Although it may not be apparent to local fans, it hasn't been a quiet ride for Congress of a Crow since the band graced the cover of the September 20 issue of Urban Tulsa last fall. A CD release party was just the beginning of the action.
Despite playing fewer shows in Tulsa and the tempestuousness of the departure of guitarist Wil Sutherland, Congress is on a roll. The band has been playing more out of town shows to establish a broader fan base and the addition of six-stringer Ted Scott has seen the group develop an arguably tighter sound and chemistry.
In fact, 2008 has already started to shape up as a big year for the band. Playing in front of nearly 1,200 music fans on the Cain's Ballroom stage as part of the Tulsa Original Music showcase was merely a nice way to start the year.
Since then, Congress of a Crow has sold out its first pressing of CDs; played to a packed house at the iROK day party during South By Southwest, drawing even more onlookers congregating outside the windows to catch a glimpse of the band; secured a main stage slot at Iowa State University's Veisha concert (performing with Dirty Little Rabbits, Bobby Valentino, Jamie O'Neal and Blessed Union of Souls) and landed a slot at Wisconsin's Summerfest lineup on July 6.
Of course, it's not like the band has been ignoring Tulsa. In fact, the group has been working toward the opportunity to play in front of its hometown crowd again. Fortunately, we won't have to wait until the end of the summer and the band's tentative slot on the second stage at DFest to see them again as the band has scheduled a show at the Blank Slate this Friday night, April 25.
In catching up with the band last week, I found out the band's schedule hasn't only been about performing, although that has been in the forefront of the activity. Congress has also been busy developing its presence off stage as well, launching www.congressofacrow.com and setting up its own publishing company as well as writing material for the next album, all while holding down day jobs and touring out of town nearly every weekend.
The band highlights a couple of shows that stand out in particular from the past 6 months. The entire band agrees that the iROK showcase was special, if only because the band was able to participate and be a part of the overall SXSW experience. The Veisha show two weekends back will also be one for the member's collective scrap books.
Although the audience fell short of the 7,000 that attended in 2007, the band is not likely to forget the show any time soon. After all, how often does a band get the opportunity to perform an outdoor show while it's snowing? Just as the band broke into "Time to Wake Up", the snow started falling heavier and combined with the blue spots, created a light show that both bassist Todd Shaver and guitarist Adam Tichenor admitted to being mesmerized by, even while playing.
Weather won't be an issue this weekend, however, as Congress of a Crow headlines an all ages show at the Blank Slate with special guests Ganem and My Solstice opening. Music starts at 9pm and tickets are only $5 at the door ($7 for those under 21).
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