One of Norman’s oldest bars offers live music seven days a week. 

click to enlarge DEVON RAY STRICKLAND
  • Devon Ray Strickland

Lori Kay Treisa has owned The Deli in Norman for eighteen years, and she has provided live music seven days a week every year since she bought the historic Campus Corner venue. Live music venues that are open seven days a week are rare in Oklahoma, and to find one that focuses on local music is rarer still.

“People have different schedules,” Treisa said. “Sunday and Monday nights have always been huge at The Deli, partly because service industry people get a chance to go out and hear live music, and because musicians love to work.”

Kierston White, a Norman-based singer-songwriter, said The Deli is where she likes to debut new music. The Deli is a workshop of sorts for singer-songwriters, bands and musicians. White plays many of The Deli’s Free Shows, which are typically 7 to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

“The 7-9 shows are a great spot,” White said. “People can come to an early show if they work mornings, or they can catch a show after they get off work. I’m a musician, and I hate waiting for 10 o’clock shows.”

Treisa said she added the free shows last year, which also coincided with The Deli celebrating 40 years of live music. The shows mostly feature consistent acts: Harumph on Wednesdays, Caleb McGee on Tuesdays and Alan Orebaugh on Mondays.

Orebaugh is former guitarist for Red Dirt country star Stoney LaRue. His free show has “and friends” appended to the name because he tends to bring in musician friends to jam with him.

The Deli also has some of the best local acts, including White, Camille Harp and Annie Oakley, which features founding sisters Sophia and Grace Babb. Often classified as indie-folk, newgrass or just good music, the all-girl band plays one free show a month at The Deli in addition to its regular appearances.

Regular shows at The Deli typically have a $5 cover, but that does change sometimes, depending on the band.

“I want to make space for the crazy-talented local musicians we have in the metro,” Treisa said, “but we do feature touring bands occasionally.”

To make room for new acts, Treisa has started Band Practice, a 10 p.m. Monday timeslot for new bands. She said she plans to keep the program going throughout the summer.

This week, Travis Linville has the Wednesday free show from 7 to 9 p.m. Linville is a Norman-based singer-songwriter who has played with the likes of Willie Nelson and Hayes Carll. He was the Thursday free show at The Deli for more than a year, and that slot has now been passed to Kierston White.

White will be playing her regular slot this week — Thursday at 9 p.m. — where she’ll be joined by Camille Harp and Elizabee. Schedule permitting, White’s brother Bryon of The Damn Quails will take the stage with her. Gravity Feed, a Texas-based jam band, will play at 10 p.m. Thursday night.

The Deli is a 21-and-over bar, and despite the name, it does not serve food. Treisa said customers should feel free to order delivery if they’re hungry.

Print headline: Deli fresh, One of Norman’s oldest bars offers live music seven days a week.

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Greg Horton

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