“What country? That’s the question.”
Singer-songwriter BOB LIVINGSTON has never been a traditional Texas country musician living the honky-tonk life even though he’s spent more than his share of time on the roadhouse circuit with some of the most colorful and rambunctious musicians in Texas. As a member of Austin’s legendary Lost Gonzo Band, Livingston toured and recorded with such musical visionaries as Jerry Jeff Walker, Michael Martin Murphey, Ray Wylie Hubbard and many more. Livingston played an integral role in helping to create the music that first earned Austin the designation of “Live Music Capital of the World” and helps explain why he was recently inducted in to “Texas Music Legends Hall of Fame” in 2016.
Livingston has seen a lot of the world since growing up in musically fertile West Texas. Hailing originally from San Antonio, he moved to Lubbock as a boy where his interests turned more ‘Cosmic’ than ‘Cowboy’ and prompted him to delve into the music and mysteries of many cultures. Traveling since the 80’s as a Music Ambassador for the US State Department, Livingston has taken Texas music as far afield as India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Africa, Vietnam and the Middle East demonstrating again and again the unique power that music has to build bridges between peoples of the world. As Livingston says, ‘When all else fails, music prevails’. These tours earned him the honor of being appointed, “Ambassador of Goodwill,” by the State of Texas and “Austin’s International Music Ambassador,” by the City of Austin.
This world-traveled view was reflected in Livingston’s 2004 CD, Mahatma Gandhi & Sitting Bull, a romp through juxtapositions of east and west. His last CD, Gypsy Alibi, defines a new musical direction. Released in 2011 on New Wilderness Records, ‘Gypsy Alibi’ won “Album of the Year” at the Texas Music Awards 2011.
These days, Livingston is a busy man. While playing over 180 shows a year, he is also managing to write a memoire for Texas Tech Press, play with a multi-cultural band from Texas and India called Cowboys & Indians and is in the final mix on a new album on Howlin’ Dog Records called, Up The Flatland Stairs to be released this winter 2018.
In a live performance with Bob Livingston, one finds a veteran singer-songwriter and a master storyteller who captures his audience from the first notes played. It’s an irresistible invitation to travel down the cosmic musical highways and rutted back country roads where his rambles have taken him over the years. “What country? That’s the question.”
1: What artist would you most love to work with?
2: What instrument brings you the most joy?
It could be anything. Guitar, violin, base. But not the Zuzaphone
3: What was the worst advice?
Don't Open That Box
4: What was your first concert?
When I was about 1300 Jewish synagogue youth group. I was paid $5
5: What/where is the best road food?
Thai food in Lubbock Texas
6: What’s the best music advice you ever got?
Guy Clark showed me a new way to put a capo on the guitar and I’ve written a lot of songs with it.
7: Who is your most surprising inspiration?
Surprising? My brother, Donald was an inspiration. Joey Ely wayback in the day was an inspiration. Three Faces West in red river or inspirations. Michael Murphey was an inspiration. But surprising? The hymns in church. Those powerful cords.