One town in the Hill Country has somehow escaped the gaze and thoughtful tunesmithing of Texas country and roots songwriters. Sabinal, Texas, located west of San Antonio in Uvalde County, has all the touchstones needed for a great country song, but has yet to be honored in that manner, and Mayor Jerry Guzman is tired of it.
“Freakin’ Gatesville has a song!” he frowned. “River floating, vista gazing, dust stirring, beer drinking, lie telling, domino slamming, chili without beans… we’ve got it all, but Gatesville… ptuih!”
Neither Cody Johnson, nor Willie Nelson, nor Randy Rogers, nor Pat Green, nor Rich O’Toole, nor Bri Bagwell, nor Robert Earl Keen, nor K.T. Olin, nor Jack Ingram, nor Rodney Crowell, nor Joe Ely, nor Nanci Griffith, nor Larry Gatlin, nor Mac Davis, Gary P. Nunn, nor Clint Black, nor Alejandro Escovedo, nor Jamie Lin Wilson, nor Beyonce, nor Steve Earle, nor Radney Foster, nor Kelly Clarkson, nor Cody Canada has bothered showing even 3 1/2 minutes of interest in the forlorn municipality.
"It rhymes with a bunch of stuff depending on how you say it," laughed the Mayor. "fall, in all, call, pal, Cristal... uh saddle if you pronounce it weird."
A small sampling of other Texas cities and towns that DO have country songs written about them are as follows: Houston, San Antonio, Dallas, Amarillo, Texarkana, Stephenville, Waco, College Station, Brownsville, Corpus Christi, Odessa, Monahans, Wichita Falls, Nacodoches, Plainview, Fort Worth, Indianola, Lubbock, Galveston, Alpine, Austin, Luckenbach, La Grange, Beaumont, Midland, El Paso, Abilene, and Laredo. But not Sabinal.
The town has put together a discussion panel to find ways to make the area more amenable to being documented in the next TRRR smash. “First of all we’re looking to expand the Dairy Queen parking lot, at city expense, to draw in more young people who like to hang out yelling “Let’s go!” in parking lots with their pickup trucks. That’ll cover the more middle of the road Texas country sensibilities.” said Guzman. “But we also have to find ways to add more ennui, whatever that is, for the artsy-fartsy Texas poets.”
“We’ll figure it out..” he trailed off, with a tear in his eye.
At press time, out-of-state country songwriter Cody Wolfe had volunteered to write a song about Sabinal, provided that a nearby airport can accommodate his private jet.