3 Frets Down pays visit to studio
Two-thirds of 3 Frets Down Chuck Mantooth and Larry Chrisner slipped away from Elgin's legendary Drum House and stopped by Studio Blanket/Tent Fort for this week's edition of "Today's Best Soundemonium!" with Steve Carr, a.k.a. Steve-O, and the columnist. Apparently, the good time hitched a ride with the boys and their guitars because a blast was had.
The pair jockeyed the disc jockey into joining in on harp as they knocked out the Mantooth-written "Seems I'm Out Of Place" that was on the show. But it was the sudden explosions of music making that took over the studio and recording until late in the night. The three (with possible backing voice of the writer) also made magic with a pair of other numbers you'll be hearing in upcoming shows: "Shades Of Black & Green," and "Ain't Gonna Wake Up In The Morning."
See, that's the mojo these cats carry: they walk into a room, instruments at the ready, surrounded with the music of laughter and the next thing you know, "music music" is made. It's impulsive and eruptive and overwhelms in that moment with them. That's the spirit of Chrisner's Drum House. Like music and magic, it just kind of happened, according to Chrisner.
"Dude, I couldn't tell ya. ... It's a lot like it wasn't really planned," Chrisner said, "but 22 cymbals and four drum kits later, there it was."
The little house of Chrisner's has become a musician's playhouse many nights a week for the past few years. It's where Mantooth said he began stretching his legs as a singer/songwriter "I started really writing at 59-years-old and I'm 65 now." It's also been a starting ground for some of top young local musicians like Dani Carson, Tito Lindsey and Rissa Watson. It's a place that opens musicians up to new instruments. Chrisner told how Roger Mayer came in as a bassist and became a drummer. Same goes with young music students, he said.
"When people come to the Drum House, you've gotta be where you're spiritually drawn to," Chrisner said. "It's like exposing kids to sports you follow your spirit into things. But when you show someone they can actually play drums, it's an amazing thing."
Chrisner's mentorship for many was preceded by another artist/musician giving him the kick needed a few years back. The late-Robert Dean got Chrisner to hop up as part of a jam session one day years ago. Chrisner has been a lifetime musician, making his way to California and living the life before returning to Comanche County years ago. He'd put away his music (he thought) but the beat never left him. That said, experience doesn't alleviate stage fright. Fortunately, that's where instinct kicks in. "Robert Dean threw me to the wolves," he said.
Following that return, Chrisner and Mantooth inevitably would meet. At Porky's Pizza back when that was a thing, the two of what would become three met saxophonist Fred Phillips and 3 Frets Down was born. It was at the Gone Fishin' stage across from Bath Lake in Medicine Park where the trio really put the mojo into action. A lot of magic was made on that little stage by an array of local talent.
"That Gone Fishin' stage is one of the funnest stopping points," Chrisner said, "it's up there with Venice Beach."
With the saxophone addition, the trio have found something unique and perfect for their song presentation. Mantooth said that in the hundreds of songs he's written, sax has always been a part of what he'd hear in his head. Now it's translated to music.
"Saxophone was always in my blood but it didn't fit until Fred stepped into it," Chrisner said.
The ease that comes with being a musician of a certain age comes out in the music. These musicians know it. You're not trying to make anything other than what you enjoy. And when you're old enough to truly know yourself, you're old enough to embrace wherever the muse takes you. In the studio, that muse took the two through constant eruptions of music making. A medley of The Who's best felt like a rain shower in the desert when it made its way to "Squeeze Box." The laughter to follow felt like flowers unfolding towards light.
You can catch 3 Frets Down when they perform at 3 p.m. Saturday, June 16, on the Crossroads Stage at TwisterFest in Chickasha. Look to next week's column for all the details about this growing music festival.
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If you're feeling nostalgic for the sounds of 90s rock/pop radio, then the Newcastle Casino may be calling with its June 15 Concerts at the Castle series. Smash Mouth and Spin Doctors will perform a free concert, open to the public 18 years and up, in the venue's north parking lot. If it's date night, a couple could go as an "All Star" and "Little Miss Can't Be Wrong." Gates open at 6 p.m. The first 2,000 patrons will also receive $10 in bonus play.
Additionally, various food trucks will be available for guests to enjoy during the concert. From cheesesteaks to funnel cakes, guests will have their pick from a wide variety of flavors. Outside food and drink will be prohibited and guests are encouraged to bring lawn chairs. Security will check bags at the entrance gate.
Newcastle Casino is located at the junction of Interstate 44 and Oklahoma 62 off Exit 107 in Newcastle. For more information visit newcastlecasino.com or call 405-387-6013.
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The University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma's Alumni Association is launching its Listen Local at The Greek with a June 22 concert by Chickasha native Travis Linville. This series of free outdoor concerts at 7:30 p.m. on a Friday in June, July and August at the campus' Greek theatre.
"I'm very excited to bring back the tradition of live entertainment to the Greek theatre and couldn't be happier to have Travis as our very first show," said Misti McClellan, director of alumni development. "This concert series provides an opportunity to connect with our local alumni and other friends of the university in the Chickasha community. Pack a picnic, bring a blanket or lawn chair, and spend a Friday evening with your family, friends and some great music."
Linville has sold 15,000 albums and played innumerable shows in his career of more than two decades. With songs rooted in songcraft, sly humor and subtlety, Linville has developed into a one-of-a-kind talent. The Oklahoma Gazette has called him a "godfather of modern Oklahoma folk" and noted that his success opened doors others. He's also produced John Fullbright's first album and teaching guitar to a then 9-year-old Parker Millsap.
The series continues July 27 with Kyle Reid and the Low Swinging Chariots' joyful mix of original swing tunes and classical New Orleans and gypsy jazz . The Tequila Songbirds, a freewheeling group of musical sisters featuring Kierston White and Camille Harp, will close out the series on August 17.
For more information, visit usao.edu/listenlocal; or contact McClellan,405-574-1320, or mmclellanusao.edu.
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Studio Blanket/Tent Fort became a rowdy roadhouse of music and good times with Chrisner and Mantooth's appearance on "Today's Best Soundemonium!" with Steve Carr, a.k.a. Steve-O, and the columnist. They threw down some great music and championed the #Herkofrithom aesthetic to make a special show.
Jokey went for the deuce with a punchline that fits two set-ups with this week's joke. Here's the punchline:
Turn your radio dial to Magic 95.3 FM Radio around 6:25 p.m. each Thursday (if not much earlier) or stream the half-hour show online: http://s1.phx.icastcenter.com/start/kmgz953/ or www.onlineradiobox.com; or on the Apple or Android apps or on the TuneIn app, or: http://www.kmgz.com/.
#Sundaymonium Remember that every Sunday night you can listen to a rebroadcast of the prior week's show followed by this week's show: 6 p.m., Not Quite Yet Summer Edition Mix Tape Hot AF Edition of "Today's Best Soundemonium!" ; 6:30 p.m., Chuck Mantooth & Larry Chrisner. (Mix Tape playlist: Garry Sanning, "Wild World"; Gannon Freemin, "Lessons Learned"; Cody Newby, "Pancho & Lefty"; Curbside, "Liquid Candy"; and Sulphuric, "Folsom Prison Blues.")
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