Posted: July 27, 2007 in The Roper Files

Going to Austin recently was inspirational. Austin is a big music city, and supports its artistic community as well. Unlike Fort Worth, where so many musicians wind up working at Lockheed or Bell.

The working classes don’t generally support the arts, or contribute much to them. Middle-class, blue-collar slobs like myself don’t produce a lot of reality series. We don’t write a lot of poetry, screenplays or books. We’re too busy, well…working. Can’t stay up late; gotta get up at four tomorrow. And consequently, bands routinely play here to near-empty clubs. But in Austin everybody plays guitar, or something. Everything that doesn’t move is plastered with band fliers. Every bar in Austin has pictures of Stevie Ray Vaughn on the wall, and chances are he actually played there, too. Here in Fort Worth clubs change names and owners like I change my socks.

And Austin is the kind of town that hasn’t let the Mars and Guitar Centers close down the independent music stores, either. There are lots of privately-run mom-and-pop sort of music stores that have been operating for years.

Like every other prick-with-ears in Texas, I play guitar myself but on a hey-kid-don’t-quit-your-day-job level. Maybe I have an attention deficit disorder, but I have trouble playing songs all the way through. Self-taught,I can mimic some of my favorite guitar heroes, but I don’t really read music or write songs.

Found out recently one of my neighbors is a musician. He has more than one Website, but you can click on  http://www.collinherring.com/  for all the information you need.

He came over and hammered on my door the other morning at 4am and gave me one of his three (so far) cds. Listened to it on the way to and from work this week; not the best time to take in music, but my home receiver has crapped out.

What does it sound like? If someone told me it was Camper Van Beethoven demos, I’d fall for it.  He doesn’t sound like David Lowery necessarily, but his music has that laid-back quality to it. Pleasant relaxing stuff, unlike the generic swill on the radio.

So you could do far worse than go to his site and buy a cd; and tell him you read about it here!



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