Thursday, June 20, 2024

From the AAS archives

Boredom is a bitch. Boredom made me start this web site, when I was just getting the hang of Facebook and Twitter. Eventually, I’ll be posting stuff here every day, including breaking music news, I hope, and reviews of concerts, DVDs, restaurants, TV shows and so on.

I’m also going to try to write more personal things.

But right now, I’m trying to figure it out, so please bear with me. And if you’ve traveled here and are looking for something to read, here are my ten favorite stories from my 16 years at the Statesman.

1. ‘Exhuming the Legend of Washington Phillips ‘ (Dec. 29, 2002)

I got a lucky break on this gospel pioneer’s past and was able to rewrite a bit of history not many folks cared about in the first place.

2. ‘Songs of An Empty Sky ‘ (Sept. 10, 2002)

Weighing in on Bruce Springsteen’s ‘The Rising’ on the one-year anniversary of the 9/11 tragedy.

3. ‘Still Tippin’ To the Top ‘ (Dec. 22, 2005)

The 2005 Horns, led by Houston homeboy Vince Young, take Cali with dreams of becoming the first Texas championship football team with African American players.

4. ‘The Stones Made a Rebel Out of Me ‘ (Oct. 22, 2006)

The Rolling Stones make their first Austin appearance, which makes me reflect on what’s become of my life.

5. ‘Amazing Grace ‘ (Sept. 29, 2007)

A profile of “Sister Bobbie” Nelson, who’s been playing piano for brother Willie since she was 6 and he was 4. If any two people deserve to live forever…

6. ‘Discovering Keepers of Folk Music ‘ (April 25, 2010)

Primary research of the Gants, the Depression era Austin family that recorded more than 40 songs for the Library of Congress in 1936.

7. ‘The Soul of Blind Willie Johnson ‘ (Sept. 28, 2003)

On the trail of the mysterious, 1920s bottleneck-playing street-corner singer from Marlin whose songs were covered by Led Zeppelin, Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton and more.

8. ‘Face the Music‘ (Oct. 8, 2000)

A football star and crack dealer while at Elgin High School, rapper Nathan Mackey was about to pay for the wrong side of a double life.

9. ‘The Devil and Billy Joe Shaver ‘ (May 3, 2001)

Billy Joe told his incredibly sad and poignant life story with such honesty. I just wrote it down.

10. ‘Squeezing Out Sparks ‘ (June 7, 2001)

A profile of iconoclastic accordion master Esteban ‘Steve’ Jordan was the only time I’ve feared for my safety during an interview. We ended up becoming good friends.

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