Charlie Robison has chronicled life in Texas through two decades as a country singer/songwriter. He’s spent much of the time on the road playing shows around the state, but he has said there’s no better place than his home, Bandera. He spoke about life in South Texas while on the road this summer. His new album, “High Life,” will be released in October.
How much time do you spend on your ranch?
We’ve had a ranch between Bandera and Kerrville that’s been in the family for more than 100 years. It’s not the grassiest place, but it works.
You talk about working on a pipeline in the song, “My Hometown.” What do you remember from that experience?
Worked on a pipeline back in summer in high school, and it’s definitely the hardest job I’ve ever had. I’ve had plenty of other tough jobs, but being a welder’s helper on a pipeline … well, you can do anything after that.
I hate to sound like an old fart, but back then, it wasn’t a weird job to have in high school. It was work. We were making $6 or $7 an hour and getting overtime for 60-hour weeks. In 1981 dollars, we were rich for some little country kids from Bandera, Texas.
How have you seen South Texas change with the Eagle Ford Shale?
I’ve got a bunch of friends in the business and it’s wild. As much as I drive around Texas to play a show or go to Port Aransas, I’ve seen so many things just popping up everywhere in the last two years. There are a lot of “right of ways” going on, and it’s obvious when you look around how much the landscape has changed. It’s a good thing for everybody to add a piece of commerce with the shale.
I’m driving from Port A to San Antonio right now, and we’ve gone from absolutely nothing on the side of the road to pipelines going in, massive truck stops and restaurants to cater to the new workforce.
How would you describe living in the area these days?
It’s the same lifestyle. I’m at our ranch a few days a week, and anyone with a ranch knows that there’s always work to do on it while you’re there. Other than that, it’s spending time with the kids and going fishing.
Your new album is called “High Life.” Did you just describe the high life?
I think so. The songs are very upbeat and up-tempo. I was going through a divorce during my last record and those songs reflected that. This is about getting past that part of your life, and everything is about being where you are. It’s about having a blast with the time that you’re in – living in the moment.