Texas Music

Ronald Ali-Khan / Wikimedia

Texas music legend Steve Earle was raised in San Antonio but doesn’t want to live in Texas again.

The story of Huddie "Lead Belly" Ledbetter reads like a parody of the brutal bluesman biography: Kill a man, go to prison — twice — then appeal for a pardon in a song. According to the legend, Lead Belly's undeniable talent convinced Texas Governor Pat Neff to let him go.

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Nothing beats seeing music artists in an intimate setting. TPR’s Arts and Culture Reporter Jack Morgan finds there’s an organization taking that idea to new levels.

“Kathleen Hudson, Director of the Texas Heritage Music Foundation.”

She’s also English Professor at Schreiner University where the written, and the sung word clearly mean a lot to her.

“We’ve created this series out of our commitment to share the stories of Texas Music.”

That series is called 290 Texas, and the small concerts are all held in the Johnson City area, bisected by Highway 290.

The Oxford American is a national magazine dedicated to featuring the best in Southern writing while documenting the complexity and vitality of the American South.  Each December the magazine is dedicated to the music of a southern state and this year Texas gets its turn. It can be ordered online at  www.oxfordamerican.org.

The editor of the Oxford American Roger Hodge told us about the process.