When Texans talk about the border, we’re usually referring to the line that separates us from Mexico. At least, those of us who don’t live on the border often think of it this way. If you do live there, however, the border is much bigger than a line you cross over. For residents of the Rio Grande valley, an area that hugs the border from the gulf shores toward Big Bend and beyond, the border is the single most distinguishing feature, but far from what defines that place 1.3 million Texans call home.
Texas Standard Host David Brown speaks with Ronnie Garza and Charlie Vela, the people behind “As I Walk Through the Valley,” a journey into the underground music scene of Texas’ southernmost border region. They take a look at the development and inspiration behind the underground music scene in the Rio Grande Valley.
That music, according to the filmmakers, is a window into the culture of the valley.
“They were playing in bands, they were at the same time marching for farm worker’s rights, and that music was the music that was going on in the background of all these political and social movements of the time,” Vela says.
The influences of American popular music and culture were important to the sound that many bands made, according to Vela and Garza, but what they created was unique to themselves and their backgrounds.
The film will be screened on October 26 at 7 p.m. at the Bob Bullock Museum of Texas History in Austin, followed by a conversation with the creators.
Written by Nahila Bonfiglio.