ... More >>
Kid Rock, Jamey Johnson Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion July 19, 2013 I really never did think that I'd ever find myself at a Kid Rock show. I still am not sure what I got myself into Friday night -- aurally, visually or emotionally. What I do know is that somewhere among all of the craziness, Ki ... More >>
In recent years, it seems like music festivals have begun to pop up left and right. While it was once something you had to travel for, it's now hard to live in a major city without encountering at least one local music festival each year And now, music festivals have become so cool that even MTV is ... More >>
Notwithstanding the recent Galveston-based Carnival cruise liner whose faulty engines landed its passengers in a world of hurt (and national headlines), the island is again throwing its arms open for the upcoming summer season. Last week the Galveston Island Convention & Visitors Bureau announced th ... More >>
If you haven't smelled Blackberry Smoke in a while, they might have been at sea. The Atlanta Southern rock/outlaw country (whatever) band has been on so many cruises it's a little surprising the quintet's long hair isn't braided and beaded. When Rocks Off caught up with lead singer/guitarist Charli ... More >>
Blues Control Mango's, February 8 Blues Control's Lea Cho and Russ Waterhouse make a tremendous clatter with keyboards, guitars and synths. The Queens, N.Y., duo started grabbing cool-kid support way before last year's Drag City effort Valley Tangents, which built on their already kaleidoscopic bod ... More >>
Not a lot of television shows win multiple Grammys. Then again, not a lot of television shows ever sounded (or looked) like Miami Vice. The cutting-edge series perfectly captured the pastel zeitgeist of its time when it debuted in 1984, influencing film, fashion, design and music in a way that few T ... More >>
If Mitt Romney won't tell you which need to be closed, we will.
Country music has come a long way as far as popularity goes over the years, from the likes of such bygone greats as Ernest Tubb and Eddy Arnold to current favorites Sugarland and Dierks Bentley. But it has always had some rather... interesting-sounding song titles to grace listeners' ears. Shall we ... More >>
Ever since The Real World hit the MTV airwaves in the early '90s, reality television has been all the rage. However, since The Osbournes debuted in 2002, some of that reality programming has catered to music fans. Even such music artists as country artist Tanya Tucker, rapper/minister Reverend Run ... More >>
The further one digs into the second edition of The Encyclopedia of Country Music, the deeper one's appreciation of the contributions of Houston's country-music pioneers becomes. Yeah, just check out the black circles under the eyes and drunk-ass grins on Leon Payne's band above. That photo alone sp ... More >>
It may seem that we're talkin' foolish, but Randy Travis was arrested early this morning, allegedly drunk in a car parked in front of a Baptist church in the Denton County town of Sanger. (Travis reportedly owns a ranch in Tioga, 25 miles east of Sanger.) TMZ broke the story. They reported that a ... More >>
Each Wednesday, Rocks Off arbitrarily appoints one lucky local performer or group "Artist of the Week," bestowing upon them all the fame and grandeur such a lofty title implies. Know a band or artist that isn't awful? Email their particulars to email@example.com. Sometimes you think and ... More >>
The road goes on forever for Texas Music upstarts Rosehill.
Rocks Off Sr.'s choice for 1991's best album.1991 was one of the biggest years in modern music. It was when metal went pop, radio country ruled, grunge went mainstream, and rap began its climb to chart dominance, even if it was spearheaded by a white candy rapper from Dallas. There were man ... More >>
decodedstuff.comCountry music isn't all high-tech rednecks and honky tonk badonkadonks. Country artists have a tendency to, every now and then, sing about some dark, disturbing stuff. Sometimes scary, sometimes violent, and sometimes just weird, here are some country songs that rival the blac ... More >>
The Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo announced the lineup for its smaller Hideout venue this morning and, well, it's countrier than the Black Eyed Peas. This year's bill includes "Here for the Party" girl Gretchen Wilson, a contestant from CMT's Can You Duet (O'Shea), some legit honky-tonkers (Da ... More >>
Country music, faded stardom, liquor, and age in Crazy Heart.
Shea Serrano Asher Roth, Kid Cudi, House of Blues, August 1: "[Cudi has] tapped John Goldstein, Kanye's famed stage light guy, to help him create an actual feel to his show. Hipster rappers get derided a lot as not being "real rappers," but they put on a hell of a show. The crowd is already his." ... More >>
Mark C. Austin Rascal Flatts, Reliant Stadium, March 3: "It's almost devious how much these guys sweetened and tune their songs up, close to the point of an almost automaton-like perfection. Each song is custom-built like a souped-up hot rod, with almost no flourish or guitar vamp going to waste. ... More >>
Photos by Craig Hlavaty Aftermath escaped the first day of the inaugural Free Press Summer Fest to venture out to Reliant Stadium to catch country legend George Strait. It was like walking into a hella weird alternate universe where the musicians weren't five inches from your face, and everyone w ... More >>
As our George Strait week comes to an end before the big show Saturday night at Reliant Stadium, Rocks Off takes a look back at his first and sadly only lead-acting role, 1992's Pure Country. The film is pure cornball cinema gold. We had the pleasure of re-watching it a few months back on CMT ove ... More >>
Lonesome, Onry and Mean likes him some country music done right, so it was with considerable delight that we listened to Country Club by X bassist/singer John Doe and the Sadies. An L.A. rocker and a Canadian alt-country outfit seem like unlikely musical bedfellows, but Country Club works from the f ... More >>
This has been a fun week down in the Rocks Off foxhole, as Toby Keith's loyal minions have besieged us with comments taking issue with our review of the Big Dog Daddy's lackluster RodeoHouston performance Wednesday. (Come on, guys, we did say the guitar work on "Stranglehold" was pretty badass.) The ... More >>
If you've been following Rocks Off's rodeo coverage, which hopefully you have, you've probably noticed that we've found a few of the entertainers' performances to be less than stellar. Which is not to say we haven't been having a blast down at Reliant Park with thousands of our friends and neighbors ... More >>
Each Wednesday, Rocks Off arbitrarily appoints one lucky local performer or group "Artist of the Week," bestowing upon them all the fame and grandeur such a lofty title implies. Know a band or artist that isn't awful? Email their particulars to firstname.lastname@example.org. It seems contradictory, ... More >>
Turn out the lights, the party's over
The ballad, and ballads, of Billy Joe Shaver
Burt Reynolds has nothing on Rice University’s Damen Hattori. Well, that may not be exactly true, but like Reynolds, Hattori is participating in a similar cross-country, no-holds-bar race like the one in the movie Cannonball Run. Hattori will be featured this coming Friday at 9 p.m. on the fina ... More >>
Mike Stinson, Nashville and an eight-minute bottle of wine
Six dozen of Houston's finest bands for a mere $7
Southern rock comes in for another revival
Jesse Dayton knows a great many words - and how to sell them
Tracey Deel was shot a dozen times by two teens who wanted her car. She dragged herself the length of three football fields determined not to be just another homocide statistic.
Tish Hinojosa hops from one style, and company, to another