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‘VISIONS’ QUEST: Damien Jurado’s latest tour leaves no small-town venue unturned

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Damien Jurado
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OKLAHOMA CITY—For over two decades, acclaimed indie stalwart Damien Jurado has crisscrossed America a few times over. However, for this latest tour in support of his most recent album, Visions of Us on the Land, the modern-day storyteller will not only hit all fifty states but the numerous smaller towns inside them that tend to get looked-over and ignored by most touring artists.

“It’s something that I had never done before,” Jurado said. “In all of my years of touring, there are still a lot of places that I haven’t played. I’ve been touring for 21 years and some of these places I’ve always wanted to play but have never had the chance. I’ve never played a show in Connecticut, Delaware, Wyoming…there’s a handful of them.”

While Jurado said that he is going into this with “zero expectations,” he does feel it’s the kind of tour that perfectly suits the album, which happens to be the final installment of a trilogy which began with 2012’s Maraqopa and continued with 2014’s Brothers and Sisters of the Eternal Sun, following the journey of a character disappearing from society in order to “discover universal truths.”

“A lot of these states I’ve been to, but a lot of these cities I haven’t been to, and that’s a big difference,” Jurado said. “You can’t just go to Washington and say “I’ve been to Seattle, so I’ve been to Washington.” Just like I can’t go to Oklahoma and say I’ve been to Tulsa and Oklahoma City, I’ve seen it all. It’s just not true. For me, it’s low on expectations because the reality is you can’t expect every place to be this amazing place because it’s not going to be.”

It’s a sentiment that will see some fruition when Jurado spends most of next week playing gigs throughout Oklahoma, starting in Tulsa at the Woody Guthrie Center on Sunday, September 17th. After a day off, on Tuesday, September 19th he hits the Chouse in Norman, then on Wednesday, September 20th, he moves onto the stage at 89th Street in Oklahoma City.

“My history can show me that it’s the smaller places I’m playing that will have the greater success,” Jurado said. “I’ve played some great shows in New York City; I’ve played sold-out shows in New York City. But I go to New York and it can be sold-out, but who cares? If the audience isn’t engaged, like they are in Youngstown, Ohio or Griffith, Indiana, who cares? Playing to 2000 people at a sold-out show is great, but you know what’s even better than that? Playing to a room of a hundred very attentive people you’re having a conversation with, actually engaging with these people listening to your songs.”

The tour rounds-out its week-long stay in Oklahoma on Thursday, September 21st in Stillwater at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church and finally in Altus on Friday, September 22nd at the How To Palace. And while many of these places might seem strange for an artist of Jurado’s stature to bed down for the night in, he said it’s done mainly in tribute to those fans that would drive hours in the past to another state, if need be, to see him.

“People will say to me how they drove six hours to see the show tonight,” Jurado added. “That’s something I can identify with because I grew up on the coast of Washington for a while and I would drive three hours to see a band play in Seattle. I connect with that. But I don’t want that for my fans. I am finally able to come to them and it’s a real honorable feeling.”

For tour dates and ticket info visit http://damienjurado.com/

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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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