2017-2018 Music Poll: Texas Music Hall of Fame Nominees

Beto y Los Fairlanes

Formed in 1977 by pianist Robert Skiles, this horn and percussion-heavy Latin jazz and salsa juggernaut helped put Austin on the musical map. Their rhythmically-charged, epic dance parties diversified a scene dominated by cosmic cowboys and white boy blues. They played regularly at the Armadillo World Headquarters, Soap Creek Saloon, and established a long-running residency at a nascent Liberty Lunch. In 1980, the group taped an episode of Austin City Limits. Band history, which continues to this day, boasts some of Austin's best musicians, including saxophonists Tony Campise and Tomás Ramirez, trumpeter Bob Meyer, guitarist Mitch Watkins, and beloved drummer "Mambo" John Treanor. They've released nine albums since 1978. – Jay Trachtenberg

Bavu Blakes

Long sowing the seeds of Austin hip-hop, Bavu Blakes began growing the scene starting in the Nineties with his weekly Hip-Hop Humpday on Sixth Street. Present day teacher and mentor to young artists, the D.C.-born, Austin-based rapper fuses a scholarly aura with southern swagger on his myriad releases, including 2003 standout Create & Hustle. He's also championed urban music as a host on KAZI 88.7 FM and MeTV. Blakes' presence is so undeniable that famed jazz trumpeter Wynton Marsalis, once an outspoken opponent of rap, once watched him perform in Austin. – Kevin Curtin

Rick Broussard

Growing up in San Antonio, Rick Broussard fell under the sway of roots-minded punks the Clash and Dils, leading him straight into the heart of raw, raucous rockabilly. From there, it proved a short and fast drive to other statewide dancehall strains, from teary, beery honky-tonk to Gulf Coast swamp-pop. Relocating to Austin in 1984, the guitarist has led his Two Hoots & a Holler through myriad musicological explorations, refining his plaintive, heart-on-sleeve songwriting and always lean axe wielding along the way. Broussard's become a pan-generational master of Texas musical idioms in the vein of Holly, Sahm, and the other Lone Star greats. – Tim Stegall


"We weren't trying very hard," Fuckemos vocalist/trombonist Russell Porter once said. "We thought that worked for us." Born in 1991 as Warthog 2001UK, these merchants of pill-addled sleaze punk changed their name not long after Porter got himself booted from Emo's one night. 1993 debut Fuckemos Can Kill You brimmed with pitch-shifted paeans to bad behavior that distilled the aesthetic essence of Red River. Bearing no grudge, Emo's put the album on their jukebox, where it remained in heavy rotation. Porter later co-starred in director Bob Ray's low-rent 1999 pot rock epic, Rock Opera. – Greg Beets

Jimmy LaFave

Willis Point Texan, Jimmy LaFave staked his musical claim due north in Oklahoma, helping seed the region's "red dirt" roots movement. Forever thereafter, the singer possessed of a singularly emotive cry bore the banner of that state's bedrock muse, Woody Guthrie. Not coincidentally, LaFave covered Guthrie's greatest acolyte – Bob Dylan – like few other singers. He moved to Austin in 1986 and over the course of 15 studio albums built an international cult spellbound by his balladic intensity and a Lone Star compositional greatness. He succumbed locally to sarcoma on May 21, 2017, at the age of 61 and the next month was inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame. – Raoul Hernandez

Toni Price

For nearly three decades with only intermittent interruptions, Austin Tuesdays were defined by Toni Price's "hippie hour" residency at the Continental Club. The singer's blend of smoky roots winds genres through her powerful, soulful voice – blues, country, and rock melted down to their core essence and remolded by emotional, almost spiritual, performances. Her band has hosted Austin's best players, including the late Champ Hood, and her unique phrasing makes Price a dream interpreter, earning her Best Female Vocalist in 1994 at the Austin Music Awards. She reclaimed the honor in 2001, along with an Album of the Year AMA for Midnight Pumpkin. – Doug Freeman

Tomás Ramirez

South Texas native from Falfurrias, tenor sax blowtorch Tomás Ramirez arrived in Austin to study jazz composition at UT as the Sixties rolled over into the Seventies. Fusing the era's bitches brew with a nascent smooth jazz sensibility and Latin soul, Ramirez was soon touring and recording with Jerry Jeff Walker and later appeared on LPs by Christopher Cross and Carole King. Longtime accompanist of the Texana Dames and frequent Eric Johnson collaborator, he came by his nickname "Jazzmanian Devil" as both a performing umbrella and the title of 1983 debut. Wrote the Chronicle's Jay Trachtenberg about its follow-up: "This balance of explorative vision and commercial sensibility characterizes Tejazz from Austin's perennially popular and mercurial saxophonist." – Raoul Hernandez

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