If 1975 was a whirlwind year for Joe Sample, the Crusader who passed away last Friday, 1976 was a full-blown hurricane. The newer, funkier Crusaders were increasingly popular, so much so that United Artists began to repackage and reissue some of the early 1960s Jazz Crusaders tracks the group made f ... More >>
Rest in peace Don Luis, the "Old Violin Man" of southeast Houston.
Respect Yourself: Stax Records and the Soul Explosion By Robert Gordon 384 pp. $30 Bloomsbury It's a story that any novelist or screenwriter would find fantastical. A white, middle-aged banker and part time country music fiddler with a hankering to get into the music business convinces his older ... More >>
What do Aretha Franklin, the Bee Gees, Norah Jones, the Rascals, Willie Nelson, Phil Collins, Dr. John, Barbra Streisand, Chaka Khan, the Average White Band, and Hall & Oates have in common? Not much, musically. But they all made records, and some of their most memorable, in the studio with Arif M ... More >>
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 >>
Tonight at the Continental Club, Austin's Freddie Steady 5 will head up a tribute to the late Doug Sahm focusing on Sahm's 2000 album The Return of Wayne Douglas, which he recorded only a few months before dying of a heart attack in November 1999. La Porte native Freddie Krc, leader of the 5, has ju ... More >>
It's 2 p.m. and Austin blues diva Lou Ann Barton is just downing her first cup of coffee of the day. Rocks Off admitted to her he was only on his second. "We were recording last night, so I'm a little sluggish," says the Fort Worth native in her gravelly voice. One of the masters of ceremony at t ... More >>
Texas Tornado Augie Meyers, king of the Tex-Mex Vox organ, can tell some stories.
To say that Huey Meaux was a complicated man is an epic understatement, but one guy who prefers to remember only the good in the late Crazy Cajun is Augie Meyers, keyboardist in the Sir Douglas Quintet. Though touring prevents him from attending Meaux's funeral, Meyers says he will be there i ... More >>
The final chapter of Marshall Chapman's new book, They Came to Nashville, is probably as close as most of us will ever get to riding on Willie Nelson's tour bus. Chapman, who has known Nelson since meeting him at a party in Nashville in 1973, hooked up with the Red Headed Stranger at a gig in ... More >>
"You just can't live in Texas if you don't have a lot of soul" - Doug Sahm, "At the Crossroads" If the Texas music scene ever had a soul, it belonged to Doug Sahm, the leader of the Sir Douglas Quintet who passed away ten years ago Wednesday. It didn't matter whether he was knee-deep in the blu ... 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 >>
Ah, that nasty Grim Reaper took a lot of great musicians this year, and his scythe cut a wide swath across all genres, including many heavyweights in the blues and R&B world. The greatest loss comes in the form of someone who was a man, a song, and a beat all in one... Bo Diddley, singer-songwriter ... More >>
The twisted history of "Tighten Up"
A Rhino rerelease celebrates Willie's new concept for country
Songwriter John Gorka finds it's always darkest before the dawn
Tranquil Canada flavors San Antonian Doug Sahm's rustic music
Four decades after his first record, Solomon Burke is still in the studio -- and still in God's arms
With a new disc and a boxed history, Willie Nelson wonders who'll buy his memories