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Amp It Up

The OklaHomeGrown Music Showcase gives emerging stars and under-the-radar music acts the opportunity to expand their reach and fan base from within the historic Cain’s Ballroom.

Rachel Wright
February 1, 2017

Want to catch four local bands in one night at the most historic venue in the region without paying festival prices? The OklaHomeGrown Music Showcase, presented by the Tulsa office of Film and Music Arts and Culture and the Oklahoma Film and Music Office, has got you covered.

In true Oklahoma fashion, the members of Taddy Porter, Nicnos, Skytown and Good Villains decided it was time to step onstage together. They’re coming together for the first time to give Oklahomans an opportunity to enjoy a full night of local music at the Cain’s Ballroom, in Tulsa, starting at 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 17

“We’ve been talking for a while about collaborating instead of competing and doing an ultimate show of Oklahoma rock bands,” says Blake Parks, fiddle player in Nicnos
 and OklaHomeGrown Music Showcase coordinator. “It’s a representation of the great music being created in our state, and it’s a way to give back to the local scene by offering opportunities for bands to gain exposure in cities they may not normally play.”

Parks says equality among bands has been
a central theme throughout the planning process, refusing to name a headliner or giving any nods to the order of the lineup of the night. The four bands have been working closely with Hunter Rodgers, box office manager, to bring an idea that came about during shows last year.

“Hunter has been a huge support to make this happen,” says Parks. “This is our first year and we’re hoping to get a response from the crowd that allows us to keep this going so we can showcase more local bands in years to come." 

Having the show at the Cain’s Ballroom is quite the opportunity for local bands, with the venue bringing national and international acts on a regular basis, and because of the respect the bands have for the historic concert hall.

“The Cain’s is a staple for music in Oklahoma and the region,” says Parks. “We all grew up going to shows there, so we’re really excited to rock the Cain’s stage and light up the crowd.”

Kicking off the night is Good Villains, a band that started in Tulsa as a two-piece, created by drummer Steven Davison and vocalist Caleigh Trotter. As their music began to progress, pianist Felicia Arnhols joined the group, followed by guitarist Ted Scott and bass player Todd Shaver.

The storyteller theme surrounding Good Villains’ music is coupled by expert musicianship and an eerie sense of childishness. A heavy contender in the Doom Pop genre, Good Villains are force reminiscent of the ‘90s yet so full of the unknown and a ton of imagination.

Tulsa-grown acoustic rock group Skytown is about more than just feel-good party music. With clean tones, soothing leads, and memorable hooks, their music keeps the tempo up and the crowds wild.

The six-piece band has consistently released top-ranked music since their inception in 2012, and attracts hundreds of fans to their shows. Deriving influences from acclaimed powerhouses including Pantera, Black Sabbath, Counting Crows, and Dropkick Murphys, Skytown has concocted their own unique “sonic mashup” of folk, rock, and balladry.

With a vocal palate akin to rust, Dale Crain serves as the band’s storyteller, welcoming listeners into the familiar world of lore.

Acoustic guitar duo Tim Burress and Jason Ford’s powerful, yet melodic foundation complements the steady bass rhythms, courtesy of Dave Williams. John Edens’ electric guitar riffs are crisp, complex and very funky. Drummer Eliot Cooper keeps it tight, commanding the stage even from the back.

At the heart of it all, Skytown is a band of performers who truly know how to play their instruments. Each song has a soul of its own, and their ability to consistently make waves as rockers in the industry has established Skytown as one of the unique sounding bands today.

Hailing from the heartland of Oklahoma City, Nicnos expels elements of rock, blues, funk and bluegrass creating in the new vanguard of eclectic artistry.

Drawing inspiration from Led Zeppelin, e Beatles, Punch Brothers and Dave Matthews Band, the five-piece is best known for their explosive yet fluid live performances. Lead singer, Josh Cox, is a vocal live wire, marrying a brooding blues tone with rock. Electric guitarist, Nick Sigman, is a master of tone, seamlessly laying down razor-sharp leads. The bluegrass rooted fiddler, Blake Parks, brings a delicate dynamic, adding a melodic rock-fiddle layer that uniquely contributes
to their sound. High-energy bassist, Jared Gaiser, flawlessly anchors in the foundation, inventively bringing the funk. On the drums, Jerred Bauer cleverly blends a rock core while infusing hip-hop grooves and fills. More than anything, Nicnos is a band that needs to be seen live to feel the energy and witness the way they all collaborate to create their Nicnos sound.

Rock quartet Taddy Porter was formed in Stillwater in October 2007 by singer/guitarist Andy Brewer, guitarist Joe Selby, bassist Kevin Jones and drummer Doug Jones. After building up a following around the Oklahoma City area, they were signed to Primary Wave Records for the release of their self-titled debut album June 29, 2010.

Before the release, they earned airplay for
the single “Shake Me” and placed their music on such television shows as Monday Night Football, ESPN’s SportsCenter, and Cougar Town. Their songs “King Louie” and “Mean Bitch” were featured on the season premiere of the TV series Entourage two days before the album’s release. e day after the Taddy Porter album appeared, the group launched its first national tour, running through the fall. They then joined Slash’s tour as opening act.

Tickets are $15 and can be purchased at cainscallroom.com or at the Cain’s ticket office.

OklaHomeGrown Music Showcase
Featuring: Taddy Porter, Nicnos, Skytown and Good Villains
Cain’s Ballroom | Tulsa
Feb. 17: 8 p.m.