Corazón Abierto: Mexican American Voices in Texas Music provides a wide view of the myriad contributions Mexican American artists have made to music in Texas and the United States. Based on interviews with longtime stalwarts of Mexican American music—Flaco Jiménez, Tish Hinojosa, Ernie Durawa, Rosie Flores, and others—and also conversations with newer voices like Lesly Reynaga, Marisa Rose Mejia, Josh Baca, and many more, Kathleen Hudson allows the musicians to tell their own stories in a unique and personal way. As the artists reveal in their free-ranging discussions with Hudson, their influences go far beyond traditionally Mexican genres like conjunto, norteño, and Tejano to extend into rock, jazz, country-western, zydeco, and many other styles.
Hudson’s survey also includes essays, poetry, and other creative works by Dagoberto Gilb, Sandra Cisneros, and others, but the core of the book consists of what she describes as “a collection of voices from different locations in Texas. . . . Some represent voices from the edge, while others give us a view from the center.” Weaving together a tapestry that combines “family, borders, creativity, music, food, and community,” the book presents an image as varied and difficult to define as the musicians themselves. By sharing the artists’ accounts of their influences, their experiences, their family stories, and their musical and cultural journeys, Corazón Abierto reminds us that borders can be gateways, that differences enrich, rather than isolate.
About the Author
KATHLEEN HUDSON, founding director of the Texas Music Heritage Foundation in Kerrville, is also the author of Telling Stories, Writing Songs: An Album of Texas Songwriters and Women in Texas Music: Stories and Songs.
"Kathleen Hudson has given us a cabinet of wonders. Corazón Abierto richly completes her foundational trilogy about Texas music and musicians. These lively interviews and Hudson's incisive commentary will be the starting point for generations of scholars, a delight for fans of music, and an inspiration to artists young and old."—David Gaines, author of In Dylan Town: A Fan's Life
— David Gaines
“Mi querencia es este rancho—(“Rancho Alegre”). Querencia means sanctuary, and the songs these musicians write, sing, and perpetuate are little monuments to their holy ground: dedicated to remembrance that connects us to all eternity. The next time you hear this music, promise you’ll open your heart to spontaneity and dance, whether in a dusty cow pen or a crowded restaurant. And when the joy or heartbreak is too much to contain, cry or shout a grito, con ganas, sin miedo—with enthusiasm, without fear—and buy this book to thank the sources of the music.”—Becky Crouch Patterson, artist and author of Hondo, My Father and The Ranch That Was Us
— Becky Crouch Patterson
“CorazónAbierto is Kathleen Hudson’s third volume in her series incorporating Texas musicians’ voices into the conversation of Texas music history. The book is both informative and gratifying. Drawing from the land, the family, the heart, and the music, all of the voices within the book convey connection, inspiration, passion, spirit, and self-identity. In essence, CorazónAbierto contextualizes complex Texas musicians through the lens of Mexican heritage.”—Curtis Peoples, archivist for the Crossroads of Music Archive in the Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library at Texas Tech University
— Curtis Peoples