Texas Music Roadtrip
Bob Bullock Museum maps the Lone Star State's musical byways
By Margaret Moser, 2:51PM, Mon. Aug. 6, 2012
Prices at the fuel pumps didn’t hit the scary highs predicted for this summer, but they still took a bite out of vacation budgets. Solution? Stay home and hit the road. The Texas Music Roadtrip, that is. All it costs is getting to the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum and admission, a bargain by any count.
Although the phrase “Texas Music Roadtrip” conjures lengthy drives in a hot car, this trip is a compact yet dense overview of its musical facets within the state. What the exhibit does - besides offer a dazzling array of rarely seen items like the Vaughan brothers’ guitars - is make a case for how Texas music reflects the myriad cultures that shaped its sound.
It’s not just looking at Buddy Holly’s glasses that stops you cold and lets that shiver of touching the past settle in. It’s the weaving of those threads of influence from various parts of the state. They twist and knot German with Latin, Czech with zydeco, country with blues, folk with jazz. The resultant sound is vibrant, proud, inimitable. The physical items on display - costumes, instruments, posters, recordings - make it feel real. Alive.
Exhibit curator Dr. Gary Hartman of San Marcos’ Center for Texas Music History used the state’s five general regions to illustrate the diversity of music. This is especially evident in the development of genres unique to the state, such as the Cajun sounds that filter across the border from Louisiana. Within the exhibit's expansive installation downstairs there's ample opportunity to take in Texas, which sometimes feels like a trip around the world.