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.
Zac Brown Band with Nic Cowan 7 p.m. Thursday Chesapeake Energy Arena 100 W. Reno chesapeakearena.com 602-8700 $32.95-$86.25
C. Taylor Crothers
When country rock’s Zac Brown Band looked to record a follow-up to 2008’s platinum-selling smash, The Foundation, they heeded the advice of Les Brown, shot for the money and landed a pair of stars.
“I remember when Zac had these songs, he was like, ‘Jimmy Buffett is going to sing on this track, and Alan Jackson is going to sing this.’ We were like, ‘OK,’” vocalist and fiddler Jimmy De Martini said. “He has this way of making things happen when he’s really motivated to make it work.”
More than steady phone calls netted the group such high-profile guest spots on You Get What You Give, its second major-label effort. Zac Brown Band’s mantle has filled with gold statues from the Academy of Country Music, Country Music Association and the Best New Artist Grammy in 2010, despite having formed in 2002.
“We were the Best New Artist, eight years in the making,” De Martini said. “We realized as far as it goes nationally, we were new to everybody.”
The group started garnering attention on the heels of The Foundation, anchored by the hit “Chicken Fried.” However, more than mere country crowds dug the Atlanta-based outfit. A healthy sampling of Southern rock, folk and even a bit of jam band and island rock help.
“It’s what we do. It’s our sound. We hit on all styles of music and just make it the Zac Brown Band way,” De Martini said. “We never had intentions of becoming a Nashville-style country band. We were just doing what we liked, and we’ve never compromised on the music we like to play.”
Zac Brown Band recently wrapped up studio sessions on its next disc, with an eye toward a summer release. Although scant on details, De Martini promises it won’t disappoint.
“We seem to click even more,” he said. “That’s an extra three years of playing together, and we are just that much better.”