When people think of Texas music the first thought that comes to mind is country. However, there is not one, two or three genres of music, which could describe the state. Texas is the birthplace of Western Swing and Tex-Mex. Texas Historical Association says the state's music is also influenced by Czech and German settlers. We thought what better way to understand the kinds of music coming out of Texas, than by looking at artists who are playing in Austin. We looked at Spotify's API to understand how Texas artists compare to other artists in the U.S. We wanted to know whether their popularity reached beyond the state's border.
We also went to performances in Austin to capture some of the city's live music scene. Here is a link to performances we saw in Austin.
We interviewed artists and asked them what would they describe as their sound. Even though each artists' style was different from one another, they all said growing up in Austin or in West Texas influenced their music. This is where they found inspiration, soul and self-expression. We hope you learn a little bit more about Texas music. Enjoy.
|#||Artists||Rank in Texas||Rank in U.S.A.||Delta|
|1||Randy Rogers Band||369||3438||-3069|
|3||Josh Abbott Band||251||3041||-2790|
|4||Robert Earl Keen||398||2196||-1798|
Malford Milligan, 55, is originally from Lubbock, Texas. He started singing when he was about 28. His family followed cotton from southern Texas up to west Texas.
"I was beyond dirt poor. I didn't have lights until I was six," he said.
Milligan said coming from Central Texas has definitely influenced his voice. He sings different styles of blues, soul and rock.
He draws a lot of his inspiration from Otis Redding, a soul, rhythm and blues singer-songwriter, who is also from the country.
"He wasn't a pretty singer; he just came out and grabbed you, but he always had so much soul," Milligan said.
Milligan said being from Central Texas, chopping cotton and working hard has shaped his music.
Milligan said he wouldn't describe himself in a specific genre. "I'm just an old gravelly singer right now," he said.
Lead singer Megan Fowler, 24, captures the audience with her sass and bluesy rock-n-roll voice.
Fowler works at a pizza parlor to pay the bills, but she's an Austin artist.
Fowler said it would be hard to describe the band's sound.
"It's blues and rock-n-roll without it being country rock," she said.
The five members who are all from Austin started the band three years ago.
"Everyone in this town is in a band or plays an instrument. You have to bring your own shit to the table," Fowler said.