Three volumes in and A Blackwatch Christmasyet again nabs a spot on the nice list, showcasing a smattering of Oklahoma artists with charming new holiday standards. This year shakes up the status quo with two themed halves — serving up dusty, countrified Christmas ditties on the Holly-Tonk side and soulful hip-hop carols with Jingle Beats, both with joyful returns.
It has been a relatively rocky road for Weatherford alt-country outfit Green Corn Revival, which has seen its share of highs (acting as backing band for rockabilly icon Wanda Jackson) and lows before an (amicable) split in the road led half of the original lineup to forming Honeylark.
Oklahoma is quickly becoming the indie Christmas music capital of the world, it seems, with yearly compilation albums featuring everyone from Stardeath and White Dwarfs to Graham Colton. So it makes sense that Colourmusic — freak-poppers hailing from Stillwater — would craft a full album of original, offbeat holiday tunes themselves.
The Oklahoma City metro has a thriving garage rock scene. With seasoned acts like Broncho and Copperheads carrying the modern-day torch, the way has been paved for a flock of gritty, young, guitar-centric acts. But nascent Norman trio Poolboy has a knack for riotous hooks that few of its contemporaries can boast.
Chris Cagle with Chuck Wicks 7 p.m. Saturday Plunkett Park 100 N. University, Edmond $15
Life as a touring musician has left country’s Chris Cagle with plenty of lumps. Somehow, he’s taken them all and poked fun at the experience, titling his last album, “My Life’s Been a Country Song.”
The narrative has seen Cagle stumble over all the trappings of country stardom — divorce, label drama, legal battles — since signing a deal with Virgin Records in 2000, and all that turmoil did its best in derailing his still-bright career.
“Three or fours years ago, I got the point where I was like, ‘You know what? I’m done. I quit. I don’t like who I am, who I am involved with, and I don’t want to become the guy I’m becoming,’” he said. “It was a rough time in my life. I turned around and I feel like now, I’m back up in that saddle.”
Inking a venture deal with Bigger Picture Music Group (home of former Normanite Christian Kane), has Cagle re-energized. Finding stability with wife and kids on a ranch in southern Oklahoma and having his new single, “Got My Country On,” hitting high on the charts is even more electrifying.
“That’s huge! That’s big shit, and these guys are making it happen for me,” Cagle said. “It makes me want to go out and bust my butt. I want to do the right things. I want to go to the gym, love my kids, love my wife, stay true to who I am and build something I never grew up having. I wanna see how big we can get. It’s not so much an ego thing as it is a game. I want to win the whole deal.”
His next stride toward that is the aptly titled “Back in the Saddle,” which sees him coming out of the closet, so to speak.
“I’m making the record I’ve always been scared to make. To be honest, I’m a closet rocker,” he said. “.38 Special, The Doobie Brothers, Lynyrd Skynyrd — that’s what I’ve always loved. For me to take that music and cross it over with a country feel, I don’t know. I hope it works.”
It makes me want to go out and bust my butt. —Chris Cagle
The gamble is paying off; that lead single’s success and buzz on country stations nationwide point to “Saddle” being his highest-charting album yet. Even if those expectations aren’t met, Cagle is more than happy already.
“Just the fact that I did a record is what makes me proud,” he said. “I think that everyone is going to hear me happy. I think my fans want me to be happy, and the fact that they are going to hear me singing from a happy place, not a hurt place, is the thing I’m most proud of.”