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    Houston Roots and the Texas Gulf Coast Sound Embodied in the Music of Los Skarnales and Nick Gaitan & the Umbrella Man
    (Journal of Texas Music History, 2021) Manning, Mary
    Houston is an industrial city, the home of the Ship Channel, and the region’s petrochemical industry hub since the early 20th century. Houston has historically attracted those looking for work who brought with them music reflecting their cultural heritage. Continual migration as the twentieth century progressed ensured that Houston’s music continued to reflect its rich multicultural diversity. Houston’s music is influenced by and influences the region’s music—the Texas Gulf Coast sound. Houston area recording studios and record producers were crucial elements of developing this regional sound. Historically, Houston’s roots music was highly hybridized, a coalescence of older genres combined with developing and often popular musical sounds. While genre combining to create a local sound is not specific to the Texas Gulf Coast region, Houston’s roots music is as idiosyncratic as the Bayou City itself. This unique combination of hybridized roots genres has influenced two bands—Los Skarnales and Nick Gaitan & the Umbrella Man—that have merged these roots genres with popular music to create their version of the Texas Gulf Coast sound. The author conducted comprehensive interviews with musicians from these two bands, namely Felipe Galvan, Nick Gaitan, and Roberto Rodriguez III. These musicians serve as key oral historical sources to better understand the recent evolution of roots music in Houston.