CultureMap Countdown - 30 days, 30 Artists
Day 12

Welcome to Crooks country, outlaw sounds from the heart of Texas

Welcome to Crooks country, outlaw sounds from the heart of Texas

Austin country band Crooks
Crooks. Photo by Mimi Klasson Imler

Name: Crooks

Featured track: "Heart Achin' Town"

Country/City of origin: Austin, Texas

Genre: Alt Country

In one sentence: Hard-hitting country tunes that are stripped clean of polish and packed with grungy rock undertones.

Why we chose them: A Crooks show will speak just as clearly to country purists as it will rockabillies and folk fans. You'll find a common honky-tonk thread — drums reminiscent of classic Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard-influenced guitar licks (think “Big City”) — but you’ll also discover well-developed horns sections and skilled fills. Crooks boldly represents Austin's diverse music underbelly, a place where long hair, tattoos and cowboy hats pair just fine (just like location of the band's SXSW showcase, as a matter of fact).

SXSW official show: Tuesday, March 12 at The White Horse