POSTED ON JUNE 20, 2012:
Urban Tulsa's NewVo showcase returns with even more new voices and talent
Believe it or not, it's that time of year again: time for Urban Tulsa's annual NewVo "New Voices" showcase. In years past, we've tried a variety of different formats: an all-day showcase, an outdoor festival, a month long series of shows and multiple clubs on one night with a single cover. We're going with what we've found works best, however, and going back to one of our favorite locations this weekend as NewVo returns to IDL Ballroom this Friday night, June 22, for a free show with a half-dozen of Tulsa's hottest bands and artists on the rise.
Yes, the temperatures are skyrocketing, but UTW readers already know they can stay cool in the IDL complex as they float between Enso and Electric Circus. This night of music is free, as Urban Tulsa has not only hand-picked the bands, but also picked up your cover for the night. Yes, you heard that right: a full night of music with six bands and a preview of who promises to be the hottest local bands on the rise in one of the coolest venues in the Blue Dome District -- and Urban Tulsa is bringing it all to you for free. So what have we got up our sleeve this year? Here's a little preview of the six artists we've got locked in for this year's showcase. Check this out. ...
Urban Tulsa always has its ear to the ground for new bands and we've got one so new it's making its official debut at this year's NewVo showcase. There's no need to worry when Havinger takes the stage to warm up the evening, however. You should already know Dustin Howard as the lead guitarist for My Solstice. Since that band dissolved, he's kept himself busy in a number of other projects, ranging from the grove heavy free-form rock of King Cobra to handling guitar duties in The Bourgeois. This is something totally different; however, as Howard spins off in a most acoustic, folk-oriented direction with Andrew Cooke on percussion. With Howard at the helm, you know it won't get too boring or traditional. Make sure and arrive early to see where his latest project will lead.
Continuing in the acoustic vein, Dirty Creek Bandits has been turning heads with their modern spin on folk and bluegrass. This isn't just another band jumping on the indie-folk band wagon, though. Instead of following the movement that has come to the forefront with bands like Avett Brothers and Mumford & Sons, Dirty Creek Bandits embrace their Oklahoma roots, moving in a more bluegrass and pure country direction. That's why they've set themselves apart and started building their own following in clubs like Mercury Lounge and why we're expecting even bigger things from them in the coming year.
The Fiddlebacks may sound like another band following in the folk vein, but that's certainly not the case. Front man Justin Cooper has been in Tulsa's music scene for years, but he's found his own voice over the past couple of years and really come into his own with The Fiddlebacks. This is gritty, down to earth rock with a bluesy backbone and Cooper's own interpretation of Jagger swagger as he rocks out with Shawn Kintz and Ben Mosier (both previously of SwampFox) acting as his rhythm section. Forget any presuppositions you may have of Cooper's from his previous post-emo bands in his early days on the scene. The Fiddlebacks comes from the gut and shows what he's really made of.
Zach Mobely isn't just a veteran of the Tulsa music scene, he's a NewVo veteran as well. His first band, Have Fun Dying in Tulsa channeled a mix of modern rock and grunge with an explosive mix of influences highlighted by Smashing Pumpkins and Nirvana. Six years down the road, however, his songwriting has become more concise and effective. Popular Culture was a start, but with his latest band, The Bourgeois, Mobely is really hitting his stride. Backed by Jason Largent and Jeremy Quaid on drums and bass, respectively, The Bourgeois is more than just a Popular Culture redux. Mobely's first single, "Perversion of the American Dream" is an example of his new focus and direction. The addition of guitarist Dustin Howard adds another dimension to the band and serves to heighten the dynamics in Mobely's writing. True, we've had our eye on Mobely for a few years now, but this looks like the project that could really open the doors for him to break loose on the music front.
While we're looking at artist with history, we're proud to welcome Eric Himan to the NewVo fold. He's spent over a decade as a solo artist and won over Tulsa with Eric & the Adams. In the past year, he's been touring nationally again with a mix of solo acoustic shows and electric gigs with his current band, which includes Aaron Nelson on drums, Todd Shaver on bass and Ted Scott on guitar. We've got something special in store this weekend, however, as Eric takes a seat behind the keyboard for a solo performance that will highlight his catalog and a couple of choice covers. Himan may be a transplant to Tulsa, but he's a huge asset to our local music scene and we're proud to have him agree to join us for a special set to make the evening something special.
With a half dozen acts and that much talent, it's hard to call anyone the main headliner of the evening, but with seven nominations for this year's ABoT music awards, We The Ghost is inarguably the hottest band in Tulsa right now. We've already spotlighted the band when it held the release party for its Mixtape Summer EP, but that was just the beginning of the ride for these guys. Beau Tyler started out in Tulsa, moved to Dallas and has been part of more than a half dozen bands, but none of them have sounded as natural as this project as he pairs up with Dain Samuelson and Jimmy Adams. Add Branjae Jackson to the mix with Matt McHan on guitars and Kris Stone on keyboards and the band has grown even more. The band is up for best male and female vocals, band of the year, best newcomer and album of the year. When a band is this hot, there's no way we can't have them be part of the show.
So there you have it: five of our hottest rising bands and one of Tulsa's best solo artists, all in one night with no cover. Doors open at 7pm, with music starting at 8pm and its open to everyone, 18 and older. How can you pass this up? We'll see you Friday night!
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