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No. 52 (Fall 2012)

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Fall 2012

Going Home with the Armadillo
More than 30 years after it opened on Aug. 7, 1970, the Armadillo World Headquarters remains for many Austinites an ongoing cultural love affair. In retrospect, the Dillo was much more than a music hall. It became a place where Austinites could see rising stars and it was a hangout for both hippies and cowboys, who discovered they had more in common than they could have imagined. It was ground zero for a new homegrown, laid-back rock fused with country and blues. It was home to a team of artists whose posters and printed ephemera would shape the graphic "look" of Austin. It was a commune. A restaurant. A performance space. It was a kind of school for hippie entrepreneurs. It was a kind of informal church for young people who didn't fit in anywhere else. It was, in short, where Austin's funky identity was born.

Willis Alan Ramsey
The lone album by enigmatic singer-songwriter Willis Alan Ramsey gave the world one of the most pognant songs ever written about Woody Guthrie, along with tunes covered by Waylon Jennings, Jimmy Buffett and the soft-rock group Captain & Tennille. And then Ramsey went underground. A storyteller with a quick wit and a penchant for catchy melodies, he helped develop the sound and the sensibility of "progressive" or "alternative" country associated with everyone from outlaw country performers to Lyle Lovett. Recorded quickly for a small label in 1972, Ramsey's debut has acquired mythic status over the years, in part because he's ben so stingy with his work. For 40 years, fans have been awaiting a follow-up that's never sufaced despite teases and promises from the elusive songwriter. Geoffrey Himes caught up with the singer in Colorado and reports on the progress of the new album that may - or may not - ever happen.

Pioneers
Earl Poole Ball

Q&A
Radney Foster

Spotlights
David Ramirez
Not in the Face

Plus: CD reviews, festival calendar and much more

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