||University of Texas Press
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Musical magic hit Austin, Texas, in the early 1970s. At now-legendary venues such as Threadgill's, Vulcan Gas Company, and the Armadillo World Headquarters, a host of country, rock-and-roll, blues, and folk musicians came together and created a sound and a scene that Jan Reid vividly detailed in his 1974 book, The Improbable Rise of Redneck Rock. The breadth of talent still astounds—Willie Nelson, Janis Joplin, Jerry Jeff Walker, Doug Sahm, Delbert McClinton, Michael Martin Murphey, Willis Alan Ramsey, Kinky Friedman, Steve Fromholz, Bobby Bridger, Billy Joe Shaver, Marcia Ball, and Townes Van Zandt. Reid's book even inspired the nationally popular and long-running PBS series Austin City Limits, which focused attention on the trends that fed the music scene—progressive country, country rock, western swing, blues, and bluegrass among them. In this new edition, Jan Reid revitalizes his classic look at the Austin music scene. He has substantially reworked the early chapters to include musicians and musical currents from other parts of Texas that significantly contributed to the delightful convergence of popular cultures in Austin. Four new chapters and an epilogue show how the creative burst of the seventies directly spawned a new generation of talents who carry on the tradition—Lyle Lovett, Stevie Ray Vaughan, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Robert Earl Keen, Steve Earle, Jimmy LaFave, Kelly Willis, Joe Ely, Bruce and Charlie Robison, and The Dixie Chicks.