Lonesome Onry and Mean

Lonesome Onry and Mean: Jody Nix Does Western Swing Right

As we reported some weeks ago in this column, if you're down with hardcore Western Swing twin fiddle dance music of the Bob Wills variety, you should be in heaven Saturday when Jody Nix and the Texas Cowboys make a rare Houston appearance on the iFest Texas Stage.

Nix is old-school, so old school he doesn't drink and the members of his band don't either, at least not when they're on the road with him. He harkens back to a more innocent time when the Saturday-night dance was what people looked forward to all week. Like his father Hoyle before him, Nix likes to keep it clean and family-friendly.

But don't let that stop you. We ran into Dr. Roger Wood at the Shinyribs show at Under the Volcano Wednesday night and he could not stop raving about how much he likes Nix and his band. Wood encountered them last year when he was one of the MCs for the Smithsonian Folklife Festival.

Wood proceeded to tell Lonesome, Onry and Mean, "I love that guy. The thing about Jody Nix is not just his amazing virtuosity. The guy just lights up when he gets on stage. There is no doubt that this is a man who loves his work, and loves that his work is this music."

iFest artistic director Rick Mitchell added this message about Nix to our recent blog: "Not only Jody but every act playing on the Texas Stage this year at iFest performed last summer at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival. Thanks in large part to Pat Jasper, who curated the Texas music program for the Smithsonian, we got a grant from the Houston Endowment to bring it all back home."

Don't go thinking Nix is some museum piece or a cheesy reenactment. As the world's premier practitioner of Western Swing, Nix keeps pushing his performance while maintaining the traditions. If you're a fan of great fiddling and old time dance music, be there. This is a dying art.

6 p.m. Saturday, April 18, Texas Stage. See www.ifest.org for more information.

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William Michael Smith