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Texas Country, here to stay (and spreading)

Mike Sudhalter  |  April 2, 2010


Roger Creager loves to have a good time when he's performing, whether it's belting out a tune, jamming on a guitar or playing the keyboards

"So why is Texas Country popular in other states?"

That was the question I received from a fellow concertgoer on Thursday night at the Roger Creager Concert at Big Texas Dancehall & Saloon.

The obvious answer would be that it's good stuff, and good things seem to catch on. I just found out this morning that Jason Boland will be playing a show in Foxboro, Massachusetts.

Hopefully, people will realize how exciting, groundbreaking and downright, fun, Texas Country can be.

I've always felt that country music would be more popular in other states, if people were able to hear some of this stuff.

I have criticized the Nashville music industry in the past, but the Texas phenomenon is only partly related to it. There's absolutely nothing wrong with Nashville. It produces great singers and songwriters and legendary songs. But all too often, the songs are geared towards families who live in subdivisions.

In other words, people who's rowdiest days are behind them.

Texas Country is for people that still enjoy being wild. With so much political correctness and redundancy in the music industry (not just country), Texas Music - which I use interchangeably with Texas Country - is a breath of fresh air.

And country music - of Hank Williams, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings and Johnny Cash - used to represent that rough-and-tumble way of life. Nashville has become too slick and corporate, too often, so it's these Texas artists that are carrying the torch for the genre's giants.

You might hear some cover songs of classic country or classic rock at a Texas Country show. Or of a fellow Texas Country singer. The songwriting, and the creativity is superb. Plus, it's supported through what's mostly a grassroots movement. Compared to Nashville, Texas artists make their name with concerts because radio airplay is difficult to get.

Thanks to radio stations across the state (mostly in smaller markets) and Radio Free Texas, the genre is going strong.

And the music encompasses such a wide spectrum from fiddles and steel guitar (Aaron Watson) to party-on-the beach songs (Creager), to the rockin' sounds of Reckless Kelly and Cross Canadian Ragweed - and everything inbetween.

As it builds towards new markets and new audiences, I hope that it can maintain the same raw, unabashed rowdiness and fun that it does here in the Lone Star State.

I remember meeting a gentleman from Corpus Christi who now lives in Charlotte, N.C. and said it's nice in the Tar Heel State, but he misses the music. The shows are more than shows. They're experiences of camraderie and an overall good time.

Before he left Texas for North Carolina, somebody must have quoted Captain O'Hagan's toast from the classic movie, "Super Troopers." - "Here," the captain said, holding some alcohol. "is to the death of fun."

Thankfully, in Texas we never have to worry about such an unpleasant toast.

:: Posted at 7:12 PM by Mike Sudhalter ::
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