In further efforts to reassure us that it is still relevant, Rolling Stone magazine recently started a country clickbait section called most cleverly (drum roll, maestro) RS Country. I know, the heart pitter-patters in anticipation. A brief perusal of the site finds basically the same crap, errr... ... More >>
This Sunday the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville will correct a grievous oversight when it inducts the late Jack Clement, who wrote an early hit for Johnny Cash ("Ballad of a Teenage Queen"), effectively desegregated country music by adopting Charley Pride as a protege, and produce ... More >>
Kids, there's a reason Hiram "Hank' Williams, who would have been 90 years old September 17, is in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Dead of an overdose of pain killers in the back of his long white Cadillac at 29, Williams was, in his brief interval in Nashville, not only a hit-making country star bu ... More >>
Twenty-five Houston music greats who have passed away.
Before releasing his six-song EP, Volume Up, Windows Down, in 2010, Texas country singer/songwriter George Ducas had taken a break from performing and had mainly concentrated on writing hits for country artists such as Garth Brooks, George Jones, The Dixie Chicks, Gary Allan, Trisha Yearwood, Sara E ... More >>
Ranking the 30 best Texas albums of the past 30 years seemed like an impossible task. We did it anyway.
One day this summer, it must have been, a certain Mr. Craig Hlavaty brought a book he had found at a Houston-area thrift shop called (the) Genuine Texas Handbook into the office. This book is about everything you ever loved about Texas in the early '80s condensed into 200-something pages -- big hair ... More >>
"Years ago, if you had told me I was going to record a country record, I would have laughed at you," says vocalist Aaron Lewis. But record a country album, he did. And it's been a hit so far. Though he may be a relatively new face to country, Lewis has plenty of experience in the music industry as ... More >>
Houston Babylon, the feature that came out earlier this week, dissects a few of the creepiest and most chilling events in Houston history. In coming up with four of those tales, we stumbled over many more -- too many to fit the print edition. All this week we'll bring you some extra, online-only s ... More >>
I'll try and keep this relatively brief, because I've been at the dentist all morning. Wednesday's Nashville was considerably more pleasant. At this point the show has done about all the establishing shots it can, and Wednesday it slipped a few new wrinkles into the plot (both subtle and not-so-subt ... More >>
You'll ride a black tornado cross't the western skies Rope an ole blue norther, milk it till it's dry Bull dawg the Mississippi, pin it's ears down flat Long before you take this cowboy's hat. -- Chris Ledoux, "This Cowboy's Hat" A popular saying in Texas goes that a man who talks a good game but ... More >>
Along with pickled pig's feet and a steady supply of Slim Jims, a good jukebox is a prime element for any great bar. But, like dinosaurs, jukeboxes are a vanishing breed. Unlike digital jukes, iPods or DJs, jukeboxes require love, care and maintenance, as well as -- among the truly great ones -- som ... More >>
With 53 related entries, Houston fared well in the second edition of The Encyclopedia of Country Music (Oxford University Press, $65), released last month, the first revision of the 600-page volume since its initial printing in 1998. Michael McCall, Country Music Hall of Fame archivist and one of t ... More >>
The second-worst thing you could do on a first date is schedule that first date at a bar karaoke night. The worst thing you could do on a first date is schedule that first date at a bar karaoke night and sing Alanis Morissette's "You Oughta Know." I will buy anyone who does this a night of free drin ... More >>
My Top Ten Local Albums of 2011
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 >>
Photos by Jason WolterChris Knight at the Firehouse Saloon, August 3Rocks Off has a bad habit of what some people refer to as "honky-tonkin'." Single, childless and a lifelong Lone Star drinker, we have no reservations about staying out till all hours, even if sometimes it does make us feel l ... More >>
Photos by Marc BrubakerRobert Ellis & the Boys, Those Darlins, Old 97's Mercy Lounge, Nashville July 9, 2011 "It takes a lot of balls to do that in this town, but y'all pulled it off," a man in the second row yelled towards the stage amidst a wave of applause. Robert Ellis and his Boys had ... More >>
Happy Friday the 13th, everyone. Unlike most Fridays, this one has gone pretty smoothly here at Rocks Off HQ, which means we must be in for a hellacious Monday. But hey, that's next week. Our luck may be holding up - for now - but we couldn't let the occasion go by unremarked (plus a couple ... More >>
Another week, another teeming cup runneth over, full of local music news. Here's our latest installment of Magnolia City Mixtape. This week's soundtrack comes from Roosh Williams, whose Common Struggles of a Modern Man album just dropped. Roosh also has a video for the track "No Hard Feeling ... More >>
Danin DrahosRocks Off sat down with Robert Ellis to see what we could learn about the singer-songwriter, 2010 Houston Press Best Country award winner and in-demand guitarist in 30 seconds... Rocks Off: What is the worst song in the world? Robert Ellis: "Let the Bodies Hit the Floor" by Dr ... More >>
Believe it or not, some of us get by just fine without cable or satellite TV. When Rocks Off goes home at night - the odd evenings we stay home, that is - not only do we enjoy the finest network television has to offer, but the cornucopia of choices across the digital-TV spectrum: B- and C-mo ... 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 >>
Brooding folk for the Twilight crowd.
City is ready for another honky-tonk close-up.
Craig HlavatyThursday night, after seeing the Houston Symphony cover Queen and then running to Warehouse Live to bathe in Ratt, Rocks Off went to the opening night of Brad Moore's new bar in Montrose, Grand Prize. Formerly Ernie's On Banks, GP was hopping from 9 p.m., when the first drink w ... More >>
A SugarHill Studios sound engineer and an author reveal a history of sweet sounds
As a service to our readers, we'd like to present Rocks Off's Concert Guide to the Rodeo. Presented each weekday over the course of the next month, we hope it helps you make sound musical choices by telling you who's singing about putting a boot in your ass and who's singing about "boot scootin'." ... More >>
Lonesome Onry and Mean is torn as to his whereabouts this evening. Drive-by Truckers will be knocking down walls and eardrums at House of Blues, and that's where we'll probably end up. But if Galveston was 70 miles closer - it's not the drive down, it's the drive back! - we would certainly be hea ... More >>
The final installment of our Five States of Texas project brings it all back home, to the new state of Brazoria, encompassing all of Southeast Texas from the Brazos Valley to Sabine Pass. Patron Saint: Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown. A master of rock and roll, country, Cajun/Creole, blues and jazz, n ... More >>
Chris Gray David Allan Coe will hang around as long as you will let him. And he wrote "Take This Job and Shove It." Although it was a little hard to get past the sheer sight of him - the grizzly offspring of Gregg Allman and one of Dr. Teeth's band from The Muppet Show, maybe - he wasn't getting pai ... More >>
Foreground: Faron Young (leaning on piano), Tammy Wynette (at piano). Back row (l-r): Unidentified man, Hank Thompson, George Jones, Vern Gosdin, Marty Robbins "Don't you think you should've called To tell me you were coming down Oh, you look so out of place On this troubled side of town" - Vern Go ... More >>
Not many acts on MySpace list as their influences Merle Haggard and Fleetwood Mac. Or George Jones and Sheryl Crow. But Dallas outfit Blacktop Gypsy does, and it doesn't take many listens to their music to get the connections. Certainly the template is country but with three women in the mix there's ... 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 >>
The longest walk in the history of the Sole of Houston requires the longest piece. This being a blog and all, we have decided to break it up into three installments. Coming today, tomorrow and Thursday in this tale of 22-plus miles of concrete, mud, and fairly cold weather: The fending off a potent ... More >>
The virtues of satellite radio are too numerous to list here, but besides commercial-free episodes of American Top 40 with Casey Kasem every Saturday and Sunday, Bob Dylan's Theme Time Radio Hour and Tom Petty's Buried Treasure all day Wednesdays and Thursdays and the dormant-but-back-soon all-Led Z ... More >>
The late, great Harlan Howard, the songwriter behind “Heartaches by the Number,” “I Fall to Pieces,” “Streets of Baltimore” and “Why Not Me” (among countless others), once famously said country music is “three chords and the truth.” And the truth is that many relationships – mo ... More >>
If there’s one thing we learned from the Press’ recent H-Town 100 list, it’s that Houston has produced a lot of great songs. If there’s another thing we learned, it’s that lists – of anything, but since this is the music blog we’ll stick with songs – can sure draw a lot of comments v ... More >>
Honey and Salt
Thinking of You...
A summer selection of the Bayou City's most miserable music and depressing songs
Christmas comes early courtesy of Harry Connick Jr.
It's never the same show with the Good Luck Band
Albert & Gage