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Nephew, uncle team up to make music

It's not often you get a nephew/uncle team to make such sweet music. But when Joshua Rodriguez and Pete Macias visited Studio Blanket/Tent Fort for this week's edition of the column's radio show Today's Best Soundemonium!, they proved it happens.

The pair, who first gained our attention a few week's back during Mi Familia's Open Mic Night, are something to behold in that setting. Of course, it helps that Rodriguez's job as a server means serving up a good time however he can  be it in food, drink or song. 

If you tuned in Thursday, you heard what I'm talking about with his take on Brooks and Dunn's "Neon Moon." Performances of "All Of Me," "Oh No," and "Easy" are in the pocket for a future mix tape. Check out some of more magic that didn't make it to air: nJoshua Rodriguez & Pete Macias (with Steve-O)  "Stuck On You"  https://youtu.be/1JPcaYaY1VA.

The 20-year-old singer is a junior majoring in business at Cameron University. Rodriguez said his goal is "to make music, combine it with my goal of a business degree, finish school, and thrive for what I really love." He cites an array of artists and styles as inspiration. From Latino artists to John Legend to Lionel Richie and more, it's family who made the first impact. 

"I've been singing since I was born," Rodriguez said. "My parents/grandparents, and my other family members have been a huge impact for my passion of singing, and it's their motivation that I thrived off of." 

With a lot of school performances as background, Rodriguez has been a member of the all-region and all-state honor choirs and had the privilege to sing the National Anthem at his high school graduation before an audience of 3,000. He continued singing at college and has reached the highest level choir at CU's music department. As a solo act, he placed third at the Lawton's Got Talent show and almost made it onto American Idol. But it's with his uncle that he really shines. Their partnership began on stage when he was a freshman but earlier when they meshed  "Probably since I was able to hold a microphone."

Macias has been playing piano and keyboard since he was 14-years-old. His inspiration was Ronnie Milsap. A 2016 Cameron grad with a degree in psychology, music was his minor  but he'll tell you it's his first love.

"I was self-taught," Macias said. "Back then, I listened to groups and individual artists from the 70s and 80s. Over the years, I played with a couple local groups here in Lawton. One was Jim McClellan's rock group called Batfish; and the other was Mark Somerlott's group called Blueprint Blues. I played keys for both groups."

Together at the twice-monthly open mics, the duo have bonded as bandmates as well as family. Macias said it's a privilege to play with, not just his nephew, but all the other musicians who happen to drop in and share the spotlight.

"Singing at the open mic night at my restaurant gave me a huge boost in my pursuit of music," Rodriguez said. "Wherever it wants to take us, we'll go."

Keep your ears open for an evening's performance by these two, I have a feeling they'll be booking shows soon. But until then, you can catch them the first and third Thursday's each month at Mi Familia's Open Mic. 

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The brothers Carter  singer/guitarist Steven and percussionist Isaiah  are ready to release their latest single and follow up with their strong 2017 debut single. The new beat clears the air for Smokey Motel. 

"The single is called 'Young Forever' and behind the illusion of lovey pop lyrics, the song is actually about how most of us spend our lives in our mind," Steven Carter said. "Sort of thinking our way through life instead of living it. And it's love that can bring us to the present moment." 

The track is a pop wonder for this time. Mixing elements of old school 80s New Wave with modern sensibilities, "Young Forever" is a strong showing from this locally groomed duo. Following the buzz of their first single, "I Die," the duo have been gaining traction as a live act. Steven Carter said the song came from another great collaboration with Tulsa producer Colton Jean (worked with Hanson and Kacey Musgraves). More is on the way.

"We're currently conjuring up some magic tracks to release as an EP soon and also planning more shows in Tulsa, Dallas and other surrounding major cities," he said. 

The song will be available Saturday on Spotify, Youtube, Soundcloud, Apple Music, Google, Deezer, and Tidal, or any of the band's social media: smokeymotel .

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Thanks to Bob Zwaan, the columnist got his grubby hands on a copy of the 2006 album "Trying To Breathe" from last week's musical guest, Al Berry. It's a solid collection of songwriting and musicianship and worth picking up. From the opening title track to "The Sailor," heard on last week's show, Berry proves his ability as a storyteller. You can feel the influence of Berry favorite Gordon Lightfoot with "On My Mind."

The slow burn of "Angry Eyes" makes the 5 minute journey a loquacious invitation to take the music where it goes and back. It's a favorite. "The American Dream" is Americana in sound, story and style. The album closer "Nobody's Home" is stark as a Southwest Oklahoma countryside and filled with soul and spirit embodied throughout.

There's not a bad track and each story shared in song is worth hearing. Berry is a real Lawton music treasure.

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With Rodriguez and Macias' visit to Studio Blanket/Tent Fort for "Today's Best Soundemonium!" with Steve Carr, a.k.a. Steve-O, and the columnist, came the joy of sharing a new talent spreading its wings. The kid can sing and with "Uncle Pedro" tinkling the keys and hitting those harmonies they're going to be an act to enjoy whenever you can. 

Side note: your trusty columnist tied the knot last weekend. I'd like to take a moment and thank Stacy Rains for saying "I do," our three amazing daughters for being as amazing as they are and to offer heartfelt thanks and love to those who attended the event and who have shared your congratulations and mazels! I'm a lucky guy.

Hey! Time's running out! If you've been a part of the radio show or who will be in the future, send us your best funny covers, originals and mash-ups for the LLOLAF End-Of-SummerSpecial Mix Tape. You can record it yourself or, you need to come to the studio, either contact Steve Carr or the columnist via our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/steveoandthescribe/; or email our email: soundemoniumgmail.com.

If this doesn't make you chuckle, we can't be friends: nBlack Velvet Flag  "Institutionalized"  https://youtu.be/BO3Bnc2gFeU.

Jokey turned to the Darth side with this week's joke. Here's the punchline:

"Because he felt his presence."

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., Al Berry; 6:30 p.m., Joshua Rodriguez and Pete Macias. 

Visit, "like" ("love") and follow our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/steveoandthescribe/.

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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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