The Ten Texas Bands That Most Deserve To Be Famous

Categories: Commentary

kristy-kruger-polyanna-web.jpg
Courtesy of Kristy Kruger

For Every ZZ Top and Steve Miller our state produces, there are thousands of bands that either wallow in obscurity or just get by with endless, backbreaking tours and the hope of having enough cash to finance some studio time.

Here are some acts that should have hit the big time in their day and a few that still have a chance to do so.


10. The Telefones
Dallas' best punk/new wave band seemed on the verge back in 1980, but a fateful move to Los Angeles didn't gain the band the traction it so richly deserved. The Telefones' debut, Vibration Change, is still one of best albums made by a Dallas band. Occasionally still performing, the Telefones are capable of turning heads with such songs as "Rocket Rocket" and "The Ballad of Jerry Godzilla."


9. The Cut Off
Hailing out of Cowtown, this collection of hygienically-challenged misfits worshipped all things Pixies related. They also made one really great EP (2006's The Rorschach) and one pretty great album (2008's Packaged Up For Beginners) before calling it quits by the end of the decade.

8. Peyote Cowboys
Way before forming the Old 97s, bassist Murry Hammond was playing some crazed, psychedelic guitar in the Peyote Cowboys. Infatuated with classic '60s stoner rock (a la The Seeds) and the bands associated with the 80's Paisley Underground scene in Los Angeles (Dream Syndicate, The Rain Parade), Hammond was a far cry from the stately gentlemen he'd become in the 97's. Songs like "Susan Loves Sharon" and "Mel Coolie A GoGo" were intense and infectious slabs of tripped out psychedelia.


7. Horseshoe
Houston's answer to Uncle Tupelo, Horseshoe rode roughshod throughout the '90s and made a debut album, King of the World, which is still considered one of the area's best releases. Substance abuse and health issues would derail the band, but Horseshoe's latest reunion occurred in 2011, so we might have not heard the last from Greg Wood and crew.


6. Churchwood
Austin doesn't have many bands better that Churchwood. Equal parts Howling Wolf and Captain Beefheart, these guys deserve a much wider audience. Luckily, Churchwood still records and plays frequently, so there is still time to bring justice to the blues rock universe.


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22 comments
nomaam123
nomaam123

The Movies?  How come they are not here? Dallas Local Band late 80's early 90's?

jonfromtjs
jonfromtjs

you weren't kidding, CHURCHWOOD is awesome. instant fan upon first listen - really fresh original take on what has become a tired sounding genre.  these are the best kind of DC( posts.

jamessavik
jamessavik

The Reivers sound like a Teixcan Cranberries.

wollstonecraft
wollstonecraft

What about Sattori?!  or Ella Minnow.. those are more recent, but I guess it all depends on what you listen to.  Maybe I am out of the loop but I did not recognize any of these artists.

vanston27
vanston27

I was hoping for someone more current, I've been out of the country for years, and have no idea who the good local bands are now.

Daniel
Daniel

If I'm not mistaken, the Big Boys were name-checked on the classic X song, "I Must Not Think Bad Thoughts."

Rick
Rick

I still listen to The Other Side of Kindness on a regular basis, and once lobbied my band to take an earlier slot at a gig so I could run across Ellum to see Collin play.  He had his dad playing on stage with him that night, and it was one hell of a show.

crozkent1
crozkent1

I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that the absence of Bobgoblin on this list was merely an oversight.  

lebowski300
lebowski300

It is an unsettling concept to declare anyone "deserves" to be famous. In a better world we would say they deserve to be proud of their creativity and work. Our be-a-star-or-bust culture doesn't respect saying such things though.

Cucurbitaceae
Cucurbitaceae

Uhhhh, how bout THE GOURDS, fool. They've been grinding for almost 20 years.

NightSand
NightSand

Thought you would include Quiet Company Band in there.  

Do people still listen to punk music?   Seemed like this list is heavy on punk, when punk in general is fairly unpopular.  

darrylrs
darrylrs

@wollstonecraft that was  kind of the point of the post, some great bands that only had a smallish following. i tried to stay away from really current bands as they still have the chance to gain a larger audience. but i think the phuss and power trip are two local acts that not only deserve to be big, they will be.

Daniel
Daniel

@crozkent1 Or Ten Hands, for that matter. One could even argue Slobberbone.

darrylrs
darrylrs

To me, The Gourds, like the Old 97s, have "made it". Sold out shows, national and international tours. The bands on this list didn't or have not yet made it to that level.

darrylrs
darrylrs

uh, the Big Boys are really the only "punk" band on the list and they were a very diverse act. and if green day and the ramones are considered "punk," they are/were pretty damn popular.

marvin
marvin

@Daniel @crozkent1 I assume you mean that one could argue that Slobberbone doesn't belong on the list because they are famous.

NightSand
NightSand

@darrylrs That's a fair comment.  Telefones might be thrown in there per the description.  I do not consider Green Day Punk, or least anything they have put out in the past 15 years.  Romones are punk, but again, haven't put out anything in a while.  

stevechaos13
stevechaos13

That would probably be because they're all dead except for Marky and CJ....

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