By ROB W. ANDERSON
Music fans looking to hear some original folk, country, blues or rock-laced sounds to kick off the weekend have a great a lineup from which to choose.
Aside from the Carl Farinelli and the Hole in the Wall Band performing its usual Friday gig at the Tahlequah Senior Citizens Center, Tulsa folk musician Gene Williams will be performing a 7 p.m. show across town at the Iguana Cafée, while Austin Cobb and the Contra Band will get things rolling at Brewdog’s with a 9:30 p.m. performance.
Tahlequah musician John Fite will be performing a 7:30 p.m. piano session at The Branch, while the Tahlequah Elks Lodge does not have a band scheduled for this weekend.
Williams is transcendental red dirt folk artist that keeps the road hot playing gigs with other musicians seeking his kind of sound, said singer-songwriter Joe Mack.
“He gets hired a lot to play guitar for a lot of folks. He’s a pretty interesting cat,” he said. “I think he’s going to have a three-piece band. Patt Moss, your local deep blues and roots music show-stopper, [will be performing on Saturday night at The Branch]. He’s good whether he’s by himself or got a big band behind him.”
Tahlequah’s own Critical Mass – which includes Steve Kirkpatrick on guitar and vocals, Chris Roso on guitar, Richard Wood on bass and Jeremy Scott on drums and vocals – will give Punxsutawney Phil a reason to make a moonlight appearance on Saturday, Feb. 2 with their 10:30 p.m. Groundhog Day Jam at Brewdog’s, which will be anchored by a performance by another local band known as Franke Lee.
Vocalist Michael Franke shares the singing responsibility with his brother, Daniel, and dad, Mike, while Aaron Lee serves duty on the drums. Franke said the Tahlequah group is working on its first album and is looking to forward to getting back on Brewdog’s stage.
“It’s definitely one of our homes,” he said. “[For those who haven’t heard us], we play a mixture of blues, rock and roll and reggae. We’ve been a band for about five years now. We like to do a lot of different styles of music. We’re not in it for the money. We’re in it for the music.”
The month of February will bring two nights of pickin’ and poetry at the Iguana Cafée, the first of which is scheduled for this Tuesday, Feb. 5 while the second open-mike event to be held in Tahlequah’s North End District is set for Feb. 19.
Mack said people interested in hearing an award-winning musician who offers the Piedmont Blues sound should check out Tulsa musician Little Joe McLerran, who will be performing a 7 p.m. show at The Canebrake near Wagoner on Feb. 6. McLerran earned a first place finish at the 25th Annual Blues Foundation International Blues Challenge held in Memphis in 2009.
“He dresses the part and looks like he’s from the 30s or 40s,” said Mack, who will be performing with Kansas folk musician Sky Smeed Nov. 27 at The Canebrake as part of a five-show run that will take the duo through Oklahoma, Kansas and Missouri.
“That’s going to be our first time to get together in about six months,” he said.
Another noted singer-songwriter that will be sharing the stage with a former duo partner is Tahlequah musician Mark Sweeney, who will perform a Feb. 8 show at the Iguana Cafée with George Barton.
“They’re a legendary folk duo. They’ve performed all over the country and have opened for everybody from The Temptations to Trout Fishing in America,” said Mack. “And they’ve been featured performers at folk festivals all across the country, from Kerrville to Newport.”
Other February events scheduled at The Branch include DocFell & Co. Feb. 6, Peter Delesdernier Feb. 8, Luna-Matto Home by Hovercraft Feb. 9, John Fite Feb. 15, Harley Hamm Feb. 16, Jordan Cox Feb. 20, Adam Miller Feb. 22, Jamie Lou Feb. 23, and Nate Jones Feb. 27. The remaining Iguana Cafée February lineup includes Sohns, McClain and Wood Feb. 15.
Other bands scheduled to hit Brewdog’s stage next month include the Hosty Duo Feb. 9, Red Witch Johnny Feb. 15, Carter Sampson Feb. 16, Badwater Feb. 22, and Sight 2 Blind Feb. 23.
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