At SXSW, A Moment With The 'Queen Of Austin Soul' | Community Idea Stations

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At SXSW, A Moment With The 'Queen Of Austin Soul'

Tameca Jones has become known as the "Queen of Austin Soul." She got her start more than a decade ago, when she decided to forgo her dream of going to law school in order to focus on raising her twins. At that point, music became both her creative outlet and a way to support her family — and since then, her soulful covers of rock songs have made her a beloved fixture of the music scene in Austin, Texas.

Jones says that, while she feels she's been welcomed into the city's musical community, establishing herself as a soul singer hasn't always been easy.

"Austin is not known for soul music — that's more like Dallas and Houston. Austin is more like that rockabilly, bluegrass, Stevie Ray Vaughan blues," she says. "So I stayed underground a long time, just grinding and grinding and grinding."

Jones took a break from the bustle of the South by Southwest music festival to speak with NPR's Michel Martin and share two songs. Hear more of their conversation at the audio link, and watch Jones perform "Sandman" in the video below.

Aggi Ashagre and Liz Baker produced the broadcast version of this story.

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