Que sera, Sera

Photo: Hilary Harris

Famed label Sub Pop is best known for its roster of alternative rock acts, ranging from classic grunge acts like Nirvana, Soundgarden and Mudhoney to new hipster favorites like Obits, Mogwai and Dum Dum Girls, so it’s strange to see a folk/country act in their roster.

Sera Cahoone takes total pride in this. “I think that’s what I like about being on Sub Pop,” Cahoone said. “I like that I’m different. But, even before me, they had Iron and Wine, which is pretty mellow. But they’re definitely expanding their bands, and it’s not just all rock anymore. I’m used to being different, so it fits perfectly for me.”

Apart from all the art-rock and post-punk collectives on the label, Cahoone has also set herself apart in the world of Americana, thanks to her bluesy, rootsy delivery on critically acclaimed albums like Only as the Day Is Long. But she has gained a new legion of fans with her latest offering, Deer Creek Canyon, named for the Colorado foothills that she once used to tread and where a love of country music was instilled in her from an early age.

“When I was a child, my father would play a lot of country, and in my late 20s, I just really got into a lot of old country music like Loretta Lynn and Buck Owens,” she said. “Growing up, that music was just always around.”

Oddly enough, it wasn’t Colorado — where bluegrass music and jam bands proliferate — but among the surprisingly burgeoning Americana scene in Seattle where Cahoone found her voice, causing her to almost immediately switch from rock to her own specialized brand of folk.

“I moved when I was almost 21 to Seattle, so I’ve been gone from Colorado for quite a while,” Cahoone said. “I met so many amazing people (in Seattle), so many different musicians. There are so many different types of music coming out of there that it’s all had a big influence on me.”

Cahoone is currently touring in support of her new album and believes it’s her strongest work to date, going deeper into her own past and even resurrecting songs she wrote over 20 years ago.

“It’s great. I’m really happy about it,” Cahoone said. “With this new album, I worked with more of a producer (Thom Monahan) and I wanted to have my vocals be a lot more prominent, a lot more up, than before. I really wanted to spend a lot more time with it this time than the last album, and I think it really shows.”

Metro music fans will have a chance to see if they agree when she storms the Opolis on Thursday. This will be her first time playing Oklahoma, and she said she’s more than excited to make her live Oklahoma debut.

“This time around, I have my pedal steel player with me, and it’s just the two of us,” Cahoone added. “It’s a pretty intimate show for the most part; intimate songs, but also some fun in there. It’s always important to have some fun.”

Louis Fowler

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