Texas Music Office's Jan 2017 Newsletter, ft. the top selling LPs at TX record stores, touring opportunities, & more!

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.

Texas Office of Music Newsletter

Greetings subscribers!

Look to this new communication portal for music news, interviews highlighting various Texas musicians and music businesses, special events, and information about TMO programs and related events.

2016: The Year in Review

photo of TMO Director Brendon Anthony

TMO Director Brendon Anthony recaps a year that took the TMO all around Texas & the USA building economic opportunities for Texas music businesses and artists

Greetings and Happy New Year! I hope that the holiday season provided some meaningful time spent with family and friends at the end of such an eventful year.  I’m personally excited by the opportunities afforded us in the upcoming year, and our office will continue to share these new details as they emerge throughout 2017. I’d like to take a moment to reflect on the past year and to personally thank Steve Ray and Marc Fort of the Texas Music Office (TMO) staff, and our hardworking interns, for all that they have contributed during the past year. Their daily efforts have made the Texas Music Office stronger and more connected to the Texas music community at large than ever before. I would also like to thank Governor Greg Abbott and the staff of the Office of the Governor - as well as Bryan Daniel, Director of the Governor’s Office Economic Development Division, and his entire team - for their unceasing support of the TMO and the entire Texas music industry. Without their support for our initiatives and their openness to our input, we would lack the capabilities and opportunities we enjoy today at the TMO.

2016 saw the TMO engaged in outreach programs in several industry sectors. Our efforts to encourage the formation of “music friendly communities” throughout Texas have led to conferences and high level interaction with community and industry leaders around the state. We still have a lot of work ahead to achieve our vision of a more interconnected industry community. The TMO’s participation in developing economic development panels at conferences such as Power On Corpus Christi, and working with organizations like Hear Fort Worth -  in addition to our work with San Antonio Sound Garden, the cities of Denton, Arlington, Austin, and others - have proven that the model of public/private cooperative partnerships working in tandem with city convention & visitors bureaus, and civic leaders, expressly for economic development, can help foster the music economy at all levels. These organizations and economic development conferences can and will be replicated statewide in the interest of encouraging the discussion of best practices, the advantages of economic zone clusters, and industry-wide development.

Click here to continue!

 Top Selling Texas Artists From 2016

On the continued strength of vinyl sales, Texas record stores witnessed a strong year with Texas artists as some of their top sellers

We reached out to several Texas record stores from around the state to see which Texas artists were their top sellers in 2016. While the music critics lists are always interesting, the purchases of the people of Texas provides context for the true state of the state's recorded music industry in 2016, as well as clues for which Texas artists are on the rise.


"Vinyl sales were way up for us in 2016 vs 2015 as our business grew 50% year over year in total. Our business is mostly vinyl though," noted Luke Sardello, Co-owner of Josey Records.

"The #1 (selling) Texas artist for us was definitely Leon Bridges," Sardello said.

Other notables with high sales:

Gary Clark Jr
Townes Van Zandt
Stevie Ray Vaughn
13th Floor Elevators
Willie Nelson
Erykah Badu
Pentatonix (Christmas Album)
Melanie Martinez


1.  Leon Bridges - Coming Home
2.  Hayes Carll - Lovers and Leavers
3.  Lucinda Williams - Ghosts of Highway 20
4.  Various Artists - All ATX Vol. 4 - Low Down Violet Crown
5.  James McMurtry - Complicated Game
6.  Explosions in the Sky - Wilderness
7.  Robert Earl Keen - Live Dinner Reunion
8.  Willie Nelson - Summertime - Sings Gershwin
9.  Alejandro Escovedo - Burn Something Beautiful
10. Various Artists - All ATX Vol. 3 - All Along the Moon Tower
11. Sarah Jarosz - Undercurrent
12. Doyle Bramhall II -  Rich Man
13. Norah Jones - Day Breaks
13. Gary Clark Jr - Story of Sonny Boy Slim
14. Willie Nelson - For the Good Times - Tribute to Ray Price
15. Willie Nelson/Merle Haggard - Django and Jimmie
16. White Denim - Stiff
17. Carrie Rodriguez - Lola
18. Beyoncé - Lemonade
19. Sweet Spirit - Cokomo
20. Grupo Fantasma - Problemas


"We do see a bit of a bump in sales due to music festivals such as Free Press Summer Fest. More so with Day for Night since it attracted fans from around the world," said Quinn Bishop, Owner of Cactus Music. "The impact is difficult to quantify because the festival takes place in the middle of peak holiday sales, but we did interact with many festival attendees who ventured out to the local record shop." 

Cactus saw sales spike during in-store appearances from legendary musicians like Graham Nash and Lol Tolhurst. Cactus also hosted many local Houston-based artists, "including a few that broke through to the national arena such as Waterparks, Oceans of Slumber...and The Suffers, who blew the roof off of our store and set a sales record for a local artist." Bishop continued. "We hosted many return visits by revered Texas artists such as Robert Ellis, Randy Rogers, Hayes Carll, Ray Wylie Hubbard and many more."

Bishop also noted that their "vinyl sales were only up 2% as we had increased competition in our market from indies and chains, an election year and loss of a tenant in our shopping center." 

1. Suffers - Self Titled
2. Robert Ellis - Self Titled
3. Hayes Carll - Lovers and Leavers
4. Waterparks - Double Dare
5. Randy Rogers - Nothing Shines Like Neon
6. Waterparks - Cluster EP
7. Leon Bridges - Coming Home
8. Norah Jones - Day Breaks
9. Lucinda Williams - Ghosts of Highway 20
10. Giant Kitty - This Stupid Stuff
11. Kendrick Lamar - To Pimp a Butterfly (ft. Houston's Robert Glasper)
12. Jesse Dayton - Revealer
13. Robert Earl Keen - Live Dinner Reunion
14. Oceans of Slumber - Winter
15. Guy Clark - Essential
16. Alejandro Escovedo - Burn Something Beautiful
17. Ray Wylie - Ruffian's Misfortune
18. Mark May - Blues Heaven
19. Reckless Kelly - Sunset Motel
20. DJ Screw - 3 N the Mornin'
21. Thundersoul Orchestra - 528-0728
22. Beyonce - Lemonade
23. Gary Clark Jr. - Story of Sonnyboy Slim
24. Leon Bridges - Louisiana Sun
25. John Evans - Polyester


1. Randy Rogers Band - Nothing Shines Like Neon
2. Hayes Carll - Lovers and Leavers
3. Walt Wilkins - Streetlight
4. Jack Ingram - Midnight Motel
5. Reckless Kelly - Sunset Motel
6. Walt Wilkins & the Mystiqueros - Watch it Shine
7. William Clark Green - Live at Gruene Hall
8. Various Artists - Dreamer: A Tribute to Kent Finlay
9. Randy Rogers & Wade Bowen - Watch This (The Live Acoustic Album)
10. Whiskey Myers - Mud
11. Cody Jinks - I'm Not The Devil
12. Cody Jinks - Adobe Sessions
13. Flatland Cavalry - Humble Folks
14. Robert Earl Keen - Live Dinner Reunion
15. Red Shahan - Men & Coyotes
16. Wade Bowen - Then Sings My Songs For My Mother
17. Terri Hendrix - Love You Strong
18. Cody Johnson Band - Gotta Be Me
19. Terry Allen - Lubbock (On Everything)
20. Quaker City Night Hawks - El Astronauta

"Vinyl sales continued to take a bigger piece of the pie for us - up to 65% of all music sales (not including online sales). New vinyl sales also continued an upward trend," noted Superfly's Music Owner, Zach Jennings.

Although Americana is the core genre that racks up sales, Jennings noted that Texas Hip Hop from the Z-Ro and DJ Screw catalogs sold well. "Outside of our core genre, the Solange and Beyonce albums did well via in-store sales, as did Okkervil River's new one, as well as the catalog from The Sword and Spoon. The Deer were also a big local seller...and Wild Child did well also."  

Favorite Texas Artist In-stores Appearances at Superfly's:
Whiskey Myers (The most-attended in-store of 2016)
Terry Allen
Hayes Carll
Guy Clark Book Reading & Tribute: Tamara Saviano, Terri Hendrix, Lloyd Maines, Brennen Leigh & Noel McKay
Jack Ingram
Quaker City Night Hawks
Flatland Cavalry
Robert Ellis
Paul Cauthen
Blue Healer

American Music Abroad photo

US State Dept Seeks Artists for International Touring

Application Deadline is 11:59pm PST on January 27, 2017

Texas music bands and ensembles of 3-5 members are encouraged to apply for the 2017-2018 American Music Abroad (AMA) Tour Season, a program funded by the U.S. Department of State and administered by the Association of American Voices." 

"The AMA program is designed to foster communication and people-to-people connection around the world through month-long tours by American bands in countries with little or no access to live American musical performances and expertise," writes Executive Director of American Voices, John Ferguson.

AMA is seeking ensembles that demonstrate outstanding musical talent, in addition to strong community outreach, educational programming and cultural diplomacy skills that can be scaled and tailored to fit any type of international audience. "We welcome any traditionally American musical genre; hip hop, rock & roll, indie, Latin, R&B, jazz, blues, country, Broadway, gospel, Native American, soul and more," Ferguson continued.

The FREE online application - http://amvoices.org/ama/apply/application/

Criteria - http://amvoices.org/ama/apply/criteria/

FAQ - http://amvoices.org/ama/apply/faqs/

TEXAS MUSIC License Plates Promotion Retains Artists Star Power

With the help of many different Texas artists, celebrities, music businesses, and TMO friends and community partners like yourself, sales for the revamped specialty license plate program - benefiting grants for Texas school children and community music programs - continue to grow since the new plate's release.

$22 out of the $30 fee goes directly toward grants for traditionally underserved Texas school children to receive music lessons, music instruments, and toward community music programs sponsored by 501(c)3 non-profit organizations.

 You can purchase a license plate from the Texas DMV here: goo.gl/pLpwgV.

And nonprofit organizations may apply for a license plate grant to fund the purchase of music lessons and/or music instruments via the Office of the Governor's eGrants online application. Grant applications may only be completed online via eGrants.

Texas artists from a variety of genres continue to help us spread the word about the TEXAS MUSIC license plate grant program: