UPDATED: Remembering Steve Fromholz: The Poet Laureate of Texas Music
Fromholz was a fixture on the Houston scene for years, frequently playing Anderson Fair. Lyle Lovett, part of the second generation of Anderson Fair artists who would soar to stardom, was a big Fromholz fan who covered "Trilogy" on Step Inside This House, in which Lovett paid homage to his influences. Lovett also covered Fromholz's "Bears" on the album.
Rocks Off last saw Fromholz play in May, 2005 at Anderson Fair. He was recovering from a heart attack at the time, and was on a writer-in-the-round bill with Vince Bell, who had recovered from a traumatic brain injury, and the irascible Eric Taylor, who had also suffered a heart attack. They billed the show as "The Flatliners" and it became an evening of jokes, jests, teasing and love.
Fromholz was in fine form that night, dropping his usual long-winded, hilarious tall tales to the absolute delight of the audience which had come not to admire but to adore all three performers, but Fromholz in particular. He was already recognized as an elder statesman.
The final time we encountered Fromholz was when he came to Anderson Fair to hear Mark Germino in 2008. Fromholz, who had driven over from Austin for the occasion, had recently been appointed poet laureate and he caused quite a stir when he entered the room. Even after some years out of the performing limelight, he was an instantly recognizable figure to the hip crowd at the Fair that night. When he walked in, it was like Sam Houston had entered the room.
So it's so long to the man in the big hat. Brother, you were real.
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