Roots and Boots Tour with Aaron Tippin, Sammy Kershaw and Collin Raye

Tulsa, Oklahoma (October 3, 2018) – Amid the smell of corn dogs, the clanking of midway rides and flashing of a giant Ferris wheel at the Tulsa State Fair,  a trio of country performers including Sammy Kershaw, Aaron Tippin and Collin Raye, hit the Oklahoma stage on their Roots and Boots tour.  The tour highlights the signature sounds of these three talented men and many of you may remember these three from the era of 90’s country. Between the three of them, they have almost seventy Top 40 hits.  The trio can still draw a crowd, as fans packed the seats and welcomed the performers to the Oklahoma stage with screams and applause.

Sammy Kershaw, Aaron Tippin, Collin Raye– © Splice Magazine – Melissa Payne Please do not alter images.

Performing the first three songs as a group, Sammy Kershaw’s song, “Vidalia” was the opener, followed by Aaron Tippin’s hit, “Workin’ Man’s Ph.D.” and Collin Raye’s, “That’s My Story”.  After that, each musician followed with an extended set of his own hits.

Sammy Kershaw– © Splice Magazine – Melissa Payne Please do not alter images.

Starting the solo sets off, was Sammy Kershaw. Kershaw has eleven Top 10 singles under his belt, as well as two #1 hits.  He took time during his set, to touch on the fact that he’s been performing at clubs in his native Louisiana since he was 12 years old and that country had changed a lot. So much so that he doesn’t “recognize what’s coming out of Nashville these days.” With his trademark drawl and a twinkle in his eye, Kershaw performed a string of his hits including, “She Don’t Know She’s Beautiful”, “Queen of My Double Wide Trailer”, “Cadillac Style”.  Towards the end of his set, Kershaw worked the stage, grabbing handfuls of Mardi Gras beads to throw out to those in the crowd.

Aaron Tippin– © Splice Magazine – Melissa Payne Please do not alter images.

Following Sammy Kershaw, was Aaron Tippin. His distinctive baritone voice took command of the stage as he belted out one of his best-known hits, “You’ve Got to Stand for Something” followed by ” There Ain’t Nothin’ Wrong With the Radio”. Taking a moment to grab his patriotic Stars and Stripes guitar, Tippin introduced his next song, “Where the Stars and Stripes and Eagle Fly” a song he co-wrote after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.  Quipping that if you didn’t like “Where the Stars and Stripes and Eagle Fly“, Tippin told the audience they could, “Kiss This” and launched into the familiar strains of the song. Some might not realize that Tippin’s wife Thea, actually had a hand in writing this song.

Collin Raye– © Splice Magazine – Melissa Payne Please do not alter images.

Anchoring the evening, was Collin Raye, a staple in the 90’s country music scene, who has an impressive 24 Top Ten records and sixteen #1 hits. Some of these numerous hits were included in the set, such as “Little Rock”, “I Can Still Feel You”, “My Kind of Girl” and “Little Red Rodeo”.  All three artists were energetic, but Collin Raye constantly worked the stage, getting up close and personal to fans and belting out his hits.

If you’re a fan of traditional country from the 1990’s, you’ll want to check these three talented musicians out. Although they regularly tour together on the Roots and Boots tour, it appears there are no remaining dates for the rest of 2018 for the tour. However, Tippin, Raye and Kershaw all have individual tour dates for the rest of the year, which can be found at their websites, linked below.

Aaron Tippin:

      

Sammy Kershaw:

      

Collin Raye:

      

Whiskey Myers + BC & The Big Rig

Tulsa, OK (September 6, 2018)The iconic Cain’s Ballroom neon sign flashed beneath gloomy skies on Thursday evening and welcomed in fans for a sold-out show with opening band, BC & The Big Rig and Whiskey Myers as the headliner.  Sold-out shows at Cain’s often mean long beer lines, slammed merchandise tables and room to barely maneuver through the crowd, but that didn’t stop those in attendance from enjoying a stellar lineup of music from both bands.

BC & The Big Rig– © Splice Magazine – Melissa Payne Please do not alter images.

This wasn’t the first time BC & The Big Rig, a Tulsa-based band, has opened for a well-known act. They’ve also shared the stage with the Turnpike Troubadours, Jason Boland & The Stragglers and Taddy Porter. Self-described as an Americana rock band,  BC & The Big Rig is made up of Brandon Clark (BC) on lead vocals and guitar, Ryan McCall on lead guitar and vocals, Sam Naifeh on guitar and vocals, Chris Bell on bass guitar and vocals and James Purdy on drums and vocals.  It’s not everyday that I’m as impressed by an opening band as I was BC & The Big Rig, but I was sold as soon as I heard their cover of “Ain’t Livin Long Like This”.  Other songs in the set were, “100 Miles to Memphis”, “Get on With the Show”, “Step”, “Pennies” and a surprising cover of “Land Down Under”. Yes, you read that right, the cover of the 80’s hit by Men At Work. It’s not even on my list of favorite songs from the 80’s, but somehow BC & The Big Rig, took it, made it their own and rocked it.

Whiskey Myers– © Splice Magazine – Melissa Payne Please do not alter images.

The headliners for the evening, Whiskey Myers, took the Cain’s stage and came out swinging with the song, “Deep Down in the South” off their most recent album, Mud.  You may be familiar with Whiskey Myers from the television series, Yellowstone.  Not only does the group appear in an episode, but several of their songs have been featured in the soundtrack.  Whiskey Myers did a fantastic job in curating a great setlist for their fans including a nice mix from both current and past albums.  “Early Morning Shakes”  was followed by a crowd sing-a-long to a heartbreaking song about addiction, “Broken Window Serenade”. Whiskey Myers has their share of rock inspired, beat heavy songs like “Headstone”, but they can follow it with a slow ballad like “Virigina” and make each song shine. The band is made up of members, Cody Cannon on lead vocals and guitar, Cody Tate on lead guitar and vocals,  John Jeffers on rhythm and lead guitar, Jamey Gleaves on bass, Tony Kent with cowbell and percussion and Jeff Hogg on drums.  Although the entire band is great to watch, clearly very talented and full of energy, it’s Tony Kent that steals the show with his intensity. If you’ve never seen him play the cowbell on stage, you’re missing out. Run, don’t walk to the nearest Whiskey Myers show and experience this band for yourself.

If you’re on the East coast or South, you’re in luck, because Whiskey Myers is primarily touring in those areas through the end of the year. You can find their remaining tour dates here.

Whiskey Myers:

      

BC & The Big Rig:

   

Cain’s Ballroom:

   

Randy Rogers Band + Jake Flint

Tulsa, Oklahoma (August 17, 2018)–  On a muggy, Friday night in August, country music fans filed into historic Cain’s Ballroom  and filled it to the brim for a sold-out show featuring opener Jake Flint and headliner Randy Rogers Band.

Jake Flint– © Splice Magazine – Melissa Payne Please do not alter images.

Local Red Dirt musician, Jake Flint, opened the evening and quickly warmed up the crowd with a rocking mixture of original songs and well-done covers. With his stage presence and professional yet approachable demeanor, it’s obvious Flint has the makings of a headliner and won’t be opening shows for long. Flint, a native of Oklahoma, recently released his second single, “Long Road Back Home”in July, which was co-produced by Red Dirt royalty, Mike McClure.  Along with “Long Road Back Home”, Flint’s set included, “I Wonder Why I Wander”, “The Fly Song” and “Drownin”, all  songs off his album, I’m Not OK. The few covers in the set included Hank Williams (both Jr. and Sr.) Flint got the crowd singing along to “Your Cheatin’ Heart” and “Whiskey Bent and Hellbound”. Taking the tempo down a bit, Flint dedicated Leonard Cohen’s, “Hallelujah”, to Tom Skinner and Brandon Jenkins, local musicians who had passed away in recent years.  Ending his set on a high note, Flint led the crowd in his rowdy take on, “Folsom Prison Blues”.

« 1 of 2 »
Randy Rogers Band– © Splice Magazine – Melissa Payne Please do not alter images.

After a brief intermission and a restless crowd that began stomping, singing and chanting for the headliner, the Texas based, Randy Rogers Band brought their blend of country music to the sold-out crowd.  With a vast music library of ten albums, including their latest album, Nothing Shines Like Neon, the band had plenty of material to draw from and the setlist included many past hits like “Goodbye Lonely”, “One More Goodbye” and “10 Miles Deep”. The band has been together since 2002 and includes members Randy Rogers (lead vocals and guitar), Brady Black (fiddle), Les Lawless (drums), Todd Stewart (utility player), Geoffrey Hill (guitar) and Johnny Richardson (bass guitar).  Even though at the time I didn’t know the band had been playing together for almost two decades, their seamless transitions, dynamic playing and easy crowd interaction was a testament to their experience.  Tonight’s performance at Cain’s was just one in a string of many for the band and Rogers at one point told the crowd that he “loved playing at Cain’s because it was like coming home”.  Although the Cain’s was sold-out and space was hard to come by, it didn’t stop those in attendance from grabbing friends and significant others for a quick two-step to their favorite songs.

Fans of the band or those just wanting to see them for the first time should check out tour dates here. Those on the East Coast, Midwest or South can catch Randy Rogers Band on tour throughout the fall.

« 1 of 2 »

 Jake Flint:

    

Randy Rogers Band:

      

Cain’s Ballroom:

   

Strawberry Girls + Night Verses +Andrés+Øver cast: Party Nights Tour

Tulsa, Oklahoma (July 26, 2018)–  In the bustling Tulsa Arts District, an unassuming brick building hosts one of the best venues for catching visiting rock, punk and metal bands that stop in Tulsa. This venue,  known as The Vanguard,  hosted a trio of California rock bands on Thursday night, with the regional band Øver cast warming up the crowd.

Øver cast– © Splice Magazine – Melissa Payne Please do not alter images.

Although advertised as an “all-ages show”, I must confess, I didn’t expect upon arriving to see children in tiny headphones running up on stage during the Øver cast set to give kisses and hugs to their fathers on stage. Taking it in stride, the band seemed fine with the interruption and paused the music and head banging to embrace their children. It was an endearing sight and started the night out with a relaxed, anything goes vibe, that would continue for the rest of the evening.

Andrés-© Splice Magazine – Melissa Payne. Please do not alter images

Next up was the band, Andrés, who brought a laid-back California vibe to the evening with a twist of alternative rock. Frontman and guitarist, Andres Aparicio, was likable with his stage banter and attempts to engage the crowd with his stories of past gigs he played in Tulsa.  Backed by a solid band, Aparicio continued the moment of the evening with songs like the tongue-in-cheek “Self Aware” and the post break-up song “Salty“.

Night Verses-© Splice Magazine – Melissa Payne. Please do not alter images

The clear crowd favorite of the night was the instrumental rock band, Night Verses. A trio hailing from California, made up of Nick DePirro on guitar, Reilly Herrera on bass and Aric Improta on drums.  Citing a difficult day and night, Improta asked the crowd to gather around the stage and rock out with them.  Spoken words and heavy, driving beats are the basis of Night Verses songs, sounding at some times similar, but still different at the same time. What made the set really shine was the dynamics of the trio. Improta especially was a joy to watch.  Having never seen him play before, I can only speculate if tonight’s performance was his normal way of playing or due to the frustration he mentioned at the first of the set. Whatever it was, it resulted in Improta jumping up on speakers and his drum set, clutching drumsticks and pumping up the crowd.

Strawberry Girls- © Splice Magazine – Melissa Payne. Please do not alter images.

Headlining the evening was Strawberry Girls, another California based, progressive rock/instrumental trio.  Made up of guitarist Zac Garren (formerly of Dance Gavin Dance), drummer Ben Rosett and bassist Ian Jennings, the trio ended the night on a high note with their skillfull playing. Founded in 2010, it was obvious this group is a well-oiled machine. Their playing was effortless and made it easy to get lost in their songs, with each song seamlessly blending into the next. One moment you’re dancing along to a steady drum beat and the thumping bass, the next its an almost delicate guitar riff.

The Party Nights tour is quickly coming to an end and finishes the last three dates on the west coast. If you’re into a great mix of  the instrumental rock of Night Verses and Strawberry Girls or the lighter, alternative flavor of Andrés, you’ll want to check out the remaining dates of this tour.

Øver cast:

Andrés:

      

Night Verses:

      

Strawberry Girls:

      

The Vanguard Tulsa:

   

Porter Union

Tulsa, Oklahoma (July 6, 2018) – On a humid Friday night in July, the Mercury Lounge in  Tulsa, OK was a hub of conversation, cold drinks and the music of Kendra and Cole Michael Porter, otherwise known as Porter Union. The duo is quickly becoming a fan favorite for their modern take on the classic country male/female duos of decades past. Having missed Porter Union’s last sold-out show at the Mercury Lounge, I was eager to hear them live for the first time. 

 

 

 

 

 Kendra and Cole’s voices are a perfect compliment to each other whether singing one of their own original songs, such as “Don’t You Know” or covering Merle Haggard’s “Are the Good Times Really Over”. Although billed as an acoustic show, the addition of Tyler Giles- Roberson on pedal steel and Justin Boswell on stand-up bass rounded out the duo nicely. If you haven’t heard of this incredibly talented duo, check out their self-titled debut album or catch them on the road this summer.

Porter Union:
      

Mercury Lounge:
   

Charley Crockett at Mercury Lounge, Tulsa, OK

Tulsa, Oklahoma (June 2, 2018) – Although the local arena was jam-packed for the second night in a row with a country superstar, anyone who was in attendance at The Mercury Lounge, in Tulsa, OK can tell you the better show tonight was Charley Crockett and his band, The Blue Drifters. Treating the crowd to an epic two-and-a-half hour set, Crockett performed songs from past albums, including material from his latest album, Lonesome as a Shadow, which was released in April. If you’ve never seen Charley Crockett perform live, you might wonder if his vintage vibe is all part of his act, but you’d be wrong to assume so. Charley Crockett is authentically and delightfully unique from his speech to his wardrobe. His stage presence is a testament to his years spent as a street performer and the energy he brings to the stage is electric. Check out his tour schedule to see when he’ll be bringing his brand of Gulf Coast boogie to a city near you.

 

Charley Crockett:
     

Mercury Lounge: