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A Publication of the shawnee News-Star

Event Calendar

-- Through April 1


Mythic Beasts: Imagery in Kuna Textiles and Cocle Pottery Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art, Shawnee

This exhibit explores the fantastical creatures that the Kuna illustrate in their molas and the Cocle painted on their pottery centuries before. Both Panamanian cultures created creatures based on their surroundings and modified by their imaginations. For more information: (405) 878-5605.

-- April 14 Arts Trek Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art, Shawnee

An innovative, exciting cultural experience, Arts Trek combines an arts festival with a performance showcase. Anchored at the Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art, this free, family-friendly event is an arts adventure for everyone! During the festival, local artists and crafters display, demonstrate, and sell their artworks. Visitors engage in free hands-on art activities (including a collaborative community artwork) sponsored by local organizations and businesses. A variety of featured performers, bands, dancers entertain visitors in the theater, in the gallery, in the courtyard, and on an outdoor stage.  Food vendors offer a variety of appetizing treats and Oklahoma wineries present tastings of area wines. More information: (405) 878-5605

-- Through April 29 Exhibit: Celestial Siblings: Parallel Landscapes of Earth and Mars Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History, Norman

Internationally known astronomer and fine art photographer Stephen Strom has combined his two talents to create “Celestial Siblings: Parallel Landscapes of Earth and Mars.” The images in this intriguing exhibition reveal hauntingly similar patterns on Earth and our planetary neighbor: at once simple and profoundly beautiful forms that result from the  action of universal physical processes on vastly different spatial scales and terrestrial surfaces. This exhibition  has been organized by Stephen Strom and is circulated through Guest Curator Traveling Exhibitions. For more information: (405) 3254712 or

-- March 15 Staatskapelle Weimar – An Evening with Brahms Armstrong Auditorium, Edmond

The Staatskapelle Weimar, founded in 1491, is one of the oldest, most illustrious orchestras in the world. Its history is closely associated to some of the world’s best-known musicians—Johann Hummel, Franz Liszt, Richard Strauss and many others. In 1756, Duchess Anna Amalia made the orchestra the primary musical institution of the city of Weimar, Germany. On its first-ever North American tour, the orchestra will showcase Brahms’s Tragic Overture, his violin concerto and his cherished Symphony No. 1. Time: 7:30 p.m. For More Information: (405) 285-1010 or www.

-- March 17

Citizen’s Bank of Edmond Heard on Hurd Downtown Edmond on Broadway

between Main & Hurd Local live music, food trucks and pop up shops will line downtown Edmond’s Broadway between Main & Hurd Street. Time: 6 p.m. -.10 p.m. Price: Free For More Information: (405) 341-6650 or

-- March 17 Gary Allan in Concert Riverwind Casino, Norman

-- March 15 - 17

Info: At 8 p.m., Gary Allan will take the stage at Riverwind Casino’s Showplace Theatre. For more information:

Cleveland County Swap Meet Cleveland County Fairgrounds, Norman

-- March 19-23

The three-day swap meet takes place in the arena at the Cleveland County Fairgrounds. For more information:

-- March 16 America in Concert Riverwind Casino, Norman

At 8 p.m., America will take the stage at Riverwind Casino’s Showplace Theatre. For more information:

-- March 16 - 17 Land Run 100 Stillwater, OK to Guthrie, OK and back

Challenge your endurance on this solo, self-supported, 100-mile or 50-mile-long bicycling race OR 50k run across gravel and dirt roads near the site of the Oklahoma Land Run of 1889. Participants can also register for both days to run AND bike! Lineup begins at 8 a.m. For more information:  or call District Bicycles at (405) 372-7319

Spring Break Escape Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History, Norman

Info: Spring Break Escape offers opportunities for exploration and fun on a budget. From face painting and crafts to bird shows  and jaw-dropping science  experiments, Spring Break Escape is packed with adventure for all ages. General museum admission applies. For more information: (405) 325-4712 or samnoblemuseum.

If you have an event you would like to see here, call Cheyenne Meadows at (405) 214-3963 or email For advertising, call Brad Casto at (405) 214-3950 or email


- About

Josh Abbott Band ---

As Josh Abbott Band moved into the final stages of work on Until My Voice Goes Out, lead singer Josh Abbott’s personal life took a couple significant twists that underscored where JAB finds itself professionally. Abbott’s father suffered a stroke while the album was being recorded, and Josh split his time between the studio and the hospital bedside, finishing all the lead vocals shortly before his dad passed away. Two months later, Josh welcomed his first child into the world. Those developments in the spring of 2017 nutshelled the circle of life, and in a way, that’s how Until My Voice Goes Out operates. As the band observes 10 years since recording its first single, “Taste,” Voice finds the seven-piece Texas ensemble ending one chapter and beginning another. Its last album, the dramatic Front Row Seat, encapsulated the life cycle of a relationship, from its passionate start to its heartbreaking conclusion. It was a summary document of events from the past. Until My Voice Goes Out is, by contrast, a hopeful look into the future, a roll-upthe-sleeves-and-move- forward embrace of life and its potential. “This album is about appreciating the moment and your family and your friends, and living life the right way,” Abbott says. “It’s really all about finding clarity and focusing on what’s important.” Experiencing life at its fullest includes taking risks, and Josh Abbott Band does that successfully in Until My Voice Goes Out, incorporating strings and a horn section for the first time. The approach layered both a glassy classicism and a ragged soul on the well-oiled JAB framework. Arranger Rob Mathes – noted for his work with Tony Bennett, Sting and Bruce Springsteen – worked up a handful of mood-setting string preludes and added to JAB’s range by, for example, weaving classy, dancing violins into “Girl Down In Texas” alongside Austin Davis’ plucky banjo and drummer Edward Villanueva’s firm backbeat. Mathes lathered a thick, Memphis-soul layer atop “Texas Women, Tennessee Whiskey” and threw a buzzing baritone sax under “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot,” with the Austin-based horn section Groove Line carrying it out in thick precision. “The guys were really hesitant that this would work,” Abbott concedes, “but I just said, ‘Look, let’s take another bold leap of faith here. Let’s go in the studio and record these songs and kick ass, the way we would make a normal album, but once we’re done making the cake, let’s see if the horns and the strings can put the icing on it.’ The band still recorded an album that sounds like us. You still have the banjo and a lot of fun, upbeat stuff and some really pretty love songs, and that’s core to JAB (Josh Abbott Band). That’s how we got our start.” The genesis of JAB was almost non-descript. Abbott and Davis, frat brothers at Texas Tech University, performed at a couple of open-mic nights at the Blue Light Live in Lubbock. Those dates gave the two budding musicians “the bug,” and they grew their duo into a full-fledged band. Villanueva and fiddler Preston Wait were the first of the current lineup to join, followed by bass player James Hertless and guitarist Caleb Keeter in 2010, and keyboard player David Fralin in 2015. Texas’ red-dirt scene provides a wealth of touring opportunities for young bands, and JAB made the most of it, quickly vaulting into the upper realms of the state’s live acts with a raucous, raw sound and a certain unpredictability. Once “Taste” appeared on radio stations across the Lone Star State, audiences came out to hear – and sing along with – that song and a wealth of hooky, accessible titles on Scapegoat and their 2010 breakthrough, She’s Like Texas, both released on the band’s own indie label, the appropriately named Pretty Damn Tough Records. JAB nabbed Top 10 debuts on the Billboard country albums chart with 2012’s Small Town Family Dream and 2015’s Front Row Seat, and the band lobbed five singles onto the Hot Country Songs chart, including the infectious “Hangin’ Around” and “Amnesia.” In a cool quirk, JAB also provided two significant women their first chart exposure: 2011’s “Oh, Tonight” introduced many listeners to award-winning Kacey Musgraves; and 2016’s “Wasn’t That Drunk” set up Carly Pearce to sign with Nashville’s Big Machine Records. JAB likewise flirted with an established label, though it became self-evident that the band was better suited as an independent. “We control creative content and timelines and images and everything else,”

Abbott says. “We get to shape our own narrative and projection and business plans. I feel like we, as a band, have gotten to a place in our lives where we’re just so happy doing what we’re doing.” Celebration is at the center of Until My Voice Goes Out, and it’s underscored in “The Night Is Ours,” a percolating track that finds human breath pulsing through the horn section while Wait delivers a bristling fiddle solo and Davis adds a natty banjo run. The band explores love, music and the world at large with an emphatic boldness: “Life is good, love is great, friends are rare and the night is ours.” They arrived at that upbeat viewpoint with the assistance of producer Dwight Baker (Wind + the Wave, Bob Schneider), who first teamed with JAB on Front Row Seat. Baker brought an ease to the artist/producer relationship that allowed the band to safely walk the line on both albums between risk and continuity. “He just gets us,” Abbott says. “We feel super comfortable working with Dwight. He adds an element to our band because he gets our vibe for sure, and he also understands music and is willing to try different approaches.” The horns and strings, in fact, were the result of an informal brainstorming session between Abbott and Baker. It was a new wrinkle to the group’s identity, and they knew that balance would be key. “We really had to mix the album where you hear the strings and horns, but they never overpower the sonic palate,” Abbott says. While those instruments are rather foreign to modern country, the horns in particular represent a full-circle turn. Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys employed sax and trumpet as he established the classic western-swing sound in the Texas Hill Country, the same area where JAB is now based. “Merle Haggard used horns, too,” Abbott notes. “It’s something that got really popular in part of the ‘80s with some of the country movement and specifically some of the Texas and Oklahoma guys. So we felt pretty comfortable with the horns being there and providing a little bit of fun.” Mathes’ preludes became an important emotional glue for the project, and the titles that bookend the project – “An Appreciation of Life” and “Farewell Father” – helped bring a cohesiveness to the album and its back story. Mathes had already composed those sections and JAB was in the midst of recording when Abbott’s father suffered a stroke. Josh naturally went to his dad’s side in Lubbock, and the band forged on without him. “Farewell Father” – which follows Abbott’s quivering, ultra-personal performance of “Ain’t My Daddy’s Town” – became the perfect epilogue for the album, which is dedicated to David Abbott. Josh briefly returned to Austin to cut the master vocals in a single day. He brought the recordings with him when he went back to Lubbock, and “Until My Voice Goes Out” was the last song that David heard during his lifetime. “Sometimes things just work the way they’re supposed to work,” Josh says. “I didn’t write that song for my dad, but in a way, maybe without me knowing, I did. It fits my life now, and in his absence, I couldn’t be more grateful for that song and that album title.” “Until My Voice Gives Out” is, after all, a song about embracing life lessons learned and using them to make a better future. Josh Abbott intends to do that in a way that supports his daughter, who arrived as JAB completed the album. And the band is making a statement through that song – and through the entire risk- taking album – about its continued growth and evolution as it moves forward, a decade after that first single gave Texas a taste of JAB’s brand of country. Through its time on the road and its growth from college-aged hellraisers into successful, self-employed musicians, Josh Abbott Band has been tested thoroughly and discovered that life’s joy comes not from playing it safe, but from taking chances and from tackling hurdles head-on. “I feel like we’re way better than we were 10 years ago, and that’s natural,” Abbott says. “There’s a good vibe among all of us, and a lot of familiarity, so there’s a lot of trust, which is a very simple word but very complex sometimes. There’s no ego. There’s just a group of guys working together, letting each other kind of do their own thing and loving life again.”


mar 24 |

wade bowen

Five ways

to have fun this weekend


In theaters this weekend is the much-anticipated adaptation of “A Wrinkle In Time” rated PG and directed by Ava DuVernay with an all-star cast telling the story of Meg, a young girl who travels through space with her young brother and best friend to find her missing scientist father; “Gringo” an R-rated dark comedy about the fight for survival of a businessman (David Oyelowo) when he finds himself crossing the line from law-abiding citizen to wanted criminal; “The Strangers: Prey at Night” an R-rated horror film about a family staying in a secluded mobile home park for the night are visited by three masked psychopaths, to test their every limit.


Did you know 25 percent of all the cookies baked in the United States are chocolate chip? Bake some of America’s favorite dessert as Chocolate Chip Cookie Week concludes this weekend. The cookie was invented when Toll House Inn owner Ruth Graves Wakefield intended to bake chocolate cookies for her guests, but she ran out of baker’s chocolate. She substituted chopped up semi-sweet chocolate and the rest is history.


Time springs forward early Sunday morning for Daylight Saving Time, and you can have fun with it by making a game of changing all the clocks and changing the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. You can also plan some spring-themed events — winter is almost over!


March is National Craft Month and therefore a good time to pick up a new hobby or practice one you already know. Knock out a couple of projects from your Pinterest boards. Or check out Youtube or Craftsy for tutorials on various crafts — from baking to knitting to embroidery to sewing and more.


Selection Sunday — the day when the NCAA tournament field is set — is this weekend. TBS will air the official draw and brackets live starting at 6 p.m. ET and you can start filling out your brackets soon thereafter. This year the show will be televised on TBS on March 11, which will also be the home of the Final Four on March 31 and Championship Game April 2. The rest of the NCAA Tournament games will appear on CBS, TBS, TNT, or TruTV. — More Content Now

“A Wrinkle in Time” movie. [Disney]

Freeman to Present Digby Bell Memorial Recital OBU music faculty and the Warren M. Angell College of Fine Arts will host the Digby Bell Memorial Recital Tuesday, March 13, at 7:30 p.m. in Raley Chapel’s Yarborough Auditorium. The community is invited to attend the free event. The recital will feature pianist Dr. Kenneth Freeman, assistant professor of collaborative piano at Wayland Baptist University. The program will include Freeman’s performances of “Three Barcarolles” by Ned Rorem, “The Alcotts” from “Piano Sonata No. 2” by Charles Ives, “Papillons, Op. 2” by Robert Schumann, “Nocturne in Eb Minor, Op. 33, No. 1” by Gabriel Faure, and “Napoli Suite” by Francis Poulenc. Freeman earned a bachelor’s degree in applied piano and English from Pepperdine University. He then earned both his master’s degree and his Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of Memphis. Before his position at WBU, Freeman worked for Union University where he served as staff accompanist and adjunct faculty. He has also taught at Mid-South Community College in West Memphis, Arkansas.

The recital is held in honor of Dr. Digby Bell, late husband of Dr. Carol Ann Bell, retired professor of piano at OBU. Trained in music as a child, Digby Bell discovered his love for piano performance around age 9. His passion for the piano led him to study at schools such as the Julliard School in New York. Bell received both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Michigan. Soon after graduating from Michigan, he began teaching at the University of Oklahoma. While there, he earned his doctorate from the University of North Texas. Bell taught and performed at OU for more than 40 years during his time in Oklahoma. For 25 years, he served as the chairman of the OU keyboard department. He was named professor emeritus upon his retirement in 1990. Bell performed many times with the Oklahoma City Symphony and, as a result, had several of his performances broadcast worldwide through the Armed Forces Radio and the Canadian Broadcast Company. Digby and Carol Ann Bell were well-known in Oklahoma as a duo pianist team. Digby died on March 5, 2004. Carol Ann retired from OBU in 2010, after 20 years of service. For more information about the Division of Music at OBU, visit

OBU music faculty and the Warren M. Angell College of Fine Arts will host the Digby Bell Memorial Recital Tuesday, March 13, at 7:30 p.m. in Raley Chapel’s Yarborough Auditorium. The community is invited to attend the free event. The recital will feature pianist Dr. Kenneth Freeman, assistant professor of collaborative piano at Wayland Baptist University. Stock image.

With its campus in Shawnee, and locations in Oklahoma City and Broken Arrow, OBU offers 10 bachelor’s degrees with 88 fields of study and five master’s degree programs. The Christian liberal arts university has an overall enrollment of 2,093, with students from 37 states and 40 other countries. OBU has been rated as one of the top 10 regional colleges in the West by U.S. News and World Report for 26 consecutive years and has been Oklahoma’s highest rated regional college in the U.S. News rankings for 24 consecutive years. OBU is one of three universities in Oklahoma and the only private Oklahoma university listed on Great Value College’s rankings of 50 Great Affordable Colleges in the Midwest. consistently ranks OBU as a top university in Oklahoma and the Princeton Review has named OBU one of the best colleges and universities in the western United States for 13 consecutive years.

3 9 18 free time  
3 9 18 free time  

A weekly tabloid serving Pottawatomie, Lincoln and Seminole counties, and central Oklahoma for local, state and regional events. Published b...