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Park Stomp kicks off festival season

With the theme "A Rhythm Runs Through It," this year's festival season put its best foot forward along the cobblestone banks of Medicine Creek to open Park Stomp 2018.

Medicine Park's Just Strangers started things off right with a barn-burner of a set from the Park Tavern stage. The band's hippified blend of bluegrass and rock and roll makes it one of the most inventive and fun live acts around  it takes great deftness to intertwine pure Americana with punk rock energy. 

With Lane Hawkins' fiddle work entwined with Sarah Holliday's banjo and Rodney Whaley's dobro, it was Zach Holliday's kick drum, guitar, talk box  and whatever else  musicianship that earned him MVP honors for the night. The songs, "John Henry" and "Ballad of Hollis Brown," were the best thing I heard all weekend. After the rave up ending to "John Henry," Whaley offered a tip on how the band connects on stage: "That one, we communicate through head bobs."

Although it had a tough act to follow, the three-piece, quick-picking string band Grassfed nourished those who wanted their bluegrass well done. More traditional in a lot of ways than other acts before and after for the weekend, the band was smooth and entertaining. Mixing dobro, guitar and standup bass, it brought a Smoky Mountains-meets-Medicine Park-specific sound that kept the audience's toes tapping and the scribe left lost in search of the proper words to smith.

With two more days of music (and Volkswagens) to follow in the Park, it was the perfect start to spring in Southwest Oklahoma. 

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If you were watching "American Idol" Monday night, you saw the triumphant moment in the spotlight by MacArthur High School's Kourtney Smith during the group performance. She's got a special voice and I can't wait to see how far she goes. We're looking at getting her into the studio for the column's radio show in the near future.

Although she was let go too soon due to voice fatigue, Apache's Rissa Watson represented Southwest Oklahoma like a champion throughout the experience. She's going to go far with her talent and work ethic.

Those two have been joined by some other very talented Oklahoma singers this year. It's another sign that this state bears some very special fruit.

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Project Pat's Born2hustle Tour featuring Rhymesick Entenrtainment will bring the hustle from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. today at The Zoo, 2006 W. Lee. Project Pat headlines with main support from Statik G, Fade and JRod the Problem; special guests Lugey, CityBoy Ghost and Mark James; local artist Tony Reaper; and more to be announced. 

Tickets are available: general admission, $25 early and $30 at the door; and a few VIP tickets are still available, $35 early and $40 at the door. Get yours: https://www.stubwire.com/event/projectpatsborn2hustletour/thezoo/lawton/....

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With heavy metal on the menu this weekend at its Southwest Oklahoma home, last weekend's Farewell, B! Drag Show Extravaganza at the Railhead Saloon, 909 S. Sheridan, was filled with the energy of a post-modern vaudeville/burlesque performance for the ages. With bodies packed from stage to the walls, the farewell performances by Michael Mullenix, a.k.a. Episcene, was a statement. Of course, when you open your set to "Cheeseburgers In Paradise" by producing burgers from your bag of goodies and sending them flying to the fans, you make a statement.

Mistress of ceremonies Mor'Gun Fontaine filled the role with a bratty, catty humor that hit all the right marks for an audience that offered a little bit of everything Lawton in its composition. The show was a lot like that, too. With performances by Porcelain Vaheen, Ginger Styles, Mor'Gun Fontaine, Syren, Alotta Vaheen, Tape and Entity, it presented this form of performance art in a premier fashion. The stage debut of "Peach Fuzz" showed what all the fuss was about. You have to give it up to Miss Kay and the Railhead Family for being open to talented and sincere artists of all stripes. 

But don't forget that it's still home to all the heavy metal you could want. Friday night's lineup is Thousand Pound South, SkinHook and Seven Year Witch, and Saturday night will see The Kept, Mouthbreather and Turbo Wizard take the stage.

Keep tuned for next week's column and all the details for the Return of Railfest: Grind For the Grid featuring DeadCore, Southern Aggression, Sunlander, Backwash, Southern Heretics, Desecration Conflict, and Paid in Spades.

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All my love to my departing friends, colleagues  family  at The Lawton Constitution: nEddie Vedder  "The Times They Are A Changin'"  https://youtu.be/i6B8Hnt-W2Y.

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The latest edition of the "Mix Tape No. 2" debuted Thursday morning from Studio Blanket/Tent Fort for this week's "Today's Best Soundemonium!" with Steve Carr, a.k.a. Steve-O, and the columnist. This was the bunny's best local music Easter basket you ever heard. Carr accompanied on most of these numbers to help create some unique and wonderful musical moments  Cody Newby, "Man of Constant Sorrow"; Smokey Motel, "Where the Hell Are You"; Lily Sanchez, "Sweater Weather"; Gary Sanning, "I'll Send All My Love to You"; Rissa Watson, "House of the Rising Sun"  and closes with Big Mike Webb & Lynn Moon, "Pride & Joy/Kansas City." You can hear it again Sunday night.

Told ya it was a good one.

Jokey McJokerson channeled Sir Arthur Conan Doyle for this week's joke. Here's the punchline:

"Holmesless."

Turn your radio dial to Magic 95.3 FM Radio around 9:25 a.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., The Legendary Cody Newby; 6:30 p.m., Mix Tape No. 2. 

Visit, "like" ("love") and follow our Facebook page: https://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. We'll make more, I swear.

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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.

The Lawton Constitution

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