Country music has an interesting relationship with current events. Unlike other forms of pop that deal with one form of fantasy or another -- starlets forever falling in love with that guy who is just out of reach; aspiring rappers' dreams of a ghetto-fabulous lifestyle, for example -- country draw ... More >>
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 >>
Many drinkers have a dialogue in their heads that also plays out in great drinking songs throughout the ages. "Why do you drink?" asks the great prophet Bocephus. "It's five o'clock somewhere," reply the equally sage Alan Jackson and Jimmy Buffett. Rocks Off wanted to know our writers' favorite dri ... More >>
In the Houston of 1959 and 1960, Willie Nelson was just another unknown musician. But not for long.
Legendary Nashville singer Kitty Wells has died at age 92, according to reports from Associated Press within the past hour. Wells was the first female to top the country charts with her song "It Wasn't God Who Made Honky-tonk Angels" in 1952. The song was a reply to Hank Thompson's "The Wild Side o ... More >>
Songs about singers and other songs has long been one of Rocks Off's favorite fields of study within the wide-ranging curriculum of popular music. Off the very tippy-top of our heads, ABC's "When Smokey Sings," the Replacements' "Alex Chilton" and the Pogues' "The Band Played Waltzing Matilda ... More >>
Although he grew up outside Philadelphia, Ray Benson is the quintessential Texas musician. Somewhere in his rambling South Austin studio/office compound is a proclamation declaring him the 2004 official state musician, not to mention the umpteen Grammys he's won as front man and bandleader of ... More >>
pasoroblesfilmfestival.comDr. John, Clint Eastwood and producer/director Bruce Ricker in a publicity photo for "Piano Blues," Eastwood's installment of PBS' 2003 series The Blues.Today the one and only Clint Eastwood turns 81 years old, and he can still kick your ass. According to the Interne ... More >>
Photo by Pinguino KCharlie Huston, the author of the newly released Sleepless, didn't start out to be a novelist; he had been hoping to become a screenwriter. That was six years and almost a dozen books ago."I was not thinking of a career as a writer until it was upon me," he told Hair Balls via ... More >>
Arty Hill is a Baltimore, Md., honky-tonker who has been playing regularly in Austin the past couple of years. He also reads Lonesome Onry and Mean's blog religiously and has already penned a couple of new songs based on the goings-on in these pages. He recently contacted LOM about Mike Stinson's l ... More >>
[Note: This week Rocks Off is looking at the musical heritage, highs and lows, for each of the five possible states that might result should Texas secede from the U.S. like Gov. Rick Perry wants it to. Yesterday we began with the Panhandle/West Texas "Palo Duro" territory; today it's northeastern qu ... 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 >>
Yesterday marked a tremendous day for rappers and thrashers across the world: Metallica and Run-DMC were announced as the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's newest inductees, along with Jeff Beck, Wanda Jackson, Little Anthony and the Imperials, Bobby Womack, two members of Elvis Presley's backing band an ... More >>
In spite of the old Surgeon General-like warning among industry insiders about musical fathers and sons (“like father, like hell”), several sons of important Americana figures seem to be rapidly coming well into their own. Longtime left-of-center Nashville writer Mark Germino, whose songwriting ... More >>
The Greil Marcus Rock Death Meter returns
Wanda Jackson appears Thursday, October 19, at the Continental Club, 3700 Main. Call 713-529-9899 for more info.
Six dozen of Houston's finest bands for a mere $7
Tranquil Canada flavors San Antonian Doug Sahm's rustic music
He had 78 hits over 50 years and revolutionized country music. Now, Hank Thompson gets a new green light.
Townes Van Zandt hospitalized with lung problems