9 Podcasts About Texas by Texans
Stay engaged and entertained while listening to experts and passionate fans
By Holly Cowart
You can learn just about anything online. Even on your daily commute, it’s easy to tap into industry experts and extreme fans taking time to passionately delve into their favorite topics. Particularly in Austin, there’s an abundance of high-quality podcasts to choose from that bring a global perspective to our growing city, from arts and culture to transformative advice on self-care. Check out this local-ish list to gain insights, develop new skills or simply keep up to date with your community.
This mouthwatering podcast dives into the origin stories and unique perspectives that have turned our city into an unmatched destination for world-class cuisine. Host and celebrated author Miriam Parker uses her 16-plus years of publishing experience to deliver in-depth interviews with chefs, restaurateurs and professionals whose local impact goes far beyond four walls. Recent subjects have spanned brand new community concepts to mental health support for culinary workers and more, shedding light on the hard work and industry opinions of Austin’s most valuable players. Episodes regularly air on KOOP Radio 97.1 FM here in Austin, and can be found online on Spotify.
If you’re an artist or an admirer, keep up with Scott David Gordon’s weekly Austin Art Talk podcast. The photographer, collector and overall art lover uses his platform to connect with local makers and visiting exhibitioners. Gordon conducts relaxed and introspective conversations full of invaluable insights, trials and triumphs. With over 100 episodes available to date, listen in and discover the stories behind the individuals driving Austin’s creative scene.
In case your Willie Nelson-obsessed friend didn’t tell you (everybody’s got at least one), Texas Monthly launched a podcast last fall named One by Willie all about the legend’s vast body of work. With season 2 in full swing, senior editor and host John Spong welcomes renowned guests, including Steve Earle, Shakey Graves and Sheryl Crow, to discuss Willie’s music and the impact it’s had on their lives, careers and art. The sessions provide an endearing look at how the songs have shaped generations, and how music plays a role in connecting people. “These are songs that we have relationships with,” explains Spong in the show’s trailer. “They may have taught us a lesson or helped us through a hard time. They may have helped us connect with someone, creating a common ground where we never would have expected one to be.”
By David Clough
Produced by the History Department at the University of Texas at Austin, this podcast keeps history lessons short and sweet. Focused on world, U.S. and Texas happenings, 15 Minute History takes an interesting topic from the past and delivers it in an accessible, bite-size format. Each episode runs under half an hour, which makes it great for binge listening. By the end of your road trip, you might feel like a history buff.
Native Texan, storyteller and author of multiple No. 1 New York Times bestsellers are just a few of many ways to describe Brené Brown. A research professor at the University of Houston, as well as a visiting professor at UT Austin’s McCombs School of Business, Brown has spent decades studying the human condition — namely how to choose courage in the face of adversity and tap into your emotional understanding to find success. In 2020, she launched two podcasts centered around personal growth including Unlocking Us, in which Brown has conversations with an impressive list of guests and shares insights about everyday topics “so that we can live, love, parent, and lead with more courage and heart.” This month, Brown continues the Summer Sister Series, sitting down with her own sisters Ashley and Barrett to personally walk through her book “The Gifts of Imperfection.”
By David Clough
Hosted by die-hard soccer fans, The Austin Anthem podcast is a light-hearted and informative source for all things Major League Soccer and Austin’s own professional soccer team, Austin Bold FC. Most episodes run an hour or longer. The program covers the latest Austin FC, Q2 Stadium and MLS news, as well as notable events and happenings in the Austin soccer community.
Ashley Kelsch knows dating—the ups, the downs and everything in between. Along with being Tribeza’s very own romance columnist, Kelsch is one of the city’s top dating and relationship advisers, offering one-on-one life coaching programs to Austinites daily. She brings her experience to her weekly podcast, Modern Renegades. Listeners can have their innermost dating questions answered as episodes navigate from dating apps and true love to sex and celibacy. In reality, her podcast is about expanding one’s own mindset and looking inward to discover something new. “I promise, it won’t be boring,” she says. “Love and relationships (even with ourselves) never are.”
By David Clough
Who doesn’t love a good ghost story? The Night Owl takes you to haunted bars, restaurants and businesses around the Central Texas area, unveiling the mysteries and stories surrounding each location. The podcast is currently on pause — meaning there’s no new episodes airing at the moment — but the program is slated to pick back up soon. Fortunately, there are plenty of episodes in the archive, guaranteed to keep you on the edge of your seat as you drive to your next destination.
Evan Smith has been a representative of nonpartisan politics in Texas for over 11 years as the co-founder and CEO of The Texas Tribune. A man who loves to talk (and is more than qualified to do so), his podcast Point of Order provides an examination of local and statewide politics, taking listeners on a deep dive into the inner workings and sometimes confounding state of the Texas Legislature. Interviewing distinct guests from both sides of the aisle, Evans becomes a concise, informative and often entertaining news source that’s sure to keep citizens informed and engaged. Also be sure to check out The Texas Tribune Festival taking place this September.