Mon, 02 Feb 2015 21:19:25 GMT — The Panhandle is known for a lot of thingsâ??from the cowboy culture to the roaring dust storms to the kind people. But many are not aware that the Panhandle, and Amarillo specifically, can be considered a center of growing music talent, performances, and inspiration.
Whether you want to call it blues, country, or rock & roll, there are multiple ways to describe the music pouring out of the Amarillo music scene. But one thing is certain - itâ??s growing. The talented band and artists springing from the Panhandle continues to grow just as quickly as the evolving music scene. Hot spots throughout town like GoldenLight, Hoots Pub, Austinâ??s Pub and others are bringing more prominent artists to the Panhandleâ??s live music scene.
â??These bigger bands are showing up, weekend after weekend, and a little bit of that is competition. There are so many good bars in town and it used just be the GoldenLight, and they would book these great artists and Midnight Rodeo would book a great artists but all the sudden now youâ??ve got Hoots in there and then Austinâ??s pub is bringing in a great artist and then Whiskey River is bringing in a great artist,â?? explained Craigh Vaughn, 107.1 The Armadilloâ??s radio programmer. â??So other bands start to go â??Hey there is a good market up in Amarillo, we can actually go to Amarillo and our fans know our music.â??
â??There are so many more options that you can go anywhere and hear great music, I mean anywhere you go,â?? said GoldenLight owner Angela Corpening. â??The music scene used to center mainly around Texas country music, for the last 10 years, and now itâ??s evolved into all different types of country styles. Thereâ??s more rock, thereâ??s local bands that arenâ??t just country. Theyâ??re rock and blue grass and blues.â??
Corpening described the current music culture in Amarillo as â??vibrantâ??, stating that the addition of more and more bars to the scene is helping to bring new talent to the area.
However, the Panhandle is not just bringing talent to the area, itâ??s also creating talent. Music and musicians are being made here locally all the time, and local artist Cody Jasper said he believes that the talented singers and musicians have always been around, but now the Panhandle community is starting to recognize that.
â??Music always turns out well here," stated Jasper. â??There are a lot of good bands and a lot of variety of bands. There are a lot of good musicians here and itâ??s starting to pick up and people are starting to recognize it. Itâ??s all about local now but it used to not be like that.â??
Jasper is not the only Panhandler to choose the life of a musician. Talented artists continue to spring up just as quickly as the local crops.
â??Thereâ??s so much talent coming out of Amarillo right now and itâ??s almost hard to keep up with,â?? said Vaughn.
Echoing that fact, well-known country artist Aaron Watson returned home to the Panhandle to be inducted in to the Randall High School Hall of fame just a few weeks ago. Watson made his appearance at the schoolâ??s pep rally, telling jokes and passing on advice to the students, b ut mostly talking about how the Panhandle influenced the artist he has become.
â??If you listen to my songs you see a lot of West Texas throughout my lyrics and Amarillo is a part of who I am, Randall High School is a part of who I am. You know I tell people that Iâ??m a Christian singer that plays country music and um, my music revolves around my faith, my family, and my fans. And you know that something that it took me a long time to learn,â?? said Watson.
Those within the music industry of West Texas believe the culture of music is growing and that the Panhandle community is beginning to support its local artists and bands, on both the radio and at their shows. That support is integral to an artistâ??s success.
â??Itâ??s everything. I mean, youâ??re nothing without people coming to see you play or youâ??re nothing without people to come and see your songs,â?? said Jasper. â??People come out and see your shows and itâ??s the best thing in world and if you have a ton of people at your shows, then thatâ??s enough to keep you going for a while.â??