Sturgill Simpson Fitzgerald's November 16, 2014 Artists like Sturgill Simpson don't come along very often, but they do show up enough to prevent those of us who contend we love "real" country music from truly despairing. But honestly, what does that even mean anymore? In an age dominated by Florid ... More >>
Old 97's, Lydia Loveless Fitzgerald's May 27, 2014 In band years, the Old 97's have now reached what you might call their Tattoo You period, settling into a solid signature sound while fighting off early-middle-age complacency and retaining the ability to surprise people a little. But if comparing ... More >>
Oh, how we miss the '80s. It was a happy time, when life was full of neon spandex, leg-warmers and high-top Reeboks as far as the eye could see. Sure, there were too many dudes sporting man-perms, but they always threw in an accompanying mullet for good measure, and the beloved beard was always an ... More >>
Note: Rocks Off originally published this blog in November 2011 and people keep looking at it, so we figured we might as well put it back at the top of our queue. Call it a holiday tradition. As the timeless tale of the Little Drummer Boy reminds us, there is no greater gift than the gift of music. ... More >>
This Sunday the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville will correct a grievous oversight when it inducts the late Jack Clement, who wrote an early hit for Johnny Cash ("Ballad of a Teenage Queen"), effectively desegregated country music by adopting Charley Pride as a protege, and produce ... More >>
Don't confuse Hank Williams III with the ones who came before him. This sure ain't Bocephus' music he's playin'. Hank Williams III, or Hank3, as he's known to his fans, is hardly the honky-tonk musician of old. Despite being descended from country-music royalty -- he's the grandson of good ol' Han ... More >>
Tompall Glaser, one of the original and most confrontational Nashville outlaws, passed Tuesday morning after a long illness, according to the singer's nephew. The flannel-throated Glaser, whose upraised middle finger to the Music Row establishment was even bigger than Willie's or Waylon's, was 79. ... More >>
Outlaw: Waylon, Willie, Kris and the Renegades of Nashville By Michael Streissguth It Books, 304 pp., $26. A recent Rolling Stone cover story on Johnny Depp was titled "An Outlaw Looks at 50." To what extent that a multimillionaire movie actor who won the genetic lottery could be viewed as an "outl ... More >>
"Ladies love outlaws," Waylon Jennings once sang, and well knew. Yes they do, and so do plenty of fellers, who may love the late Littlefield-born musician -- who was a losing coin flip away from being on Buddy Holly's doomed plane in February 1959 -- even more. Jennings would have been 76 this past ... More >>
On October 30, just a few days from now, RodeoHouston will announce its first round of performers for the 2013 edition of the star-studded, yeehawin', nearly three-week event at Reliant Park. The booking the last few years has been getting more adventurous, with the likes of Kid Rock, KISS, Mary J. ... More >>
Houston's favorite happenin' soul/funk/R&B/rocksteady/ska DJ night, A Fistful of Soul, returns to the Big Top about 10 p.m. this evening. Free. Say happy birthday to DJ Wes Wallace, who has been named "Best Dance Club DJ" by this publication more than ten times, at "Classic Numbers" this evening.
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 >>
The best thing about Owl Bar is that it doesn't feel like it belongs. A couple of years ago, when Mugsy's occupied the same space, it would have been a little more at home in its neighborhood. Upper Kirby has since come up in the world, though. Standing on Owl Bar's narrow patio on a Tuesday ... More >>
We grew up on television. Whether it was Saturday morning cartoons, afternoon re-runs, Sunday Disney and Wild Kingdom or Thursday night "must see" TV, we saw it. We noticed that on November 2, 1985, the Miami Vice soundtrack went to number one on the Billboard charts where it would stay for ... More >>
The seating area next to the dance floor and stage. Guitarist Chet Akins, the Country Gentleman, would describe the Nashville sound by jingling some the change in his pocket and saying, "It's the sound of money." Mainstream country's lucrative turn toward pop in the late 1950s eventually blos ... More >>
This weekend, as the rest of the world catches Harry Potter mania for (perhaps) the final time, Houston gets a serious dose of Urban Cowboy nostalgia. Theater Under the Stars' production of the Tony-nominated 2003 musical - which The New York Times called "a conclusive demonstration that it's ... More >>
Ralph Mooney, former Waylon Jennings steel guitarist, also dies Steve Azzato/pinetopperkins.comLegendary multi-Grammy-winning blues pianist Pinetop Perkins has died at his home in Austin, according to his Web site. Perkins, who was part of Muddy Waters' band for years, was 97. No cause of ... More >>
"Hank Williams' pain songs, Newbury's train songs/ And 'Blue Eyes Cryin' In the Rain' - Willie Nelson & Waylon Jennings, "Luckenbach, Texas" Lonesome, Onry and Mean was sitting around having a few cold pops the other night when we put on The Best of Mickey Newbury. It wasn't long before the ... More >>
Upscale suburban bars used to be a nightlife myth. Not anymore.
Date: March 10 Name: Rascal Flatts AKA: "No Talentt Ass Clowns" Genre: Pop-country Best Known Song(s): "What Hurts the Most," "Bless the Broken Road," "I Want it That Way Key Demographic: Hannah Montana fans looking to butch up their image, people who've never heard the name "Waylon Jennings" Previ ... More >>
For someone who wears motorcycle boots and carries a knife, the bald(ing) He Said rightfully looks like he should be one of the most vindictive cats in the world. But in reality, the only revenge we have ever taken has been of the emotional variety, and that's probably much worse than any windows ... More >>
Country music, faded stardom, liquor, and age in Crazy Heart.
Photo illustrations by John Seaborn Gray We know a ton of you got iPhones over the holiday break. Well, good news: Rocks Off has spent the last few months developing our own iPhone applications (or "apps," as the urban kids are saying) and we're thrilled to debut them here. All inquiries, critici ... More >>
Looking back, this past decade wasn't too kind to rock and roll as a whole. We lost plenty of people who weren't exactly disgustingly huge as Michael Jackson or as monolithic as Johnny Cash. This decade took its share of people who were massively influential and iconic, but not on the grand worl ... More >>
Fifty years ago today - February 3, 1959 - the world lost three of its early pioneering rock and rollers in a fiery plane crash over Clear Lake, Iowa. Texan Buddy Holly, Chicano rock godfather Ritchie Valens, and Sabine Pass-born disc jockey/songwriter J. P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson all lay dead ... More >>
AC/DC may be gone (sniff), although the ringing in several of Rocks Off's friends' ears (and his own) lingers on, but the mail goes on... Waylon Jennings & the .357s (Littlefield/Nashville, R.I.P.), Waylon Forever (by request): "'I'd been playing my dad the music I was inspired by at the time, ... More >>
Waylon Jennings, "Ain't Livin' Long Like This," live in 1980 Rocks Off is a big musical-phase guy. It's not unusual for him to get stuck - if "stuck" is indeed the proper word - listening to an artist or genre for weeks or months at a time. This summer it was Tom Petty (which he's still&nb ... More >>
So now there's a karaoke booth at Intercontinental Airport. According to the Houston Chronicle, travelers can choose from "hundreds of titles."We got to wondering this morning about what's in their song selections there and more to the point -- what isn't.We imagine that the management of IAH's kara ... More >>
Little Jimmy Dickens As the Willie Nelson-quoting Don Merideth used to sing on Monday Night Football, turn out the lights, the party's over. While last night's electoral bloodbath isn't the end of the Republican Party - particularly way down Texas way - the GOP is in shambles, and Barack Obama's ho ... More >>
If there’s one thing we learned from the Press’ recent H-Town 100 list, it’s that Houston has produced a lot of great songs. If there’s another thing we learned, it’s that lists – of anything, but since this is the music blog we’ll stick with songs – can sure draw a lot of comments v ... More >>
Waylon Jennings, Nashville Rebel
Friday, September 30, at McGonigel's Mucky Duck, 2425 Norfolk, 713-528-5999.
Put the O Back in Country
And coping with Yankee slander
What do punks the Dropkick Murphys have in common with soulful Norah Jones? More than you think.
Whole Lot of Memories (Compadre Records)
Among Friends (Lauan Records)
Billy Joe Shaver has known great blessings and great curses
Willie Nelson brings along his pals for his annual musical picnic
Lyle Lovett is smart, funny and wears Armani. That's right: He is from Texas.
The most rebellious thing Waylon Jennings has done is not change