Texas Music

Five Texans Who Will Never Be Official State Musician

Before the Texas Legislature did something completely predictable and sold out the state's public schools declared Western Swing the state's official music, it did something slightly less predictable and appointed two people not from Austin or the Hill Country as the next two official state musicians. They're even from the Houston area - Lyle Lovett and ZZ Top's Billy F. Gibbons.

Although the official state musicians don't actually do anything, it's still a prestigious honor. It must be, because it took Willie Nelson six years to be appointed to the post. But let's be honest: Lovett and Gibbons are still pretty safe choices, if Gibbons perhaps a little less so. Rocks Off fully expects the lege's next appointments to be along those same lines - Robert Earl Keen and any one of the three Flatlanders, we're looking in your direction.

Here, on the other hand, are five eminently worthy Texas musicians who probably don't need to be waiting by the phone come next session.

ROKY ERICKSON

Why He Should Be: Talent? Songwriting genius? "You're Gonna Miss Me"? And because so many of the demons Roky finally put to bed on last year's wonderful True Love Cast Out All Evil have the State of Texas' fingerprints all over them, specifically his dubious confinement in the Rusk State Hospital. Appointing Roky official state musician wouldn't undo the damage, but it would be a nice gesture.

Why He Won't: Because drugs are bad.

SCARFACE

Why He Should Be: 'Face knows his own mind as well as any lyricist in any genre, and it's a scary, scary place. It's as scary as the neighborhoods he raps about, which will be the first to feel all those education cuts the legislature made to push the budget through.

Why He Won't: He won't be doing much of anything until he clears up the child-support beef that's kept him locked up in Montgomery County these past few months. Has anyone even heard anything about this lately?

KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Chris Gray has been Music Editor for the Houston Press since 2008. He is the proud father of a Beatles-loving toddler named Oliver.
Contact: Chris Gray