Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Road Trip Music : Texas

Texas. From the Gulf Coast at Galveston to border at El Paso, from windswept landscapes of the Permian Basin to the Riverwalk in San Antonio, from the hill country of Austin to the cattle country of Amarillo, Texas is a state filled with music and with the names and lives of towns, cities, musicians, and places that resonate through music’s past and present. Willie Nelson, Flaco Jimenez, The Flatlanders, Bob Wills, Lee An Womack, Johnny Gimble, Carolyn Hester, Alejandro Escovedo, Albert & Gage, The Dixie Chicks, George Straight, Clint Black, Robert Earl Keen, and Buddy Holly are but a few of the musicians who have called Texas home. Here is a soundtrack as the Great American Road Trip Music travels through Texas.

Guy Clark is a songwriter's songwriter, and even a Texas songwriter's songwriter. Even if you’ve never heard his name, you’ve heard his music through the many pop, country, and folk artists who have covered his songs. For this trip, take a listen to one of his recent albums, Some Days The Song Writes You

Terri Hendrix well knows how to build a song, and how to cover one too. She was once awarded a scholarship to study opera, but decided to pass that by in order to go deeper into creating her own music. She draws on folk, blues, jazz, and country, seasoned with social justice at times and flavored with humor too. You can hear her latest adventures with this on Cry Till You Laugh.

Kelly Willis is a storyteller, both in what she chooses to sing and in how she singskelly willis copyright kerry dexter it. Love and its challenges is her most frequent subject matter. Love seen from both dark and light sides, and more than anything, love seen as part of life’s journey and never ending quest for understanding. She has a voice which can handle the bluest country rock and also turn quietly gentle when it’s right to do so. Take a listen to her voice and song choices on What I Deserve

Bruce Robison is another one of those musicians whose music you may know better than you know his name. The Dixie Chicks, Tim McGraw, and Faith Hill are among those who’ve taken Robison’s music to the top of the charts. For this trip, reach into his back catalogue for an album which among other things includes his version of the song Travelin’ Soldier. The album is called Long Way Home From Anywhere.

tish hinojosa copyright kerry dexterTish Hinojosa brings her experiences as a first generation Mexican American to her work. She was born in San Antonio. You’ll hear more of her work as the road trip travels to New Mexico, but while we are in Texas, listen to Frontejas.

photographs of Kelly Willis and Tish Hinojosa copyright Kerry Dexter

you may also wish to see
Music Road: ten songs
Austin City Limits: 35 Years in Photographs
Texas honky tonks and Donegal fiddles
more music from the road trip

This is part of The Great American Road Trip, in which I originally partnered up with A Traveler’s Library to add musical ideas to the book and film suggestions for journeys through the regions of the United States which you’d find there. The Library is closed now, but I think you will still find the journeys through music interesting.
For more about the road trip (and a look at some great road songs) see Great American Road Trip: Music begins

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Anonymous Melanie @ Frugal Kiwi said...

What no Kinky Friedman and the Texas Jewboys? Gotta love those guys.

4:26 PM  
Blogger Kerry Dexter said...

actually, I don't. but hey, Texas is a big state, each to his or her own...

5:22 PM  
Anonymous Casey@Good. Food. Stories. said...

When I think of Texas, I think of Lyle Lovett. Despite the Julia Roberts incident, I've always found him to be a class act.

12:03 PM  
Anonymous MELANIE HAIKEN said...

I love What I Deserve; one of those records that's stayed in rotation in my car's CD player for years. But what about Townes Van Zandt? He's not only my personal musical hero, but practically created (along with Guy) the Texas Troubador tradition.
Others to add:
Nanci Griffith
Patty Griffin
Lyle Lovett
Jimmy LaFave
I could go on and on.....

1:02 PM  
Blogger Kerry Dexter said...

I've always thought the Julia Roberts time rather added to Lyle Lovett's uniqueness. saw him once fairly early in his career, opening for Emmylou Harris. interesting combination, to be sure.

6:15 PM  
Blogger Kerry Dexter said...

Melanie H,
oh, indeed. there are just so many fine Texas musicians. you may want to check out the road trip post on Oklahoma -- I wrote about Jimmy LaFave there

6:30 PM  

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