It has been a relatively rocky road for Weatherford alt-country outfit Green Corn Revival, which has seen its share of highs (acting as backing band for rockabilly icon Wanda Jackson) and lows before an (amicable) split in the road led half of the original lineup to forming Honeylark.
Oklahoma is quickly becoming the indie Christmas music capital of the world, it seems, with yearly compilation albums featuring everyone from Stardeath and White Dwarfs to Graham Colton. So it makes sense that Colourmusic — freak-poppers hailing from Stillwater — would craft a full album of original, offbeat holiday tunes themselves.
The Oklahoma City metro has a thriving garage rock scene. With seasoned acts like Broncho and Copperheads carrying the modern-day torch, the way has been paved for a flock of gritty, young, guitar-centric acts. But nascent Norman trio Poolboy has a knack for riotous hooks that few of its contemporaries can boast.
The Flaming Lips’ longevity has allowed them to cover a lot of sonic terrain over the years. Yet they’ve arguably become more adventurous with age, jeopardizing a good portion of their fan base in favor of fascinatingly bleak experiments in sound, beginning with Embryonic in 2009 and, more recently, The Terror.
After years of relentless touring and 13,000 records sold independently, self-made minstrels The Wishing Well show no signs of slowing. A festival fixture in Europe and its native Australia, the orchestral-rock act remains relatively unknown here, but the group hopes its maiden tour of the States will change that.
Founding members, vocalist/guitarist Jai Larkin and violinist Rivkah Larkin, are being accompanied by a band of American musicians hired specifically for this tour.
“We auditioned them online,” said Rivkah Larkin. “All of our music is professionally recorded, and we have scores and arrangements. They’d learned the material before we rehearsed together.”
The likelihood of “making it” as a midlevel band has diminished significantly in recent years, but The Wishing Well seems immune to that, despite relying primarily on fervent self-promotion, word of mouth and CD sales — relatively unheard of in contemporary rock.
“We pretty much survive off of our record sales, at least in the U.S.,” Larkin said, “and all of our record sales are generated by live performances. Almost anyone who buys our CD has probably seen us live.”
Last year’s “Fire in the Valley” and 2008’s debut, “Life on the Border,” are comprised of emotive pop rock, fleshed out with layers of complex, delicate instrumentation. Appropriately, it has shared the stage with the likes of David Gray and Seal.
We don’t have a home anymore. —Rivkah Larkin
The Wishing Well will have played less than 10 American dates by the time it makes its first Oklahoma stop, Saturday at Belle Isle Brewery. Larkin said they’ve enjoyed the tour thus far, although they’re unsure of what to expect in the coming weeks.
“This is our first tour to the U.S., so it’s all very fresh,” he said. “We’ve done three tours of Europe, so people know us, and obviously, the culture here is quite different. It varies so much from state to state. I will say we’ve been well-received so far, but we’ve got so much ahead of us.”
The group is stateside through December, when they’ll head back to Europe for a string of winter dates.
“We don’t have a home anymore. We don’t have a fixed place of residence,” Larkin said. “Even when we take breaks, it really varies — wherever is most convenient. At the end of last year, we just went to Thailand for two months and rented a little flat.”
Said Larkin of the next step, “It just really depends where we finish up and where we’re heading.”