The state that gave the world Buddy Holly, Willie Nelson, and Roy Orbison already has enough music tradition to fill an encyclopaedia, but it doesn’t stop there. Let alone all the artists, Texas is the birthplace of whole genres of music, including (amongst others) Honky Tonk, Tejano, and arguably the most famous genre of all, Rock and Roll. Not wanting to take you headfirst into the countless genres and artists, check out this quick guide to our favorite styles.
TEXAS COUNTRY AND HONKY TONK
A sub-genre of American Country music, the outlaw Cowboy tunes mix with the smooth tones of Folk, with the guitar providing the main ingredient to Texas Country. Piano, fiddles and harmonicas also give the music its upbeat tonality, not to mention the vocals, with the words leading the song through the vagaries of outlaw life. Live performances are a real treat, and really easy to find in Texas. Pull on your Texan wares (Cowboy hats and boots at the very least), and join in at one of specialist Honky Tonk bars for an experience that is wholly and uniquely Texan.
Where to get down: Billy Bob’s Texas, Fort Worth
ROCK AND ROLL
In the 1950s, one of the most exciting singers the world has ever seen emerged from Lubbock in the northwest of Texas – Buddy Holly. The day one of the pioneers of Rock and Roll passed away is often referred to in popular culture as ‘the day the music died’ but this monumental loss certainly wasn’t the end of Texan Rock and Roll. Soon to come were musical luminaries like Roy Orbison and Janis Joplin to make sure the music kept rocking and rolling out of Texas.
Where to get down: Stubb’s Bar-B-Q, Red River Street Austin
When the Polka and Waltz combined with Mexican-influenced rhythms, Tejano was born. We love the street performances in San Antonio, where you’ll find a man and his accordion filling the streets with truly Texan sounds. Tejano incorporates influences from Rock and Country music too, meaning the genre has evolved to reflect the contemporary sounds of Texas, despite its traditional roots.
Where to get it down: Arturo’s Ballroom, San Antonio