Sunday 20 Apr

Dustin Prinz - Eleven

Few musicians take the time to master their instrument in the way that Oklahoma City singer-songwriter Dustin Prinz has; he’s a guitar virtuoso in every sense of the word, and Eleven gives him the chance to show just how far he can push that skill.
04/15/2014 | Comments 0

Horse Thief – Fear in Bliss

Listening to Horse Thief’s previous release — the haphazardly melodramatic Grow Deep, Grow Wild — felt like a chore. Whatever potential the Oklahoma City folk-pop act demonstrated on the EP was obscured behind a formulaic, contrived and ultimately hollow cloud. But it at least offered a glimmer of promise for a band consisting of, frankly, five pretty talented dudes. Critics saw it; the band’s management saw it; its current label, Bella Union, saw it; and its increasingly fervid fan base saw it.
04/08/2014 | Comments 0

Colourmusic — May You Marry Rich

There’s always a sense of danger when debuting songs in a live setting and playing them well. Without having heard the studio versions, expectations are set according to the live incarnations. But capturing the breadth of free-flowing atmosphere and sheer volume on a disc, vinyl or digital file isn’t the easiest thing to do, especially for a band as vociferous as Colourmusic.
04/01/2014 | Comments 0

Em and the MotherSuperiors — Churches into Theaters

As titles go, Churches into Theaters is an apt descriptor for the debut album from Oklahoma City rockers Em and the MotherSuperiors. It’s a reverential record, one that shares the gospel of classic rock, blues and soul but embraces the need to refashion it for modern times, channeling The Dead Weather, Grace Potter and Cage the Elephant along the way.
03/25/2014 | Comments 0

Rachel Brashear — Revolution

Rachel Brashear’s second EP, Revolution, starts with a kick to the shins.
03/18/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Music · Music · The gap

The gap

The bluegrass of Black Canyon bears roots darker than the rest. Proof is in the Oklahoma City act’s newest material.

Joshua Boydston June 27th, 2012

Black Canyon with Beau Jennings & The Tigers and Defining Times
9 p.m. Friday
Blue Note Lounge
2408 N. Robinson

Credit: Nathan Poppe

Although less than two years old, the Oklahoma City Southern folk act Black Canyon already is a whole new beast.

“Black Canyon has changed a lot over the past six months,” front man and founding member Jake Morisse said. “Things are getting a lot louder.”

There’s a fairly simple explanation:

Founding member Jordan Herrera departed last year, leaving Morisse to find new players, which he has in Riley Jantzen (ex-Mayola), Tyler Hopkins (The Nghiems) and Kurt Freudenberger (The Pretty Black Chains). As Morisse tells it, loud and vicious is what these guys wanted the group’s core to be.

“I’m a punk-rock kid,” he said.

“That’s what we all are.”

It’s never more apparent than a Black Canyon live show — a communal experience that demands the crowd participation of a Southern revival. The quartet considers you a fifth member, there to stomp, clap and holler.

“I can’t fucking stand just standing around and being too cool for everyone else. How long can you stand with your arms straight down at your side?” Morisse said. “That’s not Oklahoma. We’re a passionate state, obviously.”

Passion carried through to the band’s new record, born out of a trying period for Morisse.

“With this one, I came to a point where I was dealing with a lot of stuff,” he said. “I was figuring out a job, trying to sort out my life. Drinking had gotten heavier than it normally had been, and that scared me. So I started writing songs.”

Black Canyon’s debut, last summer’s Battlefield Darlings, was a concept album, creating a narrative of lovers torn apart by the Civil War. The new one is almost purely biographical. It sacrifices fiction for no-holds-barred, unadulterated, sometimes-brutally honest truth, and there’s nothing more punk rock than that.

“I didn’t want any bullshit. I wanted this to be as honest as possible. It’s about me being drunk a lot, having trouble with women and being depressed by the thought my mother might like my brother better because he’s religious and I’m not,” Morisse said. “It’s stuff I don’t want to talk about at the end of the day with people. It’s not good bar conversation.”

Hey! Read This:
Black Canyon SXSW live review  
Jake Morisse interview 
The Nghiems interview   
The Pretty Black Chains' Awakening CD review  
The Pretty Black Chains interview   
Riley Jantzen and the Spirits' Feathers CD review     

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