I have developed music venues and promoted live music in Houston, Texas for almost twenty-five years. I rode the crest of the Grunge
wave at The Vatican, with bands like Nirvana
, Pearl Jam
, and Mudhoney
. I opened the Orchid Lounge in the late 1990’s in the midst of the Swing Revival
and brought bands like Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
and Royal Crown Revue
to Houston. I have seen many new and exciting styles of music develop and emerge from cities across America over my two and a half decades in the business. If you look up the word “jaded” in the dictionary, you’ll see my picture but I have to admit that I truly feel I am witnessing the birth of an exciting and viable new music genre developing in Houston. Local artists are melding elements of Roots Rock, Americana and Alt. Country in a new and exciting way. A groundswell of fan support for this new Urban Americana music is emerging and I predict a spill over into the mainstream of global acceptance.
Here are a few of the Houston artists that I feel are sculpting this new Urban Americana music and I assure you this is just the tip of the iceberg:
is an incredibly talented artist who’s CD entitled “Tips & Compliments
” debuted at #1 on the Euro Americana Charts
. Matt was the only new artist featured in the documentary film about Anderson Fair
entitled “For the Sake of the Song
”. Two of my favorite Matt Harlan tunes are, “Half-Developed Song
” and “Your Just Drunk
Sean Reefer and the Resin Valley Boys
combine classic country, western swing, bluegrass and a touch of rock 'n' roll to ignite a loyal following of fans. Sean Reefer has an uncanny sense of showmanship from the sound of the PA, reminiscent of the classic country sound of the late 1940’s, to his heart felt performance that stays true to the music. Sean also has an incredible band behind him.
is an amazing act fronted by singer/songwriter Pete Lippincott. Great songwriting, incredible musicianship and an awesome live show. Words fail me – you have to experience this for yourself.
is another prominent piece of the Urban Americana scene emerging in Houston. I recently saw Bo perform with Matt Harlan at The Hideaway and I was blown away. The two had never played together before but no one in the audience would have known. It was an amazing show.
is a recent transplant to Houston. Mike relocated from Los Angeles and he seems to have made a good move. Mike wrote the song “Late Great Golden State
” which was recorded by Dwight Yoakum and Billy Bob Thornton. Mike has written a plethora of great tunes, including two of my favorites, “Square With The World
” and “I Will Live To Drink Another Day
I hope you enjoyed reading this and please click on all the links in the article to explore the music and learn more about the Urban Americana scene in Houston, Texas. Remember, this is just the tip of the iceberg. My list is not all-inclusive, there are many more great Urban Americana pioneers out there but Houston is a big city. I will try to do updates as I discover more artists.
by Chris Harkness for MM55productions