December 2021

Page 50

Music in & Around Ponca City

Sounding Story & Photos Contributed by Steve Scott

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This month I’m writing my column in the Astoria Blvd. Bistro, while enjoying a bite from their cuisine, my favorite beer and listening to Austin Duplantis entertain the crowd. Austin is one of many buskers who have graced Astoria over their five plus years serving our town. The minimalism of a musician with only an instrument and their voice is the purest form of entertainment, and great talent with both determines success. The downtown “PC Entertainment District” is blessed to have Astoria, Vortex, Grand Cigar Lounge and The Axe Hole, each fostering a unique environment for imbibing your favorite beverage. But of greater importance (to me, at least), they provide a venue for musicians to ply their trade and build a local fan base. In this holiday season, I am thankful for these harbors, where locals can have a drink with friends and relax with great music.

High is featuring the Jason Boyd Band on Dec. 4, Jay Statham and the Tokie Show on the Dec. 18 and will celebrate New Year’s Eve with the Whiskey River Band. Along with their karaoke nights, there is always a party here!

The Bandstand… The ever-popular Larry Newsom continues to be in demand, playing just as many private events as public. His performances are always filled with both original songs and classic sing-along tunes. You can enjoy his show at Zanotti’s in Stillwater on Dec. 21 and on New Five-Year Gap Year’s Eve. The three-piece Curtis Moore Band will be jamming at the Stillwater Elk’s Lodge on Dec. 11 and will be bringing their high-energy show to New Year’s Eve at Back2Sighs. Mike Seals will be playing jazzy Christmas tunes at the Marland Grand Home from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Dec. 11. Like a phoenix rising from an almost year-long pandemic pause, Mother Kelly has a new drummer and is booking gigs. They will be at Back2Sighs on Jan. 14. Pushing the “entertainment” facet of Northern Oklahoma’s premier dancing establishment, Ridin’

50 December 2021

Local Stars … Five-Year Gap It’s a well-known fact that Oklahoma is home to many famous musicians. A fair share of these gifted individuals come from Kay County, and one rising star in particular is Ciara Brooke, a multitalented singer, songwriter and producer whose album and single releases (along with the associated videos) bring new perspectives to everyone who listens and appreciates great music. Her career includes numerous performances across the nation and on TV talent shows. Never one to shy away from a challenge, Ciara’s latest endeavor pairs her talent with her brother, Cody Farrow, into a powerhouse duo whose music transcends their influences of The Killers and Twenty-One Pilots.

Five-Year Gap (the name is based on the duo’s age difference), notes they make music for the “introvert, the socially awkward, the over-thinker and the insecure.” Living together during the 2020 pandemic resulted in their writing new music that simply begged for creation of the band. The debut single, “We Could Leave Tonight,” premiered on July 16, and is about saying YES to adventure and whatever happens next. The second single, “Chalk Houses” (released Sept. 17), highlights the band’s self-titled EP currently in production for a spring 2022 release. Both songs have impressive videos on the group’s YouTube channel. Listening to their music, you immediately realize Ciara and Cody see the world in a distinctly refreshing way and are willing to try different things to bring the message across. I also hear their songs as fostering a healing energy that gives people hope and courage. Besides releasing new singles and videos, Five-Year Gap publicly introduced themselves at several gigs around Kay County, proving they can move a crowd as a great live act. The band’s goal is to provide meaningful music with some laughs and smiles along the way. You can catch their music on numerous sites, including Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, YouTube and the easy link to all of them is https://snd.click/5gqr. I highly recommend everyone take note of this alt/pop-rock duo, as they are continuing the great history of musicians and music in Oklahoma. Kay County is simply a launching point. One day you’ll be proud to say, “I remember Five-Year Gap just starting out …” NOTE: The video for “Chalk Houses” was filmed in the band’s hometown, Tonkawa, Oklahoma, and produced by Ponca City’s “Speak Now Productions.” Finally … It is amazing to think that one year ago, I fell for a pitch by Kelsey and Carey to write this column. Having never written for a publication before, I was concerned my engineering-based style of composition (instincts I fight with every column) would put people to sleep. Overall, I credit the support of my wife, Kelsey, family, friends and the Ponca City Monthly readers whose encouraging comments keep me going. I am excited for the new year, what it will bring to our city and the live music environment. Please accept my sincere appreciation to each of you, and a holiday wish for a healthy, successful 2022 filled with happiness and music – LOTS of music! If anyone has information on live music events, please write me at smscott54@hotmail.com.


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