The ones who embraced the countryish side of the ’80s, they’re special. Beyond the synth-pop and college rock, the New Wave and New Romantics, even the Paisley Underground, there were the cowpunks. They were refreshingly less self-righteous than most of the pearl-snapped, No Depression-quoting blowhards the following decade. Centered in L.A., hilariously, all those crisp but gritty backbeat bands — Lone Justice (all hail), the Blasters, Blood on the Saddle, Screamin’ Sirens, the Long Ryders (didn’t they just regroup?), Tex & the Horseheads, Beat Farmers, Wall of Voodoo probably counts, as does Green on Red — in the center of which was X.
When I arrived in Tulsa, Okla., in the early ’90s, it was its own cowpunk (though by then alt-country-labeled) outpost — the twisted rootsabilly snarl (and, in concert, the chainsawed bologna) of Billy Joe Winghead, Brian Parton and his Rebels, the Boondogs (for a splendid brief time), the Red Dirt Rangers (in their rockin’ moments), Bob Collum (before his legendary hitchhike overseas), Mudville, Phil Zoellner’s bands, whoever was booked at the Deadtown Tavern and whoever drifted over from Stillwater (Cross Canadian Ragweed, Jason Boland, etc.) and … hell, anyone remember Ester Drang’s twangy offshoot, Lasso? — in the center of which was Tex.
I never got to meet Tex. Reading this article makes me very sad I didn’t, and sad I wasn’t born earlier so that I could’ve come to one of her shows.
From the impact she left, the people mourning her loss, and the way she lived, it looks like Tulsa is going to miss a bright star. I’m sorry for your suffering friends, but be glad you knew her - she seems like a once-in-a-lifetime kind of gal.