The completion of every day brings us 24 hours closer to closing the voting polls for the Absolute Best of Tulsa Music Awards. Be sure to get there and click or cast that vote before July 16.
The annual competition is bigger than just one night of back-slapping for your favorite local artist. It rises far above the red carpet and limousine treatment of local talent, the suit and tie affair or, in some cases, the bleached and ripped jeans.
The evening is an important validation of the town and its artistic community as a whole. It is the resounding voice of local music fans saying, "This music and these artists are important, and everyone should shut up and pay attention."
If a band is confined to a one-horse town playing to the same five people, then they may never discover their faults. Maybe their guitars are never quite in tune or their drummer is off beat. But if there is a dialogue between artist and audience only then can artistic growth most effectively begin.
When the reception is so-so, an artist goes back to the drawing board, but when there is a swelling resonance, then they know they are on the right track.
The ABoT award show on Thursday, August 5 is the beginning of that reverberation. If local music creates any rumblings in your being whatsoever, it is important to get in to the dialogue now and vote.
But the noise created by the ABoT Awards will not cease come the next morning. UTW is working with the BOK Center and the State Fair to keep the tumult going well into the fall.
September 16 through 19 finds Third Street along the BOK Center overrun with the outdoor Rock 'n' Rib Festival. The festival is in its second year and features competing barbecue teams from as far as Virginia, Tennessee and Ohio. While the obvious reasons to attend the festival are mouthwatering in their own right, the Rock 'n Rib Festival does not shy away from live entertainment.
Fourteen regional artists will be featured on the live stage of the festival. Locals such as Eric and the Adams, Turnpike Troubadours, Sam and the Stylees and Fiawna Forte are scheduled to perform as well as heavy hitters the Red Dirt Rangers. But there is one slot on Saturday, September 18 that remains to be announced.
The festival's organizers are holding the spot for the recipient of ABoT Newcomer of the Year award.
The ballot runs a lengthy gamut: from the shimmering euphoric rock of All the Kings Men, to Bruder's mad-hatter dance party, Aries Road's '90s pop rock, Ransom James' dirty alternative blues-rock, and Baby B's raps.
Be sure to chime in and help decide who UTW sends to the festival with their 25,000-plus anticipated attendees and more barbecue sauce than you can shake a cow at.
Not to be out done, presenting sponsor the Tulsa State Fair is awaiting the results of no less than three different ABoT categories to fill out their live music roster.
The Best Country Band, Best Party Cover Band and Band of the Year all have multiple set times awaiting them at the Budweiser Beer Garden stage, one of the three stages the fair will have dedicated to live music.
This year, the fair runs from September 30 through October 10 and the ABoT winners will be featured the final Thursday, Friday and Saturday of the event.
The Band of the Year might be the most contested ticket. The fanatical followers of Chuck Cooley and the Demon Hammers, Eric and the Adams, Halo Jordan, Restless Ribbon and Stars Go Dim are all battling it out to make their voices heard.
Devotees of the Tulsa nightlife might recognize some of the bands up for Best Party Cover Band. If you can connect Crossland, Imzadi, Smunty Voje, The Jetset Kings or The Sellouts with a particularly great night out, then your mind is probably already made up.
Last but not least is the Best Country Band, a particularly exciting category for the fair. Mainly because there are few better things than enjoying a country band in between devouring a turkey leg or fried Twinkie and attending the livestock show. Seriously. 2 Steps Back, Brandon Clark Band, DixieTrain Band, Kristin Nicole Band, and Merle Jam are all up for the honor.
The ABoT Music Awards is a special opportunity for all of the readers and musicians involved as well as Tulsa and its arts communities as a whole. Be sure to vote, join the dialogue and help shape the creativity of Tulsa.
The returns on your investment will surely be sevenfold.
Visit abotmusicawards.com for more information.
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