Tahlequah Daily Press

Local News

July 23, 2012

Hot summer nights

Those who love live music might want to mark their calenders for several upcoming local events.

TAHLEQUAH — Enjoying a night of live music doesn’t have to be expensive or involve driving outside of Cherokee County. Tahlequah has plenty to offer in the upcoming weeks.

Local singers, songwriters, musicians, bands, and even poets can be enjoyed at venues like the Iguana Cafeé, The Branch and the Tahlequah Elks Lodge.

Elks Lodge Event Coordinator Connie Parnell said the Pumpkin Hollow Boys will be performing Saturday, July 28, at 9 p.m.

“Then, we have a new guy, Andrew Lewis, who’s playing Aug. 4,” she said. “Acoustic country is what he does, and he’s from around the area. August 11 we’ll have Livin’ Country. They are regulars and play every month. Two of the guys are actually Elks. They’re from the Muskogee area.”

The only other upcoming show scheduled for the Elks Lodge, at 18843 E. Murrel Rd., is local group Robinson Avenue, set to perform Saturday, Aug. 18.

“There’s no date for Aug. 25, because it’s so close to the [Labor Day] holiday,” said Parnell. “That will be the last big lake day, and we also don’t have anybody scheduled for Sept. 1. We are going to have Southern Blend [in the near future]. We’re working on trying to get something arranged.”

Music patrons can kick their heels up at the Elks Lodge, as well as at the Tahlequah Seniors Citizens Center every Friday night, where Carl Farinelli and the Hole in the Wall Band perform for the center’s dance.

“It’s every Friday from 7 to 10 p.m., and at 8:30 we take a break and have a potluck dinner,” said volunteer Gloria Wilson. “The band starts back up at 9 and plays until 10.”

Those wanting to hear up-and-coming local talent might want to check out the open mike night at the Iguana Cafeé the first Tuesday of every month. Singer-songwriter Joe Mack schedules live music for the Iguana Cafée, The Branch, and just recently took over event coordination at The Canebreak.

“[At the Iguana Cafée], on Friday, July 27, one my favorite local bands, Sohns, McClain and Wood, perform,” said Mack. “They’re a great band. They play a lot of roots-based music, heavily influenced by bands like the Grateful Dead and the Allman Brothers. They usually do a guitar-based mandolin with harmony vocals with instrumental interplay. They’re really a fun bunch.”

The next scheduled event at the Iguana Cafée, 500 N. Muskogee Ave., will be the open mike night Tuesday, Aug. 7, at 7 p.m.

“That’s usually a lot of fun,” Mack said. “There’s usually up-and-coming talent and long-standing local musicians who want to test-drive new music, or just want to dust off the guitar and share a song. You’ll hear really young acoustic singer-songwriters to live-spoken word artist, to full bands that play thrash metal. The thing is billed as ‘Pickin’ and Poetry,’ because we open the microphone to the community’s spoken word/poetry gurus/literati who want to get up and share their original works in addition to the music. They usually take place between music, but sometimes the musicians and poets collaborate.”

The following week, on Friday, Aug. 17, local musician Jacob Birdtail will perform at the Tahlequah North End District Coffee House.

“He’s kind of a folky-rock singer-songwriter,” Mack said. “He’s been playing a long time. He’s an alum of the David Castro Band. As far as the remaining shows that I have at the Iquana, there’s a new fellow who’s a Tom Waites, jazz-influenced musician. He’s real name is Kyle-Tanner Mennenga. He performs under the stagename The Secessionist. He plays Aug. 15. He’s interesting, and really talented. He’s worth going out to hear.”

Mack said most of the shows at the Iguana are free to the public, but filling up the tip jar is encouraged, as is a one- or two-item purchase.

“Those aren’t requirements, but as we know, nothing in this world is free,” he said. “It’s always good to get there a little bit early to get a seat. Depending on the crowd, the stage setup changes. It’s never the same way twice.”

The Branch, at 505 N. Muskogee Ave., usually hosts three shows a week, said Mack. The Wednesday and Friday events begin at 7:30 p.m., while the Saturday night show starts at 9.

“Sometimes that deviates a little bit,” he said. “We encourage people to call in advance to get exact show information, and see if reservations are required. Again, most shows are free. They’re family friendly. Sometimes, we throw parties in the parking lot, but most are indoor shows.”

Tahlequah multi-instrumentalist Mike Allen is scheduled to perform Wednesday, July 25, while Friday’s July 27 show will be presented by Oklahoma Blues Hall-of-Famer Selby Minner. Newly-wedded couple and folk/roots/Americana duo Buffalo and Kelly Rogers are slated for July 28, while DocFell & Co. will bring their cool, funk style to the stage Saturday, Aug. 4.

“Cody Brewer will be performing a solo show Aug. 22, with his alternating banjo and guitar pieces,” said Mack. “He’s also known for his work in the experimental rock band called The Moai Broadcast out of Tulsa, as well as the duo Grazzhopper. August 29, Rick Reilley is coming from central Oklahoma. He’s one of the older, more obscure fellows, in the Red Dirt circle. He’s got a lot of spoken word over his guitar play. Definitely one of the unsung heroes of the Red Dirt community.”

Several messages left at T-Bones’ Place were not returned by press time.

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