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Local talent becoming rising stars

I ran into the great Jimmy Jack Whitaker last weekend and he shared some news about local talent he's been fortunate to work with lately. Through his Jimmy Jack Foundation, the nourishment of music is filling lives. It lives up to its motto: "Helping kids reach their musical dreams."

Whitaker has been producing a pair of rising stars who have been hard at it in a Nashville studio working on an upcoming project. Dannie Carson and Cassidy Huckabay have both been riding some successful waves into the end of 2017. Huckabay sang and co-wrote a song with Whitaker called "Believe What You Say" that just went to No. 2 on the Cashbox chart out of Nashville and The Christian Servant Magazine out of Tyler, Texas. 

Carson, who's busy playing local and regional stages, is set to release her latest project in the spring, Whitaker said. Her music career really took off in 2016 and, together with Whitaker, she put out her first song and video, "You Will Fly"  https://youtu.be/redpg1fQxLo. The video's introduction allowed Carson to tell the story of how she has grown from her youth as a foster child. She now has a family of her own, is a working DJ at Hot Country 97.3 FM and is an all-around great young person. Musically, she has won several awards, including the CASA Youth Ambition Award and the prestigious 2016 Video of the Year by the United States Gospel Entertainers and Musicians Association  all while continuing her college education at Cameron. Whitaker calls her one of a kind. 

Whitaker's foundation is thriving, he said. In January, a boatload of fun is setting sail with the Cruise for Kids. You can learn more via the website: jimmyjackfoundation.org.

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Christmas With Dave Laurence & Friends filled Outlaw Bar-B-Q with the sounds of the season Saturday evening. And while it didn't prove to be an early "White Christmas," it was an early gift.

The affable singer/songwriter was a treat as he performed for the gathered diners and musicians who came through during the afternoon. Laurence tackled some of the staples: "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus," "Here Comes Santa Claus" and "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day," while also tackling some fun fare like "Nuttin' for Christmas." A favorite was something unique to Oklahoma, according to the Portland, Maine, transplant. 

"When I arrived here in the '90s, I discovered a local Christmas tradition unlike anywhere else in the country," Laurence said before playing the telltale B.C. Clark Anniversary Sale jingle for the amused audience. 

Over the five hours, Laurence performed a lot of music. You'll hear his version of "Winter Wonderland," taped during a recent session in the column's radio show next week. 

"The Outlaw Bar-B-Q Christmas Show was a blast," Laurence said. "I'd like to thank the musicians who performed with me  Theresa Arnold, Deanna Gray, Hawk Paladina, Jimmy Jack Whitaker, David Thomas, Mike Cowing and Ann Pennick- Felipe, as well as many old friends I've not seen in a while and a few new ones as well." 

Laurence will be presenting a free online concert of Christmas classics at 3 p.m. Sunday: www.concertwindow.com/davelaurencelive.

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Just in time for Christmas, the ghoulishly delightful Grammy Award-winning band Ghost has released a live double-album, "Ceremony and Devotion." Recorded during the band's critically exalted Popestar tour during the summer of 2017, it documents Ghost's live show as it continues to develop into a great arena band. Taking what I saw in its 2016 concert in Oklahoma City to a next level, the double album showcases the band's impeccable musicianship.

With tracks ranging from its last single "Square Hammer" to the first album's tracks "Con Clavi con Dio," there's something for every fan. Singer Papa Emeritus IV and the five Nameless Ghouls may come off campy visually, but musically they're top talent. The heavy riffs of "Mummy Dust" and "From the Pinnacle to the Pit" are at home next to the lush ephemera of "He Is" and "Spˆksonat." A new music video for the track "Absolution" (a favorite) should be out soon. Until then, check out video from the Oklahoma City show from an oldie but goodie: nGhost  "Body & Blood"  https://youtu.be/76vp-JieJRE.

The 15-track monster makes a great gift for the spooky rock fan this Christmas, just in case you're in search of the proper stocking stuffer. "Ceremony and Devotion" is available to stream and download now via iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, and Google Play. The album will be available physically on double CD and double LP on Jan. 19, 2018. 

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It sounded a lot like Christmas with this week's "Today's Best Soundemonium!" with Steve Carr, a.k.a. Steve-O, and yours truly as we served up a special episode of a Holly Jolly Christmas Special Part 1. With a year's worth of fantastic talented guests on the show we had a lot of musicians to work with for the first part of this season's treat.

The first show's song list: Signal 4's Jason & Amanda  "Silent Night"; Robbie McMillan & Melvin Newton  "Christmas With The Family"; Dirty Red & The Soul Shakers  "Back Door Santa"; Hi-Way 62  "Please Come Home for Christmas"; Amanda Kidd & Steve O with Robbie McMilland and Melvin Anthony Newton on piano, "Baby, It's Cold Outside"; and Dannie Carson with Steve O  "Oklahoma Christmas." 

Here's a repeat of Hi-Way 62  https://youtu.be/roA_YUpVb5E.

Keep your ears open at 6 p.m. on Christmas Eve, when both parts of the Christmas special come together for a prime time listening adventure. 

Jokey McJokerson was in the Christmas spirit with delivery of this week's joke setup. Here's the punch line:

"Claus-trophobic."

Turn your radio dial to Magic 95.3 FM Radio around 4:25 p.m. each Thursday or stream the half-hour show online: http://s1.phx.icastcenter.com/start/kmgz953/, 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 repeat of the latest show at 6 p.m. with a rebroadcast of the prior week's show: 6 p.m., Holly Jolly Christmas Special Part 1; 6:30 p.m., Takeez Meals. 

Visit, "like" ("love") and follow our Facebook page ://www.facebook.com/steveoandthescribe/.The two-part video slideshow with audio from the first all-performance episode, along with the very first episode, are found in the "Video" folder.

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Bookmark the site and visit weekly for online features every Friday at swoknews.com to enjoy a full feature experience with a quick click on any of the video links to get a full experience at your fingertips. Bookmark the column's YouTube channel and visit the library of exclusive videos from the column's archive featuring some of the best past local (and visiting) talent that's graced Southwest Oklahoma's stages. More added often:

Soundemonium Musaic Lawton music archive homepage: Scott Rains  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPw__GedGPOUD-wROFcuZ8w.

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