Last Thursday, Bill and I celebrated our fifth wedding anniversary. It’s been a wonderful run so far. Of all the positive things that I can say, my favorite thing about our marriage is that we are best friends. In fact, before we ever started dating, we were best friends. So, it’s nice that the same is still true today and it would be devistating if it should ever change. I’m certainly no marriage expert, but I think that being friends is central to a successful marriage. Not only does it make the days more bearable, it helps to insure that we will give to each other at least as much as we would to our friends. With that said, I am fully aware that being friends in a marriage isn’t always as easy as we would all hope it would be. Like any friendship, it’s something that must be worked Read More
Stuck in my car stereo over the last couple of weeks has been a CD loaded with tunes from some of my favorite Texas-affiliated artists. I’m a big fan of the singer-songwriter, old school and raggedy rock styles of country music, and Texas excels at all three. So any time I need a break from the current “Nashville sound,” I like to check in with Texas and see what they’re up to. Invariably, it’s more colorful and interesting. I can’ t call myself an expert on Texas country by any stretch of the imagination and my education is nowhere remotely near complete (hint: feel free to recommend), but I do sense that it’s a style of music, or perhaps a musical sensibility, that is extremely important to maintain. Texas artists exude a certain spirit of creativity and sense of individuality that is sorely lacking elsewhere in country music. And in Read More
Write this down: George Strait will be recorded in the annals of country music history as the greatest singles artist of all-time. He already ranks third among all artists in terms of chart success, trailing only Eddy Arnold and George Jones. By the dawn of the next decade, he’ll be on top. Now, I don’t place inordinate value on what radio decides worthy of massive spins, but I do think that Strait’s hit singles are usually much better than the album cuts that aren’t sent to radio. Even though I have all of his albums, only two of the tracks on this list weren’t released as singles. With more than thirty albums to his credit, I’m sure that there are many songs that readers love which I haven’t included here. Here are my favorite songs by George Strait. #25 “Blue Clear Sky” Blue Clear Sky, 1996 This is the type Read More
Bruce Robison The New World Sometimes labels get in the way of great music. Over the years, Bruce Robison, a singer-songwriter from Bandera, Texas, has acquired more than a few, and many of them have done him a disservice. While literally a “Texas singer-songwriter,” Robison’s range as a songwriter extends far beyond the borders of Texas. And while he’s played on “Americana” stations, his music can’t be pigeonholed into a category. One could just as easily see Robison’s music being played in a Boston coffeehouse or a Chicago blues bar, as in a Texas honky-tonk. Mainstream country music fans know Robison primarily as the songwriter behind the No. 1 hits “Angry All the Time” (Faith Hill and Tim McGraw), “Travelin’ Soldier” (Dixie Chicks) and “Wrapped” (George Strait). However, a deeper look into his catalog reveals an artist that consistently and fearlessly stretches beyond mainstream country’s narrow confines, and has emerged Read More
Bruce Robison It Came From San Antonio Bruce Robison has always been a fantastic singer-songwriter, but he usually takes his time between projects. After last year’s superb Eleven Stories, it’s a wonderful surprise to hear some new material from him so quickly, this time in the form of an excellent seven-song EP, aptly titled It Came From San Antonio. What distinguishes this set immediately from his earlier work is the more elaborate and experimental production. Usually a Robison collection is a sparse affair, with the focus solely on the lyrics. This time out, he’s more ambitious. See that British flag on the cover of the album? The title cut that kicks off the album is a boogie number that revels in the sound of the first British invasion.