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Fire in the Water, Earth in the Air: Legends of West Texas Music
by Christopher Oglesby
Published by the University of Texas Press:
"As a whole, the interviews create a portrait not only of Lubbock's musicians and artists, but also of the musical community that has sustained them, including venues such as the legendary Cotton Club and the original Stubb's Barbecue. This kaleidoscopic portrait of the West Texas music scene gets to the heart of what it takes to create art in an isolated, often inhospitable environment. As Oglesby says, "Necessity is the mother of creation. Lubbock needed beauty, poetry, humor, and it needed to get up and shake its communal ass a bit or go mad from loneliness and boredom; so Lubbock created the amazing likes of Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Butch Hancock, Terry Allen, and Joe Ely."

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"Indeed, Oglesby's introduction of more than two dozen musicians who called Lubbock home should be required reading not only for music fans, but for Lubbock residents and anyone thinking about moving here. On these pages, music becomes a part of Lubbock's living history."
- William Kerns, Lubbock Avalanche Journal

Album Releases in Lubbock
by Chelsea Roe, contributing writer - April 6, 2008
Chelsea Roe is a contributing writer for virtualubbock.com. She lives and writes about her life in Lubbock. This article originally appeared in the Texas Tech University Daily Toreador.

Album Releases in Lubbock
As the summer approaches music begins to flourish with late-spring new album releases. With the printing of anticipated album charts for most magazines in the early months of the year, it has become a tradition for new albums to be released as school comes to a close. In the month of April Lubbock will have hosted cd-release parties for two-chart toppers- in completely different genres.

The Texas Music Charts claims the first of those anticipated albums. On Friday April 4th The Blue Light in the Depot District welcomed The Bart Crow Band, who just raced to number twelve on the charts with their single "Understand". The Bart Crow Band is now releasing their new album "Desperate Hearts".

The bar was crawling with spectators. This band was definitely smart enough to know where to find their target market. People were clearly enjoying themselves as they sang along and danced to the familiar tunes. Most of them were quite taken with the music.

Where most of them fit the image of their genre well, Guitarist Paul Russell was tailor made for rock and roll. Dressed the part and with a high, slightly edgy vocal range he would have fit in well with any pop punk/ emo sound. It was his touch on the electric guitar and his ability to step outside of what one would expect to see from him that showed the true range of his skills. When he led the set into an electric blues solos, patrons of the bar forgot they were listening to what has been described as Texas Country and were taken back to the southern rock of the 1970’s. The dueling of the two lead guitars even had its moments reminiscent of The Allman Brothers Band.

The record itself has been nominated for album of the year on the My Texas Music Charts and for five straight months has been the best seller on www.Lonestarmusic.com. It begins with an undertone of loneliness. The sense of desperation taken from the music is sometimes overwhelming as just about every song is sort of a downer lyrically. However, most of the songs are pretty upbeat tempo wise and it’s the music itself that is keeping people entertained.

The 13-track album tends to border ..ing on what is trendy in music these days with songs like track number 3 entitled "Hollywood". Though it is the bands flirtation with what "in" that gives them so much mass appeal and support from fans. The album also has a running theme of grasping for something that is just out of your reach and holding onto the possibilities of catching it. The lyric "Well I’ve been searchin’ for a girl like you. And I’ve been chasin’ down a dream or two…" from the album titled song "Desperate Hearts" is proof of just that.

For anyone who enjoys typical Texas Country with a slight twist, The Bart Crow Band is the one for you. Pick up the album "Desperate Hearts" and give it a shot even if you don’t usually enjoy the genre- here’s your chance to try something new.

The Bart Crow Band however is not the only band to have chosen Lubbock for the release of their latest album.

The Alternative Press 2008 most anticipated album of the year will be released in Lubbock just two weeks from now. On Friday April 18th Mayday Parade will be celebrating their album "A Lesson in Romantics" with students at Texas Tech University. Since the release this past summer, Mayday Parade has already sold over 50,000 copies of their record.

Starting off as a group of kids touring around in their van and playing in parking lots at the Warped Tour, band members of Mayday Parade have come along way. Quickly gaining popularity from those secretly into bands like Fallout Boy, Panic! At the Disco or The All-American Rejects, Mayday Parade rose to the top of the charts. With cord progressions typically associated with pop punk and vocals that are meant to break your heart instantaneously, Mayday Parade has produced an album that will possibly be heard on TV drama soundtracks soon.

If you did not get the opportunity to hear The Bart Crow Band on Friday you can check them out on Myspace and purchase their album to give it your own review. The Mayday Parade show is still two weeks away so mark your calendars and plan on being on campus to check out a new band on April 18th. Times are to be announced.

Lubbock you’ve been making an attempt to step outside of your box recently, let’s keep it going.

More Articles by Chelsea Roe - Chelsea Roe is the music critic for the Daily Toreador at Texas Tech University

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