An unlikely trio of local acts bands together for Tom Petty tribute show in Norman

Tom Petty tribute show
featuring The Workweek, Locust Avenue and Mama Sweet
10 p.m. Friday
The Deli
309 White, Norman

Admittedly, the prospect of a tribute show ” especially one conjured by three local musicians during a drunken hangout session ” is likely to elicit cringes from even the least skeptical of music fans. Appreciators of the lost art of great pop songs, however, take note: These bands mean business.

Locals The Workweek, Mama Sweet and Locust Avenue will tackle rocker Tom Petty’s extensive catalog Friday night at The Deli in Norman. Pre-existing fans of any of these bands may note that while it’s not out of the question, it’s at least a little strange for the three groups to join forces on a single bill, even when the musicians are covering someone else’s tunes.

“I was hanging out with Jeff (Richardson, of Locust Avenue) and Aron (Holt, of Mama Sweet) and told them my idea, and they were totally into it,” said The Workweek’s Ricky Salthouse. “Everyone loves Tom Petty.”

Salthouse mulled over the idea for a while, even scouring Petty’s Wikipedia page in search of a significant date in Petty history on which to schedule a tribute show.

“We finally just picked a Friday night,” Salthouse said. “But after the date was already set, I saw he has a new record coming out in June ” the first album with The Heartbreakers in eight years.”

Petty, whose music career with or without The Heartbreakers has been going strong for more than three decades now, has a few years on most members of Friday’s lineup, and at 26, Salthouse is one of the youngest.

“His first record did come out eight years before I was born,” he said. “I didn’t really jump onboard until ‘Wildflowers’ came out in 1994, but I’ve been playing catch-up ever since. His ability to make such simple, catchy songs has definitely been an influence on my songwriting, and I still think nobody makes a better music video. I think Tom Petty is only getting better with age. A lot of musicians get older and fade out with a bunch of crappy albums, but he’s still making great ones.”

Salthouse said the array of songs the three groups plan to cover will run Petty’s gamut, and that there were no interband conflicts when hashing out individual set lists.

“Each band made a list of the songs they wanted to do, and then we compared. It actually worked out pretty well,” Salthouse said. “Tom Petty has no shortage of songs to choose from. He has so many good eras; I love them all.” “Becky Carman

photo  The Workweek

Becky Carman

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