In case you haven't noticed, we over here at the Quail camp have been steadily filling up dates on the old calendar in preparation for the release of Down the Hatch, our new record on Mike McClure and Chance Sparkman's new joint venture 598 Recordings. 14 tracks of original TDQ material with some of the best players in Oklahoma and beyond, co-produced by Mac and the magic man himself, Mr. Joe Hardy.
Or Dobro Joe as we like to call him.
Dobro Joe has worked with more people than I care to mention (okay, I'll mention some. ZZ Top, Steve Earle, the Replacements, etc) and is a pretty unique dude to say the least. His facebook photo looks like he got real drunk at a Mexican restaurant on his birthday and was subsequently blinded by an extra-sizzlin' fajita platter. Photogenically speaking, not so great. Musically speaking, dude is a powerhouse of mammoth proportions and every bit as tasty as his impressive resume implies...or, more appropriately, shouts from the rooftops. It's really, really, really damn good.
Speaking of good, we had our first official full band gig at Grady Cross' new joint, Grady's 66 Pub in Yukon. The first thing that hit me was the similarity in feel to the old Tumbleweed in Stillwater: A little dark, lots of neon (mostly provided by fellow red dirties, including McClure...his is obviously the biggest by a country mile or 4) and cheap beer that flows like...well, like cheap beer. We had a chance to pow wow with Grady in his studio/jam room/personal wet bar before the gig and had an awesome time hanging with him. A nicer guy you're not likely to come across (get it?), and the most glaringly cool part of the whole thing was his attention to the needs of we humble performing folk. We wanted for nothing the whole night, except for an occasional bucket that we blew through like they were going out of style...and that's our own damn fault. About midway through the night, Grady graced us with the traditional Grady's 66 band beverage; an ice cold bottle of Boones Farm Wild Cherry. It was passed, emptied, and the rocking continued well into the night. Unlike most crowds at many of the bars that dot the Oklahoma landscape, the folks at Grady's were polite, attentive, and actually paid attention to the songs as opposed to drunkenly stumbling around and screaming at the top of their lungs. Cool deal.
Meanwhile, things in Norman are effing great.
Monday Night Madness has progressively become a living, breathing thing of a concert. While the majority of other spots on Campus Corner are peppered with a few loyal patrons on Monday night, the Deli is an explosive hub of players, friends, college kids, and the ever faithful regulars that make it such an amazing show for us each and every week. We've added the acoustic guitar stylings of Mr. Blake Lennon to the insanity, which puts us at a steady 9 players on stage throughout the night, and an occasional guest appearance by any number of local yokels. Last night, Mr. Alan Orebaugh sat in for a few tunes on baritone and pedal steel (his first time, though you couldn't tell it) and we had Nooch up for a rendition of an old Mama Sweet tune that we all love so damn much. Ryan Engleman continues to astound on the pedal steel/baritone duties and it's a pleasure to get to jam with such a nice guy and phenomenal picker once a week. Needless to say, if you haven't had a chance to witness the insane circus that is the Deli on a Monday, you probably should while you can still get in the doors. It's not quite Hosty packed as of yet, which means you can still move around comfortably and sometimes find a chair, but it's getting there. It's always an ethereal connection that happens on stage, but this gig brings out the creativity and the passion in a special way. I think it's because it's just a bunch of really good players getting together to play some really good music. Simple formula, but effective.
Keep an eye out on this here blog and the facebook page as there's lots of stuff happening and you don't want to get left out of the loop...do you? I'm also getting ready to start a little weekly band member profile for each of our members, so keep an eye peeled. August 12th is our very first show at the infamous Wormy Dog in OKC, opening up for Mike McClure. COME SEE US!