Going out of -- hell, just trying to get out of -- the box in blues is hard. Purists, traditionalists, blues nazis, or whatever you want to call them built the box and they are proud of the box. The box has its advantages: it's comfortable and doesn't require much thinking or adjustment, the comfort ... More >>
Austin City Limits wasn't always a cultural institution, nor a repository of some of the finest musical performances ever committed to videotape. In the show's earliest days it was an unusual experiment even for public television, and creator Bill Arhos and his staff did not have the benefit of the ... More >>
The Apple Scruffs Performing as "The Down Under Band" for the day, The Apple Scruffs took an inspiring break from their usual gig as a Beatles cover band to cover music from Australian musicians, in homage to this year's spotlight country. This quartet was so good, it inspired thoughts about what th ... More >>
Around Tin Pan Alley-era Houston, sheet music was exchanged for the most part among music fans and aficionados, versus the then-fragile but burgeoning cylinder records (phonographs). Sadly, the true sound of musicians who improvised has been lost, but from street musicians to the thoroughly classica ... More >>
From his earliest records and concerts to his most recent discs and tours with buddies Michael McDonald and Donald Fagen as the Dukes of September, Boz Scaggs has always shown a reverence for music history. That's especially true for the old blues and R&B tunes he'd hear wafting over the airwaves fr ... More >>
Houston is a sprawling metropolis of subdivisions and strip centers that retains a strong cultural hub. But this "cultural hub" has actually become more of a cultural sprawl. Especially music-wise, neighborhoods outside Loop 610 are often seen as culturally sterile, though some elements of Houston's ... 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 >>
Above: Walter Barnes and the Royal Creolians, the first kings of the Chitlin' Circuit Most music critics, writers, historians, and aficianados in Houston don't think this city has ever gotten enough credit for its contributions to blues, soul, and, the Holy Grail, the birth of rock and roll. Well, ... More >>
Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks are married both to each other and their musical careers. She with a busy solo schedule, and he with full-time gigs fronting the Derek Trucks Band, playing guitar with the Allman Brothers Band [Derek's uncle is founding member Butch Trucks], and minor side-jobs with t ... More >>
Reverend K.M. Williams says the blues aren't the devil's music.
Another of Houston's unique blues treasures, the effusive, ebullient and always stylish pianist Earl Gilliam, has moved on to the big juke joint in the sky. Gilliam, 81, died peacefully this morning at his home in Tomball of advanced lung disease.
Dave Alvin is an inveterate troubadour and staunch advocate for Houston's blues history.
David Bush/ houstondeco.comThe Eldorado Ballroom in 2006Rocks Off was pleased as punch to report last week that, thanks to the efforts of the Texas Blues Project's R. Eric Davis and Project Row Houses, which has owned the historic Third Ward venue since 1999, the Eldorado Ballroom will receiv ... More >>
Black History Month is always a great time to recall some of Houston's greatest musical innovators and leaders. This is our final installment. Great Houston blues guitarists makes a long and storied list indeed, arguably headed up by Albert Collins, Lightnin' Hopkins, Johnny "Guitar" Watson ... More >>
Black History Month is always a great time to recall some of Houston's greatest musical innovators and leaders. Rocks Off will highlight some of them during the remainder of February. Jody PerryTexas Johnny Brown, one of the few Houston musicians who remembers "Mrs. Cullum"At a local blues j ... More >>
A bluesman since age ten, Bernard Allison has learned his lessons well.
Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Dave Mason has certainly had a storied career: Founding member of Traffic, guest appearances on records by Hendrix, the Stones and various Beatles, a solid solo career, stint with Fleetwood Mac, and writer of at least one Classic Rock Warhorse in "Feelin' Alright." And ... 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 >>
Craig Hlavaty The Imani School Student Jazz Ensemble Craig Hlavaty Erykah BaduRocks Off is still in the very early recovery stages from this weekend, which was one of the most satisfying musical whirlwinds he's been sucked into in quite some time. He started off Friday evening at  ... More >>
The Isle of Man - the sparsely populated "crown dependency" between Great Britain and Ireland - has given the world those adorable tailless Manx cats and the Bee Gees, who were born there before moving to Manchester and then Australia. Now you can add blues-rock power trio Back Door Slam to that lis ... More >>
Verve Records One of my favorite blues songs of all time is Blind Lemon Jefferson's "See That My Grave Is Kept Clean." Especially these lyrics: Did you ever hear that coffin sound Means another poor boy is under the ground Creepy! Jefferson's song has been covered by many, many people over the y ... More >>
Texas Johnny Brown, the author of Bobby Blue Bland’s hit “Two Steps from the Blues” and one of Houston’s last surviving links to the Duke/Peacock Records era, has been selected to perform at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival’s “Texas: A Celebration of Music, Food and Wine” program next ... More >>
Notes toward a post-cheap-gas touring economy
Another collaboration of sorts between an aging American R&B star and a (much) better-selling British acolyte is in the offing, it seems. Early this morning (when all e-mail blasts go out, apparently), the folks charged with getting the word out about Rhino Records' upcoming releases announced that ... More >>
Marty Stuart is definitely one of the more interesting also-rans of Travis Tritt-era popular country. He only had a couple of real hits - "Hillbilly Rock" and "Little Things" both reached No. 8 in 1990 - but he's got a great pedigree. He was married to one of the Carter daughters, and was a good pal ... More >>
As some of you may remember, I wrote about visiting the graves of southeast Texas music legends on Day of the Dead. Last Friday, Press music listings editor Brett Koshkin and I did just that. Or tried to, at least. The plan was to head up to Navasota’s Oakland / Resthaven cemetery, where both Ma ... More >>
A plea for monuments and musical preservation
Show business is sure going to miss Jimmy Nelson
Get the blues at the Eldorado Ballroom's Juneteenth Bash
Nashville was no place for Los Lonely Boys, the future of Texas roots rock
Friday, June 14
Beaumont's Barbara Lynn lucks out with a song that almost died
Head On! (Music Club)
Greyhound Blues (Dialtone)
Omar Dykes keeps finding ways to push the blues out there
The blues make the first day of the week seem less so at Miss Ann's Playpen
You think you like the blues? You ain't seen nothing yet.
Project Row Houses will revive Houston's first home of black music
Chris Duarte brings a retro energy to rockin' blues and bluesy rock