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Roots Festival kicks off summer fests

The Memorial Day weekend kicked off the summer music festival season right in Medicine Park with the inaugural Roots Festival. The heat from the performances made the summery sting a little sweeter from the main stage Saturday afternoon.

Already one of the hottest local live acts around, The (legendary) JuJu Beans didn't disappoint as they pulled off one of their trademark sets of high-energy juke joint rock and roll. Leading off the second day of the festival, they rocked as if it was the closing set at Coachella.

New York's Kyle Lacy & Harlem River Noise performed with passion and tenacity as they fought through sweaty fingers and the in-your face western sun. The rockabilly combo features guitar, stand-up bass, saxophone and drums and made a classic rock and roll revelation appear like an oasis of everything the festival was about. Their original number "Cover Me Head to Toe" received feedback as strong as their resuscitation of the Buddy Holly original "That'll Be The Day." Give one of their originals a listen: n Kyle Lacy & Harlem River Noise  "I've Been Shakin'"

In closing their set with The Stray Cats' rave up "Rock This Town," the band made a joyful noise with their statement of and over an hour long set.

With the sun descending into evening, Arkansas' Opal Agafia & The Sweet Nothings brought folky blues back into the mix to shine among the diversity of the festival's lineup. If you missed them, check out this take on a classic number and you'll hear why you don't want to make that mistake next time: nOpal Agafia & The Sweet Nothings  "St. James Infirmery"

And over by the Santa's Snack Shack stage, Big Pete Piehnik led a lineup of artists who performed sweet music from the shade for Bath Lake's swimmers to enjoy. It was cool to hear him tackle a song called "Tomorrow Is Just Tomorrow Again" written by long-time columnist friend Hobie Lasiter. The big man's take on "Country Roads" has become the perfect song staple for visitors to the cobblestone community in the Wichita Mountains to know they've found a home for music and magic.

With funk, folk, reggae and more to follow from the main stage, Medicine Park set things up for a sweet summer to come. And they inaugurated the free, fun festival with the right mix for perfection.

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Mentor to many a musician and just about one of the coolest cats around, Larry Chrisner has put together something special for this weekend in Elgin. The Small Town World Parking Lot Jam and HomeTown Throwdown! will provide a free Saturday's worth of local live music from noon to at least 8 p.m. at Williams Discount Foods, 8287 U.S. 277 in Elgin. It's free to attend but tipping the musicians performing in that hot parking lot is strongly encouraged.

This year's event honors the Multiple Community Services Authority Sanitation Workers, Elgin Fire and Police as well as City workers and Post Office employees. The event will be a food drive but don't forget that you can drive there and get some food. Bar-S hot dogs will be on the grill and Dr Pepper is supplying a drink wagon. 

Chrisner said the event has gone from being an idea bandied about two years ago with the family-owned store's management. That's the beauty of a small town, a beauty that fades more each day, he pointed out.

"Small town stuff is disappearing," Chrisner said. "I don't want to lose that stuff, you know, where everybody knows where you're going and knows your name. I mean, there's a place for the other stuff but that's part of what makes it special."

The special connection found in the small town bleeds over to the musical community. Chrisner said the many musicians on the bill were more than eager to help out  "Those guys are just having fun." 

Musical performance schedule: noon-2 p.m., Garagemahalix; 2-4 p.m., Tito LIndsey Band with special guest Rodger Mayer performing on the rolling cajona; 4-5 p.m., Richard Clift Jr.; 5-6 p.m., Chuck Mantooth & The Steel Breeze; 6-7 p.m., Dani Carson; and 7-8 p.m., Ken Morrow. You can pretty well bet that following the last set, Chrisner's going to round up any straggling musicians for a jam session to close out the night. With Chrisner's hotbed of musical experimentation  The Drum House  located nearby, there will be music performed until fingers are blistered at one place or the other.

Always neck deep in something, Chrisner is also putting together the lineup for the Crossroads stage at the June 15-17 Twister Fest in Chickasha. You'll learn a lot more about that and get to know the iconic Christner with next week's column and radio show.

Call Chrisner, 580-492-6199.

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Lawton's brand of heavy metal will represent well in Oklahoma City on June 16 when Southern Heretics open for Texas Hippie Coalition at the Diamond Ballroom. Dryver and Buxshot are also on the bill. Show starts at 7 p.m., at the legendary music venue, 8001 S. Eastern in Oklahoma City. Doors open at 6 p.m. for the all-ages show. Tickets are $20 in advance if you contact anyone from the band via its Facebook page, they can be coaxed into making delivery:

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Studio Blanket/Tent Fort resonated with some great bonus music recorded from prior show to create this week's Not Quite Yet Summer Edition Mix Tape Hot AF Edition of "Today's Best Soundemonium!" with Steve Carr, a.k.a. Steve-O, and the columnist. I'm always in awe at the amazing talent who perform their best for us. This week's playlist: Garry Sanning, "Wild World"; Gannon Freemin, "Lessons Learned"; Cody Newby, "Pancho & Lefty"; Curbside, "Liquid Candy"; and closed with Sulphuric, "Folsom Prison Blues." If you listened closely, you learned about this year's word for summer: "Herkafrithom." You may have also caught a "nice, nice, nice gong."

Jokey went for it royally with this week's joke. Here's the punchline:

"Elvis Parsley."

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: or; or on the Apple or Android apps or on the TuneIn app, or: 

#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., Curbside; 6:30 p.m., Not Quite Yet Summer Edition Mix Tape Hot AF Edition of "Today's Best Soundemonium!" 

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