Book Review: Rock & Roll Books

Gift guide

Rock & Roll Books

Women in Texas Music: Stories and Songs

by Kathleen Hudson
University of Texas Press, 258 pp., $24.95

According to Kathleen Hudson, there are more than 800 women listed in the Texas Music Guide, so to dedicate a book to some of those stories is a noble and necessary project to undertake. Hudson achieves moderate success by presenting the stories of 35 women in Texas music, from the obvious choices (Sara Hickman, Marcia Ball) to the more obscure (Eva Ybarra, Elana James). Hudson states that the impetus of this project is to "turn over the male perspective to discover and reveal the female perspective that the planet so needs at this time," yet the connective tissue of the first five interviews is none other than Lloyd Maines, an interview that kicks off the collection. Why must the book's structural conceit be legitimized by a male presence? To this end, Hudson misses the mark for an ethical, responsible presentation of this collection of oral histories. What's more, the interviews lack depth; it's great that Betty Buckley's cutting horse is called Purple Badger, but a bit more insight into each woman's subjectivity – and a lot less of Hudson's personal narrative of Gestalt psychology and shamanic integration – would have made this a much more provocative and worthwhile read.

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Women in Texas Music, Marcia Ball, Sara Hickman

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