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The Sound of Texas Music: The Hills Are Alive With Steel Guitars and Honky-Tonks

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Popular country music has, more often than not, fallen a little short of the Lone Star State fan’s expectations. Take, for example, the weekly top 20, or the latest, greatest out of Nashville – sometimes you simply can’t beat the sound that comes straight from the heart of Texas. That being said, there are a variety of Texas music stereotypes that many a listener outside of the state won’t give a listen. As a fan of the genre, I’d have to say they’re closed-off to the experience of what makes a truly great artist. Everyone has their own unique sound, which generally comes from a lifetime of trying, seeing what works, and singing their hearts out. That’s why the Texas Hill Country has a country music scene that’s alive and well, ripe with honky-tonks and filled with the melodic sound of steel guitars. Our region has seen some hard times, and who better to tell that tale than a Texas troubadour themselves?

1. John T. Floore Country Store

The Sound of Texas Music: The Hills Are Alive With Steel Guitars and Honky-Tonks

Photo: Facebook/Martha Ann Castro

This is an original oldy-but-goody. Floore’s Country Store opened in the 1940s when it could boast that its half-acre dance floor was the largest in south Texas (that was huge!). Since the days when only the latest and greatest played here (who am I kidding – that never stopped!), such Texas stars as Willie Nelson, Robert Earl Keen, and Lyle Lovett have continued to grace its stage and honor guests with their sound. A true Texas Hill Country favorite, this Helotes honky-tonk is a must-see, and your ears will thank you for it.

2. Crider’s Rodeo & Dance Hall

The Sound of Texas Music: The Hills Are Alive With Steel Guitars and Honky-Tonks

Photo: Facebook/Felix Truvere

Situated in beautiful Hunt, in the Texas Hill Country, Crider’s Rodeo & Dance Hall got its beginnings during a fundraiser on the 4th of July in 1925. From its location on the Guadalupe River, it has since become an annual tradition to visit this honky-tonk, which is family-owned and operated. It opens for summer weekends beginning on Memorial Day. Hosting Saturday-night dances and even rodeos, this cash-only bar features some of the best in Texas country music, which is nothing short of greatness, and that’s how we like it!

3. Arkey Blue’s Silver Dollar

The Sound of Texas Music: The Hills Are Alive With Steel Guitars and Honky-Tonks
Photo: Facebook/Arkey Blue’s Silver Dollar

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