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FLEMONS AID: Tunesmith Dom Flemons brings the history of American music to the Myriad Gardens

Photo provided by Myriad Botanical Gardens
The Great Lawn Folk Festival, featuring Carolina Chocolate Drops founder Dom Flemons, will kick off at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, July 22 at the Great Lawn and Bandshell at Myriad Botanical Gardens, 301 W Reno.
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OKLAHOMA CITY— With a summer full of live music events that run the gamut from rock, country and hip-hop, the Myriad Botanical Gardens opens up the Americana songbook on Saturday with the Great Lawn Folk Festival, an evening of folk music featuring Carolina Chocolate Drops founder Dom Flemons, who recently left the group to embark on a critically-acclaimed solo career.

“With my solo career, it’s actually been an extension of everything I’ve built up with the Carolina Chocolate Drops, and then some,” Flemons said. “That includes delving further into the early blues, to jazz and country music and ragtime, and those were all things that I brought to the group beforehand. I’ve been able to dig deeper, bringing out some of the unique instruments that I’ve picked up in my travels, including the rhythm bones, and the quills. It’s really an all-around show, featuring the variety and the depth of American music, covering about 100 years.”

Believing that “whenever you hear history in a book, the music always tells you something else,” Flemons has dedicated his career to the not only the history of these classic music forms but the stories they tell as well. As a follow-up to his 2014 album Prospect Hill, Flemons is currently working on a concept album based around the African-American cowboys, an unjustifiably forgotten part of American history.

“Anecdotes and stories fill in the blanks, personal stories or historical notes, performers' unique stories…I’ve taken a lot of time to study the “different pieces of the puzzle” and I hope it inspires listeners to think more broadly about their own stories and the stories of people around them,” Flemons added.

The Great Lawn Folk Festival will start at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, July 22 at the Great Lawn and Bandshell at Myriad Botanical Gardens, 301 W. Reno. The event is free and open to the public, however, VIP tickets, featuring front row reserved seating and one drink ticket, are $35.

Bluegrass outfit Steelwind is the opening act and food, ice cream and handcrafted popsicles from Pitchfork in the Park and numerous food trucks including Phill Me Up Cheesesteaks, Blue Donkey Tacos, Healthy Hippo, Metro Minis and Katie Bugs Shaved Ice will be on-hand, while beer and wine will also be available onsite.

“I cover a whole variety of music that will hopefully show people the scope of American music that I have explored and will get people at least thinking about how this music relates to them on a personal level,” Flemons said. “I think that there’s room to juxtapose a lot of different ideas next to each other and I hope that in my show, I help to create a bigger story with the music and the words and the styles I’ve placed together.”

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Louis Fowler

Güicho. Gadfly. Chicano. Choctaw. Cristero. Freelancer. Leftist. Activist. Vilified. PKD....

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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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