A look at what’s happening in the local music scene.
IN THIS CORNER, we have the deluge of jam bands coming to Tulsa this month.
These purveyors of 30-minute solos within four-minute songs have the stamina and tenacity to break you down into a sniveling officer candidate in love with a girl from the wrong side of the tracks (see: Richard Gere crying, “I don’t got no place else to go!” from “An Officer and a Gentleman”).
Maybe Mr. Gere is a bad choice to exemplify the jam bands playing this month.
If you love finding that magical groove that runs through the heart of all these shows, like the East Australian Current in “Finding Nemo,” head to the Cain’s on the following dates:
Feb. 5 — The Disco Biscuits Cain’s Ballroom, 423 N. Main St., www.cainsballroom.com You may see glow sticks replace the hemp bracelets as this band flows seamlessly from dissertations on the guitar solo to tribal dub-step. And their light show will transport you to the seventh moon of Wozniak.
Feb. 13 — Cross Canadian Ragweed Cain’s Ballroom This Oklahoma band is more southern rock and country than a jam band, but this writer has never let facts stand in his way. CCR return to the scene of the show where they recorded “Back to Tulsa — Live and Loud at Cain’s Ballroom,” a live recording that finds a band clicking on all countrified cylinders, a crowd that wildly appreciates every sweet note and a room that brings them both together.
Feb. 25 — Keller Williams Cain’s Ballroom Mr. Williams has been honing his chops for more than 15 years as a one-man jam band. However, this ain’t your parents’ solo act. He loops his guitar riffs through a Gibson Echoplex Delay System and then adds layers upon that — all the while fusing elements of jazz, bluegrass, electronica, reggae, folk and funk. Folks, there is a reason he has been able to pack houses for 15 years.
Do this writer a favor: If you see my brother-in-law, Zach Walker, there, be sure to congratulate him on our new president and his really nice jeans.
And in this corner of our imaginary “west side versus east side” conflict, we have the New Orleans sound that has been scattered all over the country since Hurricane Katrina. The New Orleans sound is as muddy as the Mississippi River and, like New Orleans, is best enjoyed live.
Feb. 3 — Marc Broussard Cain’s Ballroom Monsieur Broussard brings “Bayou Soul” to the Cain’s after bringing it from the 2008 NBA All-Star Game, Larry King and all parts in between. Like many from the Crescent City, Broussard’s art can only truly be appreciated live. Broussard at the Cain’s has a lot of potential. (Personal note: Last year I drove I-10 into New Orleans with Broussard blasting out of the speakers and it still makes me smile.)
Feb. 14 — Ray Bonneville All Soul Acoustic Coffeehouse, 2952 S. Peoria Ave., www.allsoulcoffeehouse.com Although he splits time between Montreal, Canada; Austin, Texas; and Cotter, Ark., Bonneville says his primary musical influence is from his time in New Orleans. “There were so many great drummers to learn groove and time from, not to mention the piano and guitar players, and, man, the singers and horn players, too! This was the place that influenced me the most. It was infectious. In New Orleans, you learn that solid rhythm is like a tightrope on which the notes and words can do their dance.” If you are preparing to dance, go early as seats at this venue are usually at a premium.
Feb. 18 — Galactic Cain’s Ballroom And if you can’t make up your mind (or base your rudderless world on my myopic opinions), you could get the best of jam bands and New Orleans with these instrumental impresarios, whose influences include hip-hop, go-go, electronic, world music, rock, blues and jazz. They will be joined by soulful singer/songwriter JJ Grey and his band, MOFRO.
Read concert reviews, local music news, artist profiles and more on Andy’s blog, “Tulsa Sound,” at www.tulsapeople.com.