The Texas 30: The Third Runners-Up, Albums 60-51


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57. Sarah Jaffe, Suburban Nature (2010)
Recorded in her teens, with a perception and candor well beyond those years (but with a sense of fun that's just about right), Suburban Nature put Denton's Jaffe on just about everyone's short list of indie songwriters worth paying attention to. Subsequent releases did nothing to disabuse those notions, even as she added a grin-inducing tendency to drop a Drake cover every now and then.

56. The Fabulous Thunderbirds, T-Bird Rhythm (1983)
Nick Lowe of "Cruel to Be Kind" fame buffed this set of R&B and swamp pop - the perfect meeting point of Kim Wilson's barrelhouse harmonica, Jimmie Vaughan's slicked-back guitar, and Keith Ferguson's yard-dog bass - to a high enough gloss that the stage was set for the Birds to break through to the Top 10 on 1986's Tuff Enuff.


55. Terri Hendrix, Wilory Farm (2000)
Sunny San Marcos singer-songwriter Hendrix pays back the late benefactor who gave her voice and guitar lessons and let her live on the actual Wilory Farm (earning her keep doing, you know farm work) with an album dedicated to her memory. Producer/engineer Lloyd Maines calls in in just about every A-list Central Texas acoustic roots musician to help out with a set of songs brimming with what you can only call pluck.


54. Guy Clark, Dublin Blues (1995)
Sprinkling a little emerald into a dependably leathery set of avuncular Clark songs, Dublin Blues sees the old master Clark throw open his doors to friends and neighbors like Nanci Griffith, Rodney Crowell, Ramblin' Jack Elliott, and Emmylou Harris. He remakes/updates one of his most beguiling songs ever, "The Randall Knife," which is saying something.

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