Pop Life

Get a Rope: New York Times Takes Note of Honky-Tonk Hero Mike Stinson

Houston's own Mike Stinson is no stranger to media coverage. Hell, it was big news when the "King of the L.A. Honky-tonkers" relocated to the Bayou City two-and-a-half years ago. When it comes to press, though, it doesn't get much bigger than the New York Times. The Old Gray Lady gave the local hero a tip of its Yankees cap earlier this week.

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Predictably, of course, Stinson had to go to Austin to get noticed. In the latest edition of Seth Kugel's Frugal Traveler column, the author outlined his $100 Weekend in the state capitol. After a thrilling visit to the LBJ Library on Sunday (yawn), Kugel wound up at Ginny's Little Longhorn Saloon in Allandale. Guess who folks were dancin' to:

The music that day -- Mike Stinson performing rocking country tunes with great names like "Died and Gone to Houston" and "Last Fool at the Bar" -- was the real highlight. And because spending $2 on chicken bingo and nothing on the band seemed absurd, I broke my budget by a few dollars to leave a $5 tip.

Not a bad little shout-out from the Newspaper of Record. The guy even tipped him! But when we asked Stinson about it Thursday, he played it cool.

"I haven't actually seen it yet," he said. "A couple people texted me about it: 'Hey, congrats.' It sounded cool."

Well shucks, Mike. We know it wasn't front page, above the fold, but it's still the New York Times.

"It's nice to be mentioned anywhere," Stinson said, laughing. "A write up in the New York Times is definitely a good thing. I need to get up there and play sometime."

Indeed. Truth be told, it wasn't Stinson's first appearance in the pages of the Times. But it's still worth bragging about publically, even if we have to do it for him.

If you're interested in recreating Kugel's $100 Weekend experience, Stinson will be back at Ginny's this Sunday. We hear there's some sort of soccer game or something going on that day, though, so if you'd rather stay home and read, you can catch Mike two weeks from today right here in Houston at Dan Electro's Guitar Bar, instead.

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Nathan Smith
Contact: Nathan Smith