There is so much I could say, especially about the second half of this thread, as I have worked with most of the people mentioned. So I will offer two small stories about shows that changed my life.
Butthole Surfers, Maceba Theater, March 87’, Rachel, Charlotte and Jon took my nearly 17yo self to my first big(non local) show. Three movie screens playing insane stuff, two drummers, a titty dancer… I learned the “art” of stage diving with the help of two guys who would propel my 125lb carcass over 7 or 8 rows of seats(bad idea for punk shows) and onto the stage, dodge “security” and dive into the writhing mass. For a Boy fresh out of small town West Texas, this was having my third eye squeegeed open.
Loco Gringos w/ The Hickoids, Summer 88’, at The Axiom, Cowpunk at its finest. Several 90lb bales of hay, Hot as blazes, naked people and exploding hay. For months afterward every kick drum hit brought bits of hay out of the rafters. Later when I lived in Dallas I dated a chick that had the Loco Gringos’ Hearse in her driveway. I have been looking for the pic of the hearse that was in Texas Monthly but I have no Google Fu today.
There was a small blurb about it in Texas Monthly with a pic. When I saw it in the mag my jaw nearly hit the floor, kept thinking that TM just had no idea what these guys were about, they just saw an old hearse with a mohawk of Tequila bottles and went “Cool”.
Speaking of… When Pepe died there was a Funeral Parade led by none other than Ray Wylie Hubbard, if you ever have the chance ask Ray about it because
Ray is a great story teller, this is a serious understatement
He loved the Gringos
He might tell you another
RWH is one of the nicest cats you can ever meet, I have spent many hours with him both on and off stage, and while that is my opinion, I seriously doubt that you will find anyone to contradict it.
I remember Texas Instruments used to do a cover of “You Ain’t Going Nowhere” that got airplay on my college’s radio station.
Has anyone mentioned James McMurtry?
ETA: I see now he’s already been mentioned.
One of those guys (Nuno Bettancourt?) went to Malden High School outside of Boston. When I did some research there, a number of teachers mentioned him. Did the band form in Texas? 'Cos this is the first time I’ve heard that…
So many good acts you listed it would be easier to choose the very few I don’t much care for. You needed to use check boxes, not radio buttons.
I can’t say that I think any of these are “Southern” rock, in spite of the fact they’re from Texas. Historically and culturally, even though Texas fought with the Confederacy in the Civil War, I don’t think of Texas as being in the South proper. It’s probably because of its origin as part of Spanish America, and its association in the popular mind with ranching and cowboys that I tend to lump it in with the Southwest rather than the South. FTR I haven’t ever been to Texas or the Southeast, so I’m speaking based on my own version of this “popular mind” thingy I mentioned.
Are Texas rock bands “Southern Rock?” You might just as well ask: Are Georgia bands Southern Rock? Some of them are, if you are talking about that particular 70s-to-early-80s phenomenon known as “Southern Rock,” and to the extent anyone can nail down any stylistic elements that tie together all the bands ever listed under that banner. They all are, to the extent they are “Southern” and “rock.”
(Is R.E.M. “Southern Rock”? If the OP had been about Georgia, I could have listed, say, The Allman Brothers, Otis Redding, B-52’s, Little Richard, Jerry Reed, Collective Soul, Widespread Panic, and Of Montreal. Are those acts “Southern Rock?”)
"Benson is also a founding member of the Rhythm and Blues Foundation, which raises money to help aging R&B artists, and a member of the board of directors of the SIMS Foundation, which provides low-cost mental health services to Austin musicians and their families. He is also a trustee for the Texas chapter of NARAS, a board member of St Davids Community Health Foundation, Board member and founding member of Health alliance for Austin musicians (HAMM).
Benson is 6 feet, 7 inches tall with size 16 EEE feet."
I met Mike about 20 years ago when I briefly wasn’t living in Texas. I had a brand new Girlfriend and she said to me “Babe you are mine but when Mike comes around you have to go away” trust me it was a good deal, she was “generous” with her friends. Mike and I have been buddies ever since. This guy is a madman but he can play the vibes. Anyone who has seen him with Billy Goat or Hairy Apes (He seemed more “restrained” with Claypool) will not be surprised by this but he is also famous for playing the vibes with his ahem Member. This requires two things, talent and certain dimensional character both of which he has in spades. This display often causes spontaneous audience nudity and much hilarity ensues. He is not without his flaws but he can be a lot of fun and the music kills.
Ok, but that site focuses specifically on dialect, not culture in general. I don’t think anyone disputed that we largely have a southern accent. However, until recently, Texas had a very distinct style of speech. Distinct enough to be considered its own subcategory of English, with its own dialects within it. On top of that: language has bearing on music, but it’s far from the whole enchilada.
Ok, but can you make the case that Georgia has a different style of Country music or Rock separate from Alabama, Florida, Kentucky or Tennessee? Based on the scene in Athens, I’d almost say you could, but I’m not making that argument.
I’d say that Texas does have a different style of music from its neighbors. Even when its Country music isn’t actually Western, it is more sparse and more like the Blues. Jazz became Western Swing when it was played here. As noted upthread, Texas Blues performers have a different style from Mississippi, Louisiana and Chicago Blues players. On top of all that, there’s the influence of music from Mexico. Mariachi/Ranchera bands often play their horns in a manner and volume that makes the sax in “Lady Madonna” by the Beatles sound totally smooth. Their distortion can rival a Metal band even when they’re performing acoustically.
I think all of these differences add up to a situation where when Texans played Country-flavored Blues Rock, (or really any flavor of Blues Rock), it sounded noticeably different than when Georgians and Alabamans who had grown up hearing Bluegrass and the blues traditions of Chicago and Mississippi. It’s generally got a more aggressive, distorted qualities than its eastern counterparts, while often reflecting more influence of Western, the other Country Music.
Now, I am the nitwit who started this thread, and wanted to forget so badly that Don Henley was from Texas that I imagined Joe Walsh was from Texas, so don’t take my word for it. But, I am planning on buying The History of Texas Music by Gary Hartman, and seeing what he has to say on the subject. The first couple of chapters are up on Google books, he seems to address the subject of Texas music in a broad overview. Chapter 2 starts with prehistory.