December 5, 2023

I admit that I love Texas. Always have. My wife and I just got back from a weekend in southeast Texas, complete with a stop in El Campo and then a couple days in Galveston and a night in Houston.

Vacation pics to follow. But that’s not the reason I write.

The reason I write is that I reconnected with Texas Country, a variation of country music I’ve always liked or loved depending on my mood. In Oklahoma, they call it Red Dirt, but the variety of artists and songs in Texas is just mammoth compared to its northern neighbor. Its roots go back to Willie and Waylon and Jerry Jeff and Guy Clark, anon.

Its kings are Pat Green and Robert Earl Keen. Charlie Robison.

And of course George Strait.

Texas Country has actual fiddles and steel guitars. And with few exceptions, it struggles toward fame. Heck, I think a lot of these guys labor in relative anonymity for most of their careers.

Anyhoo, we landed upon an awesome radio station out of Houston, the HD-3 edition of KIKK, 100.3 The Bull. Here are a handful of songs that hit my Shazam over the weekend.

I have a pair of boots, and I ain’t afraid to wear ’em.

Not a ton of commentary on these tunes. I’m fading away for the night. They all caught my ear over the weekend though.

This first tune is from a 34-year-old Austin-ite named Kyle Park. This got played like 13 times on KIKK over the weekend. It’s an earworm deluxe. That’s also his wife in the video, and I believe it’s actual footage of their wedding. I loved this song. Loved it.

Robert Earl Keen here, from 2016.

This guy, Parker McCollum, looks more like a model than a Hill Country cowboy, but this one caught my ear long before I saw any video. Thought this was one of the better songs I heard all weekend.

Curtis Grimes sounds like Doug Stone and Clay Walker had a country baby. Like Kyle Park, Grimes is 34.

The rock guitar punch of the Koe Wetzel chorus took my ears off track a bit from the Texas Country vibe, but I dug it nonetheless.

I commented to Kristi that I thought Pat Green was sounding like Huey Lewis in parts.

Last but not least is Corpus Christi’s own Jake Ward.

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