By David Brown
The modest, cream-colored ’50s-era chapel that’s home to St. Peter the Apostle Catholic Church in Houston looks like many other places of worship you might find in urban America. The first clue to a unique tradition here pulls up Sunday afternoon.
It’s a truck and a trailer with Louisiana plates. Out come the amps, the drums, an accordionand a washboard. Within the hour, under the giant wooden crucifix in the church’s family center, Jeremy & The Zydeco Hot Boyz kick into gear and the dance floor gets busy. It’s a party fueled by beer, boudin, and red beans and rice from the church kitchen. If it’s Sunday in Houston, parishioner Bennie Allen Brooks says, it’s zydeco.
Texas Music has more than its share of great artists. But when it comes to songwriters, who sets the bar? If you ask other Texas songwriters, three names are consistently mentioned: Billy Joe Shaver, Guy Clark, and Townes Van Zandt. On the next edition of Texas Music Matters, it’s the stories of the Texas Trinity: The Bard of Corsicana, The Master Craftsman, and The Troubled Troubadour. Join us Friday at noon and again Friday night at 11 on KUTX 98.9.
There’s classic Texas music–and then there are the essentials. On the next edition of Texas Music Matters, NPR music critic Tom Moon, author of the seminal book 1000 Recordings To Hear Before You Die, counts down the ten essential Texas albums. Hear it Friday at noon and again Friday night at 11 on KUTX 98.9, or anytime in the player below.
To find live music in Austin, you just need to follow the glowing neon signs. But recording studios? More often than not, they’re hidden from view, tucked down a residential street with just a battered mailbox as identification. Yet inside, you can bet that these studios are spinning songs into gold, platinum, and Grammys. On the next edition of Texas Music Matters, journalist Lynne Margolis takes us on a rare tour of some of Austin’s best recording studios. Join us Friday at noon and again Friday night at 11 on KUTX 98.9.
For much of the 20th century, radio was the voice of the establishment, selling not just detergent, but a whitewashed, idealized vision of America. But that wasn’t entirely true. From the early 30’s until the early 70’s, late at night, strange sounds would skip across the stratosphere, filling the air over America with the howls of wild animals, the promises of faith healers, the voices of Spanish speakers, and–heaven-forbid–that devil rhythm and blues music. On this week’s Texas Music Matters, we’re celebrating the outlaw spirit of the airwaves, which has deep roots in Texas, or, to be precise, the Texas border. Hear it Friday at noon and again Friday night at 11 on KUTX 98.9.