Tulsa Sound Goes International; Fall Festivals on the Horizon

“When the flower’s in bloom, the petals feel like wings”
– Paul Benjaman

The Paul Benjaman Band is in full bloom and spreading its wings to bring the Tulsa Sound to France during a three-week tour in July.
“Thank you all for your support through the years,” said Benjaman on a recent Instagram post. “I never thought anything like this would ever be possible.”
Drummer Patrick Ryan and bassist Paul Wilkes round out the European-bound trio that has been described as “the new Tulsa Sound.”
“New Tulsa Sound” does not mean reinvented Tulsa Sound. The band stays true to the groove-based genre founded by its heroes J.J. Cale and Leon Russell with a style Benjaman describes as “boundary-free, 70s-style rock.”
The band leaves for France on July 15, and as of press time, the tour dates have yet to be posted. Check paulbenjaman.com for dates and other news about the tour.
I would be hard pressed to find a better international ambassador for the Tulsa Sound both on and off the stage than Paul Benjaman. The people of France are getting a truly authentic dose of Tulsa music as well as the spirit and vibe that goes with it. Way to go Paul!

Fall Festival Season Around the Corner
The dog days are officially here. And while it’s worth it to brave the heat for incredible outdoor music like the recent Woody Guthrie Festival in Okemah, by the time August gets here, it’s time to start looking ahead to the lineup of festivals that coincide with the highly anticipated cooler weather.
Here are a few of the upcoming festivals on my radar:

Not quite fall, but hopefully more fall-like weather will be in store for this year’s MisFEST: Music is She and She is Music Sept. 14 at Guthrie Green.
This is year three for the one-day festival that celebrates women in music by providing a platform to help women succeed in the music industry. This year, MisFEST is moving from River West Festival Park to Guthrie Green in downtown Tulsa. The lineup is still forthcoming, but if it’s on par with the last two years, which featured acts like Branjae, The Golden Ones, Lauren Barth, Nightingale, Rachel Bachman, Lincka, Faye Moffett, and more, you won’t be disappointed. Check out MisFest.com for more information.

Medicine Stone
This is year seven for the premier Red Dirt music experience. With a lineup hand picked by festival founders Jason Boland (Jason Boland and the Straglers) and Evan Felker (Turnpike Troubadores), the festival draws thousands of Red Dirt fans from all over the country for three days of music and camping along the Illinois River.
In addition to the annual appearance by the organizers, Jason Boland and Turnpike Troubadours, this year’s lineup includes Parker McColum, Todd Snider, Cody Canada and the Departed, John Fullbright, American Aquarium, and many more.
The seventh annual Medicine Stone will be held Sept. 20-22 at Diamondhead Resort in Tahlequah. For the full lineup, visit medicinestoneok.com.

Stone River
Medicine Stone is not the only must-see festival being held the first weekend of Autumn. Sept. 20-22 is also the date of the 10th Annual Stone River Festival, held on 40 acres of private wooded land three miles north of Chandler, Oklahoma.
Stone River, which features a playground and other play areas for children is a more family friendly gathering than the aformentioned Medicine Stone Festival. It’s a weekend of grassroots music, showcasing primarily Oklahoma bands/musicians, as well as food trucks, and arts and crafts vendors that the whole family can enjoy. A portion of the proceeds from this year’s festival will be donated to the Little Light House in Tulsa, an organization that provides aid and support for young children with physical and mental challenges.

Tulsan Jamie Oldaker and his wife Mary, along with the legendary Church Studio are hosting the third annual MOJOFest on Oct. 5. This year’s festival, held in the Pearl District of Tulsa, just off Leon Russell Road at 3rd Street and South Trenton Avenue, comes on the heals of Oldaker reuniting with his old bandmate Eric Clapton, which will happen Sept. 20-21 at the Crossroads Festival in Dallas. And while Oldaker’s MOJOFest lineup may not compare with Crossroads in terms of star power, the Tulsa Sound Pioneer puts his musical connections to use to book acts from around the country, as well as some local favorites.
Oldaker’s original Sand Springs band, the Rogues Five are expected to play, as is John Fullbright, The Subdudes out of New Orleans, and, the High Priestess of Soul herself, Ann Bell.
MOJOFest benefits Tulsa Day Center for the Homeless, so go to facebook.com/MOJOFestTulsa/ and get your tickets. It’s good music for a good cause.

Brad James: At Fellowship Hall
No, that’s not the name of a Fall festival. I’m switching topics before I run out of room to give a quick shout out to Brad James Band for recently completing the studio album, Brad James Band at Fellowship Hall, named after Fellowship Hall Sound in Little Rock Arkansas, a recording studio famous for great sound engineering and one of the best two-inch analog tape machines in this part of the country.
The official release date is Aug. 9, but you can preorder your digital album, cd or vinyl today. Congratulations to Brad James and the rest of the band. I can’t wait to hear the full album. You can listen to one track and preorder the album at bradjamesbandtulsa.com.

Stay cool out there music fans. It won’t be long before cooler temperatures arrive, inspiring us all to get outside and keep searching, keep listening.

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