Friday, January 30, 2009

Playlist: What's happening in the local music scene

by: JENNIFER CHANCELLOR World Scene Writer
Thursday, January 29, 2009
1/29/2009 2:47:27 AM

X FILES: In the two-ish years since they got together in a practice house in rural Oklahoma, Crooked X has opened for KISS, Ted Nugent, Alice Cooper, Black Stone Cherry, Theory of a Deadman, Black Tide and Night Ranger, and even joined Poison frontman Bret Michaels onstage last July at Rocklahoma in Pryor.

The quartet celebrates a lot this month: An MTV reality show, a major-label album debut, a video shoot and the announcement of an upcoming tour.

And, like the name of the MTV reality show, these boys are indeed living a "Rock N Roll Dream."

Celebrate the national release of the band's self-titled debut 7 p.m. Saturday at Flytrap Music Hall, 514 E. Second St. Cover is $5, or buy in advance for $15, which will include an autographed CD, available via

THEY'RE NO. 41! THEY'RE NO. 41!: Pollstar released its year-end numbers for 2008, and Cain's Ballroom in Tulsa ranked No. 41 for club venues worldwide, with more than 87,000 tickets sold.

Cain's was the only Oklahoma venue listed in the top 100.

(Tell 'em all "Congrats!" when you head out to see Danny Barnes at Cain's on Friday, Marc Broussard on Tuesday or State Radio on Wednesday.)

The top 10 were:

1. 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C.

2. House of Blues in Dallas

3. The Fillmore in San Francisco

4. House of Blues in Chicago

5. The Wiltern in L.A.

6. Fillmore Auditorium in Denver

7. The Pageant in St. Louis

8. Terminal 5 in New York

9. Ancienne Belgique in Brussels, Belgium

10. House of Blues in Lake Buena Vista, Florida

THEY'RE GOIN' TO TEXAS!: Are you going to go see them? Last week, the South by Southwest music and multimedia conference and festival in Austin announced its picks for showcasing acts. I'd like to congratulate each of them, especially our own Okie acts.

The festival is in March. These acts will showcase at SXSW this year: The Uglysuit (Oklahoma City), Colourmusic (Stillwater), Crocodile (OKC), Samantha Crain & the Midnight Shivers (Shawnee), The City Lives (OKC), Other Lives (Stillwater), Stardeath and White Dwarfs (OKC), Daddy A Go-Go (Atlanta, GA). Daddy A Go-Go has Tulsa and Oklahoma ties, and artist and comedian Gailard Sartain created the album art.

Those were the bands I found from the official Web site. If I've missed any, please feel free to contact me and let me know more about you:

Associate Images:


Crooked X is (from left): Forrest French, Boomer Simpson, Josh McDowell and Jesse Cooper. STEPHEN HOLMAN / Tulsa World

Copyright © 2009, World Publishing Co. All rights reserved


Dead Sea Choir and Gentle Ghost, Opolis, Norman. ROCK

Jewel, Riverwind Casino, Norman. POP

The Romantic Disaster, VZD’s. ROCK

Sugar Free Allstars, 51st Street Speakeasy. ROCK




The City Lives, The Taking State, Quiet as Oceans and more, The Conservatory. ROCK

Darden Smith, The Blue Door. FOLK

Eli Young Band and Mickey and the Motorcars, Wormy Dog Saloon. COUNTRY

Kacey Walkingstick, Sauced Annex. FOLK

Magic Bullets, VZD’s. ROCK

No Justice, Johnny Cooper, Granger Smith and more, Lazy E Arena, Guthrie. COUNTRY

Tapes N Tapes and Wild Light, Opolis, Norman. ROCK



The Legendary Shack Shakers, VZD’s. ROCK

T.S.O.L, Black President and Unidentified Meat, The Conservatory. ROCK


Dave and Camille Harp, The Deli, Norman. FOLK



Kevin Costner and Modern West, Wormy Dog Saloon. COUNTRY

Mowtown Blood and Aliens vs. Robots, Hi-Lo Club.



The Appleseed Cast and The Uglysuit, Opolis, Norman. ROCK

What is Truth?

By Geoffrey Himes

Back in 1986, when BeauSoleil was first starting to tour a lot outside Louisiana, back when the Doucet brothers still had a bit of hair atop their heads, the band played at the Kennedy Center, Washington’s red-carpeted bastion of high culture. BeauSoleil was just a quartet in those days—Michael Doucet on fiddle, David Doucet on acoustic guitar, Errol Verret on accordion and Billy Ware on triangle and rubboard—and when the four musicians looked out over the East Coasters sunken in their seats, the Louisianans shook their heads.

“It’s okay to dance,” Michael joked. “This is dance music.” The audience smiled but didn’t budge. Most of them knew little about Cajun music; they had come to see the touring Newport Folk Festival package, and BeauSoleil was just an exotic attraction they were checking out. Michael made another joke, but beneath the humor was nervousness. It wasn’t just that the listeners weren’t dancing; they were paying rapt, quiet attention, which can be unnerving for a band used to Louisiana dance halls.

After all, if you’re playing a dance, you don’t have to worry about the subtleties of the music because they’ll get lost amid the chatter and the bustling bodies. What really matters is the energy and the thump. But at the Kennedy Center, every nuance was suddenly exposed in the eerie quiet. The energy and the thump could work for a few songs, but if people aren’t dancing, they want to hear something else before too long. It was an intimidating situation, but it was also an opportunity.

“We realized we could reach a new audience,” David says. “We’d been playing for Cajun dancers and your folk music types, but when we played these performing arts centers, we had a more diverse audience, so we wanted our music to be more diverse. We wanted to sound like a Cajun band on stuff that wasn’t the usual Cajun band material. We had to work at it, but the effort paid off. Even though we’re still pegged as a Cajun dance band today, people are surprised when they hear what we can do.”

Every Louisiana act that tours a lot outside the state faces the same dilemma: Should they stick to their dance-band roots, refusing to compromise on the social nature of the state’s music, or should they expand their scope, giving themselves a chance to grow as composers, arrangers and improvisers? No one has finessed this challenge better than BeauSoleil, which in its 35th year, manages to shine as both a dance band and a concert act.

Nothing better demonstrates the group’s duality than the new album, Alligator Purse, BeauSoleil’s first release on the roots-rock label, Yep Roc Records. It was another gig outside Louisiana that led to the album. Michael Pillot, an old friend of Michael and Tommy’s from the University of Southern Louisiana, had gone on to become a successful producer of music TV and film. When the levees buckled beneath Katrina in 2005, Pillot organized a “Build a Levee” benefit concert at Bard College in New York’s Hudson River Valley for December 3. Pillot asked Michael to join an eclectic group of players that included Merchant, Sebastian, Rudd, Crooked Still’s Rushad Eggleston, Hot Rize’s Nick Forster, Artie Traum and Dr. John.

“It was a magical night,” Michael says. “I didn’t know these people, but if you wanted to play with someone, you just sat in. And when you did, it felt real comfortable. So when some of them played on the new album, they didn’t feel like guest artists, because they were people I’d already played with and hung out with.”

It seemed natural to return to the Hudson Valley to cut the new tracks with Pillot as producer. It was good to get out of Louisiana, David claims, because when you’re away from home it feels more like work. You can concentrate on the job at hand without worrying about the busted plumbing or crying kid at home. The challenge, though, was how to differentiate this release from the 21 albums that came before it. This is always the hurdle for acts with an identifying sound: If listeners already have an album with that sound, why do they need another?

“It’s like that quote from Rolling Stone: ‘Ho hum, another great Richard Thompson record,’” says Michael. “How could they say that? But that’s what you’re facing. Why do another BeauSoleil record when the record industry’s collapsing? So you push yourself into territory you’ve never been before. You record with people you haven’t recorded with before. I wasn’t worried about them throwing us off because we’re so strong. We always have a groove, so when people come in they get absorbed into that groove, like spice absorbed into the gumbo.”

Michael wanted more songs in English this time, but he didn’t want to translate traditional Cajun songs into English. Instead, he wanted to take pre-existing English songs and Cajunize them. Bobby Charles’ “I Spent All My Money Loving You” was a natural because Charles’ swamp pop was merely a new extension of Cajun music, just as BeauSoleil’s music has been. J.J. Cale may be from Oklahoma, but his music has always had a swampy tinge. And “Little Darlin’” was almost a Cajun song already.

“Our ancestors came down from Nova Scotia with a fiddle,” declares Joel Savoy, the Red Stick Ramblers’ ex-fiddler and current head of the Grammy-nominated Cajun label, Valcour Records. “Eventually they met up with German people who played the accordion and they added that to Cajun music. Then they met some Texans who played country swing music, and they added that, too.

“Now that a lot of people are coming to Louisiana to learn Cajun music, they get caught up in preserving Cajun music as it is rather than letting it become what it wants to be, which will always be a product of what’s happening in Louisiana at the moment. Michael can play just like any of the old masters he learned from, but at the same time if he wants to add something to his improvisation, he can draw from all those things he has in his head from a lifetime of listening to all kinds of music.”

“It’s gone beyond, ‘Oh, let’s play another traditional song,’” Michael says. “That’s been done. I did all that work in the ’70s, reestablishing this tradition and that’s great. People think these songs just fell out of the sky, but a lot of work went into them—and there’s still a lot of work left to be done in continuing to develop our music and our history. It’s not like we said, ‘This is the concept; let’s do this.’ You just sit back and see what happens. When you do that, it just opens up.”

Michael’s point is a crucial one: Allowing new influences into Louisiana music is not the unnatural, gimmicky thing to do; keeping them out is. If you’re a virtuoso fiddler you don’t stop yourself from playing bebop changes or Haitian syncopation just because earlier Cajun fiddlers didn’t. If you’re a virtuoso guitarist like David, you don’t stop yourself from playing lead breaks just because Cajun guitarists never did that before. If you’re a virtuoso drummer like Tommy Alesi, you don’t stop yourself from adding embellishments to the primary thump out of fear some dancer will lose track of the counting he or she learned at a Cajun dance camp in West Virginia. If Cajun music is meant to reflect the people of South Louisiana, it has to change as those people change.

“If you add a jazz solo or a funk beat to a Cajun or zydeco song,” David argues, “you’re not betraying the music. You’re adding to it. That’s how you serve the music. You don’t encapsulate it in a certain time; you help it grow. Texas swing wasn’t a part of Cajun music until musicians in the 1930s started adding it, and before long everyone was doing it. It’s not leaving the past behind, it’s adding to it. Not every idea works. When I’m playing solo, I tell myself, ‘Let’s see if this works.’ If it works, you keep it. If it doesn’t, you finish the song and move on.”

When bringing new influences into a tradition, however, it is essential that musicians follow the principle of addition rather than substitution. If you substitute a new practice for an old one—substituting “Quiet Storm” R&B for 6/8 ballads, say, or “Dirty South” rap for carnival street chants or jazz violin for Cajun fiddle—you often lose far more than you gain. But if you keep the old as you add the new—and do the necessary work to make the two blend, then you’ve made a step forward. If you tackle a terrific piece of Americana such as Julie Miller’s “Little Darlin’” and invite Natalie Merchant and John Sebastian to add vocals and harmonica respectively, it’s necessary to hold on to what you had before: the push-and-pull of Tommy’s two-step beat, the swampy drone of Michael’s fiddle and the springy bounce of David’s guitar breaks. That’s just what BeauSoleil does on Alligator Purse.

That’s also just what it did when it played the “Grand Reopening” of the New Orleans Mulate’s after Katrina on April 27, 2006. It was Mitch Reed’s first show with the band as the official new bassist and second fiddler (replacing Al Tharp, who was devoting himself to his first love, old-time Appalachian music—the band’s first roster change since 1989). Filling out the line-up were the Doucet brothers, Billy Ware, Tommy Alesi and button accordionist Jimmy Breaux. Michael wore a loud, blue-print beach shirt and faded jeans; his shiny bald dome was flanked by two snowy tufts above his ears and anchored by a pointy white goatee. Behind him was the restaurant’s famous logo: a painting of the early-1980s BeauSoleil when the Doucet brothers had darker hair and more of it.

The sextet quickly demonstrated how they could appeal to active dancers and seated listeners at the same time. Surrounding the dance floor on three sides were tables where diners, mostly out-of-towners, sat entranced by the dizzying solos from the Doucet brothers and Jimmy Breaux.

Standing just outside of the kitchen door off to the band’s left was Bob Dylan. He slouched within his jacket, his curls stuffed inside a brown stocking cap, as if no one would recognize him, and standing next to his longtime bassist Tony Garnier. His Bobness didn’t join the dancing, but he seemed as mesmerized by a Cajunized

“Baby, Please Don’t Go,” as the tourists lingering over their bread pudding.

The song, an old blues that Dylan himself had often played early in his career, had slowed down so all those minor-key chords had time to bleed into the forlorn cry of first Michael’s high-register fiddle and then his voice: “Baby, please don’t go back to New Orleans; you know I love you so.” Jimmy’s button accordion squeezed out the droning, hypnotic riff, while Michael played jazzy lines on top. For all the deliberate tempo and ominous harmonies, however, Tommy, Billy and Mitch still delayed the beat a split second and then pounced on it with a syncopated snap, keeping the couples moving on the floor. How many other bands could satisfy dancers, tourists and Bob Dylan all on the same song?

“Last year we played this gig at Nunu’s in Arnaudville, north of Lafayette,” David says. “I was sitting there eating gumbo after the gig, and this guy came up to me and said, ‘I never listened to you guys before. I thought you just played that traditional music that no one likes.’ I had to laugh because we’d just played a bunch of traditional tunes on traditional instruments. Sure, you borrow licks and ideas from other music, and you blend those in with what you already know. It’s always going to sound a little Cajun, because you inevitably put yourself into it and you’re a Cajun.

“People don’t know why we sound different, but that’s why it is. When you learn a song, you don’t have to play it the way you learned it. It wouldn’t have been as fun for the past 35 years if we had just played the songs the way we’d learned them. I don’t think the guys before us played the songs the way they learned them. You can’t tell me Dewey Balfa played songs the way he learned them. Or Nathan Abshire.”

BeauSoleil is doing what Cajun musicians have always done: they’re listening to the radio in their heads and turning it into new Cajun music. But it has a different playlist than the radio in Dennis McGee’s head or D.L. Menard’s head. The radio in their heads plays rock ’n’ roll, Caribbean music, jazz, swamp pop and more, so why shouldn’t they make Cajun music with Garth Hudson and Roswell Rudd or with a Bobby Charles song?

“The cats I learned to play from—Dennis McGee and Canray Fontenot—are gone,” Michael points out. “We paid homage to them for years—we were the first modern Cajun band to record a Dennis McGee song, to play an Amede Ardoin song, to play zydeco—but we’re getting older; we’re speaking in English now. The world here in Louisiana has changed; it’s not the same place it was even 30 years ago.”

It’s a measure of the way the Doucet brothers think that when they heard a version of “Les Oignons” by Don Vappie, they immediately heard the connections between this New Orleans street chant in Haitian French and Michael’s own composition, “Valse a BeauSoleil,” a blues waltz in Cajun-French. If John Sebastian of the Lovin’ Spoonful could play harmonica on the latter for the new album, why couldn’t jazz trombonist Roswell Rudd play on the former?

After all, Rudd had been a Dixieland revivalist before playing with such avant-gardists as Cecil Taylor, Steve Lacy and Archie Shepp. Rudd understood how Dixieland contained the potential for free jazz just as Michael understood how South Louisiana’s dance halls contained the potential for concert music. They got along so famously that Rudd invited BeauSoleil to play on two tracks for his next album. It's these unexpected connections that keep the band pushing forward into new music rather than resting on familiar ways. They can try anything because they never have to worry about their essential identity.

“Bands are not just the type of music they play,” insists David. “It’s how they play. Michael Pillot told us, ‘You’re known as a Cajun band, but you play a lot more than that.’ We do, but we’re still a Cajun band because that’s how we play. Michael may like Caribbean music; Tommy may like jazz; Jimmy may like country; I may like old-time acoustic music, but when we play together, we sound like a Cajun band because we play this other music in our own way. We can have John Sebastian singing backup on a rock ’n’ roll song that Michael translated into French, and it still sounds Cajun. How cool is that?”






thank you so much for supporting local music.  we look forward to playing for you!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

susan herndon band

susan herndon band


LOLA'S at the Bowery

(main and brady, tulsa)

thursday 30 january

6:30 pm


for more info, go to:


and --while the webspace is being rehauled--

for future events & dates, click on the MySpace link on the homepage

Following a year that found the band winning a Guinness Cork Award and playing at Newport Jazz Festival & Lincoln Center, Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey is excited to announce a special gift for their fans to kick off 2009 & their 15th anniversary.

As a thank you to all of the music lovers who have helped make the odyssey possible, JFJO is offering up a FREE DOWNLOAD of their New Studio Album entitled 'Winterwood.' The album marks Reed Mathis' last appearance with the band. Visit
JFJO.COM to download the album now.

Entering the 15th year of JFJO's legendary existence, the new lineup of Haas/Raymer/Combs/Hayes travels west in February for a tour stretching through California, Oregon, & Washington before finishing in Colorado, beginning what promises to be another year full of world touring and musical evolution.

Download 'Winterwood'


JFJO 2009 Tour Dates:

Thu. Jan. 29th - Fayetteville,AR

George's Majestic w/The Doldrums
Fri. Jan. 30th - Kansas City,MO
Jardine's w/Mark Southerland & The Doldrums
Sat. Jan. 31st - Columbia,MO
Mojo's w/The Doldrums
Tue. Feb. 10th - San Diego,CA
Winston's w/The Bridge
Wed. Feb. 11th - LA,CA
Largo w/Marco Benevento & Friends
Thu. Feb. 12th - Oakland,CA
Fri. Feb. 13th - Sebastopol,CA
Hopmonk Tavern w/The Bridge
Sat. Feb. 14th - Arcata,CA
'Warm & Fuzzy' pajama party!
Wed. Feb. 18th - Eugene,OR
Indigo w/The Bridge
Fri. Feb. 20th - Olympia,WA
Eastside w/Das Vibenbass
Sat. February 21st - Portland,OR
The Goodfoot w/Das Vibenbass
Sun. February 22nd - Seattle,WA
Tractor Tavern w/Stebmo
Wed. Feb. 25th - Ft.Collins,CO
Hodi's Halfnote w/Mike Dillon's GoGo Jungle
Fri. February 27th - Boulder,CO
B Side Lounge
Sat. February 28th - Denver,CO
Sat. March 28th - Austin,TX
The Parish

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Drive-By Truckers


Just a quick note to thank everyone who helped make our 2009 get off to such an amazing start.

All 3 nights of our Athens GA 40 Watt Homecoming SOLD OUT (1st time ever) as did Baltimore and Richmond.


They are still adding up the numbers on the NUCI'S SPACE BENEFIT but it looks like we exceeded 20K by some degree, passing my goal by a significant margin. (I will report on final numbers ASAP).


Most of us were able to attend the Inauguration last week and were thrilled to be a witness to one of our nation's finest days of history.
Thanks to all our DC friends for their warm hospitality on that cold cold day.

This weekend we will be playing in Knoxville at the Valarium (Thurs Jan 29) and two evenings at one of our favorite clubs, Asheville's historic Orange Peel (Fri Jan 30 and Sat Jan 31). Our special guests for these dates will be Bloodkin who totally blew the doors off of The National in Richmond last Saturday. Make sure you check out their new album "Baby, They Told Us We Would Rise Again" when it is released next month. It's a great album.

On Feb. 5th, I am playing my annual benefit for The Robert Osborne Classic Film Festival.

The festival is an annual event in Athens and this year's lineup is even better than usual (Rear Window, the original King Kong, ET, Sunset Blvd., The Godfather etc.). For the benefit, I will be playing in the round (Nashville Songswap Style) with special guests Dave Marr (formerly of Star Room Boys) Don Chambers, William Tonks (formerly of Barbara Cue and tons of great Athens bands) and David Barbe. Also appearing and adding backing to all will be John Neff and Brad Morgan.  The event will take place in Athens GA at The Farm on Washington St. at 10PM. All proceeds will go towards the film festival.

On Feb 7th, PBS will be airing the episode of Austin City Limits starring DRIVE-BY TRUCKERS and Ryan Bingham. We filmed our part back in September and are very pleased with it so by all means check it out. Please check local listings for exact time and date of airing.

Next month we have a few more dates including a two night stand in DC at 9:30 and a few dates with Hayes Carll, whose most recent album made my top 5 this past year.

ALSO don't forget, we have a new album coming out in April.

It's actually BOOKER T's first new album in over a decade.

It is called Potato Hole and we were blessed to be his backup band for the entire album.

We recorded it back in September and it also features Neil Young.

It will be out in April on ANTI Records and is a MUST HAVE!

We will be playing some dates with Booker, including our first ever New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival appearance on Friday April 24th.

Stay Tuned for more announcements, as we have a busy year lined up and lots more news to release as it all gets a little closer.

For now, be safe, and SEE YOU AT THE ROCK SHOW.

Patterson Hood / Drive-By Truckers

"You have to 'be' before you can 'do,' 
and do before you can 'have.' "

— Zig Ziglar

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Somewhere in the dry wasteland that is Oklahoma, two middle-aged American Indians take a road trip.

by Whitney Borup
2008, Rated G, 85 minutes

Somewhere in the dry wasteland that is Oklahoma, two middle-aged American Indians take a road trip. Irene and Frankie have been in an on-again-off-again relationship for 40 years, and now Frankie is dying. Making it very clear that they are not together, Irene helps Frankie reconnect with his past by driving him from friend to friend, the ultimate destination being a reunion with his estranged daughter.

Amidst seemingly thousands of driving montages, “Barking Water” has potential. It’s the kind of movie you cheer for, despite its flaws. Because at the heart of the tale is the overwhelming power of love to redeem. I know that sounds totally corny, and it’s not the kind of thing I would normally write as a positive, but in such a small budget, sincere little film such sentiments seem much more valid. Shot with a tiny crew and a cast that mostly consisted of non-actors, it appears that director Sterlin Harjo did his very best to enlighten.

Using non-actors for “Barking Water” is what contributes most to the independent feel of the film. I believe the choice is largely positive. After all, a seasoned filmmaker like Gus Van Sant uses non-actors all the time to achieve this raw affect. There is something about emotions displayed by someone who is not Oscar-bound that I really appreciate. And I don’t think a, say, Richard Gere could pull off the role of a dying old guy quite like Richard Ray Whitman can. Well, plus Gere isn’t a Native American…

That said, there are some problems with characterizations that I found distracting. Take, for example, the young’uns that Irene and Frankie hit up for a free meal. Adorning gold chains and huge pants, and so stereotypical as to use the phrase “butt hurt,” these boys – and other caricatures like them – bring the film down to a cheap comedy level.

Likewise, the aforementioned driving sequences. Literally clocking in at 978 (million), these montages (set to beautiful but overused music by artists like Samantha Crain, Paleface, and The Everybody Fields) are such a copout way to fill 30 minutes of an 85 minute film. But what is independent cinema without at least one driving montage?

Don’t get me wrong. I liked “Barking Water” – for what it’s worth – I just wish some of the clearly precious resources for the film could have been used on just a little fine-tuning.

OSU sets Wind Day Festival

OSU sets Wind Day Festival

Oklahoma State University’s department of music will host its annual Wind Day Festival on Feb. 20-21.

The two-day event will feature internationally recognized woodwind guest artists from across the country as well as OSU’s own woodwind faculty members.

Guest artists for Wind Day 2009 are Linda Chesis, flute; Kevin Schempf, clarinet; Barbara Bishop, oboe; and Idit Shner, saxophone. Organizational help is provided by OSU faculty clarinetist Babette Belter, flutist Conor Nelson, oboist Celeste Johnson and saxophonist Ann Bradfield.

The performance in Ponca City is on Feb. 20 at 7:30 p.m. in the Ponca Theater. The program will feature the artists mentioned above as soloists and in duets with literature ranging from the baroque era to the modern era, including contemporary works that use extended instrumental techniques. Admission is free.

The Wind Day festivities will continue Feb. 21 in Stillwater at the Seretean Center for the Performing Arts on the campus of Oklahoma State University.

Master classes and clinics for junior high and high school instrumentalists will begin at 9:30 a.m. and conclude at 4 p.m. These tuition-free events allow junior and senior high flute, clarinet, oboe and saxophone players of all ability levels to work with guest artists and OSU woodwind faculty members to develop and polish their instrumental performance skills. Registration information is available at

The day will conclude with a performance by all guest artists and faculty at 4 p.m. in the Seretean Center Concert Hall. It is free and open to the public.

The guest artists for the OSU Wind Day Festival are traveling to Oklahoma from far and wide.

Chesis has been professor of flute and chamber music at Manhattan School of Music since 1986 and has served as chairman of its woodwind department since 1988. She also serves on the faculties of the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College and New York University. She has performed and offered master classes across the globe.

Schempf, professor of clarinet at Bowling Green State University, has degrees from the Eastman School of Music and is a former member of the Coast Guard Band, the Syracuse Symphony and the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble. He performs with the Toledo Symphony, CrossSound (Alaska), TILT (Hawaii), fEARnoMUSIC (Portland) and Brave New Works.

An active performer of both jazz and classical music, Shner has played in various distinguished venues in the United States and abroad, including The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., and Lincoln Center in New York. As an avid classical saxophonist, she has commissioned and recorded new music and performed solo recitals in the United States and Israel, and she currently plays her own jazz compositions with her quartet in Eugene and Portland, Ore.

In 2006, Shner joined the faculty of University of Oregon as instructor of saxophone and jazz studies.

Bishop plays associate principal oboe with the Kansas City Symphony and is the adjunct assistant professor of oboe at the University of Missouri, Kansas City. She spends her summers playing with the Grand Teton Music Festival and regularly performs with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Camille Harp

Hey bucks and buck-etts!

Come to the Conservatory on Friday night.  Why?  Cuz only the coolest bands around here are going to be rockin' it for ya.  Ali Harter, John Moreland and The Black Gold Band as well as The Turnpike Troubadours.....And don't forget me!  Music starts at 9 pee-em.

Saturday, if you just happen to be in the Ft. Worth area, head on over to one of my favorite bars ever...Woody's Tavern.  I'll also be opening for one of my most favorite musicians ever...Travis Linville.   The serenades start at 10 pm.

Alright?  Alright!



Hey Flatheads just in to Mudcats HQ:
Taping on Jan 27th for television show airing Jan. 31st
Mudcats Television Debut
Up Late with Ben Sumner
Channel CW12/19 Tulsa, OK
11pm Saturday Jan 31st
"Closing Act" segment feature

Red River Mudcats
Cimarron MultiMedia
(Formerly Rollin Phattys)


SPRINGSTREET, will be playing live on KRSC 91.3 Fm this Sunday night. If you are close to Claremore, OK you can tune in on your radio.
You can also check it out online at
We'll be playing some songs from our new cd that's coming out soon.
Check it out.
Thanks, Nick Alberty

susan herndon band

susan herndon band



LOLA'S at the Bowery

(main and brady, tulsa)

thursday 22 january

6:30 pm


for more info, go to:


and --while the webspace is being rehauled--

for future events & dates, click on the MySpace link on the homepage

Blake Shelton joining George Strait’s summer tour


Blake Shelton

Oklahoma country singer-songwriter is joining George Strait on the star’s summer tour, Strait’s publicist announced today.

Shelton, who was born in Ada and lives in Tishomingo, also will join the tour’s previously announced opener Julianne Hough for most shows. Hough is a Mercury Nashville recording artist and two-time champion on the reality TV show “Dancing With The Stars.”

A multi-platinum performer, Shelton has released five studio albums, including his most recent, “Startin’ Fires,” in November 2008. His current hit single, “She Wouldn’t Be Gone,” is No. 3 on the country singles charts and climbing. Shelton’s hits include his six-week No. 1 debut single, “Austin,” and three additional multi-week No. 1 singles with “The Baby,” “Some Beach” and “Home.”

“I have the utmost respect for George Strait and to be invited to be on his tour is a huge honor, he truly is a living legend. Thank you George Strait for this incredible opportunity,” said Shelton in the news release.

In addition, Shelton will perform Thursday night on “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” which airs in late night on ABC.

Hough recently topped both the country and Top 200 charts with her self-titled debut album, as well as with the infectious debut single “That Song In My Head.” Her first holiday album, “The Julianne Hough Holiday Collection,” was a top-selling Christmas release for Target stores.

Recently, Strait discussed his career success by acknowledging, “My fans are the most loyal fans in the world. The Best! Period. A lot of them who started coming to see my shows years ago are still coming today and now some of them are even bringing their kids with them. It just doesn’t get any better than that.”

Strait will kick off his tour May 9 in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas as he helps the citizens of Hidalgo, Texas, celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Dodge Arena. It will be Strait’s first visit to Hidalgo and his first foray in many years to the South Texas Valley.

In July, Strait will cross the border to Canada to perform at the Calgary Stampede in Calgary, Alberta, and the Craven Country Jamboree in Craven, Saskatchewan. Strait will also perform at Country Fest 2009 in Cadott, Wisc., Music Fest in Milwaukee and will return to the Cheyenne Frontier Days in Cheyenne, Wyo., for a special one-night performance.

As of now, the tour doesn’t have any Oklahoman dates listed. 

George Strait recently received four Grammy nominations including Best Country Album for “Troubadour,” Best Male Country Vocal Performance for “Troubadour,” Best Country Collaboration with Vocals for “Shiftwork” with Kenny Chesney and “House of Cash” with Patty Loveless.

He is one of the most successful and prolific country music artists of all time. With a career that spans more than 25 years, Strait holds the record for the most Number One hits on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts, and currently has 56 number one singles to his credit. He has sold more than 67 million records, garnering him 32 different platinum or multi-platinum albums resulting in the most RIAA platinum certification in country music and the third in all genres, behind The Beatles and Elvis Presley.

On April 6, Strait will receive the Academy of Country Music’s Artist of the Decade award in recognition of his record-breaking career. Only four other acts have been honored as Artist of the Decade in the academy’s history, including Marty Robbins in 1969, Loretta Lynn in 1979, Alabama in 1988 and Oklahoman Garth Brooks in 1998. Strait has won 19 Academy of Country Music Awards including “Entertainer of the Year” in 1990. At this year’s 42nd Annual CMA Awards, George became the artist with the most CMA Awards in history with the addition of Single of the Year for “I Saw God Today” and Album of the Year for “Troubadour,” both co-produced by Strait and Tony Brown. These two trophies and two additional for producing bring Strait’s tally to 22, eclipsing Brooks & Dunn’s previous record of 19 Awards.


Monday, January 19, 2009

When the World Comes Down

When the World Comes Down


Genre: Rock



OK, I admit it. I’ve always had a soft spot for The All-American Rejects. Their first hit in 2003, Swing Swing, was such an uplifting yet lovelorn song that it immediately catapulted the Oklahoma four-piece to second place on my “favourite emo band” list, second only to emo rock pioneers Jimmy Eat World (who may have pioneered the genre but has since distanced itself from the label and regard it with extreme disdain).

Another thing I like about the Rejects is that unlike other more popular “emo” bands like Simple Plan, Good Charlotte, Fall Out Boy and Panic at the Disco, these guys don’t try too hard to be relevant to the mass teen market nor to be too clever with their music. No long, bombastic song titles, no dorky music videos, and no experiments that involve melding hip-hop with their music. Instead, the Rejects are pretty much content to stick to what they do best – make music for the lovesick or broken-hearted pop-rock fan.

Since their eponymous debut in 2002 and their 2005 sophomore album Move Along, the band has garnered a steady following with catchy, melodic pop songs such as the aforementioned Swing Swing, Move Along and Dirty Little Secret.

They don’t veer very far from this formula with most of the songs on this new album, which may be good for a fan of the band, but not so for the more discerning music fan who prefers some variety in their music. It doesn’t help that the lyrics in the songs can be rather cringe-worthy (“I wanna touch you ... you wanna touch me too”? Seriously, dude ...).

But then again, with lead singer Tyon Ritter’s lovelorn vocals giving each song just the right dose of “emo-ness” to make each song perfect for the lovesick puppy, and some oh-so-catchy pop hooks on songs such as Real World, Fallin’ Apart and Another Heart Collides (on which the Rejects “duet” with all-girl band The Pierces), it’s hard not to like this album. After all, no matter how hardcore a rock fan you are, there’s always a little lovesick puppy in every one of us. 

Friday, January 16, 2009

6th Annual - 2009 Payne County Line Oklahoma Music Awards

ONE PER ISP PER EMAIL.  rest go to trash bin on server, we never see them. 

6th Annual - 2009 Payne County Line Oklahoma Music Awards BALLOT - CLICK HERE FOR PDF BALLOT.



problems - or

50 votes gets one nominated. no updates. results announced by Valentines Day or sooner, if possible.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Susan Herndon

Some Musical Happenings this Weekend... 

Lola's at the Bowery.  (Main & Brady, Tulsa.)  Friday, 16 January, 7 pm.

w/ Michael Steed, Dave White, Gene Williams 

French Hen.  (71st & Yale, Tulsa.)  Saturday, 17 January, 7 pm.


Bodean's (51st & Harvard, Tulsa.)  Sunday, 18 January, 5:30 pm.

w/ Frank Brown

Gala means rodeo on horizon

John Goodspeed - John Goodspeed

The Go Western Gala is the event that puts the rodeo on the radar for many folks, and for good reason.

Priming the faithful less than three weeks before the beginning of the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo, galagoers get name-brand entertainment and top-shelf catering for all they can eat and drink.

Kicking off the music at 7 p.m. Saturday at the AT&T Center will be Jeff Griffith, followed by Luke Bryan and Asleep at the Wheel.

Griffith, a Spring Branch resident, is making a name for himself playing real-deal country in dance halls and on the radio, with tunes such as “Drinkin' Thing” and “If It Ain't One Thing, It's Another,” the title cut from the album produced by country veteran Joe Stampley.

Georgia native Bryan ditched the family peanut farm for Nashville as a songwriter and scored his debut album in 2007 with the No. 2 “I'll Stay Me,” which spawned the hits “All My Friends Say” and “Country Man.”

Bryan also will perform at the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo at 1 p.m. Feb. 15.

Asleep at the Wheel, the Grammy-winning torchbearer of Western swing, also throws in a bit of boogie with its big band and three lead singers — lead guitarist and band leader Ray Benson, fiddler Jason Roberts and guitaristElizabeth McQueen.

“We went with these entertainers because they know how to get a crowd going. And Luke Bryan has a new album coming out soon and was named a face to watch for 2007 in Billboard magazine,” said Dinah Covert, the gala's new chairman who's worked on the committee for nearly 20 years.

Covert plans to kick the gala up several notches over the next few years, beginning Saturday with the premiere of a wine event — a tasting from Alexander Valley Wines at the entrance.

“We'll gradually roll out more of a wine element over the next year or two,” Covert said. “Also, this year the Golden Corral tables (seating 10 at the stage for $4,000) will be served an exclusive menu, not to take away anything from the other food offerings.”

RK Group will cater a broad range of food, from duck and barbecue-stuffed potatoes to calf fries and chicken-fried bacon.

“That clogs arteries just to hear it, but it's to die for,” Covert said about the bacon. “It just melts in your mouth.”

Like proceeds from other rodeo events, the gala's go to the San Antonio Livestock Exposition scholarship fund. Single tickets cost $100, and a few floor tables for 10 are still available for $1,500.

Tickets will be available until noon Saturday, and they can be picked up at a will-call table at the door. Call (210) 225-5851 or click on

•If you want to know how to get a gig performing at the Stock Show & Rodeo, you're in luck. You'll hear all about it at the Texas Music Coalition's free program at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Tycoon Flats.

Panelists will be the rodeo's assistant executive director Debbie Dreyfus-Shrunk, assistant vice president Jackie Van De Walle and exhibit directorEllen Andrus. There will be an open mike after the program.

Pat Green to headline telethon Saturday

Nearly six years ago, Pat Green's "Wave on Wave" climbed up the country music charts, taking the Texas music artist to the No. 3 spot on the national charts. For the young musician from San Antonio, it was a heady experience.

"I was full of myself," he said in a telephone interview from his Fort Worth home. "I was young, and it was my first real success on the radio. I'd never had a song on the radio for 37 weeks."

Green headlines the West Texas Rehabilitation Center's Telethon this Saturday night. Dan Huggins, donor relations director, said the local response to Green has been "outstanding." Huggins said he hopes the Texas singer/songwriter will help the Rehab top last year's record $1.26 million raised for the center.

Green has experienced more than a few milestones since his momentous appearance on the national charts. He and his wife welcomed their son five years ago and their daughter three years later. Green recently changed labels and record producers.

"Before, I was much more of wing-it, let-if-fly guy," he said. "It was a great time, but now I'm focused on making it smarter. I've always lived in the moment. One of the things I like about my life is I don't live in the past, I'm not dreaming of the future. My bills get paid by me playing my guitar -- that's really fantastic."

Although raised in Texas, country music wasn't always his thing. It wasn't until after high school, when he became familiar with Texas artists such as Robert Earl Keene and Jerry Jeff Walker. Music legends Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash and Merle Haggard all influenced his early music.

In the late 1990s, Green wasn't interested in taking the Nashville track, and frankly, he said, Nashville wasn't much interested in him. He said Nashville is a different place now, a much better environment for singer/songwriters. Green mentioned Keith Urban and Lady Antebellum as artists with whom he identifies.

His latest album, "What I'm For," hits the stores on Jan. 27. He said the album reflects his life now as a husband and father. The first single off the album, "Let Me," had climbed to 18 on Billboard's Hot Country list as of Saturday.

The new release marks his first album with producer Dann Huff, after a trio of albums Green did with Don Gehman. Green said the two men are both fantastic producers but have very different styles. Gehman wants the artist to feel out the song, while Huff takes the raw materials, studies them, makes the arrangement and "that's what he wants, ad infinitum," Green said.

Green's satisfaction with the album can be heard in his voice as he speaks about it. He sees "Footsteps of Our Fathers," which he wrote with Brett James, as one of the best pieces on "What I'm For."

"'Footsteps' is a very strong song; I'm not going to deny my pride about that song," Green said. It's a song that is open to interpretation; it could be about biological fathers, the founding fathers or a spiritual father. "Wave on Wave" shared that same ambiguous nature. When people asked Green if it was about faith or about his wife, he simply said, "Yes."

With another song climbing the charts, Green said he hopes his music has changed -- because he's changed.

"Writing music is about telling the truth of the moment," he said. "If you make that your focal point, the audience is going to hear you."

Looking at the performers who preceded him as telethon headliners, Green said it was good to be included in that number.

"I was thinking how fantastic that a guy can stand up with a guitar and make money for people who need it."

6th Annual Payne County Line Oklahoma Music Awards begin at Midnight or sooner...

  • 6th - Annual Payne County Line Oklahoma Music Awards will begin this evening....  close to midnight and balloting will go on through Midnight January 31st.
  • one vote per ISP per email address. 
  • If this presents problems please let us know. We will try to work through it with you. 
  • YES - You can send in as many ballots as you wish, however, they will be destroyed at the server and we will not see them and they will NOT count... 
  • only one gets through to our system from each email and ISP. 
  • We will use PDF file for ballot so make sure your FREE Adobe Reader is up to date or you have it on your computer by going to
  • There will be no updates.
  • 100 votes to get nominated for an award. If there is not enough votes to nominate anyone for a particular award, then it will not be presented.
We would like to thank everyone in advance!

happy voting!

Feel free to promote this at your gigs, blogs, myspace, facebook, etc. 

It's up to you.


My resolution is to see 0ne Honeybrowne show a month!!  Well here is your chance to be true to yourself. 

Friday, January 16th, 2009



209 University Dr.

College Station, tx 

Saturday, January 17th, 2009

Firehouse Saloon - 10:30 Houston, tx

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

CALF FRY 2009 - Tumbleweed - Stillwater


It’s coming, CALF FRY 2009, April 29 – May 2!  Yes that’s right, 4 days of down and dirty music and fun!  Tickets go on sale march 1. Until then, we plan on building up your immune system by partying your balls off!  

Friday, January 30 - “Celebrate the Busch 2”   

Quarter cans of Busch beer is back for one night only!   There will be live music with four of your favorite local bands including The Turnpike Troubadours, Clint Osmus and the Bushmills, The Chad Sullins and From the Ashes.  We will liven up the place with some short games and contests.  Texas Connection, Mardi Party and Calf Fry passes along with a few other items will be given as prizes.  This WILL be another memorable night at The Weed!  Tickets are only $8.00 and will be available at the front door.


Tumbleweed Testical Tune Up 

Do you have what it takes to play Calf Fry 2009? Does your band or act have the stuff to rock the house?  It’s time to put up or shut up! 

 Starting on Friday, February 13 and continuing on February 20, March 6 and March 27, Tumbleweed is hosting a competition for the rights to play Calf Fry.  Semi-finals will be held on April 10.  Each act that makes the semi finals will win VIP tickets to the Calf Fry.  The winner of the competition will win $500 plus the opportunity to play Calf Fry with Stillwater’s own Red Dirt Hero Jason Boland and the Stragglers!  You’ll be able to set up your merchandising at Calf Fry too so your panties and t-shirts with your Calf Fry stamp can bring in the cash!

 To part of this great event, email the name of your act and contact information to


Texas Connection Weekend 

The Tumbleweed is hosting its 2nd Annual Texas Connection weekend.  We will be have some of the best bands out of Texas performing along with great drink specials all weekend. 

Thursday, February 26 – Brandon Jenkins and the Bart Crow Band 

Friday, February 27 – The Eli Young Band, Brandon Rhyder and Whiskey Myers 

Saturday, February 28 – Kevin Fowler, The Casey Donahew Band and Ryan Beaver 

Advance tickets now on sale at

Buy 2 for 1, three night ticket for only $15 now through January 22th 


Tumbleweed Concerts


Th,Fr,Sa 8:00pm - 2:00am

Mama Sweet... rock on....

Hello friends,


Well, its a new year and we are hitting the road running!  We are working on our live album and ready to start playing again.  We are starting this year off at home.  That's right, The Deli. 


On Friday night, we will be playing our first show of 2009 at The Deli in Norman, OK.  We will start around 10:30pm and hope we will be joined by lots of friends and see even more red cups.  At our set break, a new artist to the scene, Will Gardner, will be playing a few songs.  Since we got our break at the Deli, it seems only fair to give back a little.


On Saturday, we make the trek to Austin, TX to play for the first time at Saxon's Pub.  We are quite excited and hope anyone in the nearby vicinity will be there to see us in action.  The show is Saturday night (technically Sunday morning) at 12:30am.  All the money from the door after midnight goes to us.  So, come after midnight, but be there by 12:30am to catch our set.  We will be playing until 2am.  Hope to see you there!


The following week is all about Texas with shows in Dallas (with Mike McClure and Adam Hood!) and Ft. Worth.  As always, check for all the latest (we hope to get back into the swing of posts and blogs real soon).


Thanks for everything,


Edgar Cruz

Antsy McClain and Edgar Cruz will perform together 7 p.m. Sunday at the Little Fox in Redwood City and 7:30 p.m. Monday at Don Quixote's in Felton. McClain is the good-humored folkabilly who leads the Trailer Park Troubadours; Cruz is a fleet-fingered guitarist from Oklahoma who is all over YouTube with his solo arrangements of rock songs by Queen and Aerosmith. They're calling it the "You Say Flamenco, I Say Flamingo Tour," naturally. Tickets for both are $18 in advance; see for the details.

interesting... if you love history...

Living With Music: Christian Bauman

Christian BaumanChristian Bauman (Polly Mathewson)

Christian Bauman is the author of three novels, including most recently “In Hoboken.”

My new novel, “In Hoboken,” is about a group of young musicians and their varied dysfunctions. Before I was a novelist, I was a musician and songwriter and folk singer of sorts. This was in the 1990s, and there was a terrific acoustic music scene strung across the country. I did a lot of split bills, and I opened for a lot of great artists (as one will do when one is less than famous). This playlist consists of my favorite tunes from a few of those people.

1) Damn Everything but the Circus, the Story. The line of the title isn’t hers, of course, but Jonatha Brooke wrote the song, and like Buddy Mondlock’s “The Kid” it steel-slivers a hole directly into my chest, and for the same reasons. I played a split bill with the Story at the Nameless Coffeehouse in Cambridge, Mass., (along with Jim Infantino and Anne Weiss) the weekend they signed their first record deal in 1991. I had just signed something, too: enlistment papers. I played well that night (not always a given) then put down my guitar and reported for basic training at Fort Knox, Ky. A chapter about halfway through “In Hoboken” bears some resemblance to this concert.

2) On the Way Up, Peter Mulvey. Like Ani DiFranco and Martin Sexton, Mulvey is one of us, generationally. I opened two shows for Peter in June 1996, at Passim in Cambridge. I was less than a year out of the Army. Jennifer Kimball sang with him that night, and it was the first time she played her own material in public since she’d left the Story. The whole of Mulvey’s album “Rapture” is brilliant as well as iconic of that era, and has lost none of its edge over time. “On the Way Up” was not my favorite song of his until I rediscovered it after some mental trauma of my own a decade later.

3) The Midnight Special, Odetta. The Caffe Lena in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., was one of a handful of venues (like the Iron Horse in Northampton, or the 333 in Annapolis) that were always nice to me even when they certainly didn’t have to be. I had close to a zero “draw” (the number of people who could be counted on to show up if I was on a bill) yet they kept booking me anyway. One September they had me open three shows for the legendary Odetta. She was a captivating woman, gesturing with long arms and long fingers, singing strong even though she was old and clearly tired. We sat in the back after sound check and drank tea and talked about the state of the world.

4) The Ballad of Jamie Bee, John Gorka. As seniors in high school, Gregg Cagno and I began regularly attending, then volunteering at, the Sunday-night open mikes at Godfrey Daniels, the legendary music room on the south side of Bethlehem, Pa. A great bluegrass picker named Jessie Grimm patiently taught us how to sing into a microphone and tune onstage (among other things). His roommate was John Gorka, a young songwriter then, today one of the best lyricists in America. John was still dropping by Godfrey Daniels from time to time back in 1988 — trying out for the first time new songs he still hadn’t memorized, songs that now draw applause at just their opening chords. “The Ballad of Jamie Bee” is one of those songs of his that just shuts you up and shuts you down. It’s rare indeed to be able to deliver such an emotionally devastating song wrapped in such subtle and meticulous lyrical sleight of hand. Gorka does all this, and he can sing, too. It makes you want to go home and chop firewood instead. Or write novels. The beautiful thing about John Gorka is that he inspires not artistic jealousy but joyous jealousy — watching him, you quickly realize you can’t do what he does, but he never fails to make you want to go and do a better job of whatever it is that you do.

5) Waist Deep in the Big Muddy, Pete Seeger. Of course I’ll never get to sing with Woody Guthrie, but I got to sing “Do Re Mi” with Woody’s sister once, out in Oklahoma, and a few years before that I got to sing it with Woody’s buddy Pete. This was an outdoor, summertime benefit concert, and the backstage was a stand of woods along the Delaware Canal. Seeger was plucking his banjo in a shady spot, and I walked up to him and asked if he’d sing one with me during my set. He kind of took a step back so I said, “It’s a Woody song,” and he said, “How old are you?” and I said “25″ and he said “O.K. then, I’ll do it.” I still had a few good playing years ahead of me at that point, but if I had never sang again after that day, I would have been just fine. Like Odetta, Pete has long arms, and he stretches out and calls to you to sing with him, to sing louder, to drown out the fools and keep singing till we outnumber ‘em.

6) The Day Roy Orbison Died, the Marys. Don Brody was a polio-scarred, rock ‘n’ roll warrior from Ohio; his partner Connie Sharar was a harmonizing hipster from Hoboken. Don, who wrote the Marys’ songs, was for years a fixture at Maxwell’s and was often referred to as the Mayor of Hoboken. On New Year’s Eve 1996, the coalition known as Camp Hoboken (the Marys, Linda Sharar, Gregg Cagno, the Amazing Incredibles, myself) split a bill at the First Night festivities in Flemington, N.J. This being Flemington, we wrapped up by 11, and everyone went scurrying into the cold with gear and guitars and girlfriends to get it all packed so we could find warmth and beverages somewhere. As it happened, midnight struck as Don and I sat on the now empty stage along with my future wife. The three of us took a drink of something, then we all went outside with our arms around each other and looked up to see if the stars were any different in 1997. Just short of a year later, Don proved the constellations wrong by dying. Vin Scelsa himself hosted the tribute at the Bottom Line. Those of us who were there all agree that, dead or not, Don joined us onstage that night. It’s not lost on me that Don Brody’s two best-known songs (this one, long-championed by Scelsa on his “Idiot’s Delight” broadcasts; as well as “Ringing in My Ears”) are both contemplations on death: about the raw anger of the survivors, as well as the intense, painful gratitude toward the deceased of what they gave before they left.

    The Ettes return for another sweaty session at The Conservatory

Wednesday, January 14, 2009
By Joe Wertz

ettes_promo1.jpgBeneath the overdriven bass, fuzz-toned guitar and retro drum frenzy lurks a country tune.

“That’s my favorite music,” singer Lindsay “Coco” Hames said. “All the songs start as a country song.”

With a voice steeped in Patsy Cline and Loretta Lynn, Hames, 26, joins the rest of The Ettes — drummer Maria “Poni” Silver and bassist Jeremy “Jem” Cohen — together assembling a sound that’s a lot louder and a bit more Blondie.

The Ettes seem to come from both everywhere and nowhere. Before they knew each other, Hames said all three members individually moved to Los Angeles from New York City the same week in October 2003. Coming together in early 2004, the band has toured both coasts and across the center of the United States and the act regularly crisscrosses the globe, plugging in for performances in Paris, Berlin and Madrid.

Thursday’s Conservatory show with locals The Electric Primadonnas and Vultures of Culture will be The Ettes’ third performance at the Oklahoma City club, Hames said.

Through the years, the globetrotting gypsy-punks have found a regular home at ToeRag Studios in London, where the group recorded both its 2006 debut, “Shake the Dust,” and 2008’s “Look at Life Again Soon,” with Liam Watson, a well-regarded producer most known for his mixing and engineering work on The White Stripes’ 2003 Grammy Award-winning album, “Elephant.”

The band recorded a 45-inch vinyl single with The Black Keys producer Dan Auerbach, Hames said. The single will be released in March just prior to showcase performances at the South by Southwest Music Festival in Austin, Texas, before the three head back into Watson’s London studio to complete work on a new album.

“This time we’re kind of messing around,” she said. “We’ve been talking to Liam about all the crazy stuff we’re going to do.”

On previous albums, Hames said the band wanted to make sure recordings lined up with live performances so that audiences could expect to hear live what they heard on an CD.

“I think we’re finding that we care less about the difference between the two,” she said. “I used to say, ‘I don’t want anyone who’s not in the band playing on the record,’ but we’ve already done the straightforward thing twice. Why not make a crazy record?”

With an acoustic guitar and lyrics, Hames said she seeds most of The Ettes’ songs — ideas that are quickly assembled, arranged, plugged-in and amplified by bandmates Silver and Cohen.

When combined with the group’s vagabond influences —modern British garage rock, 1960s pop, punk rock and classic Americana — the energetic result is instantaneously fun and impossibly cool.

“We had so much fun last time we were in Oklahoma,” Hames said. “We were running around, getting loud and sweaty. We’re excited to come back.” —Joe Wertz

Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame

Keeping jazz alive in Okla.

January 14, 2009

TULSA – With a trumpet playing in the background, Chuck Cissel said times have changed for the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame.

“When I came here nine years ago it literally was a one-note samba,” said Cissel, CEO of the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame. “It was not having the impact it should have.”

Since Cissel has taken over as CEO, the Jazz Hall has gone from having one main concert a year to sponsoring more than 80 events.

Recently the Jazz Hall moved into Tulsa’s Old Union Depot as one part of the Tulsa County Vision 2025 project. At 44,000 square feet, the renamed Jazz Depot features galleries, a music resource library and a performance hall.

Last year the Jazz Hall had about 40,000 visitors.

“We know we are the new kids on the block because other museums and art centers have been around for 50 years or so,” said Cissel. “We have been at it about 20 years and are forging a path.”

Cissel said the Jazz Hall is practically focused on educating youth about Oklahoma’s diverse music heritage by providing scholarships and seminars. 

Committed to a mission of creating unity through music, the Jazz Hall sponsors an autumn and spring Jazz Concert Series.

The series features both in-state and out-of-state artists. Cissel said he thinks it’s important to bring in people from outside of Oklahoma to help spread the word about the Jazz Hall.

Famous jazz artists such as Chet Baker and Cecil McBee hailed from the Sooner State.

“We have such a rich jazz history here,” he said. “We want to spread the gospel of jazz from Oklahoma to different parts of the country.”

Earl Clark, trumpet performer and teacher at Central High School in Tulsa, is vocal about his opinion of the current Tulsa jazz scene.

“It sucks,” he said with a laugh. “But it’s getting better. Places like this help. Here we are in the middle of the country and are bringing music to the community.”

Clark said a key component in bringing more of a jazz scene to Tulsa is educating the youth. The Jazz Hall provides a safe venue to teach, he said.

“When I was growing up I had to go to the clubs to learn jazz,” he said. “But here at the Jazz Hall of Fame they can learn and watch people play.”

Back in the 1920s Tulsa was a hub for jazz music, said Cissel. But a divided community and urban development resulted in the demise of many buildings and the live music hot spots.

Cissel said it’s important to keep jazz alive because it’s an art form that originated in America.

“It’s as American as apple pie and the American flag,” he said. “The Oklahoma jazz experience is part of that.”

What: Spring Jazz Concert Series, Jazz: Born and Raised in America presented by the Tulsa Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Music Tulsa and the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame.

When: Jan. 16 at 7 p.m.

Where: Jazz Depot, 111 E. First St.

Who: The Donald Ryan Trio, Jambalaya Jazz Band and the Tulsa Symphony Strings. Featured performers include saxophonist and Jazz Hall of Fame inductee Earl Clark and trumpeter David Moore.

Cost: $15 adults; $10 seniors; $5 students

Info: (918) 596-7111