oklahoma

VIDEO PREMIERE: M. Lockwood Porter “Reach the Top”

Written and Produced by M. Lockwood Porter
From the album How To Dream Again on Amazon or iTunes

“Reach The Top”

mlockwoodporter.com
blackmesarecords.com (US)
hiddentrailrecords.bandcamp.com (UK & Europe)

Video by Joseph Casey and M. Lockwood Porter
Featuring Joseph Casey and Kris Payne
Engineered and Mixed by Peter Labberton

M. Lockwood Porter – vocals, guitar, harmonica

Reach The Top

It’s a psychopathic isolation daydream come alive:
The worker drones still serve their queen though she’s destroyed the hive.
Instead there’s bigger houses and some better cars to drive,
A screen to feel connected
A pill to kill the pain,
A ladder to convince you that your climbing’s not in vain,
A mortgage and a mouth to feed that keep you up at night.
“You may reach the top one day,” they say, “if you play your cards right.”

First, they took the farms, and then they built the factories.
But then they took the factory jobs and they sent them overseas.
They raised all the tuitions and told us all to get degrees.
Now we’re deeper into debt,
Deeper in despair,
Deeper underwater and we’re running out of air.
But if you want to see the rainbow, you must put up with the rain.
“You may reach the top one day,” they say. “There’s no need to complain.”

There’s something percolating in the poorest parts of town.
There’s new cafes and restaurants and new money all around.
And everywhere you go, you hear the same familiar sound.
From Detroit to San Francisco.
From Brooklyn to the South.
In everything that goes into or comes out of your mouth.
In the shirt upon your back or the very bedroom where you sleep.
“You may reach the top one day,” they say, “but it ain’t coming cheap.”

The suicide is sprawled upon the bloody bathroom floor.
A policeman shot another boy and no one knows what for.
I try to listen to the wind blow, but you can’t hear it anymore.
There’s only smoke and static.
There’s only noise and fear.
There’s only so much talking until you tune out all you hear.
There’s only buried bodies trying to shout up through the dirt.
“You may reach the top one day,” they say, “but someone’s getting hurt.”

Our new path to heaven’s paved with hundred dollar bills
And a hundred ways to justify the people that we kill.
We have now more than ever, but that won’t satisfy us still.
Every drop of oil.
Every drop of blood.
Everyone who fights back lying facedown in the mud.
Everything belongs to us no matter what the price.
“You may reach the top one day,” they say, “but you’ll have to sacrifice.”

M. Lockwood Porter #1509

lockwoodcover
Max Porter performs as M. Lockwood Porter, in homage to his grandfather and to make it easier to find him on the Internet. Partly based on a childhood dream to leave Oklahoma and live in California, and partly pulled by his network of friends and musical colleagues, Porter claims both areas as home. His recent album, 27, honors Chris Bell of Big Star, and will be released in the UK and Europe late Spring 2015.

Buy M. Lockwood Porter’s music here.

Podcast
Download here, links below, or on SoundCloud.

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John Moreland

johmoreland

John Moreland has been called a “grand secret waiting to be uncovered.” Fans who have already discovered this Tulsa, Oklahoma musician can’t get enough. He was one of the talented musicians we featured in Oklahoma: The State of Songwriting, though his appeal reaches far beyond the Midwest. The gritty cable TV hit Sons of Anarchy featured several of his songs, and you can expect to hear more and more about John Moreland and his work. Read more…

Top 5 Emerging Oklahoma Songwriters


Oklahoma is rich with material for folk music. It’s where hardheaded pioneers met hardscrabble conditions; where tradition and progress converge and conflict; where tornadoes sweep across the plains; and where the dusty open road beckons from all directions. Songs from the state continue to seep into the psyche of the American songwriter, and often-covered pieces like Roger Miller’s “King of the Road,” Henson Cargill’s “Skip a Rope,” J.J. Cale’s “Call Me The Breeze,” and Cale’s high school band mate, Leon Russell’s “Queen of the Roller Derby” have influenced even the most diverse writers. (Read the Top 5 List here.)

oksongwriterlocallycrafted

Parker Millsap #1405

Parker Millsap might dress like a wayward Boy Scout in pressed khakis and tucked in undershirt with slicked back hair, but don’t let his looks deceive you — he’s a full-fledged entertainer inspired by the best of gospel and blues. Millsap’s self-titled album, out now on Okrahoma Records, brings singalong and dance-able music to songwriting of one who is moving on from his past but not rejecting it, more true-life than most with his Pentecostal youth. Touring as a trio, Millsap and his band bring all the energy and passion of the record to the stage, despite changes in instrumentation, which you probably won’t even notice, as they fill the room with music and emotion.

Radio Show
Check out this great playlist of related music.

Podcast
Scroll to the bottom of this page to listen or download to the Special Edition podcast, including three songs off of Parker Millsap’s latest album, or just subscribe on iTunes, or find out app in the Google Play Store or iOS App Store.

Songs included with express permission of the band. Please thank them by purchasing his music here on Amazon.

Liner Notes
Parker Millsap
John Fullbright
John Moreland
Turnpike Troubadours
Shovels & Rope
The Temptations
Pentecostal choir
Old Crow Medicine Show

Podcast

John Moreland #1403

I am late to the party on John Moreland’s songs. Although I made myself a note to track him down after Couch By Couch West 2013, our schedules did not overlap for a long time, and I forgot to follow up. Nearly a year later, we have finally been able to talk about his record, In The Throes. Prepare yourself for heavy lyrics, more emotion from one guy and a guitar than you can imagine, and for an album you might not be able to turn off.

Special Edition Podcast
The easiest way to listen whenever you want: our new Android app.
This podcast includes three songs from John Moreland, with his express permission.  Thank him by buying his music.
Stream or download the free podcast at the bottom of this post, or subscribe on iTunes.

Buy John Moreland’s music here on Amazon.

Liner Notes
John Moreland
Austin Lucas
Caleb Caudle
Jay Farrar/Will Johnson/Yim Yames/Anders Parker
Drag The River
Parker Millsap
Turnpike Troubadours

Podcast

Shinyribs (Kevin Russell) #1322

Normally, I write a blurb about how great the latest record from our featured artist is, in hopes that you will listen and like their songs, too. This week, however, I am reprinting Kevin Russell’s post after driving through the aftermath of the Oklahoma tornadoes. — SS

Shinyribs on the Moore, OK Tornadoes
The night of the harrowing Oklahoma tornadoes, Shinyribs came face to face with the destruction:

We were traveling on our way home that day from St. Louis at the end of a tour. Being aware of the severe weather threat in the region we checked radar before leaving and saw nothing. By the time we got on the other side of Tulsa things changed rapidly. Suddenly there was a line of Severe storms pulsing across central Oklahoma right where we were headed. We were able to get local TV coverage on our phone just as the Moore twister was touching down. And in utter disbelief we watched and listened to the surreal play by play of that horrific event. We were able to stop in northern OKC to get our wits about us and figure out what to do. We thought we might could get behind the storms by taking I-44 toward Wichita Falls. But, the bridge over the Canadian River was damaged and traffic was at a stand still. The best strategy for us at that point became to get a hotel and hunker down for the night. Watching the local news coverage of the ongoing rescue was sobering and sad. Driving through the debris field down I-35 was even worse the next day. We were fortunate and grateful to be able to drive the rest of the way back to our homes. But knowing many had lost their homes and loved ones in that storm made us, like many, want to do something to help . Over the next few days I pondered on this experience and kept up with the latest news. Without warning one afternoon a song surprised me as I sat at the piano. Had it been a mediocre song I might have just taken what good I could from it and moved on. I often write this way for myself to process the griefs and stresses of life. But, this song turned out to be a significant tune that I felt had value. And therefore it could be helpful on some level to the effort to help those most in need. I sent it to my friends (Oklahoma natives) Cody and Shannon Canada to get their opinions about guiding this song toward its most beneficial place. And now things are progressing towards this goal of recording it and making it available to the public as a means of raising much needed funds. Just trying to do our part and make it as meaningful as possible. – Kevin Russell

Catch the latest solo record, Gulf Coast Museum, from the front man for The Gourds, Kevin Russell AKA Shinyribs HERE.

Liner Notes
Shinyribs Gulf Coast Museum
The Gourds
Lincoln Durham
Neil Young & Crazy Horse (live)
Paul Simon
No Show Ponies
Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes
Band of Heathens (live)

Video
From my favorite online festival, CXCW AKA Couch By Couch West:

Download or listen to the podcast here.