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
"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
Daily Toreador's music critic offers
her picks for Lubbock's 10 best live music venues
by Chelsea Roe, contributing
October 16, 2008
Roe is a contributing writer for virtualubbock.com. She lives
in Lubbock where she writes about music. This article originally
appeared in the Texas Tech University Daily Toreador.
Recently I have
noticed a decline in the number of students venturing out to
the bars at night and noticed there are too many people missing
too many good shows. It hit me shortly thereafter: Maybe the
people here just don't know where to go anymore. That is why
I am now offering a list of my Top 10 favorite live music venues.
No. 1: Lone
Star Oyster Bar (3040
Also known as the "O-bar," this little dive joint by
far makes the top of my list. Since the moment I turned 21 years
old, it has been my favorite place in Lubbock. The thing that
makes the O-bar such a great place to go listen to live music
is its stellar reputation for bringing in the most talented musicians
in Lubbock to play four and sometimes five nights a week. Not
to mention the drinks are cheap, the atmosphere is relaxed and
it's a place where everybody knows your name - Lubbock's own
Cheers if you will.
No. 2: Bash
(620 19th St.)
Bash's 2 may not always be the most happening bar in town, but
it is definitely one of the best venues for live music in Lubbock.
I rank it second simply because the sound in that place is great.
The way it has the stage set up, coupled by solid sound setups
makes music here extremely pleasing to the ear. Formerly a Stubb's
Barbecue joint several years ago, that stage has been graced
by a number of famous musicians, including Monte Montgomery I
saw play about three years ago.
No. 3: BarPM (1211 University Ave.)
Lets be honest, Bar PM does not have an incredible stage or even
a remotely good sound but it is this far up on my list for two
reasons: The first being that the owners Mike and Paige have
built a good rapport with musicians. The second reason BarPM
is ranked third is for the sheer number of students it draws
to hear music. Located across University Avenue near campus,
it's got a great location, so it targets that crowd. Also, BarPM
patrons rarely seem to receive its performers negatively. In
fact, they seem to love them.
No. 4: The
Buddy Holly Center (1801
This one may seem like it's out of place, but I actually debated
ranking it higher on my list. Every summer the Buddy Holly Center
offers all citizens of Lubbock a free summer showcase series
in its courtyard. The bands it hires are always good. It's atmosphere
is always positive. It serves drinks, and there is an art exhibit
featuring some of the musicians from Lubbock. It's nice to have
something interesting to look at while you're listening to good
No. 5: Texas
Café & Bar (3604
Also know as "The Spoon" to those who have been in
Lubbock long enough, one cannot deny this establishment's appeal.
It has at one time or another been home to some of the most noteworthy
musicians to come out of this town, but it also has hosted a
slew of others. Proof? Just check out the pictures on the wall.
You might be in awe. The Spoon also offers an open-mic night
on Sundays, which is usually a pretty good time.
No. 6: The
Blue Light (1806
Buddy Holly Ave.)
The Blue Light makes the list because it has its own sound system,
which means its bands do not have to worry about lugging one
around when they perform there. The stage is elevated, making
it more enjoyable to watch. I've seen some of my more favorite
shows throughout the years on that stage.
No. 7: Rocky
(2420 Broadway Ave.)
Located across from campus smack in the middle of Broadway Avenue,
owners of this bar could not ask for a better location. Since
they moved tables around on the floor there has been a lot more
room for both dancing and standing. The owner's of this establishment
have also built a good rapport with the musicians they hire.
No. 8: Bash
(2419 Main St.)
Much like its other location, Bash's has for a long time been
known to host some killer shows, plus they have pool tables,
which I personally love.
No. 9: Jakes
(5025 50th St.)
Technically, Jakes has not been reopened long enough to warrant
its ranking with the other music venues. The place is simply
the most entertaining if you want to jam-out. Shows at Jakes
have a reputation for getting crazy. The sound system Jake's
provides its bands is extremely convenient, and there's more
room to pack people into than anywhere else in Lubbock. Jakes
should probably be in the top three, so we will see if it can
make the climb back toward the top in coming months.
No. 10: Jazz,
A Louisiana Kitchen (3703
Jazz made it onto the list because I love to go and watch little
shows. Jazz's small setting provides an intimacy that you cannot
get at larger venues. It also has a reputation for hiring quality
So, now that
you have a list of the noteworthy music venues in this town,
I hope there will be no more excuses for the lack of faces I've
noticed at shows. Granted I know that it is only my opinion,
and many may not agree, but perhaps you now have a place to start.
Articles by Chelsea Roe [Chelsea
Roe is the music critic for the Daily Toreador at Texas Tech