Deep South Soundscape: Texas Blues


This is a selection of the top-ranking Texas blues songs in chronological order for the series on Deep South Soundscape. From the early blues of the jug bands and west Texas cowboys to the rural East Texas bluesmen to the urban Deep Ellum buskers, and down I-45 to the Houston R&B music scene and the post-WWII blues combos to the Psychadelic Blues of 1960s and the Blues revivalists in Austin, Fort Worth, and San Antonio, Texas, blues is a dominant thread throughout our state’s history.

Blind Lemon Jefferson – “See That My Grave Is Kept Clean” (1927)
Blind Lemon Jefferson – “Match Box Blues” (1927)
Blind Lemon Jefferson – “Black Snake Moan” (1927)
Blind Willie Johnson – “Dark Was the Night, Cold Was the Ground” (1927)
Blind Willie Johnson – “Motherless Children” (1927)
Henry Thomas – “Honey, Won’t You Allow Me On More Chance” (1927)
Henry Thomas – “Don’t Ease Me In” (1928)
Henry Thomas – “Bull Doze Blues” (1928)
Henry Thomas – “Fishing Blues” (1928)
Blind Willie Johnson – “John the Revelator” (1930)
Bob Wills & the Texas Playboys – “Never No More Blues” (1935)
Bob Wills & the Texas Playboys – “Basin Street Blues” (1936)
Bob Wills & the Texas Playboys – “Brain Cloudy Blues” (1946)
Amos Milburn – “Amos’s Blues” (1946)
T-Bone Walker – “Call It Stormy Monday Blues (But Tuesday Is Just As Bad)” (1947)
Pee Wee Crayton – “Texas Hop” (1948)
Amos Milburn – “Chicken Shack Boogie” (1948)
Clarence ‘Gatemouth’ Brown – “Boogie Rambler” (1949)
Charles Brown – “In The Evening When The Sun Goes Down” (1949)
Goree Carter – “Rock Awhile” (1949)
Lightning Hopkins – “Baby Please Don’t Go” (1949)
Charles Brown – “Black Night” (1950)
Pee Wee Crayton – “Poppa Stoppa” (1951)
Zuzu Bollin – “Headlight Blues” (1951)
Pee Wee Crayton – “Telephone Is Ringing” (1956)
Big Walter Price & His Thunderbirds – “Pack Fair and Square” (1956)
Ivory Joe Hunter – “Since I Met You Baby” (1956)
Bobby “Blue” Bland – “Farther Up On The Road” (1957)
Johnny Copeland – “Rock and Roll Lilly” (1958)
Willie Nelson – “Man With The Blues” (1959)
King Curtis – “Heavenly Blues” (1959)
Mance Lipscomb – “Tom Moore’s Farm” (1960)
Mance Lipscomb – “Ella Speed” (1960)
Lightning Hopkins – “Katie Mae” (1960)
Ernest Tubb – “Kansas City Blues” (1960)
Willie Nelson – “Nite Life” (1960)
Freddie King – “Hide Away” (1961)
Lightning Hopkins – “Mojo Hand” (1961)
Albert Collins – “Defrost” (1963)
Albert Collins – “Frosty” (1964)
Floyd Dakill Combo – “Dance, Franny, Dance” (1964)
Roy Head & The Traits –“Treat Her Right” (1965)
The Bobby Fuller Four – “Let Her Dance” (1965)
The Bobby Fuller Four – “I Fought The Law” (1965)
13th Floor Elevators – “You’re Gonna Miss Me” (1966)
Archie Bell & The Drells – “Tighten Up” (1967)
King Curtis – “Memphis Soul Stew” (1967)
Big Brother & the Holding Company – “Down on Me” (1967)
Janis Joplin – “Piece of My Heart” (1968) Janis Joplin – “Me and Bobby McGee” (1971)
Janis Joplin – “Mercedez Benz” (1971)
Freddie King – “Going Down” (1971)
ZZ Top – “La Grange” (1973)
Edgar Winter Group – “Frankenstein” (1973)
Edgar Winter Group – “Free Ride” (1973)
ZZ Top – “Tush” (1975)
Waylon Jennings – “Waymore’s Blues” (1975)
Delbert McClinton – “Two More Bottles of Wine” (1978)
ZZ Top – “I Thank You” (1980)
Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble – “Pride & Joy” (1983)
Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble – “Texas Flood” (1983)
ZZ Top – “Got Me Under Pressure” (1983)
Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble – “Cold Shot” (1984)
The Fabulous Thunderbirds – “Tuff Enuff” (1986)
The Fabulous Thunderbirds – “Wrap It Up” (1986)
Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble – “Crossfire” (1989)
Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble – “Tightrope” (1989)
ZZ Top – “My Head’s In Mississippi” (1990)
Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble – “The Sky Is Crying” (1991)
Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble – “Life By The Drop” (1991)
Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble  – “Little Wing) (1991)
Guy Forsyth – “Poor Boys” (2000)
Los Lonely Boys – “Heaven” (2004)
Los Lonely Boys – “Real Emotions” (2004)
Gary Clark, Jr. – “Bright Lights” (2012)
Lightning Hopkins – “Automobile Blues” (Unknown Date)

Deep South Soundscape: Texas Blues

Denton Arts & Jazz Festival in Denton, Texas

Today I attended the Denton Arts and Jazz Festival in Denton, Texas. The location of the festival is a couple of blocks from the downtown square in Denton. This spot was originally an African-American neighborhood called Quakertown. Today Quakertown is a park where the people of Denton celebrate art and jazz music on the greens of the park and its surrounding facilities.

Denton has become a center of art, jazz culture, and music, especially since the University of North Texas’s music and art schools excel at honing the talents of countless musicians and artists. In fact the music and art schools are the crown jewels at the university. At the UNT showcase stage aspiring eagles played for large audiences, and many UNT talents appeared on the main jazz stage, such as the UNT Faculty Band and the UNT One O’Clock Lab Band.

Early in the day I saw Fortified Funk playing some classic jazz tunes from the Wes Montgomerycatalog. The trombonist in this band was laying it down. After eating some festival food I caught a portion of Island Boogie banging on steel drums. Then I crossed the festival bridge to see Dave Zoller leading his tribute band to Duke Ellington.  I got to admit this was a highlight in the festival for me because I enjoy swing music from the big band era. Plus this tribute band was full of top-notch musicians, including a horn section with trombone, coronet, saxophone, and trumpets.

Then I flipped the script and saw the local indie rock band Oso Closo at the Bud Light Courtyard Stage. This was a talented band. Both guitarists also played keys, displaying their versatility. The bassist sang, and so did the two guitarists. And all three vocalists sang together. The guitar work was good and the vocal harmonies very nice.

Later in the evening I saw contemporary jazz artist Tom Braxton. The saxophonist is a smooth jazz staple as seen in such songs as “Open Road.” The Dallas-based Braxton, actually from the Lubbock area, played several tracks from his album Endless Highway. I especially like his cover of the America song “Ventura Highway.”

The festival’s headliners Jimmie Vaughan and Lou Ann Barton brought the house down with some Classic Blues. Barton has played music with Jimmie Vaughan for a long time. In fact she toured with The Fabulous Thunderbirds and Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble. Jimmie played the SRV classic “Texas Flood.” Lou Ann Barton joined Jimmie Vaughan for some intensely soulful tunes and a rockin’ version of “Boom Bapa Boom.”

Denton Arts & Jazz Festival in Denton, Texas