Ume Fitzgerald's, June 6 Former Houstonians Ume have been threatening a national breakthrough for a few years now, advancing to the finals of a Rolling Stone "choose the cover" contest in 2011, but it's just a matter of time, really. The now Austin-based trio excels at both aggressive riff-rockers ... More >>
If the general rules of parent/child relationships hold, most members of the latter group will find the former's music tastes "uncool" at some point. However, how can that be the case when your dad is Luther Dickinson, the rock/country/blues singer-guitarist and current solo artist, member of the N ... More >>
Dwight Yoakam Arena Theatre, December 20 Throughout his career in the public eye, Dwight Yoakam has successully negotiated the perils of country stardom without ever once coming close to being labeled a sellout. The looming 30-year anniversary of his 1986 debut Hillbilly Deluxe is a big one -- alon ... More >>
Young Houston roots-rockers Buxton celebrate their tenth anniversary by looking ahead.
One of the damndest things Rocks Off has seen in our five-plus years in Houston is the way word of mouth spread like a brush fire among the local indie scene about "Whiskey Wednesdays." Starting in late, late 2009, scenesters both shaved and unkempt (more the latter) flocked to Mango's and then Fitz ... More >>
DJ Sun The Flat, September 16 Now that some of the well-deserved publicity surrounding DJ Sun's first-ever full-length release, One Hundred, has subsided a little, his true accomplishment on the disc seems even more impressive. In the span of 70 minutes, he pours his 20-plus-year career as one of H ... More >>
Members of local rockers American Fangs battle a self-proclaimed vampire on tour.
It's noon, and 72-year-old Delbert McClinton sounds like he's just woken up and maybe had the first cigarette of the day. But he's a pro and is ready to talk about his career, his forthcoming New West Records album with old running buddy Glen Clark, Blind, Crippled & Crazy, and his experiences in Ho ... More >>
Houston's Wild Moccasins have been hand-picked by Of Montreal to be the main support act on their Athens-based friends' three-week spring U.S. theater tour, New West Records announced Thursday. The two indie-pop bands have developed a similar sound -- drawing on elements of psychedelic '60s pop and ... More >>
One of the quiet pleasures of (finally) putting 2012 to bed is mop-up duty. All year, I tried to keep a running list of albums released by Texas-based or Texas-related performers that I enjoyed listening to. Sunday night, I tallied them up. For some reason, besides that we've already handled the ye ... More >>
Continuing with our year-end panorama, Rocks Off asked our contributors a simple question with a not-so-simple answer: What was your favorite local album of 2012? ALEXA CRENSHAW: Whatever I say here, I'm going to want to take back shortly because there's so much good stuff out there, y'all. Althoug ... More >>
A lot of stellar music came out of that flat land known as West Texas. Bob Wills, Roy Orbison, Buddy Holly, Waylon Jennings, Terry Allen, Guy Clark, and the Sparkles are just a few artists who found something in the wind, the dust, the heat, the cactus, the mesquite, the sandstorms, the blizzards, t ... More >>
Album recorded partially in drummer's parents' basement.
Showing it has more lives than a cockroach, vinyl has been reborn, resulting in some beautiful music. But sometimes production values in records and turntables are lacking.
Besides Music World Gospel, New West Records is probably the most locally connected sub-major record label, and owner/partial Houstonian George Fontaine has long worn his heart on his sleeve about local music in general and recent New West additions the Wild Moccasins, Robert Ellis, Buxton and Grand ... More >>
Sixteen Houston acts will play an all-day free show during SXSW from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, March 16, at the Gypsy Lounge, 1504 E. 6th St. The party is sponsored by The Convoy Group, the company run by Houston promoter and sometime Rocks Off photograher Mark C. Austin, who announced the party ear ... More >>
Houston's own Buxton gets their moment in the sun in the next few weeks as their debut album for New West Records, Nothing Here Seems Strange, gets wide release. But the band's home store, Cactus Music, will be releasing it tonight five days early during the band's in-store, set for 7 p.m. In addit ... More >>
Photo by Marco TorresChris with the officers that saved his life.Click here for a slideshow of the bands and here for a slideshow of the crowd. "I didn't know Chris was a celebrity." Chris Gray's mother told a rapt audience from the stage on Saturday afternoon that she was "overwhelmed" by ... More >>
For the past few weeks I have been asking local acts to tell us about their 2012 plans, be it touring, recording, breaking up, or just gigging around town. You would have thought more rappers would have chimed in sense they are veritable promotion machines, but I didn't get much back. OK, Twenty Ele ... More >>
Photo by Marc BrubakerIf one understands the historical depth and context of the singer-songwriter tradition in Houston -- and it was flourishing here long before it migrated to Austin or before a few (mostly Texan) outlaws started up a movement in Nashville -- it shouldn't come as much of a ... More >>
Photos by Marc BrubakerBuxton at Rudz in AugustLonesome Onry and Mean has been spinning local sensation Buxton's upcoming release Nothing Here Seems Strange for almost two weeks now. And we're sorry, but we still don't get it. Maybe we are old and jaded and out of it, but to us it sounds l ... More >>
Photos by Jim BrickerRobert Ellis & the Boys (CD release), Jonny Corndawg Fitzgerald's July 6, 2011 See more Photographs from Ellis' homecoming in our slideshow. Robert Ellis' record release show last night wasn't short on thrills, from the openers to the closing moments from Ellis and his ... More >>
Ted Barron/New West RecordsSteve Earle: What's up, Doc?Despite what our paychecks and sometimes even our diplomas say, the perception persists that music journalists are not "real" journalists. Similarly, no matter how literate their lyrics, some folks think musicians could not possibly put p ... More >>
Greetings From Bon Iver Land! Now, grab a rifle. It's almost dinner time.In the next few weeks, you may be reading about the new Robert Ellis album, Photographs, so we are just giving you fair warning. It's a stunner through and through, and goes nicely with early morning traffic. Have you ev ... More >>
Photos by Jason WolterRocks Off is usually ambivalent, at best, about restaurant shows. One of the few times we're not interested in live music at all is when we're eating, and we imagine we're hardly the only person who feels that way. Strolling violinists and mariachi groups especially get ... More >>
This week brings a new My Morning Jacket album, an Eddie Vedder ukulele outing, the umpteenth Dave Matthews Band live collection, and Ozzy's past barks at the moon. We are just now hitting the busy summer release period, so these blogs in the next few weeks will be getting jam-packed. In th ... More >>
Photos by Jim BrickerRobert Ellis & the BoysNew West Records showcase feat. Buxton, Robert Ellis & the Boys, Wild Moccasins Cactus Music April 16, 2011 Although they had a myriad of opportunities Friday night to make themselves bleary-eyed and drag-tailed - Aftermath chose The Wagoneers, and ... More >>
Marco TorresCarlos Hernandez and Los Skarnales' Felipe Galvan at Cactus Music's "Day of the Dead" opening last year.Today is Tax Day (boo), but it's also payday for a lot of people, which comes in handy because tomorrow is Record Store Day. In a few short years, RSD has become one of the bigg ... More >>
"There are rules for policemen. I mean, critics."While looking for ways to avoid writing about Charlie Sheen again researching topics for today's column, I found myself going through Roger Ebert's web site over at the Chicago Sun-Times. Christ, but that guy writes a lot. He was fairly prolif ... More >>
Photos this page by Marc BrubakerBuxtonMarc Brubaker: For Rocks Off, sometimes SXSW isn't about seeing new bands or drinking until Sixth Street becomes a blurry swath of humanity. It's nice to check in with our hometown boys and see how they are received by the ears and arms of the masses in ... More >>
Photos by Amy PrasadInspector Cluzo, aka The French BastardsSo we're checked in and we're on the way up to the room. Who's in the elevator with us? John Popper from Blues Traveler. In person, he looks like a cartoon character, something waxy and a bit spooky about his motel tan. He's all effu ... More >>
In the coming week, legions of Houstonians will trek northwest to descend upon the city of Austin, blessing it with our mere presence during the madhouse that is SXSW. Heck, some of Houston is already there. Our delegation is not limited to SXSW attendees, however. A host of Houston bands, r ... More >>
Buxton takes its bump to the roots-rock big leagues in stride.
Photos by Marc BrubakerWild Moccasins, Young Mammals Fitzgerald's February 12, 2011 Houston has seen Wild Moccasins plenty of times before, but that doesn't stop the throngs of fans from packing out show after show to see the band's catchy brand of indie pop-rock. The story was no different ... More >>
Jay Dryden/ Wild Moccasins on FacebookWild Moccasins on the Cactus Music in-store stageLocal businessman George Fontaine is another music-business player who is suddenly very high on the Houston music scene. And Fontaine is putting his money where his mouth is by investing in up-and-coming lo ... More >>
2009 wasn't a great year for albums, but songs were a different story.
I first encountered Tim Easton about five years ago at a New West Records South By Southwest party. It was a hot day at an outdoor stage. I felt the presence of someone moving up beside me and saw from his name tag that it was Michael Corcoran, longtime music critic for the Austin American-Statesma ... More >>
Photos courtesy New West Records Stephen Bruton, one of Austin's great pickers, songwriters, and good citizens, died Saturday of throat cancer, which he had battled for years, according to a press release by his label, New West Records. The 60-year-old Bruton came out of the school of influential Fo ... More >>
"Credibility Scare" alumnus Mark Germino plugs in after seven years.
"Roughest Neck Around" Lonesome Onry and Mean has been a Corb Lund fan since about five minutes into his first pass through Lund's album Five Dollar Bill. I remember watching those guys during the opening hour of SXSW at B.D. Riley's five years ago with some musician buddies. Like the posse chasing ... More >>
Vic Chesnutt died 20 years ago. Catch him live this week.