music

Hunting for Vinyl at the Largest Record Convention in the U.S.

April 9, 2024 | By

I swore I wasn’t going to buy anything at the Austin Record Convention, the biggest record sale and swap meet in North America.

A New Book Details the Life of Terry Allen and His ‘Truckload of Art’

March 18, 2024 | By

Maybe you’ve seen Terry Allen’s work.
His sculpture Caw Caw Blues, which contains the ashes of his friend Guy Clark, stands sentinel at the entrance of The Wittliff Collections at Texas State University in San Marcos.

The Top 50 Recordings in Texas History

March 7, 2024 | By Michael Corcoran

Capturing the Spirit of Townes Van Zandt in Fort Worth

March 6, 2024 | By Daniel Orr

It’s a blustery, dark, cold January day at an old cemetery in Dido. Were it not for the two Texas Historical Commission markers and the signage for the United Methodist Church, this ghost town 40 minutes northwest of downtown Fort Worth on the shores of Eagle Mountain Lake would be all but imperceptible to passersby.

It’s a New Season for Fort Worth’s Abraham Alexander

February 2, 2024 | By Joe Nick Patoski

With Valentine’s Day on the horizon, Abraham Alexander’s love song “Tears Run Dry” is filling the airwaves.” The track, which comes from his debut album, SEA/SONS, was inspired by the story of family friends celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary.

Remembering Fort Worth’s Caravan of Dreams

October 27, 2023 | By Joe Nick Patoski

Forty years ago, a most unusual performance and arts space opened its doors in downtown Fort Worth.

Editor’s Note: To the Top

October 24, 2023 | By Emily Roberts Stone

The stories in this Panhandle special issue invalidate the stereotype of the region as a place you drive through on your way to somewhere else.

Houston’s Classical Music Scene Hits All the Right Notes

September 19, 2023 | By Jennifer Stewart

On a Saturday evening in Houston’s west end, hundreds of Indian classical music enthusiasts gather in the Auditorium at the Houston Durga Bari Society.

A Father and Daughter Find Healing in the Songs of Jimmy Buffett

September 6, 2023 | By Katey Psencik Outka

Black Pumas Guitarist Adrian Quesada’s Music Knows No Boundaries

July 25, 2023 | By Joe Gross

It is entirely possible Adrian Quesada is the most talented and inspired musician, producer, and songwriter Austin has seen in 20 years.

Welcome to Muenster, a Bastion of German Heritage

July 25, 2023 | By Christopher Collins

On His 90th Birthday, Willie Nelson Proved It Ain’t Over Yet

May 5, 2023 | By Turk Pipkin

Musicians Go Wild on New Album Celebrating Texas State Parks

May 2, 2023 | By Joe Gross

A few years ago, Anne Brown had an idea. As the executive director of Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation, she started contemplating the centennial of the Texas State Parks system in 2023 and how the organization could celebrate it.

Freddy Fender Gets His Due with A Texas Historical Marker

April 26, 2023 | By Steven Hughes

How a Houston-Born Singer Became a Tex-Mex Star in the 1930s

August 25, 2022 | By Hector Saldaña

Musician Terry Allen Explores the Origins of His Work

December 23, 2021 | By Jonny Auping

21 Texas Albums That Defined 2021

December 21, 2021 | By E. Ryan Ellis

The Legacy of Blind Lemon Jefferson in Deep Ellum

November 24, 2021 | By Clayton Maxwell

The Musical Legacy of Crockett Didn’t End With Lightnin’ Hopkins

September 23, 2021 | By Heather Brand

The Roots of Music Concert Series Kicks Off This Week in Fort Worth

June 3, 2021 | By Alex Temblador

While Fort Worth is famous for its country music, New Orleans-based jazz drummer Adonis Rose is determined to bring different genres of music to Cowtown. 

60 Years Ago San Antonio Teenagers Invented the Westside Sound

November 20, 2020 | By Joe Nick Patoski

Ballad Hunters Alan and John Lomax Preserved the Work of Little-Known Musicians

September 24, 2020 | By Michael Corcoran

Singer-Songwriter Walker Lukens Turns Your Confessions into Original Songs

August 27, 2020 | By Jason Stanford

Ray Benson Reflects on 50 Years of Seminal Western Swing Band Asleep at the Wheel

August 21, 2020 | By Joe Nick Patoski

The 1 on 1 on 1 Livestream Music Festival Offers a Virtual Celebration of Big Bend Culture

April 30, 2020 | By Pam LeBlanc

If you miss the sound of musicians picking on front porches and playing at bars and restaurants around Big Bend, tune into the 1 on 1 on 1 Livestream Music Festival this Saturday and Sunday.

Keeping the Groove With Texas Bass Players, From Conjunto to Country and Polka to Punk

September 30, 2019 | By Jesse Sublett

Bass is the heartbeat of Texas music, from the hard-rocking roadhouse blues of Stevie Ray Vaughan to the conjunto-revival sounds of Los Texmaniacs. Whenever you go out dancing to live music, the underlying tones of the upright bass fiddle or electric bass guitar drive your every move across the floor—and that’s true whether you notice the person playing the instrument or not.

All About that Bass Playlist

September 10, 2019 | By

Listen to a playlist of songs mentioned in the October 2019 feature “All About that Bass”

Getaway: A Weekend in Lubbock

August 29, 2019 | By Clayton Maxwell

Lubbock may not be the first city that comes to mind when considering the arts in Texas, but maybe it should be. The High Plains town that nurtured many of Texas’ most exalted musicians—Buddy Holly, Waylon Jennings, Joe Ely, Terry Allen, and Jimmie Dale Gilmore to name a few—must have some creative fairy dust blowing through its Caprock winds. The visual arts are now finding fertile soil here, too. Just walk through the galleries and workshops of the Lubbock Cultural District, and you’ll get a whiff of the artistic freedom inspired by the city’s wide-open spaces and 265 days of sunshine a year—a freedom that also comes from a cost-of-living low enough that artists don’t sweat the rent. Like the wildly spinning wind turbines you pass on the drive into town, the “Hub City” is generating energy worthy of attention. If you are one of those travelers who buzzes through Lubbock on your way to New Mexico or Colorado, consider staying for the weekend to see what you’re missing.

Conjunto Ambassadors Los Texmaniancs on the Magic of ‘Musica Alegre’

April 23, 2019 | By Joe Nick Patoski

The Tex-Mex sound of Los Texmaniacs is also called musica alegre—happy music—for good reason. That bouncy two-step rhythm, powered by a button accordion and a 12-string guitar known as the bajo sexto, is made for dancing. Sitting in place or standing still is not an option.

And no one sits or stands still when Los Texmaniacs, the band led by Max Baca, 51, and his nephew Josh Baca, 27, are on stage.

Long Live Willie Nelson

April 1, 2019 | By

Texas Highways EXTRA Newsletter April 2019 | Web Version

Indie Record Stores Are Turning the Tables on Texas Music Sales

March 28, 2019 | By Gene Fowler

For some time now, prognosticators have been predicting the total demise of records—you know, the old-fashioned discs that play musical sound—as well as the brick-and-mortar establishments that sell them. And yes, it’s true that CD sales are down, and more than a few record stores have shut their doors. But there’s good news for those of us who can’t imagine life without flipping through bins, admiring the physical objects for their creative covers, and listening to the tunes imprinted in their grooves.

Willie Nelson Opens up About His Musical Family, His Love of Texas, and Why He’s Still on the Road to the Next Stage

March 26, 2019 | By Turk Pipkin

There’s nothing like the feeling of stepping onto Willie Nelson’s tour bus. Whether you do it once or a hundred times, it’s a thrill to be invited onto Willie’s rolling roadshow. Stories will be told. New songs may be played. Jokes that may or may not be suitable for print will be exchanged. And laughter will definitely ensue.
It’s Saturday night in the Fort Worth Stockyards. A sold- out crowd is already finding their seats just a few steps from Willie’s bus, which is parked behind the world’s largest honky tonk, Billy Bob’s Texas. I’ve come to see an old friend and to hear what might be my 100th Willie concert. Or maybe my 300th—I lost count long ago.

Explore the Birthplace of Boogie Woogie Along US 59 in East Texas

February 28, 2019 | By Michael Corcoran

The heavy left hand mimicked the rumble of steam locomotives on iron rails, while the right played melodic cross-rhythms that whistled up and down the tracks. A national craze during World War II, the hard-driving piano style known as boogie woogie set the stage for the musical revolution of rock ’n’ roll.

Empress of Gulf Coast Soul Barbara Lynn Reflects on Her Decades-Long Career

December 19, 2018 | By Wes Ferguson

Barbara Lynn was a left-handed young girl in Beaumont when she started sounding out notes and chords on a guitar made for right-handed musicians.
She’s always done things her own way. The pioneering sound that grew out of those childhood guitar rhythms—fiery and percussive, complemented by her soulful singing voice and a poet’s command of songwriting—took Lynn around the world, from Beaumont to the Apollo Theater in Harlem, and to the top of the charts in 1962.

No Longer in Utopia, Utopiafest to Host Its Intimate Festival with Big Lineup in Burnet

October 19, 2018 | By

Utopiafest is leaving behind the land of perfection for what it hopes are greener pastures. For its 10th iteration, taking place Nov. 1-3, the family-friendly, camping music festival is moving from a private ranch in Utopia, in the vicinity of Uvalde, to an outdoor event space in Burnet, near lakes Buchanan and Inks. This comes with several advantages organizers believe are integral to the long-term preservation of the festival, chief among them it will cut down the drive time by two-thirds for fest-goers from Austin, where 75 percent of past attendees have hailed.

Austin Piano Great Marcia Ball is Still Tickling Them Ivories

October 4, 2018 | By

When Marcia Ball gets to rocking—her long fingers pounding out barrelhouse keyboard rhythms, knees bouncing to the beat, the band locked into the groove—it can be downright difficult to sit still. The Austin piano player has been getting people to their feet for decades with her joyful take on rhythm and blues and a voice steeped in Gulf Coast soul.

Ray Wylie Hubbard Revisits the Snake Farm That Inspired His Famous Song

September 20, 2018 | By

Any good songwriter knows when the muse strikes, write it down. For Ray Wylie Hubbard, it was maybe the 10,000th time he was driving southbound on Interstate 35 from New Braunfels toward San Antonio, passing Exit 182 at Engel Road and the so-big-you-can’t-miss-it sign that screamed “SNAKE FARM” in red and black letters. The words, meant to entice drivers to stop at the long-running roadside attraction, conjured the image of a farm full of snakes, and Hubbard physically shuddered.

Experience One of the Best Live Music Scenes in Texas at Houston’s Silver Slipper

September 1, 2018 | By Joe Nick Patoski

In broad daylight, the Silver Slipper is hardly a looker. The compact building 4 miles northeast of downtown Houston is about as long and wide as an eight-lane bowling alley—“indistinct Minimal Traditional,” according to The Handbook of Texas. Three days a week, it’s a bar, short-order eatery, and neighborhood hangout.

Saturday nights, however, the Silver Slipper transforms into something else.

Get a Concentrated Dose of Marfa’s Bohemian Counterculture at El Cosmico’s Trans-Pecos Festival of Music + Love

August 27, 2018 | By Matt Joyce

 
Arriving in Marfa, the high-desert ranching town with a lofty reputation as a mecca for modern art, first-time visitors sometimes find themselves wandering empty streets and wondering, “What’d I miss?” Those who come to love this creative outpost understand that it takes patience to get a feel for the town’s enigmatic allure.

San Antonio Native Jefferson Clay Debuts “Riverwalkin’”, a Celebration of the Alamo City’s Iconic Landmark

August 15, 2018 | By Julia Jones

San Antonio’s River Walk has a new anthem: Singer-songwriter Jefferson Clay just debuted his music video for the song “Riverwalkin’,” a tribute to one of his hometown’s quintessential attractions.

In Downtown Marshall, Wednesday’s Are “Boogie Woogie” Nights

April 25, 2018 | By

Through the front window, the blond-brick Harrison County Courthouse sits atop a raised oval of lawn. To the north are the railroad tracks and the historic train station. It’s a regular evening in Marshall, but as I sip a glass of iced tea, the question in my mind seems outlandish.

Texas-Style Fiddle Takes Center Stage at Fiddlers’ Frolics in Hallettsville

March 16, 2018 | By

Anybody who’s picked up a violin can feel its delicacy. A full-size instrument weighs less than a pound, with a slender body fashioned of elegant hand-pared wood. Four metallic strings run tightly down a neck that’s skinnier than a matchbox. The sound reverberates from two narrow holes in the body, each shaped like a feather.

5 Music Fests Every Texan Should Attend

February 14, 2018 | By Michael Corcoran

The big, expensive festivals touting electronic dance music, Radiohead, and Jay-Z get most of the media attention, but a number of more intimate Texas festivals have thrived without the hype.

The Green Apple Art Center Brings Texas Music to Main Street in Eden

February 13, 2018 | By Heather Brand

At first glance, the small town of Eden on the edge of West Texas may seem an unlikely spot for live music.

Lukas Nelson Jumps out of Willie’s Shadow

February 13, 2018 | By Matt Joyce

Lukas Nelson comes by his success honestly; never mind that his father happens to be one of Texas’ most beloved musicians.

At Home with the Armadillo: A Chat with Gary P. Nunn

January 23, 2018 | By

 
Before leading The Lost Gonzo Band, having his songs recorded by Roseanne Cash and Willie Nelson, and being recognized as the de-facto father of the progressive country scene in Austin, Gary P.

Talking Baseball and Country Music with Charley Pride

December 14, 2017 | By Matt Joyce

Charley Pride moved to Dallas for the same reasons that people have flocked to the city for generations: He was chasing a dream, and Big D provided easy airport access.

Texas Touring Musicians Share Their Travel Hacks for the Road

December 13, 2017 | By Michael Corcoran

I try to think of myself as a wise and thrifty traveler. I stay in $50 motels instead of $100 ones because that means I can afford to stay out on the road twice as long.

Tunes N’ Tubes

July 19, 2017 | By Michael Corcoran

Whitewater Amphitheater has been called the Red Rocks of Texas, because like the Colorado concert favorite, the 5,600-capacity venue on the Guadalupe River is set into a glorious natural landscape.

Country Singer Aaron Watson’s Texas independence streak

June 15, 2017 | By Heather Brand

Ever since the 1999 debut of his first album, Singer/Songwriter, country crooner Aaron Watson has been blazing his own trail up the charts with songs that draw from his hometown roots and Texas musical heritage.

Tejano Conjunto Festival

March 30, 2017 | By

The oldest and largest of its kind in the nation, the Tejano Conjunto Festival celebrates the style of this unique Mexi­can dance music.

The Heart of Country Music

March 20, 2017 | By Gene Fowler

Tracy Pitcox still remembers the first record he ever bought. “It was a cassette of Ernest Tubb’s album Thanks A Lot,” he recalled.

Bilingual Dreams

March 20, 2017 | By Matt Joyce

Austin musician Carrie Rodriguez bridges two worlds with her most recent album, Lola, which made both Rolling Stone’s list of best country albums and NPR’s list of best Latino albums in 2016.

Ballast of the Beat

February 13, 2017 | By Michael Corcoran

The Old Austin crowd loves to reminisce about all-night jam sessions with Stevie Ray Vaughan and the lost progressive-country paradise of the Armadillo World Headquarters.

Dance Hall Devotion

February 7, 2017 | By Melissa Gaskill

People pack the wall-to-wall tables in Gruene Hall, and the band has hit full swing when I walk in one summer Sunday morning.

Voting open for Ameripolitan Music Awards

December 14, 2016 | By

Coming in the February issue of Texas Highways, we’ll preview the Ameripolitan Music Awards, an annual showcase of bands playing “Ameripolitan” music. 

State of Music

November 14, 2016 | By Michael Corcoran

No state is more musical than Texas, whose very geography seems to hum. Even the city names remind you of songs.

Fostering the blues

September 16, 2016 | By Heather Brand

It was in Austin that Foster released her first album, Full Circle, in 1997, followed by eight more albums over the years.

West Texas Jazz Party

April 15, 2016 | By

 
Since 1966, premiere jazz players from across the nation have made an annual pilgrimage to Odessa for the West Texas Jazz Party—a series of performances focused on traditional jazz and swing music.

The San Antonio Blues

March 21, 2016 | By Michael Corcoran

Arguably the most monumental date in the history of recorded music in Texas was November 23, 1936, when Robert Johnson created the template for electric blues, which became rock-and-roll, in Room 414 of the Gunter Hotel in San Antonio.

Third annual Ameripolitan Music Awards

January 7, 2016 | By

Veteran Austin honky-tonker Dale Watson (above) grew so disgusted with the direction of mainstream country music that he set out to define a new genre of roots music with the term “Ameripolitan.” February 16, 2016 at Austin’s Paramount Theatre, the third annual Ameripolitan Music Awards celebrates the sounds of honky-tonk, Western swing, rockabilly, and outlaw with awards and performances, including by Charley Pride (a 2016 Master Award winner), James Hand, Kim Lenz, and Wayne Hancock.

Festival of Texas Fiddling

October 20, 2015 | By

The fiddle’s enticing lilt, chop, and shuffle play a prominent role in a wide variety of Texas musical styles, from Western Swing to Tejano, Polish, Creole, and others.

Now Hear This!

August 14, 2015 | By Roger Wood

In a modest space that doubles as an office and the green room for performers, singer-songwriter Sara Hickman relaxes momentarily and reflects.

Dance-Hall Dude

August 14, 2015 | By John Morthland

Kevin Fowler goes for a good love song as much as the next red-blooded country music singer-songwriter, but you need only look at his song titles to understand the brand of country he likes best: “Beer, Bait and Ammo,” “Loose, Loud and Crazy,” “Girl in a Truck.” Fowler has made his name in the contemporary sub-genre known as Texas Country with catchy, good-timin’ anthems that celebrate huntin’ and fishin’, country girls, and cold beer.

Viva Big Bend!

July 8, 2015 | By Matt Joyce

If there’s a description that comes up repeatedly when people talk about the Marfa lights, it’s the way they dance.

T-Bone Walker Blues Fest

May 6, 2015 | By

Longview will celebrate the widespread musical influence of Texas bluesman Aaron “T-Bone” Walker June 5-6, 2015 with the T-Bone Walker Blues Fest.

49th annual National Polka Festival

April 13, 2015 | By

 
The Lone Star State’s Czechoslovakian heritage will be on full display as Ennis hosts its 49th annual National Polka Festival, May 22-24.

Drawn to the Scene

April 12, 2015 | By Michael Corcoran

During Austin’s counterculture heyday, from the opening of the Vulcan Gas Company in 1967 to the closing of the Armadillo World Headquarters in 1980, a concert wasn’t a reality until it was advertised with a mind-blowing poster.

Fiesta de la Flor

March 10, 2015 | By

Luminaries of Latin and Tejano music will take the stage April 17-18 in Corpus Christi for Fiesta de la Flor, a tribute to the late hometown star Selena Quintanilla Perez.

A TH Moment with Robert Earl Keen

June 1, 2009 | By Shermakaye Bass

One of the first things you notice about Robert Earl Keen is that he talks the way he writes.

TH Moment with Jerry Jeff Walker

December 12, 2008 | By Rob Mccorkle

Of all the vaunted singer-songwriters who serenaded the Lone Star State with a rock-tinged country-and-folk sound when Austin was putting down its Live-Music-Capital-of-the-World roots in the 1970s, it is Jerry Jeff Walker who perhaps best wears the mantel of troubadour.

Get the Magazine

Save up to 62% off the cover price

Subscribe

Sign Up for Our Newsletters

Sign up for magazine extras, upcoming events, Mercantile specials, subscription offers, and more.