Spring has finally arrived (or so it seems), and that opens up even more options for music lovers in Tulsa. The weather is approaching near-perfect for spending the evening on the patio enjoying drinks with friends and some great local tunes, making a night at Hunt Club or The Yeti more and more appealing.
More than that, however, The Brady Arts District is coming back to life as the Guthrie Green has reopened for the spring season. Although the first week of April was thrown off by cold and rain, the weather has largely cleared and the Green is proving the place to be for families and music lovers alike with something going on nearly every day of the week.
Get your Jam On
Tuesday nights are normally a little slow around Tulsa, but Okie Tone Records is giving everyone a reason to get out with Okie Tone Jam Night on Tuesday evenings from 6-9pm. Dinner options prevail here as a rotating assortment of food trucks populate the Tuesday night sessions, and the stage is set up for an open jam session that can include anyone from John Moreland to Wink Burcham to Desi & Cody or Dustin Pittsley, depending on who's in town and who drops in on any given night.
After the Jam session wraps at Guthrie Green at 9pm, the session shifts to 18th and Boston, taking to the Treehouse stage. This has already proven to become an interesting night, seeing musicians crossing the street and joining each other on both the Treehouse and Mercury Lounge stages, and creating some interesting pairings that we haven't seen yet within just the New Tulsa Sound circles.
Although Okie Tone Jam Night was initially planned for every Tuesday in April, it looks like it will carry forward, likely as an alternating week or once a month event at Guthrie Green and the potential to remain a weekly event at Treehouse.
Get your Grub On
Wednesday afternoons are following in a similar vein as the Guthrie Green offers up an outdoor lunch option with "Food Truck Wednesdays." From 11:30am-1:30pm on Wednesdays through the end of May, a variety of food trucks will provide an assortment of lunch options and a chance to eat outside and enjoy both the park and the nice weather. Acoustic tunes are planned as well on the outdoor stage to complete the vibe and make Wednesday afternoons a chance to relax during the lunch hour.
Thursday evenings take a slightly different turn with "Movies in the Park" from 8:30-10:30pm. Each week a different family friendly movie will turn up. It's a great opportunity to get in some family time and relax while downtown. As usual, you can expect a food truck or two to be out, or you can always get something from Lucky's on the Green, Guthrie's permanent café, which is always open during events.
Friday and Saturday nights are made for going out, and although the Guthrie Green may not be a club, it does provide a great option to kick off your night. Although April has not seen the Green take on a Friday night concert series, I won't be surprised to see it pop up as summer arrives. Last fall, local music was on the agenda for both Friday and Saturday nights, and so far, Saturdays have provided a great outdoor stage for our local artists.
One show you'll want to make sure and be a part of is the concert for the opening of the Woody Guthrie Center on Saturday, April 27. Music will begin at 1pm and run until 6pm, with performances by Sarah Lee Guthrie and Johnny Irion, Ramblin' Jack Elliot, Red Dirt Rangers, Desi & Cody, and Jimmy LaFave as the Green celebrates its namesake and the opening of the Woody Guthrie Center and Guthrie Archives, displaying a huge collection of Guthrie memorabilia.
Looking out into May, the Green has its annual Infant Services "Baby Rock" concert planned for May 18 and the first annual Tulsa Music Festival, an all-day event with a variety of bands, scheduled for May 25.
Sundays on the Green
Finally, the best day of the week on the Green is consistently Sunday afternoons, as the park has plenty going on to keep the community atmosphere going. The weekly Sunday Market opens at 10am, giving vendors of everything from produce to arts and crafts a place to display and sell their products. The market stays open until 4pm and overlaps with the weekly concert series organized by TulsaRootsMusic.org.
The Sunday afternoon concert series provided the most anticipated shows on the Green last fall and have already set the standard again this year. Beginning at 2pm and running until 6pm, the Sunday afternoon series mixes local talent with nationally-recognized players, and sometimes, those are one and the same. This weekend's Earth Day celebration will include local acts Mary Cogan and Mid Life Crisis Band, and the April 28 show carries on the good will of the Guthrie Center show with JD McPherson, Samantha Crain, Ramsay Midwood and Ripple Green.
Whatever the day of the week, there's almost always something going on at Guthrie Green. Now is the time for you to check it out and make it part of your weekly routine. A full schedule, including Thursday night's movies, band listings for the weekend concerts, and details on all other special events can be found online at Guthriegreen.com.
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As busy as the past few weeks in Tulsa have been, this week almost feels slow. Almost. That's not to say you don't have plenty of options to choose from, though. As always, we've got the highlights, so check these out before you hit the town.
Thursday, April 18
The big show of the night is out at The Joint as Chicago brings a full night of hits. If you're looking to chill out on Thursday, though, it's a great night to check out the jams with Dustin & Jesse's Higher Education at Shrine, Ego Culture at Hunt Club or The Move at Colony after Honky Tonk Happy Hour. And make sure to not overlook the return of American Aquarium to Mercury Lounge, this time sharing the bill with Moot Davis.
Friday, April 19
Friday is the night to get your rock fix as New Science returns for another round at Shrine with OTSB and Mikey Ohlin opening the show. Meanwhile, The Bourgeois rocks The Vanguard with Two Fold and Sleepwalking Home and The Yeti hosts a night of punk rock with The Decomposed, Contagion 237 and Streetlight Hero. If you're looking for something a little more laid back, check out Kyle Reid at Back Alley Blues or the Levon Helm Tribute at Blue Rose Café with Earl Cate & Them and special guest Terry Cagle.
Saturday, April 20
One of the coolest shows of the month almost slid by under the radar, but we caught it in time to give you a heads up: Broken Arrow Performing Arts Center hosts "Boys Night Out" with Oak Ridge Boys and Blind Boys of Alabama sharing the stage for a full night of gospel, country and blues that you won't be able to match this spring. If you want even more country, Kentucky Headhunters play the Osage Events Center with Confederate Railroad. Afterwards, head over to Mercury Lounge to close out your night with Red Dirt Rangers. And if you're looking for some metal with a little dark humor thrown in, GWAR returns to Cain's Ballroom with Warbeast and Wilson rounding out the bill.
Sunday, April 21
Guthrie Green's Sunday concert series and Earth Day celebration keeps it local this week with Mary Cogan and Mid Life Crisis Band. While you're in the area, cut out just a little early and head across the bridge to the Jazz Hall of Fame for a 5pm show with Annie Ellicott and Jay Garrett. And once you've settled in, spend the rest of your evening in the Brady Arts District with the country songwriting of Skip Ewing with Kristen Hemphill at Vanguard or the Oklahoma based dance rock of Shiny Toy Guns at Cain's Ballroom with Colourmusic and Kids & Chemicals opening the show.
After a typically quiet early week, T-Town comes back to life with two big shows on Wednesday, April 24. Dance fans will want to head to Cain's Ballroom for currently exploding DJ Markus Shulz (who caused a big buzz at SXSW) and KhoMha. Meanwhile, Christian music fans should all be at Tulsa Convention Center for Third Day with openers Colton Dixon and Josh Wilson.
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