Friday, August 28, 2015

Tulsa Ballet Opening Season

Recently I was invited to the rehearsals of the Tulsa Ballet so that I could gather reference material with which to work for the purpose of creating a painting or two for display on the opening month of the season.  These paintings, when completed will be on display at the Tulsa Performing Art Center.  These are  works in progress, each needing to be tweaked here and there and one only 3/4 finished. ( not shown)

3 paintings accepted into the Illinois River Salon Show upcoming in Oct/Nov

Hopefully one or two of these will make it all the way to the Crystal Bridges Museum.  I will let you know when they notify me.  Otherwise they will be at the watershed education center in Cave Springs.  My fingers are crossed.  Reception will be held at the Crystal Bridges either way so that should be a lot of fun.  $$ from sales will go toward protecting our precious crystal clear streams.

What a great night Jesse Aycock w Hard Working Americans

Went to the Cains Ballroom last night to hear Jesse perform w Hard Working Americans.  Tulsa came out in full force and filled the room with love.  

Tulsa native Jesse Aycock is a Hard Working American and he's coming home - Tulsa World: Offbeat

Posted: Wednesday, August 26, 2015 12:27 pm | Updated: 12:50 am, Thu Aug 27, 2015.
The renowned musicians in Hard Working Americans had already cut a record when Tulsa-native Jesse Aycock got a call from the band. Aycock was on tour with The Secret Sisters already, but the group wanted him to come along on the road with it.
“Neal (Casal) called me up and asked me what I was up to and if I was free,” Aycock said. “He said, ‘Hey man, I just got done recording this record and we need a second guitarist, and you were the first person who came to mind. I think the plan right now is to do a handful of shows. I don’t really know where this is going quite yet, but it should be fun.’ The songs are really cool. Of course I was like, ‘Yeah, I’d love to do that.’”
That’s how Aycock became a Hard Working American.
The rock supergroup, made up of Todd Snider, Dave Schools from Widespread Panic, Casal of the Chris Robinson Brotherhood, Chad Staehly of Great American Taxi and Duane Trucks who is the younger brother of Derek Trucks. Their first album was released in January 2014, a project done by a group of friends while they worked on their other steady gigs.
Aycock said while they weren’t sure where it was going — especially when he was brought in to be a road musician on rhythm and lapsteel guitar — the group dynamic was strong and close, a natural relationship they all enjoyed. The road grew longer, and they have now recorded a new album, this time with Aycock a full-fledged member.
And Thursday, the road comes to Tulsa with the band’s first stop at Cain’s Ballroom, a homecoming for Aycock. The show is set for 8 p.m. Thursday.
Before Aycock came on board, he said the group basically created Hard Working Americans as a fun side project, not necessarily something to run with.
“They basically just put together a group to record a record,” Aycock said. “I think initially it was all just everybody had other projects that were taking up most of their time. I think this was just a fun project and I don’t think anyone had any expectations of taking it.”
Their scope expanded after recording that self-titled album. When they realized they needed another guitarist for the road, Aycock was their first call.
Aycock has recorded and toured with several bands while also working on his solo albums. Aside from Hard Working Americans and The Secret Sisters, Aycock has worked extensively with the Paul Benjaman Band. His solo album, “Flowers & Wounds,” was released the same month as the Hard Working Americans album.
He was on the road when he got the call about Hard Working Americans and in a week had to learn the songs and make it to Colorado to hit the road.
“It wasn’t decided right away that I would be a member of the band other than I would be just a touring musician,” Aycock said. “It wasn’t decided I would be in on any other recordings, it was just strictly touring I think initially, which makes total sense because other than Neal, none of the other guys knew me. Once I got in there and started playing, everyone meshed really well, and everyone was really open to me.”
After a week of rehearsing that went well as the band settled in on their songs, Aycock said several members of the band came by independently to tell him he was part of the group now. And what a great group to be a part of, he said.
“It doesn’t always work when you get a bunch of musicians who haven’t played together in a room. It doesn’t always work personality wise, musically. But with this group of people, it was just a perfect dynamic,” Aycock said. “To me it was such a refreshing joy to be part of. Everyone was supportive and open to everyone’s idea, but yet it was still enough structure to get things done.”
After a first run on the road, the band hit the studio again for another recording session. Aycock said those sessions were great because of the group dynamic and the high from successful shows on the tour. That album is due out in early 2016. And last year, the group released a live album and documentary on its first collaboration, “The First Waltz.”
The Hard Working Americans are living up to its name.
“Whenever projects are given time away, when you step away from a project for a while, you come back into something like this with a fresh energy,” Aycock said. “Everyone has new perspectives. It’s always fun because it’s different every time.”
Jerry Wofford 918-581-8346 

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Busy Month

I have several shows beginning and ending this month and we are hosting 3 house concerts as well.  ( Just picked up 3 pieces that won entry into the Gilcrease Impressionist show in it's satellite gallery downtown, delivered one to Living Arts' Oh Tulsa Show, Delivered one to OVAC for its 12x12, entered 3 pieces in the Illinois River Salon, and still painting for Scott's and my upcoming 2 person show, " In Tandem"  which will be a show of paired poetry and paintings that will open on the first Friday of November.  I think that show will be a really wonderful one.  It has been a real interesting process as Scott writes mostly about people and feelings and inner life and I am a representational artist.  We will both have to stretch on this one and that is a good thing for both of us.
Here is a sample poem that I will work from:


Cecil keeps our yard trim as a sailor’s beard-
not a blade of grass out of place.
With a surveyor’s eye he places poles along
the hedge row,
making Grandma’s English Boxwoods
level as poured cement,
stretching the length of the drive.

He starts early and works through, into the
heat of the day.
I am just a boy.
Cecil comes to back door, hat in hand, like a child asking a favor of a man.
“Mr. Jo Eddie’s grandson, you ‘spose I could have me some ‘freshment?”
I go under sink where grandma keeps the
drink, pour comfort from a bottle.
I place a capful in a glass, fill the rest with water.
It turns the color of rosin.

That’ll do, Mr. Jo Eddie’s grandson, don’t need no ice.
He tips his head, tosses the drink, and wipes
his mouth.
It is a litany of motion.

Five drinks into the day, his tools put away,
Cecil comes to the door-  a final drink to stay
the blues away.

I being home alone,
Cecil points with fingered bone
towards ivories lined up in a row.
“Mr. Jo Eddie’s grandson, I can make that
coffin sing.
Some folks they scared a dyin’, but they ain’t got that rhythm thang.”

Cecil straddles piano bench, with one leg north, the other east,
to work the pedals, to keep the beat.
With both hands poised on whitened keys,
his long black fingers fill spaces,
make dark holes in the music,
as he begins a slow growl, a low moan.
Gonna’ chase those blues.
Gonna’ chase those blues.”

Bowed over the keys, eyes closed,
Cecil is there in some sepia-toned place. 

It seems with every note, with every chord,
Cecil spills more of himself between the keys,
as though the music is drinking him one note
at a time.

With an ear bent to the ivories, listening for the sound of suffering as it leaves his fingertips;
Cecil’s hand begins to jitter, and juke, and then to jive,
into some boogie-woogie slide.

 His huge black hands, like crows,
flap the width of the piano,
as  Cecil tosses back his head, enraptured.

I am just a boy held in time. 

As Cecil’s shoulders sway in time to the beat,
mouth open, he eats.

Drinking notes, swallowing chords,
half-digested they come spilling forth,
crude and primitive.
A truer sound.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Oh Tulsa show entry at Living Arts

Actually it is the sister piece to this painting that is entered in the show.  Very similar, rainy Tulsa day.  The other one is a little more blue in color and is taken from another nearby street in Tulsa on the same rainy afternoon.

SOLD! OVAC 12x12 Summertime

This is my entry into the OVAC 12x12 show coming up in a few weeks.