I just got back from a rowdy trip to New Orleans. The NBA All-Star game is arriving there very soon, and all over town they were preparing for it. Posters of LeBron were as common in the French Quarter as overzealous and pushy shot girls. On any trip to a town that isn’t mine, I enjoy finding out what the locals are doing. At one local non-touristy haunt we landed at, Molly’s, a couple of the locals were arguing over who should be the starters and who shouldn’t make the roster etc. Typical bar talk. As the jukebox played relentless Pantera and Sturgill (not of my own hand), my wheels started turning regarding musical All Stars.
Specifically, the musical all stars of our little scene. When things first started, it was clear that Pat Green was the MVP. Whereas in 2016-2017, he’d be the wily veteran getting a nod on the shoulders of his past work. Juxtaposed with Jack Ingram who had a resurgent near career max year. These are the things you think about while in a Bourbon daze.
For the purposes of our exercise here, we will divide our All Stars into two teams. Instead of West and East…we will have Texas and Rest. We’re in one of those phases of music where Rest is clearly dominating Texas…and that’s okay. Because, the pendulum always swings back. Be it eastern conference basketball or Texas Music.
William Clark Green–the scene’s most dominant force in the paint enjoys whiskey and melodies equally.
Cody Jinks–the state’s hottest current export is making so many new fans that he’s the leading vote getter at visiting arenas.
Jack Ingram–as mentioned above, Ingram was able to parlay his introspective experience into a career year.
Cody Johnson–he gets western and he gets hotter than Cedric Ceballos in NBA Jam.
Parker McCollum–provides the team with length and a ton of upside. One to watch.
Aaron Watson–slick honky-tonk kid sat atop the national rankings for a short time.
Hayes Carll–cagy veteran returned to the limelight with his most personal work yet.
Paul Cauthen–rookie sensation who bounced around the D league for a while before making a roster on the strength of moves we’ve never seen before.
Cleto Cordero–promising young shooter with the support of a veteran cast in the front office and a backing band with fresh legs.
Jamie Wilson–comes off the bench to provide harmonies for all the other acts on both teams…but is just as comfortable running the point.
Sturgill Simpson–unorthodox player that creates his own shots and toys with the media and league office.
Jason Isbell–best pure shooter in the game, makes the complex look simple.
Chris Stapleton–most natural talent in the league, a bit overexposed but still one of the top 3 players in the world.
Ryan Bingham–this Hobbs, New Mexico product is the genuine article. Even on off nights he’s going to give you a double-double.
Evan Felker–unpredictable and wiry; has many angles he uses to make shots.
Adam Hood–smooth delivery, transitions well and is good with the assist.
BJ Barham–NC State’s best player. Rocky start to his career has caused him to work harder for his goals. Jim Valvano would be proud.
Brent Cobb–his cousin in the front office gets more attention, but this guard put together one of the best seasons in recent memory.
Margo Price–a throwback player with the respect of her peers.
Whitey Morgan–Charles Oakley has nothing on this big man who isn’t afraid to throw some elbows in the paint.
-This is also the type of column you write after you listen to Bill Simmons podcasts on your flights.
-The two best podcasts happening in our scene right now are The Bad Truth and The Co-Write. Please listen to both religiously.
-Sturgill won a Grammy, but not the big one…still a huge accomplishment. Those bemoaning him not getting on the main telecast are misguided. His performance slot was better than an acceptance speech.
-He and Isbell both have major tours coming this summer/fall…that’s rad.
-GREENFEST dates and info are coming your way in the next two weeks…it just might be a River. Jam.
-As mentioned, I just did New Orleans for the first time as an adult and wow. Easily my favorite town I’ve ever visited. I’m ready to go back. Although as I noted on social media, it took 12 hours of sleep, 2 showers, Mexican food and 64oz of Topo Chico to feel normal again. But, I’m ready for the rematch New Orleans.
-The news of the current state of Lone Star Music/Superfly’s is depressing. Among other things, I wish San Marcos would crack down on that towing racket. Got me and mine in my days on the Hill a couple times. It was BS then, it’s BS now.
-One thing the San Marcos civic government is doing well…supporting Randy Rogers Cheatham Street venture.
–This month’s recommended album: K Phillips – Dirty Wonder. His first record is one of the best we’ve seen in the last 10 years. This one picks up where that one left off…full of Leon Russell barroom bravado, Texas spirit, witty imagery and melodies for days. The Rolling Stones met Jerry Jeff Walker and fronted themselves with Jerry Lee Lewis.
-“Of all the things I’ve lost, I miss my mind the most.” -Mark Twain