The Oxford American Turns to Texas Music


With the out-of-town madness of the Austin City Limits and Fun Fun Fun festivals comfortably behind us, and the madness of South By Southwest comfortably distant, it’s set to be a comparatively quiet few months for music aficionados here in Austin. As we fall back on the rich everyday rhythm of local concerts, it’s a good time to take a step back and contemplate the musical landscape of Texas as a whole.

oxford-american-157 (1)On Dec. 9, at 6 p.m., Oxford American magazine will debut its Texas Music issue at Waterloo Records and Video on North Lamar. Several of the issue’s contributors will be there to read from their respective pieces, among them Wimberley writer and Texas historian Joe Nick Patoski, whose occasional contributions to The Texas Observer include a 2006 interview with another Oxford American-Texas Music contributor, Austin Chronicle co-owner and SXSW cofounder Louis Black. Patoski writes about Willie Nelson drummer Paul English in the issue. Black writes about Daniel Johnston.

Michelle Garcia—a new Texas Observer columnist starting in the January issue—has a long and lovely piece about Tejano music in the issue. She’ll be on hand for a read-and-mingle as well.

The magazine’s companion anthology album—always an eclectically curated highlight of the Oxford American‘s annual music issues, of which the current iteration is the first devoted solely to Texas—features a stylistic gamut encompassing Los Super 7 and Spoon, Kinky Friedman and Sarah Jarosz, Buddy Holly and Ornette Coleman, Johnny Winter and Barbara Lynn. Texas music is way too expansive a turf to wrap up in a single 25-song sampler, but as 25-song samplers go, this one is exceptional.

Both the issue and the album will be available for sale at Waterloo. There will also be an autograph session with the featured writers.