Glad to be back


Last week, somewhere between the first word and about halfway through my last column I started revisiting an old familiar feeling from 14 years past. That “foggy-headed, slightly dizzy, hard-to-focus but just-to-darn-stubborn-to-lay-down feeling” from excessive imbibing of the “spirits” and anything else on the table.

Support local, live music

I struggled with facts, figures, times and dates, much more than normal. I sent an e-mail but forgot to include the article. As it turned out, it was only a recurring foot problem caused by a high-mileage lifestyle and low-maintenance care. A surprisingly smooth ambulance ride, five days in the hospital, great care from doctors, nurses and aids, I narrowly escaped and dodged another bullet. I persevered and kept my eye on the prize, and faith carried the day. It’s good to be back!

“Music is the language of the spirit. It opens the secret of life bringing peace, abolishing strife” — Kahlil Gibran.

Go support local bands. Look at how all the support has helped “Hillbilly Vegas.” This band started out as a garage band of sorts and developed into a highly-recognized, touring-the-world band from Poteau. They are gearing up to head back to England for 15 dates. There will be eight days with Luke Morley and seven dates as a headliner. Let’s wish them safe travels and another chance to win over many more fans.

Last year had some highs and lows for “Hillbilly Vegas,” so here’s hoping for their best year ever.

As for live music this week, “Live Wire” featuring Felisha McKenzie has a gig on Saturday at Hero’s on Garrison Avenue in Fort Smith, Arkansas. Once again, here’s a chance to enjoy the singing of Felisha and a band of seasoned musicians, polished and talented, that cover several genres of tunes. Robert Staton is on guitar, Wayne Campbell is on the drums and Mark Varnadore is on bass. With Felisha out front, this band is guaranteed to entertain. The music  starts at 8 p.m. Be sure and catch the band’s show.

“The Stagemasters”are my mom’s favorite band and will be at her regular Saturday dance hall, Muldrow City Limits. This band will play some awesome classic country and rock with an original or two in the mix. Everything begins at 7 p.m.

Dawn’s Diner in Red Oak will have my favorite group of misfits, “The Shady Oak Tribadours,” playing for the Friday dance. It always makes for a good time! On Saturday, it will be the music of Dustin Knight. That will make for two nights of awesome music and good food. The dance will be from 7-10 p.m. each night.

“The Shady Oak Tribadours” will be at Chuck’s Smoking Goat Roadhouse just a few miles east of Blackgum, which is located on Oklahoma State Highway 100 near Lake Tenkiller and north of Vian. The Smokin’ Goat Roadhouse has it all — a pool, sports on five televisions and cold brewskees. On Saturday, there will be some of the craziest, soulful coastal and western music around, which will be played from 8-11 p.m.

It’s great to have “Oklahoma Moon” back on stage. The band fills a niche of classic country that includes two very fine lead pickers, three-part Harmony and sometimes their jokes are kinda funny. Laugh anyway. This band makes you feel like “Hee Haw” has met The Eagles. You will love this band’s show. On Friday, the band will be at the Cherokee Casino in Sallisaw starting at 7 p.m. On Saturday, the guys will play at Red’s Place in Alma, Arkansas beginning at 7 p.m.

Well, that ain’t all I got to say, but it seems a good place to stop.

Through faith and the grace and mercy of a loving God, I was able to complete another column about the thing I love almost better than anything — live music. Support it all you can.

Without fans, they would just be playing for a bartender and an old fry cook.

For further information about any live-music events or to let me know about any such venues, call or text message me at (918) 649-5736 or e-mail me to [email protected].

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Craig Hall
Publisher, writer, photographer and teacher.