I last saw Michael Condray five years ago at his home outside Porter. I was working on a story about his legendary Houston venue, Liberty Hall, where Bruce Springsteen found his first success in Texas and where a budding guitarist named Billy Gibbons would occasionally work out. Condray loaned us so ... More >>
Eagles Toyota Center February 21, 2014 The Eagles don't do too many interviews with alternative weeklies, but I've always wanted to ask Don Henley if sometimes a song is just a song. Besides one of the sharpest minds in pop music, the northeast Texas native is someone who (to put it mildly) does no ... More >>
Billy Ocean Warehouse Live, October 11 We weren't sure it was possible for '80s hitmaker Billy Ocean to get any cooler than he was in his "Caribbean Queen" video, where the Trinidad native dances around in a dapper suit surrounded by a puppet saxophone player. These days he's sporting dreadlocks th ... 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 >>
When Elvis Presley came into Memphis' Stax Studios in December 1973 to cut some new material, Norbert Putnam -- the experienced Muscle Shoals-born session bassist -- could tell that something was off about the King. "He had gained a bit of weight, I noticed. And he had gone through the divorce with ... More >>
History of the Eagles Jigsaw Productions, 3-DVD, $34.99 Originally shown as a two-part special on Showtime earlier this year, History of the Eagles arrives for home consumption in a variety of formats. The most user (and wallet)-friendly is this 3-DVD version that also includes a bonus disc of hig ... 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 >>
Mickey Newbury paved the road from Houston to Nashville for a Hells Angels-ish, hard-drinking, hard-drugging gaggle of songwriters who, like Newbury, would go on to make a serious mark on Music City. Ornery, belligerent, cocky, literary, opinionated, and super-talented, this group of Houston transp ... More >>
Rocks Off has always had a soft spot for Rick Nelson. Although our oldest memory of him is probably hearing about the plane crash outside Texarkana that killed him, his band and his fiancee on New Year's Eve 1985, we're also old enough to remember actually his songs like "Hello, Mary Lou," "Lonesome ... More >>
We all hate the trope "Houston, we have a problem," but we do have a problem in Houston with talkative, inattentive crowds at live shows. Scanning back over reviews from the past two years, at least 20 percent of them mention crowd noise. So what do the musicians think and, more importantly, what ... More >>
"'Pay attention. It's very strange out there.'" Chris Hillman (left) and Herb PedersenOften overshadowed by flashier, more volatile, or more tragic bandmates, singer and multi-instrumentalist Chris Hillman's cred as a pioneer of country-rock is nonetheless impeccable. As a co-founder of the ... More >>
GroovehouseKings of Leon, Toyota Center, October 2009Rocks Off has been both eagerly anticipating and dreading this week for months now. Anticipating because several of our all-time favorite bands are playing within the span of a few days, as are a couple of our favorite newer bands (though n ... More >>
Sometimes we cringe when we go to the mailbox, but the past few days have brought Lonesome, Onry and Mean an eclectic trove of cool stuff. New Mystery Girl is Austinite Chrissy Flatt's new project with longtime collaborators Eric Hisaw and Ron Flynt. Twist City is a no-frills roots-rock disc - li ... More >>
The New York Dolls aren't too long in the tooth to sing "Jet Boy."
"It Doesn't Matter" Who Dat? The most talented member of CSN-without-the-Y, Stephen Stills was riding high on a solo career with tracks like "Love the One You're With," "Black Queen" and "Change Partners." During sessions for his third solo record, Stills recorded with an ad-hoc studio group of cra ... More >>
Texas supergroup the Flatlanders (although it still exists) may have been "more legend than a band" but the same could also be said for the Flying Burrito Brothers (above, with female friends). The pioneers of country-rock were a short-lived act that went though numerous lineup changes, but records ... More >>
Touring bands, especially those that haven't graduated to bus level, have a special relationship with Denny's. The roadside restaraunt chain is always open, providing a perfect post-gig spot to sober up on free coffee refills or just get to know the townies a little better. Its locations are often l ... More >>
Wilco Verizon Wireless Theater March 7, 2008 Better than: Sitting around chatting at a friend’s dinner party, with Being There or Sky Blue Sky in the background. Sadly, some people thought they actually were. Download: Stream Sky Blue Sky bonus track “The Thanks I Get,” which you may recogni ... More >>
To his champions, Gram Parsons was a cult-hero musical genius and the primary inventor of “country rock.” But he was also a tragic figure who died prematurely, and whose work has never been properly appreciated. To his critics, Parsons was a spoiled rich-kid wastrel who rode his good looks, mar ... More >>
This week’s big local music news (besides Jana Hunter’s last show before moving to Baltimore) is of course Fitzgerald’s 30th anniversary, starting Thursday with local folksinger supreme Shake Russell, Friday with Fort Worth percussion amoeba Spoonfed Tribe, and Saturday with Denton polka kings ... More >>
Not many musicians have health insurance, but Murder by Death does
Saturday, March 4, McGonigel's Mucky Duck, 2425 Norfolk, 713-528-5999.
Janis, the Dead, the Band and others take the happiest trip of their lives
Exhuming and scoring last year's pop-music demises
April 30 - May 6, 1998
Roger McGuinn is happy to look at the past, but he's not ready to live in it
X was the West's great punk hope. But now they're finding more fun in their new worlds.
And quite a bit rock and roll add up to No Depression music
How deep is your love for the Bee Gees?
From the ashes of Uncle Tupelo springs Wilco, genreless and great