Houston Music

Opie Hendrix Gets Down In H-town

Opie Hendrix is showing his love for Houston with "H-town" due out July 8 when he will celebrate with a performance at Shoeshine Charley's Big Top Lounge.
Opie Hendrix is showing his love for Houston with "H-town" due out July 8 when he will celebrate with a performance at Shoeshine Charley's Big Top Lounge. Photo by Violeta Alvarez
Opie Hendrix is putting his love for the city on blast and inviting everyone to celebrate their fondness for Houston with his latest single “H-town” due out on July 8. He will be performing that night at Shoeshine Charley's Big Top Lounge for a release show where he teases surprise guests may be stopping by to grace the small stage.

“There's a lot of H-town love on it,” says Hendrix of the honky tonk track featuring all local talent including Johnny Falstaff on guitar, Willy T. Golden on pedal steel, Miss Leslie Sloan on fiddle, backing vocals by Mel Torres of Shame On Me and rhythm by Patrick Kelly and Liam Haney of Dem Roots.

Hendrix will also release a video for the single directed by Raul Rodriguez which was filmed at Shady Acres Saloon, where Hendrix performs frequently, and features cameos by many Houston musicians and fans.

The love song to Houston is not only chock full of musicians from the area, but it was recorded at the legendary SugarHill Studios, a historic space that has been a part of a wide range of artists careers and the oldest running studio in the United States.

“We are recording an album at the famous SugarHill,” says Hendrix of his intentionality in keeping the track local. “A lot of Houston history there, a lot of rock and roll history as far as that goes.”

Instrumentally the band provides a smooth, classic country backdrop for Hendrix’s sweet words about living and dying in Houston creating a track that encourages a slow two step at times with more soulful and upbeat verses sprinkled in.

“The song started out as a diss to Dallas,” explains Hendrix. “I came up with it a few years after I spent a little time in Dallas, six months that I'll never get back. Then I thought, with everything that's going on, let's just turn it around and make it an upbeat, positive song about something we love.”

Despite the origins of the song, Hendrix harbors no ill will towards Dallas. “I’ve got some really good friends in Dallas and I've had some really good times, I just didn't like living there. I ain't got nothing against Dallas but I just ain’t got nothing for it.”

The love for our city bleeds through the sounds of the pedal steel with Hendrix’s sincerity coming through in the gravel of his voice. His admiration goes beyond sports teams and obvious rivalries instead hitting on a deeper appreciation for the famous kindness and camaraderie of Houstonians in times of need.

“I didn't want to be specific and name streets or the Astros or anything like that,” explains Hendrix. “I just wanted to say what H-town means to me and then maybe somebody listens to it and can see what it means to them.”

On “H-town” Hendrix assures he’s down to be in H-town and feels lucky to be here. “I love H-town. I’ve lived in Austin, Dallas, close to San Antonio and Houston. It's my place, it's my home.”

Houston is often overlooked for its contributions to musical history in genres across the board and sadly in many cases, our local talent relocates in order to be able to make a living in more music-centered cities.

“For years people kind of looked down on Houston artists,” says Hendrix. “It’s sad but that's the way it was and now it’s different, especially in hop-hop. You ain't gonna touch the H-town hip-hop scene.”

Ironically, “H-town” has already gotten some radio play in Dallas and Houston premiering on Big E’s Rock and Soul Revue on KPFT in anticipation for the official release. “H-town” is the first single off of Hendrix’s upcoming album which he describes as “Honky tonk feeling with a dash of soul.”

Hendrix is taking his time developing the complete track list and is still in the process of recording and finalizing the songs. “I want to just let it grow, that's why I'm going slow, to see what develops because we don't know yet.”

Much like Houston’s zone free landscape which can shift from block to block or even faster, Hendrix does not like adhering to any rules or genres and though his first single is a country track, the entire project will encompass other genres.

“We’ve got a couple of songs on there that just rock out but you'll find out sooner than later. I never wanted to be pigeonholed into one genre because I don't listen to just one genre,” says Hendrix who describes his playlists as ranging from George Jones to Twenty One Pilots.

“I think musical diversity is something very important that people should do. A lot of people just stick to one thing and that's good I guess but I just can't do that. I gotta follow my own path which is crooked, bumpy, uphill and downhill. I can’t really settle on one genre or style of music.”

"H-town" will be available for streaming everywhere on July 8. Opie Hendrix will perform on Friday, July 8 at Shoeshine Charley's Big Top Lounge, 3714 Main. 9 p.m, $10.  $5 if you wear any Opie Hendrix merchandise.
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Gladys Fuentes is a first generation Houstonian whose obsession with music began with being glued to KLDE oldies on the radio as a young girl. She is a freelance music writer for the Houston Press, contributing articles since early 2017.
Contact: Gladys Fuentes