Continued a very enjoyable stay in Houston. Morning with John Lomax (great nephew of the music historian Alan Lomax), a long time Houston music journalist. His father managed Steve Earl and Townes van Zandt – John was Earl’s youngest roadie (12 yrs old). As with so many folks who’ve been around music, John was full of interesting anectodes and history. Explained how Zydeco was largely supported by the churches – clubs wouldn’t have it because people came to dance, not drink. Most Zydeco bands tour regional parishes, where their shows are actively promoted by the priests, and often include a potluck. Arhoolie, a label in Berkeley is the principal label for these acts.
His blues stories were all too familiar. The older generation (Albert Collins, Joe Hughes, etc) are now survived only by Little Joe Washington, a 60+year old blues guitarist who has been essentially homeless for years, showing up randomnly at shows with his guitar, playing a couple songs then passing his hat for tips and dissappearing – surfacing a couple hours later at another show. Drugs have been everpresent. Blue is truly a hard luck world.
Spent a great afternoon being driven around by local music buff, artist and techie Akil Head. Included a stop at SUC, DJScrew’s record store/shrine that is the epicenter of the Chopped&Screwed world. DJScrew OD’d on codeine in 2000. It’s unlike any store I’ve seen (see pictures). The store exclusively stocks mixtapes which you buy, cash only, from a clerk behind glass. On any given day there are 50-75 different Cds for sale. Picked up a good sampling.
Then on to a great meetup at Star Pizza. About 15 people showed. Lots of new CDs and some great discussion about local music, pandora features, and of course the various required eating. Was given a collective lecture on the preparation of crawfish. thanks to everyone – Kevin, John, Wilson, Raena, Sean, Akil, Bonnie, Garland, et al
Topped off the night with a collection of local bands at Walters. Satin Hooks rocked the house.
Got to get up early for the trip to Baton Rouge.