Texas and New Mexico's roots music is having a revival with an explosion of young groups playing festivals, writes Piper LeMoine.
The soundtrack of the American south-west would be incomplete without two unique Texas music forms: conjunto and tejano. Many have heard of the superstar conjunto accordionist Flaco Jiménez, while the killing of tejano idol Selena Quintanilla-Pérez made headlines. But these are just two among hundreds of performers who have created a rich, soulful musical identity for millions of Americans over more than a century.
Conjunto is roots music, similar to blues or country, and began on the farms and ranches of southern Texas at the end of the 19th century. As they worked the land together, Mexican, Czech and German immigrants shared their musical traditions, blending accordions and polkas with classic Mexican folk music. This fusion yielded an irresistible, danceable beat with infectious melodies set to lyrics expressing themes of love and loss.