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.
I was lucky enough to get to hang out with Okie singer Samantha Crain recently, as she recorded her contribution to this year's Fowler Volkswagen Christmas compilation. You might recall last year's edition — of silly cover — which was recorded by Chris Harris at Hook Echo Sound and even spawned a really great free holiday concert.
This year's edition currently is being recorded at Blackwatch Studios, and owner/producer Jarod Evans says the album will feature Colourmusic, Sherree Chamberlain, Chrome Pony, Ol' Savior and more, including Ryan Lindsey singing the wonderfully titled "I'm Coming Down Your Chimney." Nathan Poppe's been tapped to shoot a promotional music video for the album, and he subsequently tapped yours truly to help out.
Watching Sam work on her Oklahoma-themed girl-crush seasonal song with Jarod and Daniel Foulks, her friendly fiddle player was a delight. At first, they considered doing a Lucinda Williams number, but decided it'd be more fun to layer a bunch of vocals over a steady, crackling-fire beat with plenty of sleigh bells, like a '60s girl-group song. Of the tracks I've heard, it's my favorite so far. Looking forward to picking up a copy come Christmastime! Watch video of her and Daniel recording their parts. Apologies for me being a bit of a wobbly videographer. Musicians make me nervous: