Texas music is as unique and wide-ranging as the people who inhabit the Lone Star State. Genres include country and western, rock and roll, Tejano, blues, jazz and gospel – sometimes all rolled into one. More than anything, Texas music is what each Texas musician decides it should be.
As a pioneer in many diverse fields, it’s not surprising that Texas is viewed as a main instrument of American music. Many iconic musicians came from Texas – Buddy Holly, Bob Wills (“The King of Western Swing”), Selena, Ornette Coleman, George Jones, Willie Nelson, Stevie Ray Vaughan, “Blind” Lemon Jefferson, Roy Orbison, ZZ Top, and Janis Joplin – and they left their mark on the genres that were to follow.
Their common thread – being diverse, talented, Texas musicians who work together to form new variations of
music and harbor an unmatched spirit and experience for their listeners.
There’s a feeling of pride in all things Texan – pride in independence and innovation, in heritage and freedom, and in blazing new trails.
To fully understand the roots of Texas music, it’s important to consider the cultures and history that influenced it. Most notably the lone, free-spirited western music of the cowboy; the smooth, somber rhythm of rhythm and blues (R&B); and the love songs, festive fandangos and polka from the meld of German and Tejano traditions. Put them all together, and you form innovative musical developments that range from Tex-Mex and Conjunto, honky tonk and electric blues, to rock n’ roll, punk rock, gospel, jazz, classical and ragtime.
Other noteworthy mainstays in the Texas music industry include established and legendary dancehalls, venues and festivals across the state. Austin, Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio and Lubbock are world-renowned for live music, but equally, music lovers often take the back roads in Texas to visit the dancehalls and festivals in the quaint communities of Luckenbach, Gruene, and Kerrville. Texas celebrates all its cultures, histories and people, past and present, through the diversity of its music.