Various Artists

Austin, Texas: Rockin' the Crossroads

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In the 1980s and 1990s, Austin, Texas became more and more of a hotbed of roots music -- everything from electric blues, funk, and soul to Tex-Mex, country, rockabilly, americana, folk, and jazz. One of the independent labels that popped up in Austin was Antone's, which provides a variety of roots music on Austin, Texas: Rockin' the Crossroads. This good-to-excellent sampler offers a generous dose of high-energy electric blues, including Snooky Pryor's "Bury You in a Paper Sack" and Luther Tucker's "You Got What You Wanted." But it also contains everything from the acoustic country blues of Steve James' "Railroad Blues" to Lewis Cowdrey's "Itchy and Scratchy" (which brings a rock edge to James Brown-like funk), Sue Foley's moody soul number "Open Up Your Eyes," and earthy roots-rock/americana tunes like Pat McLaughlin's "Better You Get Ready" and David Halley's "It's Just As Well." Not all of the artists on the album are natives or residents of Austin -- some are Californians, some Midwesterners. Nonetheless, Austin, Texas paints an honest and enjoyable picture of the variety of music one could expect from the Lone Star city and from the Antone's label.