Tag Archives: Terri Hendrix

My review of the book, Pickers & Poets, posts to Elmore magazine

31 Jan

Pickers & Poets: The Ruthlessly Poetic Singer-Songwriters of TexTroubadours and Texas music lovers will adore this collection of essays assembled and edited by Craig Clifford and Craig D. Hillis, Pickers & Poets: The Ruthlessly Poetic Singer-Songwriters of Texas. Several different writers pay homage to some of the veteran songwriters of the ’60s and ’70s who began their careers within the Lone Star State. Hillis, an author and guitarist who has toured and recorded with a few of the book’s highlighted artists, provides insights about Steven Fromholz, Michael Martin Murphey, Jerry Jeff Walker and Willie Nelson. Clifford, also an author and working musician/singer/songwriter who holds a standing day gig as a professor of philosophy at Tarleton State University, adds his authoritative perspectives about Nelson, Kinky Friedman, Walt Wilkins, Hayes Carll, Ryan Bingham, and Miranda Lambert.

My personal favorite penned by Clifford, “Beyond the Rivers,” portends that modern songwriters seem “caught up in the pseudo-country tropes of pickups and painted on jeans.” He also claims today’s mainstream country gives spotlight mostly to the young and the beautiful. Jeff Prince discusses the role of “iconic cultural happenings” or music festivals that introduce fans to lyric-driven songs too unique or obscure for radio play. Kathryn Jones, in “Roots of Steel: The Poetic Grace of Women Texas Singer-Songwriters,” calls Patty Griffin, Lucinda Williams, Terri Hendrix, Nanci Griffith, Tish Hinojosa and Eliza Gilkyson “trail-blazers.” She claims they refuse to be pigeonholed in “the good ‘ol boys club” of influential music circles in a male-dominated industry.

Andy Wilkinson explains in a feverish stream of consciousness narrative why the Texas Panhandle, namely the Llano Estacado of Lubbock, per capita has produced so many songwriters thanks to its great expanse of land, the wind, and a culture composed of mostly friendly people. While some songwriters have had to leave the state to find their audiences, others simply have jumped into Austin’s musical stew pot. This book promises a tantalizing feast to satisfy avid readers of nonfiction musical history.

Also please see my article posted on Elmore magazine’s website at:


My review of Dennis Jay’s album posted to Elmore

25 Oct

Dennis Jay – Elmore MagazineSan Antonio native singer/songwriter Dennis Jay collaborates with some well known Austin musicians including multi-instrumentalist and music producer, Lloyd Maines, on his newest CD, Western & Country. While Jay’s high tenor vocals and yodeling deliver some emotional lyrics, Maines’ superb performances on steel guitar, as well as bass, percussion and spoons make the album memorable. Kudos too to locals Terri Hendrix on harmonica, Bukka Allen on piano and accordion, drummer William Mansell, Jimmie Scott Calhoun on upright bass, Howard T. Levine on lead guitar and Richard Bowden on fiddle and trumpet.

Since the 1980s, Jay has performed throughout Central Texas in honky-tonks and beer gardens, solo or with his Lonesome Town band. Together Jay and Maines co-wrote “Texas Skies Shining in a Cowgirl’s Eyes,” a lyrically sparse song that instrumentally conjures up the spirit of the late great Western Swing bandleader Bob Wills. Vocally, Jay performs best solo on banjo for a version of the folk music standard, “Streets of Laredo,” also known as “The Cowboy’s Lament.” Fans of classic country may enjoy Jay’s album infused with Mexican language and reminiscent of the late great crooners Hank Williams, Ernest Tubb and Lefty Frizzell.

Please also see my review posted on Elmore magazine’s website at: http://www.elmoremagazine.com/2016/10/reviews/albums/dennis-jay


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