Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Evelyn Johnson 1920- 2005

Don Robey had the muscle and the money, but Evelyn Johnson was the brains and the backbone behind the Duke/ Peacock music business empire of the ‘50s and ‘60s. Ten years before Berry Gordy started Motown, Houston had the hottest black music label in the country, and Johnson ran day-to-day operations. She was also in […]

“Ghost Notes” review

By Gary W. Burnett, author of “The Gospel According to the Blues” What a sumptuous feast of a book this is. Coffee table sized, lavishly illustrated, and utterly engaging, it oozes quality from the standard of the writing to the beautiful quality of paper. You’ll love it just to have around the place or to […]

Patti Smith, alter girl

On my walls and shelves at home, I have a plank of wood from the house in Marlin where Blind Willie Johnson lived in the 1920s, the sole of a big shoe I found on Washington Phillips’ property in Simsboro, a frayed foot of red carpet from the Harris Chapel in Trinity, where the Soul […]

Material Issue 1991

Though power pop (a.k.a. “the skinny-tie era”) was the rage in New York and Los Angeles for only a brief time at the start of the ’80s, that style of melodic rock has survived in the Midwest for two decades thanks to practitioners such as Cheap Trick, the Raspberries, Shoes and the Romantics. The band […]

Pixies 1991

Looking for a place to stay, near some friendly star; he found this mote, and now we wonder where we are.” The Pixies, “Motorway to Roswell” HOUSTON In Texas, they have a saying: Never eat at a place called Mom’s, never play cards with a man named Doc and never patronize any business named after […]

Isaac Tigrett and the Birth of the Blues (House of…)

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. 1993 – It is somewhat fitting that former Hard Rock Cafe owner Isaac Tigrett is driven to the entrance of his new House of Blues eatery/nightclub in the Bluesmobile from the movie The Blues Brothers. In white letters on the side of this gaudy, yet functional, slab of Tigrett memorabilia are the words, […]

An Oasis from rock n’ rote

Dallas Morning News Feb. 1995 The best rock ‘n’ roll band in the world right now is coming to Dallas on Saturday night, and it’s not Nine Inch Nails. Sure, it’ll be a beautiful thing when Trent Reznor and company inspire their huge, ecstatic, black-attired crowd to sing along and slam together to alienation anthems. […]

Ice Storm on the Texas Horizon 2005

He thought he was done with methamphetamine, the poor man’s cocaine that had been so popular with his peers in the Austin music scene of the 1980s. Loren had happily gone eight years without the sleepless weekends and ensuing crash into depression and paranoia that speed brings. But then he ran into his old dealer, […]