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Columnist urges fans to support musicians

This is a bit of a public service announcement  the secret to local live music surviving  and, better yet, thriving  comes down to two words: The Fans. Y'all have as important a role as anyone who plays an instrument, if not more so.

In keeping up with the local show listings, it's been troubling to see a lot of venues dropping off over the last six months. The Railhead Saloon, The Guitar Bar, Outlaw Bar-B-Q, Chianti Wine Bar, Apache Casino Hotel, Bullpen, Legion Building at the Medicine Park exit off Interstate 44, and a few others are continuing to book live music performances every week. Others like Fubar Saloon, Medicine Park Tavern, Red Dirt Reloaded are also among the most consistent. I know there are more out there and, with warm weather, more will follow. Others bring in some great periodic shows and deserve to be commended as well. To all you venues, I salute you.

See, we're home to some serious talent and to live music venues that are considered top tier for touring acts seeking an audience. But we need fans to put down the cell phones, get out of the house and become a part of something. Musicians are going to make music  it's what they do. Only the seriously delusional are doing it solely for the money. But it doesn't mean they don't work hard. Make it pay off for them and, in turn, it pays off for you. A lot of great shows are popping up in the club listings  give 'em a look. I'm pretty sure you'll find something that suits your taste. Support the venues and they, in turn, will support the artists.

I'm leaving you with this: Support local musicians. Listen to and buy the music, tell your friends, buy and wear the merchandise and spread the word. And, most importantly, go to the shows. You'll never not be glad you did. 

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Wednesday morning made for an interesting experience when the columnist guest-hosted "Lawton's No. 1 Super Best Greatest Morning Show of All Time Ever in the History of Morning Shows Ever" with Magic 95.3 FM's Steve "Steve-O" Carr. With usual co-host Indie Michaels on vacation, the opportunity to join in Wayback Wednesday sent my jeans flaring and my hair feathering within moments of arrival. It felt like pirate radio among friends as the play list was hijacked by songs from artists like Jim Croce, Parliament Funkadelic, The Clash, Fleetwood Mac, Bob Seger, Marvin Gaye, Bittle Withers, The Rolling Stones and pretty much everything else cool from the '70s to '90s coming out of the speakers. It was fun and a sort of affirmation.

If ever an opportunity presents itself to try something new, especially just for fun, don't hesitate: You never know what kind of experience it will be, but you can bet it will be worthwhile.

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Three-quarters of Cade Roth & The Black Sheep stopped in to Studio Blanket/Tent Fort on a cold winter's night to tape "Today's Best Soundemonium!" with Carr and the columnist. Roth, guitarist Shyloh Powers and drummer Ryan Joyce were excited for Saturday night's opening gig for William Clark Green at C.W. Scooters, 7700 W. Lee. The local heroes will go on around 9 p.m. with the headliners to follow. Early purchase tickets are $12 and day of the show, $15. 

Green has been finding great fits from our locals to open shows. Last weekend, East Cache Creek gave the headline act what for with a show at Wichita Falls, Texas. Originally from Flint, Texas, Green has been gaining a growing reputation and following with each of his four studio albums since 2008, culminating with a No. 18 peak on the U.S. country charts with 2015's "Ringling Road." The first single from the album, "Sympathy," topped the Texas Music Chart with its catchy and rockin' hook  https://youtu.be/tWPEHQ5t3dQ.

Roth and his bandmates are going to make Saturday night a great double-bill. They're still riding the high from 2017's highly-praised debut CD "Deviate." Without bassist Big Brad Wolfe, the trio knocked out a fantastic version of "Insane" that you heard if you tuned in. A song that held a lot of power as an acoustic number during Roth's solo days, it is a powerhouse of the band's performance and input. A bonus track, "Blame," will make a great closer to an upcoming "Mix Tape" edition. It was a lot of fun to hear the amazing lead guitar skills of Powers on the electric guitar  a rarity for the usually acoustic weekly show. He's one of the top-tier pickers in the region, so every opportunity to hear his fingers sing is worth taking. It's been about a year since last  they graced the studio and their bond has strengthened like a decade had passed. And with Roth's "Movember" moustache in full bloom, the band may have its unofficial fifth member.

An always-dynamic live act, I've never seen them fail to own an audience. Check out how well they kill a classic to close their set during last year's Medicine Park Red Dirt Ball. Powers' lead work is transcendental: nCade Roth & The Black Sheep  "Purple Rain"  https://youtu.be/MCjBuc5f6oA.

Although they claim the "genre" of red dirt, one of the main factors to the band's appeal is that, at their core, they're a real rock and roll band. Roth's Oklahoma drawl is the giveaway that allows them to be a genre-bending act that can handle a wide audiences with dexterity. It was the one-of-a-kind dexterity of sound mixed with a high-energy performance that let them take over the Inkin' Oklahoma Tattoo Convention audience's attention during a punchy afternoon set. The convention performance left its own indelible mark on the band  literally. Joyce went to the show an ink virgin and left with three new tattoos he designed.

There's a lot of potential good news on the horizon for the band. Joyce said fingers are crossed for some elements to line up. You can bet when the news is ready to break, you'll read it here first. Right now, live shows and writing for the sophomore album by the band are priorities for Roth and company. A new number, "What's Left of Me," has become a fan and band favorite. "It's a really good song," Joyce said. 

Keep up with the band via its Facebook page and pretty much all social media platforms. Keep your eyes open for a new band website in the coming months. Get your copy of "Deviat" through most online music outlets. 

If you're feeling it, you can travel to El Reno Friday for a 9 p.m. show at The Legion. The first weekend of February will have the rockin' quartet playing at Great White Buffalo Tavern in Stillwater on Feb. 2 and the next night at The Office in Weatherford. 

Along with being great musicians, the band was ripe for a lot of fun with "Hack and Jock." They might have a future in comedy if the music thing slows down.

Jokey McJokerson left me in knots with this week's joke setup. Here's the punch line:

"It ended in a tie."

Turn your radio dial to Magic 95.3 FM Radio around 9:25 p.m. each Thursday (if not much earlier) or stream the half-hour show online: http://s1.phx.icastcenter.com/start/kmgz953/, on the Apple or Android apps or on the TuneIn app, or: http://www.kmgz.com/. 

#Sundaymonium  Remember that every Sunday night you can listen to a rebroadcast of the prior week's show followed by this week's show: 6 p.m., Big Mike Webb & Lynn Moon; 6:30 p.m., Cade Roth & The Black Sheep. 

Visit, "like" ("love") and follow our Facebook page ://www.facebook.com/steveoandthescribe/.The two-part video slideshow with audio from the first all-performance episode, along with the very first episode, are found in the "Video" folder.

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Bookmark the site and visit weekly for online features every Friday at swoknews.com to enjoy a full feature experience with a quick click on any of the video links to get a full experience at your fingertips. Bookmark the column's YouTube channel and visit the library of exclusive videos from the column's archive featuring some of the best past local (and visiting) talent that's graced Southwest Oklahoma's stages. More added often:

Soundemonium Musaic Lawton music archive homepage: Scott Rains  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPw__GedGPOUD-wROFcuZ8w.

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