Top Ranking Albums of June 2013

Jimmy CliffThe KCRW Sessions [Universal 2013]

SizzlaThe Messiah [VP Records 2013]

Bob Marley & the WailersLegend Remixed [Tuff Gong 2013]

Various ArtistsLove for Levon [Time 2013]

Various ArtistsLet Us In Americana [Reviver Records 2013]

Steve EarleThe Low Highway [New West 2013]

Sean NelsonMake Good Choices [Really Records 2013]

Slaid CleavesStill Fighting the War [Music Road Records 2013]

Bob SchneiderBurden of Proof [Kirtland Records 2013]

Dale Watson & His TroopersEl Rancho Azul [Red House Records 2013]

Shiny Ribs Gulf Coast Museum [Nine Mile Records 2013]

Patty GriffinAmerican Kid [New West Records 2013]

Billy BraggTooth and Nail [Essential Music 2013]

John FogertyWrote A Song For Everyone [Vanguard 2013]

Warren Hood BandWarren Hood Band [Red Parlor Records 2013]

The Carper FamilyOld-Fashioned Gal [The Carper Family 2013]

Mavis Staples One True Vine [Anti/Epitaph 2013]

Booker TSound the Alarm [Stax 2013]

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Top Ranking Albums of June 2013

Willie Nelson at Billy Bob’s in Fort Worth, January 8, 2010

Willie Nelson at Billy Bob’s, Fort Worth, Texas January 2010

Willie struck the chord, that booming chord, that one that kicks off “Whiskey River” and then the Honky Tonk filled with Willie’s nasally voice “Whiskey River take my mind….” The old man still rocks. He is a kid at heart, a smiling little kid that loves to play music.  He’s got it! He’s got soul. Some think Willie is a country music singer. No not really. Willie is a soul singer and flamenco guitar picker. If Texas were its own country (which some Texans think it should be) Willie would be on the one dollar bill. The red-headed stranger may have grayed over the years, but he is still full of youth. The family band, Sister Bobbie on piano, Mickey Raphael on harmonica, Paul the drummer, and the rest of the musicians, are in tip-top form providing that classic Willie sound.

As Willie broke into “Whiskey River” the crowd surged attempting to get a glimpse of the man himself. Old men with cowboy hats, long-haired hippies, young bandana-clad Willie hoochie mamas, bikers, and frat boys all gathered together to hear a Texan legend in Fort Worth. Willie played some of his greatest hits including “Angel Flying Too Close To the Ground,” “Funny How Time Slips Away,” “Crazy,” “Night Life,” “On the Road Again,” “Always on my Mind,” “Mama Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Cowboys,” and “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain.” He also played some newer favorites like “Still Is Still Moving To Me” and “Beer for my Horses” and some old favorites like Steve Goodman’s “City of New Orleans” and Hank Williams’s “Jambalaya on Bayou.”   And of course the band jammed out some gospel favorites, including “Will the Circle be Unbroken,” “I’ll Fly Away,” and “I Saw the Light.”

Below is a rough set list…

Set List: Whiskey River, Still Is Still Moving To Me, Beer for my Horses, Shoe Shine Man, Funny How Time Slips Away, Crazy, Night Life, Sister Bobbie Piano, Me and Paul, Superman, You Don’t Think I’m Funny Anymore, Good Hearted Woman, Georgia on my Mind, All of Me, Mama Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys, Angel Flying Too Close To The Ground, On the Road Again, Always on My Mind, Will the Circle Be Unbroken, I’ll Fly Away, Willie Guitar Solo, Milkcow Blues, City of New Orleans, To All The Girls I’ve Loved Before, Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain, Jambalaya (On The Bayou), Move It Over, I Saw The Light

Willie Nelson at Billy Bob’s in Fort Worth, January 8, 2010

Welcome to JamTex

Texas and Jamaica link up connecting roots music traditions here at the JamTex blog. Music pulsates through both cultures, filling the evening air with intoxicating rhythms, beats, and melodies. Jamaican folkways produced amazing original forms of music, including mento, ska, rocksteady, reggae, lovers rock, dub, and dancehall. The sounds formulated out of a vast cultural milieu. Music from native Caribs, Africa, China, and India to American musical forms like New Orleans Jazz, Motown Soul, Memphis Rhythm & Blues, Country & Western, and Rock & Roll, which all influenced the Jamaican music experience.

The state of Texas, the most independent state in the United States, geographically sits where continental North America meets Latin America. Flamenco, Tejano, Mariachi, Blues, Jazz, Gospel, Bluegrass, Polka, Western Swing, Zydeco, Folk, and Rock met in Texas and fused into Texas roots music. Some might even argue that blues and jazz music originated out of East Texas, where African Americans like Blind Lemon Jefferson and Scott Joplin changed popular music forever.

As a connoisseur I’ve listened, collected, and appreciated the fine music playing and exploding out of these two North American bastions of sound. Although two very different places, Jamaica and Texas have several interesting similarities, such as a boastful bad boy-outlaw mentality that both cultivate. And the authentic people of both places hold deep soulful attachments to music, which expresses true feelings and reflects societies in Jamrock and Tejas. 

This blog celebrates the new and old music of Jamaica and Texas. It explores the originators like Bob Wills and U-Roy. It pays tribute to the copasetic psalms of Willie Nelson and Bob Marley, to the songwriters, dub pioneers, boss deejays, blues pickers, country fiddlers, and Third Coast rappers. From Austin to Kingston, from the sound systems of Boston Bay to the Fort Worth honky tonks, this blog explores and follows the musical worlds of Jamaica and Texas. Welcome to JamTex!

Welcome to JamTex