Wednesday 30 Jul

Power Pyramid - The God Drums

Power Pyramid doesn’t have much patience for nonsense. That appears to be the takeaway from the Oklahoma City quintet’s last 10 months, which brought The God Drums in September, the Insomnia EP in January and its latest, self-titled effort in July.

07/29/2014 | Comments 0

TJ Mayes - "When Love Comes Down"

’50s era rock ’n’ roll had been long overdue for a rebirth. Thankfully, the stockpile of capable luminaries has not been in short supply over the past few years. 

07/23/2014 | Comments 0

Boare - "playdatshit"

The world is in the midst of an electronic music renaissance, and you find most of this boon of producers laying claim to the club-friendly, bass-dropping variety, holing up in the the free-flowing world of hip-hop beatmaking or pitching their tent on the out-there, boundary-pushing EDM camp.
07/23/2014 | Comments 0

Broncho - "Class Historian"

Broncho has never been hurting in the hook department. The success of the trio’s 2011 debut, Can’t Get Past the Lips, was predicated mostly on its ability to marry melodies with kinetic guitar riffs and anarchic energy. Yet we’ve heard nothing to the degree of pure pop catchiness on display in “Class Historian,” the new single from Broncho’s upcoming sophomore album, Just Enough Hip to Be Woman.
07/23/2014 | Comments 0

Manmade Objects - Monuments

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.
07/15/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Music · Music · Injured police officer finds...

Injured police officer finds musical healing

Joanna Rus June 26th, 2008

A former Oklahoma City police officer and Army Reservist turned tragic circumstances into a profession.


Sgt. Justin Echols joined the Army Reserve in 1998 and the Oklahoma City Police Department in 2001, and was serving as an undercover narcotics officer when the 95th Infantry Division was activated in 2003.

But everything changed one dewy morning that year.

Before Echols could be deployed to Iraq, he was in a horrific head-on car collision that permanently disrupted four disks in his back. Injured, dejected and unable to serve overseas with his fellow soldiers, he turned to musical healing.

"I was really in a state of depression after the car accident, and something inside me just decided to sit down and plink on the piano once every three or four months," Echols, 29, said. "I found the music very soothing."

When Echols stepped up his practicing in 2006, he began playing up to six hours a day. It wasn't long before cramped fingers and sore forearms became a staple in his everyday routine.

Echols started taking lessons from Oklahoma City University's School of Music instructors and often performs publicly. After headlining several music events around the state in 2006, he contacted the general manager of the Skirvin Hilton Hotel in downtown OKC just as recently renovated hotel prepped to debut its Red Piano Lounge.

The pianist was hired on the spot, and immediately started a practice and performance routine that began at 5 a.m. before work and resumed at 4 p.m. after. Echols said his schedule included double piano jobs at the Skirvin and Boulevard Steakhouse each night.

The musician now has repertoire of 50 to 60 memorized pieces and a standing 5 p.m. Monday gig at the Skirvin's Red Piano. He hopes to record and release his first CD this summer. —Joanna Rus


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