According to the Handbook of Texas, the East Texas area "may be separated from the rest of Texas roughly by a line extending from the Red River in north central Lamar County southwestward to east central Limestone County and then southeastward towards eastern Galveston Bay", though most sources separate the Gulf Coast area into a separate region.
Escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life and head to Vanderpool, Texas, a small unincorporated community 10 miles North of Utopia and 30 miles west of Bandera.Vanderpool is the perfect place to escape the populated city lifestyle, with only 82 cheerful residents. The economy flourishes on ranching, hunting, and tourism.The three additional East Texas counties that join with other regional government councils are Chambers County (Anahuac), Liberty County (Liberty) and Walker County (Huntsville), all three in geographic proximity to the Houston metropolitan areas.Outside of the Greater Houston area the average population density is around 18–45 per square mile (7–12 per km²), with the population density near the Big Thicket dropping below 18 people per sq mi.The East Texas Regions includes Tyler, Longview, Marshall, Palestine, Jacksonville, Mount Pleasant, and Nacogdoches.
Most of the region consists of the Piney Woods ecoregion, and East Texas can sometimes be reduced to include only the Piney Woods.The Southwest Texas Sacred Harp Convention was organized in 1900. Convention gospel music and community singings still occur in a number of Texas towns, including Mineral Wells, Brownfield, Jacksonville, Seymour, and Stephenville.Sacred Harp and other books in four shape notation were the forerunners of seven shape note gospel music. Showalter Company of Dalton, Georgia – including company founder A. Showalter – ventured west to Giddings in East Texas and conducted a rural music school that lasted for several weeks." Texas has been home to several gospel music convention publishers, including the National Music Company, Stamps-Baxter Music and Printing Company (founded in 1924 by V. Gospel singer, songwriter, and musician Washington Phillips was from Freestone County.Gene Austin was born in Gainesville in 1900; he sold 86 million records and was Franklin D. Texas has been the birthplace of numerous country musicians and continues to host a vibrant country music culture.Texan honky-tonk musicians like Milton Brown and Bob Wills helped popularize Western swing, and modern artists like Asleep at the Wheel continue the genre's distinct style. Marcia Ball, born in Orange, Texas, combined country with Cajun influences.Sacred music has a long tradition in the state of Texas.