*Editor’s note: This story has been updated throughout.
Gov. Greg Abbott has tapped Brendon Anthony as the next head of the Texas Music Office, his office announced on Friday. Anthony is known for, among other things, playing fiddle in Texas singer-songwriter Pat Green's band.
According to state statute, the Texas Music Office, which is housed in the governor's office, is expected to "promote the development of the music industry in the state by informing members of that industry and the public about the resources available in the state for music production." The staff also serves as the liaison between the industry and state government.
After years of playing with Green and other Texas musicians, Anthony has retired from touring. But he did join Green on stage for a performance at Abbott's election night celebration in November.
Most recently, Anthony has worked with a company, One Live Media, that provides technology and services to help musicians and music venues grow their audience.
Since the Texas Music Office was created in 1990, it has been run by Casey Monahan, a former music writer. This month, word got out that Monahan would not be kept around in the Abbott administration.
The news was not well-received in many corners of the music industry. An online petition calling for Monahan's reinstatement has garnered more than 2,700 signatures. But Abbott appears poised to make a change.
"I'm here to help whomever my successor is," Monahan said on Friday.
In an interview, Anthony spoke highly of Monahan’s tenure.
“No one can express gratitude enough for a man who devoted 25 years of his life to this office,” he said of his predecessor. “He was a great voice for Texas musicians and businesses.”
Anthony, who starts Monday, said he would spend his initial weeks on the job talking to Monahan and others in the music community as he develops his plans for the office, which he said already include increasing the office’s digital presence.
Also Friday, the governor’s office named Bryan Daniel as the new director of the Economic Development and Tourism Division. The division will now oversee the Texas Film Commission, the Texas Music Office, the Women’s Commission and the Workforce Investment Council, following a restructuring designed to streamline operations under the governor’s office.
The governor also named LaChristian Taylor as the head of the Women’s Commission, which promotes business opportunities for women. Taylor most recently worked as a field supervisor on Abbott’s campaign and previously worked on other political campaigns in California.
Daniel recently worked in the Texas Department of Agriculture as the senior administrator for trade and business development. He previously served as vice president for business development at Agricultural Workers Mutual Auto Insurance Company and in President George W. Bush’s administration as the Texas state director of rural development for the U.S. Department of Agriculture.