Rodney Whaley brought Polar Bear Plunge Coordinator ”Professor” Pat Shaughnessy with him this week to Studio Blanket/Tent Fort to share news of the week of fun planned for Medicine Park. Now that he’s officially taken the role as events coordinator, Whaley said life has been “pretty nonstop.”
But that doesn’t mean Whaley’s not still doing one of the things he does best — making music. Along with a bonus song called “I’ll Never Touch You Again,” he performed a beautiful number.
The original song, thematically, chills nicely with Saturday’s plunge event at Bath Lake: •Rodney Whaley — “Mermaid” — https://youtu.be/sPd-EqNqSk0.
“I wrote that for a friend who was going through some stuff,” he said. “I’ve had a lot of people request it lately.”
A prolific and solid songwriter, Whaley said his new duties have put finishing some new material on the back burner a bit. But that doesn’t mean he’s not collecting bits and pieces that will one day turn into new music. He said he’s constantly adding notes for lyrics and song ideas onto his phone. Now, he’s waiting for a moment to finish them and get into a studio.
But first things first. Saturday’s Polar Bear Plunge will begin at its traditional home of Park Tavern. That’s where things will return once the chilly Medicine Creek waters are breached and the polar bears are ready to warm themselves. Smilin’ Bob English Band will do their part to sing in the revelry after the event from the Park Tavern.
Shaugnessy said the new Plunge Week 2020 initiative will offer cultural fun throughout the week. Starting off tonight with the Polar Bear Prom at the Medicine Park Music Hall, there’s going to be a whole lot of shakin’, rattlin’ and rollin’.
The week will capstone with a guitar concert Feb. 8 at the Music Hall featuring internationally acclaimed flat-pickers Loren Barrigar and Mark Mazengarb. The show will be at 7:30 p.m. and tickets are $30 at the door.
The duo’s diverse repertoire draws on many musical influences: Americana, jazz, classical, bluegrass, gypsy jazz and more with a technique built on the style of Merle Travis and Chet Atkins. Barrigar and Mazengarb have toured extensively in both the USA and in Europe, and their fan base is rapidly expanding.
Check out some of their amazing abilities in actions with this award winning number: •Loren Barrigar and Mark Mazengarb — “Onward” — https://youtu.be/nu_WPiF0FKI.
Whaley said this weekend’s kick off offers prelude to a year filled with some cool takes on the traditional festivals. The talented Anthony Fontaine has been designing new posters/t-shirt designs that, according to the early sketches, will be something unique and one-of-a-kind — much like Medicine Park.
Park Stomp is set for March 14 and 15 with an early kickoff on the 13th with performances at the Park Tavern. Whaley said Chuckie Waggs & The Company of Rags is one of the cool headliners. Although Tyrannosaurus Chicken is no more, its alumnus in Rachel Ammons will be performing. Also on the bill is a seven-piece supergroup called Go On, Git. Big things are in the works for Rockin’ the Park and the Blues Ball as well.
One of the fun things about the festivals, Whaley said, is the primitive camping. That gives reason for many of the musicians to gather and make some fun, off-the-cuff music together throughout the weekends’ nights. It’s like a musician’s sleepover party.
“It’s free festivals where you can come relax and have a good time,” Whaley said. “We just want to carry on the traditions and have a lot of fun.”
Whaley credits long-time event coordinator Dwight Cope with beginning and maintaining for so many years one of the great Medicine Park traditions — free music festivals with something for everyone.
Whaley and Shaughnessy’s visit this week’s to Studio Blanket/Tent Fort for Today’s Best Soundemonium! with Steve Carr, a.k.a. Steve-O, and the columnist proved to be an eventful blend of mirth and mischief. I think I’m jumping into Bath Lake Saturday just to catch what these guys have.
Jokey McJokerson took one more jab at Baby Yoda with this week’s joke set-up:
“To light the path away from the dark side ... and also to the potty.”
Turn your radio dial to Magic 95.3 FM Radio around 6:25 p.m. each Thursday (if not much earlier) or stream the half-hour show online: http://s1.phx.icastcenter.com/start/kmgz953/ or www.onlineradiobox.com; or on the Apple or Android apps or on the TuneIn app, or: http://www.kmgz.com/.
And, hey, if you have a song you want us to check out, email us: email@example.com.
Local live music
Apache Hotel & Casino, 2315 E. Gore, 9 p.m, Friday and Saturday: Crosswind; Thursday: Signal 4; Disco Night every Friday, 8 p.m. to midnight; Comedy Night every Saturday, 7-10 p.m.; Dance Night every Saturday, 9 p.m.-1 a.m. Event Center: 7:30 p.m., Feb. 13: Ronnie Milsap; March 14: The Gathering EDM Night; March 20: Easton Corbin; April 2: America. 21-and-up.
Wichita Sounds Band Dance, 911 NW Hilltop Drive. Each Friday, 7 — 10 pm. Traditional country, early rock-’n’-roll, and ballroom. Seven dollar entry includes soft drinks and potluck snacks. No smoking, No alcohol. Everyone welcome. 580-450-7063
BrookRidge Retirement Community, 7802 Quanah Parker Trailway. 3-4:30 p.m. Wednesday, free. 536-9700: Frank & Friends Musical Entertainers.
Cooperton Senior Citizens 2nd and 4th Saturday Dance, Cooperton School. 6:30-9:30 p.m. Saturday. Kenneth Boyd, 580-639-2776: live band, free refreshments, family-friendly, smoke and alcohol free.
Chianti Wine Bar, 5370 Cache Road, 366-3057, 7-10 p.m., Friday: TBD; 7-10 p.m., Saturday: TBD.
Park Tavern, 198 E. Lake Drive, Medicine Park, live music and karaoke; medicineparktavern.com. Friday, 8 p.m.: TBD; Saturday, 2 p.m.: Smilin’ Bob English Band.; Sunday Funday, 3 p.m.: TBD.
Red Dirt Reloaded, 6425 Cache Road, 580-699-3478. Live music Friday 9 p.m.: TBD; Saturday, 8 p.m.: TBD; Thursday, 8-11 p.m.: every first and third Thursday, Open Mic Night with Big Pete Piehnik & Magic 95.3 FM, every second and four, Karaoke Dude.
Railhead Saloon, 909 S. Sheridan, live music begins at 9 p.m., alternative/metal/hardcore/punk. Live music Friday 9:30 p.m.: TBD, Saturday, 10 p.m.: TBD; Sunday, 8 p.m.: Dead at the Head; May 21: Black Flag Punk Icons, $22.
Guitar Bar, 1816 S. 11th, Monday: TBD; Tuesday: karaoke; Wednesday: acoustic open mic with Kris Brown; Thursday: acoustic with TBD; Friday, 9 p.m.: live music, Guitar Bar house band, Ralph Spears and the Coalition with Big Mike Webb; Saturday 9 p.m.: James Townsend & Friends; Sunday: 7 p.m.: acoustic jam night with Tony Garrison.
Bullpen, 11822 NW McClung Road, 592-5451, Friday, 10 p.m.: TBD; Saturday, 8 p.m.: TBD; Sunday, noon: Grateful Gospel Jam, all interested musicians invited; Wednesday, 8 p.m.: Hump Day Jam TBD; Thursday: free billiards.
Fubar Saloon, No. 4 W. Lee, 699-3550, Friday, 9 p.m.: TBD; Saturday, 10 p.m.: TBD.
Wall Street Bar, 23 N. 7th, Duncan, 580-255-7780, Friday, 9 p.m.: Cashroh; Saturday, 8 p.m.:Katie & Kelly.