Long-lost friend drops into studio
The life of a musician can be a killer but for a local singer/songwriter who faced that edge, the healing power of music is real. Long-lost friend Hobie Lasiter stopped into Studio Blanket/Tent Fort for this week for "Today's Best Soundemonium!" with Steve Carr, a.k.a. Steve-O, and the columnist to share his music and his story.
When the columnist first met the Lawton original back in the early '90s, we both lived in Oklahoma City. Good times involving that local music scene were plentiful but in the 20-some years since, we'd lost track. As the cosmos is wont to do, paths recently reconnected among this music scene where the singer/songwriter has begun making his mark performing his original songs.
Lasiter said he began playing his older brother's guitar before he got his first guitar. "If it wasn't for him (brother) I probably wouldn't have started playing," Lasiter said. "I was about 16 when I actually got my own guitar."
Blues and rock music made their marks. Everything from Led Zeppelin to U2, to Stevie Ray Vaughan to Metallica into musical inroads and outskirts le him to bluegrass and punk rock. It's also the singer/storytellers like Bob Dylan, Neil Young and Willie Nelson who inspire Lasiter's songwriting.
"I wrote my first song when I was around 18," Lasiter said. My songs are pretty much a journal to my life. I find it hard to write about things I've never experienced. Some songs I don't play anymore because I'm done with that chapter in my life. Some I still play because they're still relevant today."
Lasiter said he found himself through punk music. Bands like Black Flag and Operation Ivy opened his eyes and mind to different forms of songwriting. However, the valley between the brash sounds of punk and the clarity of storytelling in country isn't too wide, he said.
"Willie writes honest lyrics, ya know," Lasiter said, "he sings from the heart, he sings what he believes that's punk."
Lasiter moved to Oklahoma City in the early '90s to get into the scene. Although he'd not played in a band while growing up in Lawton, he was eager to make a mark. Instead, it made marks on the musician. Spending time as a street musician playing for spare change in Oklahoma City and Austin, Texas, was a tough life. He lived it and loved it for the most part. The road took him to Chicago, Ill., where he spent time playing with a number of punk bands in the Windy City.
"It was a good time," he said, "no responsibilities and you get to play music."
Living can be hard for an independent musician but it makes great inspiration for many a song that's how the blues were born. But it can also give you the blues or, if you go too far, turn you blue. About five years ago, Lasiter returned to Lawton. He said he was debilitated and felt broken. He'd lost his music mojo, he said. But in returning home and relearning his craft, the passion to make music has renewed.
"The lifestyle that sometimes goes along with being a musician almost killed me," Lasiter said. "I came back to Lawton to start over. I've met some cool musicians since I've come back. Run into old friends I've been picking with since we were teenagers. I'm grateful that I'm still around to play and write. It gives me a reason to practice."
Lasiter called the venues open to musicians one of the things he's most grateful for with his return to the hometown. He's always been at the various open mics hosted by Big Pete Piehnik and a friendship has developed. The big bluesman plans on recording Lasiter's song "Tomorrow Again" for his new album. The songwriter performed it for the show but if you missed it, here's a taste of the experience: nHobie Lasiter "Tomorrow Again" https://youtu.be/Ww507irAUTs.
His songs carry the world-weary words from a man who has seen the clouds and lived for silver linings. Evocative of his heroes, Lasiter's lyrics and delivery emerge from the same stew as Roky Erickson and Tom Waits.
You'll soon be hearing the punk rock side of Lasiter again. He's joining some long-time friends in putting together a band to make some noise and play live. You'll be reading of its launch soon. He said not to worry, they're working up a Willie Nelson tune to fit in their set of originals.
Surviving and thriving, the musician is living his best life in many ways. Now that's punk rock.
Along with the embedded links, you can check out Lasiter's YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_KqaNhlztZf_J5FBorehjw; and his Soundcloud page: https://soundcloud.com/hobie-lasiter.
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Fifty years into the music business, Eddie Money still carries himself like the "Eddie Haskell of rock." With last Friday's concert at the Apache Casino Hotel, he proved to every couple in the venue that they'd purchased "two tickets to paradise."
With a full audience before him, the Money man came out with a kick as he led off with his chart-topper, "Baby Hold Onto Me." While you remember him for his unique vocal style and delivery, Money showed off his musician's chops as a saxophone player during performances of "Born To Be A Rocker" and "Take It Back." Those sax skills worked in concert with his series of "Dad jokes" throughout the night for a persona that peaked with "I Wanna Go Back." For his time on stage, Money was back in his youth with an audience that grew up with his catalog of hits.
"I do this for you, thank you," Money said to the audience. "Oklahoma's always been a home to me. ... Nobody loves you like I love you."
Money's "Aunt Vicky and Uncle Jack" were in the upstairs suite enjoying the show. The nephew returned the gift as they'd hosted many a summer in his youth. Family is a big part of Money's life and music these days. Before the show, clips from his AXIS TV series "Real Money" played on the stage screens. They featured the affable all-star at home and on the road with his musical family. For Friday's show, his daughter Jesse shared the limelight with her old man as they pushed through the hits. A solid singer and stage presence, their on-stage camaraderie made his hit "Take Me Home Tonight" far more fun than creepy considering the circumstances.
A music fan, Money related how one of the biggest thrills he's had in his career was Johnny Cash covering his song. His performance of "Give Me Some Water" would've made the "Man in Black" proud. The chairman of the Pets For Vets program, revenue from Money's concert t-shirts provide benefits to soldiers. He saluted the Fort Sill and military community with a performance of "One More Soldier."
"I Think I'm In Love" was the right choice for the smiling singer to serenade his receptive audience there was a lot of love in the air. You could bottle the energy in the room and fly to Mars and back the moment that "Two Tickets To Paradise" began and by its end you knew your price of admission paid that fare. But Money wanted to provide bang for the buck. As he readied to leave the stage, Money didn't even fake it and invited his bandmates back for one more moment to shine with "Shakin'." It was a good move considering the neighboring trio of ladies who had driven from El Paso, Texas, who called for it to be the next song each song that night might have gotten a little goosey.
Eddie Money was sure money at the Apache Casino Hotel and proved a win for all.
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Lasiter's visit to Studio Blanket/Tent Fort for this week for "Today's Best Soundemonium!" with Steve Carr, a.k.a. Steve-O, and the columnist resulted in some laughs and great tales. The music was pretty boss, too. Jokey continued with the marsupial madness 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/.
And, hey, if you have a song you want us to check out, email us: soundemoniumgmail.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., LLOLAF End-Of-SummerSpecial Mix Tape; 6:30 p.m., Hobie Lasiter.
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