No one wants to be forgotten; everyone wants some sort of legacy, a mark they leave behind as they exit this life for whatever lies beyond.
And for as long as there has been death, there have been monuments — whether austere or understated, abstract or concrete, prominent or tucked away in private — erected by the ones they loved to assure that remembrance, at least for a time.
Some of the best albums and artists were born out of happy accidents owed to varying degrees of early suckage — the perfect note or chord for a song found by missing the one you are aiming for, failed mimicry of an idol bearing something entirely new and great instead.
The Tequila Songbirds have become just as beloved as about any group around these parts. And how could they not?
Featuring a revolving cast of the Sooner State’s most badass female performers, it’s a power hour of some of the best songwriting coming out of central Oklahoma. Sure, they might not technically be family, but they are clearly a band of sisters all the same, bonded by the same brand of whiskey running through their veins.
"Overproduced" is a term thrown around all too indiscreetly nowadays, usually applied when the thing that sticks out about a song or album is how it sounds rather than how it is constructed. Yet some of the most compelling albums ever crafted embodied a certain aesthetic that was just as skillfully and meticulously put together as any Bob Dylan or Miles Davis record — which is to say production is as crucial to our enjoyment of music as much as anything else; it's also the most overlooked.
Indie rock has been in a good place as of late. Not caring about being cool is the new cool, and a couple of dudes on guitar, bass and drums can make catchy, earworm songs without being armed to the gills with computer software and vintage synthesizers.
Stoney LaRue 8 p.m. Saturday Riverwind Casino 1544 W. State Highway 9, Norman riverwind.com 322-6000 $18-$28
Saturday night, Stoney LaRue will play a sold-out show in the glitz and glam of Norman’s illuminated Riverwind Casino. Ten or so years back, he played the same city on a weekly basis at the humble, beloved The Deli.
Although the Red Dirt icon appreciates the huge production and massive capacity — now necessary to house his legions of fans — of a place like Riverwind, he’s not done longing for the quiet comfort of those simpler nights.
“I was always a fan of the saying, ‘The people make the church.’ At The Deli, things were just so laid-back, and you could always bounce new songs off the crowd. I loved it, and I’d like to go back there and join Travis Linville on a Monday night again,” he said. “[I enjoyed] being out there and in the middle of the people you were singing to. Not losing that pulse of the crowd.”
Like most of the Red Dirt heavy hitters, LaRue hasn’t lost touch with his roots as brethren in pop or even Nashville country might.
“The whole way we started and the foundation we built on, there was always room for everybody,” he said.
“It wasn’t all about setting yourself apart from the pack, it was more about setting the pack apart from everything else. We’re all brothers.”
He means that figuratively and literally. His brother, Bo Phillips, is also a musician, and the tie they feel with the others might as well be blood, too.
“There’s a truth and an honesty,” LaRue said. “I think it’s easy to see that camaraderie isn’t fake, because we were riding together back when we were nothing.”
LaRue is arguably the most successful of the Red Dirt solo artists. In August, he released his second studio album, “Velvet,” six years after his debut, the aptly titled “The Red Dirt Album,” after spending 250-plus days on the road a year for more than half a decade.
“I’m glad that it’s done, and I can finally start the next one. And I’m glad it’s not total shit,” he said. “I think it captured those six years that were lost out on the road. This happened at the perfect time: right when it was supposed to.”