As fall colors and temperatures set the aesthetic tone in the area, the sound of live music draws local music lovers looking to enjoy a night out in the City of Firsts.
Aside from planned traditional Halloween costume parties, local music venues will be welcoming a variety of genres for fans of the homegrown and traveled sounds of Red Dirt, blues, jazz, bluegrass, and other various forms of contemporary music and singer-songwriters.
Tahlequah Senior Citizens Dance Volunteer Dorothy Crawford confirmed Carl Farinelli and The Hole in the Wall Band will be performing their regular Friday night show, and this week, their audience will be in disguise.
“We’re having our Halloween dance this Friday night. It’s a costume dance, and we’re giving away some prizes,” she said.
The Pumpkin Hollow Boys will be performing for the Elks Lodge’s Halloween affair this Saturday, Oct. 27, starting at 9 p.m., said event Coordinator Connie Parnell.
“There will be a costume contest and lots of music. The doors open at 8,” she said. “We have Robinson Avenue the first weekend [Saturday, Nov. 3], Livin’ Country the second weekend [Nov. 10], and the third weekend I don’t have anybody scheduled yet. The fourth weekend [Nov. 24], of course, is Thanksgiving, and we’re just going to karaoke both nights [Friday and Saturday].”
Tahlequah trio Sohn’s McClain & Wood will be performing this Friday night at The Branch, while Kansas folk musician Sky Smeed is scheduled to go on at 9 p.m. Saturday, said Moodys singer-songerwriter and Currentland editor Joe Mack, who noted the venue will host music at its outdoor setting, if weather cooperates.
“The Branch will try to hose most of its events outside, and if it’s a nighttime event, post-dinner time, it seems like we focus on the 21 and up only crowd,” he said. “It’s just because certain folks aren’t allowed around the bar after a certain time. The Wednesday night events should be all ages, except when there are random events like the Halloween Bash [and Costume Party next] Wednesday. ”
A local disc jockey will make his debut spinning vinyl at The Branch for the Oct. 31 event, Mack said.
“Deejay RL – he’s a local guy. We’re going to have him start a little bit later than what our normal Wednesday offerings begin, because we want to celebrate on into the evening with it being Halloween proper,” Mack said. “He’ll be spinning everything from classic hits, hip-hop hits all the way to modern day top 40 things, and of course. a mixed bag of assorted holiday favorites. I requested he spin as much of the ‘Thriller’ record as he can. I’m hoping he does at least the title track, if not a few others. The place is already decorated, and we encourage people to wear their costumes and make a night of it.”
November shows scheduled at The Branch include Tahlequah musician John Fite, Friday, Nov. 2; local Red Dirt singer-songwriter Rick Reiley, Saturday, Nov. 3; Dave Kay of The Purple Traders, Wednesday, Nov. 7; Travis Fite, Friday, Nov. 9; Wes Combs, Wednesday, Nov. 14; and Jordan Cox and Amber Watson, Friday, Nov. 16. Oklahoma City musician Andy Adams will be on hand for pre-Thanksgiving Day show that may also feature other musicians in the area, Mack said.
“He’s a Tahlequah native. We’re billing it as Andy Adams and Friends because others may be joining him. If I’m still in town, I may be joining him. We’re still going to try to start at 7:30,” Mack said. “That Friday we’re coming back [from the holiday] with the Paul Benjamin Band.”
Benjamin is a former NSU student and one of the leading kingpins of what people refer to as the “new Tulsa sound.”
“He brings a really groovy, blues, jazz, Southern rock – you know, shreddin’ super-super-hot guitar, and his band often features the talented Jesse Aycock, mostly on peddle steel guitar. The rest of the band is an all-star bunch of Tulsa guys,” Mack said. “That Saturday after Thanksgiving, we have The Purple Traders headlining the show. Tequila Kim and the Shooters will open for The Purple Traders. It should be big fun – a big family affair that should be lot of fun and great way to celebrate the holiday.”
Other dates include Nate Jones Wednesday, Nov. 28, and Jamie Lou Nov. 30. Tequila Kim and the Shooters can be heard at The Iguana Cafée Friday, Nov. 2 at 7 p.m., while the monthly Tuesday night of pickin’ and poetry is set for Nov. 6, said Mack.
“We encourage all of our singer-songwriters, musicians, poets and spoken-word artists to come down and maybe give us some original politically-charged material if they have it,” he said. “On Nov. 9, we’ll have the Bluegrass Bullies, who just had a wonderful showing at the Oklahoma International Bluegrass Festival in Guthrie. They do a traditional, as well as a new age, bluegrass music or I guess ‘contemporary’ might be a more friendly word to describe it. They’re a contemporary bluegrass amazing group of pickers.”
The Bluegrass Bullies are former Oklahoma Flatpick Guitar champion Thomas Trapp, banjo player Jim Paul Blair and fiddler player Dana Hazzard.
Tahlequah musician Cody Slane will perform at The Iguana Thursday, Nov. 15, while the only other date scheduled at the North End District eatery is Franke Lee, on Friday, Nov. 23.
“We suggest a $3 to $5 monetary donation or tip whenever people come out. Give more if they can, and if they can’t, still come out and catch us the next time they’re there,” said Mack. “It’s important that people get out and support it. It’s always all ages and smoke-free, and doesn’t have any direct ties to any religious denominations or political affiliations.”
Those interested in being a part of a paranormal investigation while listening to the Tulsa-based Steve Pryor band can do so this Friday at 7 p.m. in Muskogee at the Roxy Theater, which opened in 1948. In June, a team of paranormal investigators known as the Oklahoma Society of the Supernatural made a visit to the downtown Muskogee venue to gather evidence to support or debunk reports that the theater is haunted.
According to OSS team leader Chris Borthick, electronic-recording monitors captured what’s known as an electronic voice phenomena, or EVP, stating the names of team members being called upon during recording playbacks.
Borthick’s team also experienced temperature guns being activated in response to questions directed to the spirits, which also turned flashlights on and off in response to team request, said to be in the building.
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