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Fire in the Water, Earth in the Air: Legends of West Texas Music
by Christopher Oglesby
Published by the University of Texas Press:
"As a whole, the interviews create a portrait not only of Lubbock's musicians and artists, but also of the musical community that has sustained them, including venues such as the legendary Cotton Club and the original Stubb's Barbecue. This kaleidoscopic portrait of the West Texas music scene gets to the heart of what it takes to create art in an isolated, often inhospitable environment. As Oglesby says, "Necessity is the mother of creation. Lubbock needed beauty, poetry, humor, and it needed to get up and shake its communal ass a bit or go mad from loneliness and boredom; so Lubbock created the amazing likes of Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Butch Hancock, Terry Allen, and Joe Ely."

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"Indeed, Oglesby's introduction of more than two dozen musicians who called Lubbock home should be required reading not only for music fans, but for Lubbock residents and anyone thinking about moving here. On these pages, music becomes a part of Lubbock's living history."
- William Kerns, Lubbock Avalanche Journal

virtualubbock suggests:

TOP 10 SONGS with Lubbock in the Title or Lyrics:

1) Lubbock Texas in my Rearview Mirror - Mac Davis
2) Lubbock or Leave It - Dixie Chicks
3) Lubbock Woman - Terry Allen & the Panhandle Mystery Band
4) Lubbock Texas - Andy Eppler ("Why don't you kiss me Lubbock, Texas?")
5) West Texas Waltz - Butch Hancock ("...Idalou to Lubbock, too...")
6) Lucky Me, I Live in Lubbock - Tommy Newsom
7) Go To Lubbock; tied with Lubbock Beckons - both by The Monx
8) Got Lucky Last Night - Jerry Jeff Walker ("This is a song about Lubbock Texas and how much fun you can have with no money and no brains.")
9) Stubb's Boogie - Jesse "Guitar" Taylor
10) Busted in Baylor County - Shooter Jennings ("We left L.A. on Sunday, in Lubbock by Tuesday/ That's where we played our second show/Where nobody knew us, so nobody noticed the songs that the band didn't know.")

Make your Comments @ our MySpace page!

Readers' suggestions:
From: Johnny Hughes:

Waylon's song "Leave Them Boys Alone" says:

Hank Williams was the king of country soul
My dad took me to see him in Lubbock but he didn't show
Now the people got mad and they all went home
The first thing we did was put his records on.
I guess we should have left him alone and let him sing his songs.

In "Down on the Drag", Ely's version, it says,

"My baby's back up in Lubbock and I'm down on the drag."

However, as Butch originally wrote it, it said Lampassas. When I visited Grover Lewis once in L.A., we discussed Lubbock in songs and movies, and Grover said, "Too bad about Lampassas."

From: William Kerns:

I’d have to nominate “Lubbock, Texas” by Russ Murphy for the top 5. (CD was released in 2007)

From: "Homegrown" @ MySpace:

What about "Lonely Lubbock Lights" by Aaron Watson?

virtualubbock suggests

Here are the Top 10 Albums recommended by www.virtualubbock.com if someone were to ask, "What does Lubbock sound like?"
(We are not declaring these to be the best of all possible albums by various Lubbock artists, however these records are great places to start tuning into the Lubbock music mystique. )

  • 1) Lubbock: on everything – Terry Allen & the Panhandle Mystery Band
  • 2) Live Shots! – The Joe Ely Band
  • 3) Own & Own – Butch Hancock
  • 4) After Awhile – Jimmie Dale Gilmore
  • 5) Route 1: Acuff - The Maines Brothers Band
  • 6) Sons of Preachers – Texas Belairs
  • 7) Conway's Corner – RC Banks
  • 8) Big Shots – Cary Swinney
  • 9) Bad Girls Upset by the Truth – Jo Carol Pierce
  • 10) The Supernatural Family Band - Live at the Little Bear

EXTRA CREDIT (because 10 is not enough!)

    • EVERYTHING by Waylon Jennings
    • EVERYTHING by Buddy Holly &/or The Crickets
    • Texas Tattoo – Jesse Taylor
    • Fantasize – Ponty Bone & the Squeezetones
    • Home – Dixie Chicks (produced by Lloyd Maines)
    • Thrift Store Cowboys – (eponymous first album)
    • Texas in My Rearview Mirror – Mac Davis
    • * There is No Underground – Andy Eppler *
      (technically disqualified from catagory - see comment below dated Aug 17)

Your COMMENTS are welcome.


Posted by De Lyn on Jul 11, 2008 6:54 PM

I almost hyperventilated when I didn't see Buddy...then I kept reading. :-) You have the favorites I can think of listed on here.

Posted by Michael X-Ray on Jul 14, 2008 9:15 AM
"The Planets"
"Hot Biscuits" by Mark Paden
"Lubbock On everything" by Terry Allen
Most of the albums on the list so far were NOT recorded in Lubbock.

Posted by Chris Oglesby on Aug 1, 2008 1:23 AM
Response: Exactly 5 of the top 10 were recorded in Lubbock.

*"Live Shots" was recorded live in concert in Europe.
*"Own & Own" is a compilation album of Butch Hancock songs recorded at various times.
*"After Awhile" - a seminal record by JDG focusing; among a CD series focusing on regional music.
* "Bad Girls Upset by the Truth" - Yes, whiners, we concede this was recorded in Austin where Jo Carol lives but this album has Lubbock all over it....
*"The Supernatural Family Band - Live at Big Bear" - a Live recording; the Hancock's SFB is ALL Lubbock but did enjoy success in Colorado during the 70's. This album could have been recorded at the Cotton Club.

Posted by ERIC HISAW on Aug 1, 2008 1:08 AM
Great list. I guess if you can only have so much Ely band Live Shots is the place to start. As an outsider but a huge fan and friend of many Lubbock musicians I'd have to say the fact that most of these albums weren't recorded in Lubbock is just part of the Lubbock mystique.

Posted by Doctor Skoob on Aug 5, 2008 8:30 PM
Good list, but I feel something is missing... Is this because your t-shirt got burned up that fire? IOU! -skoob

Posted by Chris Oglesby on Aug 17, 2008 12:50 PM
After a spirited discussion last night with Doug Haines, I want to clarify some things about this list. First, I am NOT saying these are the BEST albums by all Lubbock artists - I would not even say that some of these are the best album by the particular artist at issue; rather, these are intended to be ALBUMS WHICH SOUND LIKE LUBBOCK. I realize this is an amorphous and arbitrary categorization that may mean something only to myself.
There are MANY great albums by Lubbock artists, and I am not sure I would dare to make an All-Time Top Ten Best Lubbock Albums list.
That said, I will address why Doctor Skoob's "Gringo Sol" is not on the list. As I told Doug, GRINGO SOL is a GREAT album, demonstrating excellent musicianship and originality. However, the sound - as was Doctor Skoob's intention - is unlike anything to come out of Lubbock before or since. While that is awesome and desirable, it does proscribe Skoob's record from the above list, by its very nature. One must admit, GRINGO SOL does not sound like the Maines Brothers, the Texas Belairs, or Jimmie Gilmore in the least.
And to be fair, I might need to disqualify Andy Eppler's "There is No Underground" from the above list on the same basis. Although, I do continue to highly recommend Eppler's fine album for any lover of great original music.*
GRINGO SOL is a must have for any music lover
, whether you are from Lubbock or not. Go to http://www.doctorskoob.com/home.html to buy this fine record. There Doug. You got what you wanted, I hope.

Posted by Hatch on Aug 27, 2008 7:11 AM
In Short BS. Makes no difference about a F'in attitude. Andy is still a Hub City boy. As far as LIVE SHOTS it was cut in Europe in general it was ENGLAND specifically. As touring engineer /stage manager/ and somewhat overseer of the original album. I know where it was recorded. Joe still has the original multi-track tapes for it as well as the one's that we did w/ The Clash locked away.

Posted by Chris Oglesby on Aug 27, 2008 7:27 AM
I am well aware that "Live Shots" was recorded in England, but with all that Jesse and Lloyd all over the record, "Boxcars", "Not Fade Away" - that my friend SOUNDS like Lubbock music like no other record I know, and it sounds nothing like Europe.
ONCE AGAIN, the topic is NOT Best Albums RECORDED in Lubbock; it is albums which I would recommend to someone to describe the Lubbock Sound. "Live Shots" sounds much more like what one would have expected to hear at Fat Dawg's than at the Hope and Anchor.

The bit about Andy was really more of a compliment in response to a discussion with Skoob, moving Andy beyond the classic Lubbock sound. I love Andy Eppler's "There is No Underground." However, I would not describe his diverse song collections as being particularly unique to Lubbock, except for the final track "Lubbock, Texas" which may be one of the great Lubbock songs ever (which is why it originally made it onto my list in the first place).

Do you have any suggestions for albums which should be on the list?

Posted by Doctor Skoob on Aug 24, 2008 12:49 PM
Awesome! Now that is some good quality fun, sir, and some damn fine BBQ sauce to boot. Speaking of, I still think Los Sonsabitches' "Mighty Fine BBQ" actually would fall into your category quite nicely, but you don't have it yet. That is one album that your massive cd player is desperately missing, Mr. Oglesby.

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