Nov 7, 2022 - News

Austin band records drought song

Drought map of Texas

Our state is very dry, per this map by the federal Drought Monitor.

An Austin honky tonk band has cut a new music video about drought.

The big picture: The Pearl Snaps produced "A Little Rain" to draw attention to the plight of rural Texas.

Sample lyric: "The cotton just won't grow/ and the corn is dying slow/ and the hay ain't nothing but stubble in every row."

  • Of note: The music video was shot on ranchland near Buda and Johnson City — and the lead singer is the appropriately named Lisa Rainbolt.

The backbeat: Pearl Snaps guitarist Bill Aydam wrote the song in 2011 — at the height of a mega-drought — and decided to finally record it and produce the music video after hearing from a farmer friend about how hard it's been to grow crops this year.

Why it matters: Even as things appear normal in metro Austin — taps turn on, car washes continue to operate — rural areas are seeing wells go dry and regional reservoirs are depleted.

  • Lakes Buchanan and Travis are 52% full.
  • Go figure: Due to evaporation, city, industrial and agricultural water use, and the release of water from the lakes to meet downriver environmental needs, the lakes have lost nearly 200 billion gallons of water in the last year — or enough to fill the Empire State Building more than 650 times.

Context: At least 40% of the state is experiencing a severe drought or worse, with conditions particularly parched in Travis County and other parts of Central Texas, per the U.S. Drought Monitor.

What they're saying: "I've seen a lot of droughts come and go," Aydam, who has lived in Austin since the early 1980s, tells Axios. "Not being able to water your lawn is one thing, but farmers and ranchers are hurting. This song is about raising a little awareness so people think about conserving this precious resource."

What we're reading: Elmer Kelton's "The Time It Never Rained."

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