Wednesday 23 Jul

Manmade Objects - Monuments

No one wants to be forgotten; everyone wants some sort of legacy, a mark they leave behind as they exit this life for whatever lies beyond.

And for as long as there has been death, there have been monuments — whether austere or understated, abstract or concrete, prominent or tucked away in private — erected by the ones they loved to assure that remembrance, at least for a time.
07/15/2014 | Comments 0

Admirals - Amidst the Blue

Sometimes it helps to not be very good.

Some of the best albums and artists were born out of happy accidents owed to varying degrees of early suckage — the perfect note or chord for a song found by missing the one you are aiming for, failed mimicry of an idol bearing something entirely new and great instead.

07/09/2014 | Comments 0

Kierston White - Don't Write Love Songs

The Tequila Songbirds have become just as beloved as about any group around these parts. And how could they not?

Featuring a revolving cast of the Sooner State’s most badass female performers, it’s a power hour of some of the best songwriting coming out of central Oklahoma. Sure, they might not technically be family, but they are clearly a band of sisters all the same, bonded by the same brand of whiskey running through their veins.

07/01/2014 | Comments 0

Depth & Current - Dysrhythmia

"Overproduced" is a term thrown around all too indiscreetly nowadays, usually applied when the thing that sticks out about a song or album is how it sounds rather than how it is constructed. Yet some of the most compelling albums ever crafted embodied a certain aesthetic that was just as skillfully and meticulously put together as any Bob Dylan or Miles Davis record — which is to say production is as crucial to our enjoyment of music as much as anything else; it's also the most overlooked.
06/24/2014 | Comments 0

Weak Knees - “IceBevo”

Indie rock has been in a good place as of late. Not caring about being cool is the new cool, and a couple of dudes on guitar, bass and drums can make catchy, earworm songs without being armed to the gills with computer software and vintage synthesizers.
06/17/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Music · Music · 'Throe'-back songs

'Throe'-back songs

Tulsa singer-songwriter John Moreland endured personal and musical adversity before finding his true self.

Joshua Boydston March 26th, 2014

John Moreland with Tyler Hopkins and Jake Morisse

8 p.m. Tuesday

Blue Note Lounge

2408 N. Robinson Ave.



Oklahoma troubadour John Moreland has seen it all. He has played it all, too.

Maybe that’s why his sparse, spellbinding folk songs bleed the sort of inimitable heartland wisdom they do; he has crossed the web of American highways performing music from opposite ends of the spectrum.

You wouldn’t guess it stumbling upon In the Throes, his personal apex, but Moreland cut his teeth playing in hardcore and punk bands in Tulsa.

“It just wasn’t doing it for me anymore,” Moreland said of his stark creative shift 10 years ago. “I couldn’t even say exactly what it was, but I knew that I had to try something new. I grew up listening to Neil Young and CCR with my dad, and that just started feeling like the right thing to do.”

Each release and each incarnation — from his Black Gold Band to The Dust Bowl Souls — has taken Moreland further and further away from that world sonically, and 2013’s In the Throes is far and away his most stripped-down collection of songs to date.

But if anything remains from those punk days, it’s a yearning for the truth — be it beautiful, dark, enlightening or tormenting. And his softer approach to the album placed a spotlight on those sage words.

“I really wanted the lyrics to have the full focus,” Moreland said. “Really, this record was about finding something in this sort of whirlwind … about finding out who you are in the chaos.”

It must have been the right decision, too. Moreland’s latest album has lent songs to TV’s Sons of Anarchy, been championed by the likes of MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow and earned him spots opening for Americana scene favorites Lucero and Jason Isbell.

He’s overwhelmed yet appreciative of the attention, but he’s mostly glad that it is this set of songs that has the national spotlight edging ever closer.

“I feel like those are the best songs I’ve ever written. I’m glad all this didn’t happen until I was a little older. I’ve written stuff that I can’t stomach anymore,” Moreland said with a laugh. “I’m more than okay with playing these songs every night for a really long time.”

He has been a readily prolific songwriter up to now, even releasing two different full-length records and two EPs in 2011, but Moreland is ready to slow things down. He credits the success of In the Throes to a longer gestation period. The road — which he has spent much of the past year on — isn’t the most suitable place for Moreland’s approach to writing, but he already has more than a handful of songs written in the same vein as his breakout album.

He’s not afraid to evolve, but Moreland feels like he has become the artist he was meant to be all along.

“I don’t think I’ll just do the same thing over and over again forever,” he said, “but it does feel like I’ve figured out something that feels really good and really right to me, for now at least.”

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