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Thursday round-up ... Water battles and music musings

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OKLAHOMA CITY – Water is clearly a major topic and will be for the foreseeable future. Clifton Adcock at the Oklahoma Gazette wrote this week’s cover story – “Water War” about the battle between the city and state vs. the Chickasaw and Choctaw tribes over the water from Sardis Lake in southeastern Oklahoma.

Shockingly, Oklahoma City City Manager Jim Couch makes a heap ‘o sense when he says that the courts need to iron out what “rights” belong to the city/state and the tribes.

“Are we fighting about the water?” asks Couch. “Maybe, but maybe we’re fighting about some other things. I think a lot of it is … sovereignty. Establishing their sovereignty can lead to other things.”

This is a major issue we will be watching for a long time to come.

On the entertainment side of things, specifically music – a favorite topic for your Red Dirt Reporter – we had a mighty fine interview with Clark Vogeler, guitarist for Fort Worth-based alt-rock band the Toadies. We will be posting that interview in the next few days. They are opening up for Social Distortion at the Diamond Ballroom next Tuesday. This is your chance to hear "Possum Kingdom" live!

One of the best Red Dirt bands in Oklahoma – Turnpike Troubadours – have a new album coming out next week called Goodbye Normal Street. G.K. Hizer at the Urban Tulsa Weekly does an interview with TT singer Evan Felker, who talks about the new album and next week’s “intimate show” at the Mercury Lounge in Tulsa. We loved Diamonds & Gasoline and expect to dig this new disc as well.

Texas country superstar Pat Green is coming to the Wormy Dog Saloon next Wednesday and to the Lucky Star Casino in Clinton on May 11th, as part of his album release party for Songs We Wish We’d Written II, which is officially released next Tuesday.

The first Songs We Wish We’d Written, released in 2001, and featured Green with fellow Texan Cory Morrow. This time, it’s just Pat Green and 10 cover tunes ranging from the strummy, folky “Streets of Galilee” (an Aaron Lee Tasjan song) to an interesting version of Tom Petty’s “Even The Losers.” Others include Lyle Lovett’s “If I Had a Boat” (which features  a great-sounding Cory Morrow) and Collective Soul’s “The World I Know.” A great collection of cover songs. We are looking forward to Pat Green’s return to Oklahoma.

Some albums we are listening to include: Let’s Go Eat the Factory by Guided By Voices. This quirky band has some of the best song titles around – “Doughnut for a Snowman” is a particular favorite. And then there’s punky-pop of “The Unsinkable Fats Domino.” Robert Pollard and company always seem to keep your attention with the lyrics alone. The music is icing on the musical cake.

What else? Canada’s Cowboy Junkies, a band we have been thoroughly enjoying since 1988, when we first heard “Sweet Jane” and The Trinity Session. Their current Nomad Series – they have released four installments (Renmin Park, Demons, and Sing in My Meadow were the first three in the Nomad Series)  – has been great. The latest installment is The Wilderness. “The Confession of Georgie E” and “F***, I Hate the Cold,” are classic Junkies tunes. Margo Timmins’ voice still sounds great.

And then there’s the Nashville pop stuff. We have written a lot about Rascal Flatts in recent years and always like to note that an Okie, Joe Don Rooney, plays guitar for the popular trio. They have a new album – as they usually do each year – and this one is simply titled Changed.  We do like songs like “Banjo” with its theme of escaping to the country. And then the upbeat ballads like “Sunrise” shine. We like the guitar solo on this track.

Our copy included four “bonus tracks,” including the “workin’ for the weekend” contemporary country-rocker “Friday.” Fans of Jason Aldean will dig this song. The same could be said of the catchy and upbeat “Right One Time.” The harmonies on the final “bonus track,” a cover of Shenandoah’s “Next To You, Next To Me,” accompanied by some nice mountain instrumentation, dobro, for instance, is a great addition as well.

Still, we were a bit more impressed with their 2010 release, Nothing Like This, as we noted in this RDR review at the time. They seemed more engaged and creative on that recording. Changed, despite the title, seems like the guys are quite as inspired in the song department as they were last time around.

Copyright 2012 Red Dirt Report

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Andrew W. Griffin

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Andrew W. Griffin received his Bachelor of Science in Journalism from...

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About Red Dirt Report

Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

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