Honky-tonk fans pining over country’s gentrification should head to Tuesday’s installment of Acoustic Oklahoma to see how a veteran of the local punk scene matured into a weary and bitter bluegrass balladeer.
“Punk rockers like three chords and the truth: That’s country music all over,” said Jay Vick, front man of JV’s Fillin’ Station.
Vick cut his teeth in punk and metal bands, but a 1999 chance encounter with alt-country act Split Lip Rayfield tweaked his interest in exploring more traditional music forms.
“It lit a fire under me to experiment,” he said. “They call their music ‘thrashgrass,’ so between that and honky-tonk is what’s going on in my head.”
Full of beer-fueled, back-porch ballads, JV’s Fillin’ Station’s recent album hearkens back to workingman classics like “Take This Job and Shove It.” Then the metal roots emerge with blistering stompers where skilled picking and bravado bristle with the energy of fellow Okie howlers Bloody Ol’ Mule.
“This is a growing scene,” Vick said. “We may not be bringing in all the old traditionalists listening to 78s, but we are getting a bit of the alt-country crowd, the college kids, the drunks — whoever happens to show up to the bar that night.”
Tuesday’s show at VZD’s Restaurant & Club, 4200 N. Western, features JV’s newest member, mandolin player Susan Fowler. Admission is free.