CODY JOHNSON @ Expo Square Pavilion

Doc Roc Presents

CODY JOHNSON @ Expo Square Pavilion

William Clark Green, Jon Wolfe, Randall King

Sat Dec 09

Doors: 6:00 pm / Show: 7:00 pm

Expo Square Pavilion

Tulsa, OK

$22.00 - $48.00

This event is all ages


GA Floor $25+
Reserved $22+
Skybox $48+

Tickets are available online or by visiting Expo Ticket Xpress, which is located in the Southwest corner of the Expo Square Pavilion - 1701 South Louisville, Tulsa, OK 74112.

No re-entry! No smoking! No refunds!

Support acts are subject to change without notice!

 

Cody Johnson Band
Cody Johnson Band
In a time of synthetics and plastics, folks appreciate the real thing. Musically, we look for songs that reach beyond our eardrums, touching our hearts. Cody Johnson's unique blend of Country and Rock does just that.

Many Texas Music fans met Cody Johnson’s honest style through the radio singles from his Six Strings, One Dream album: "Nobody to Blame" (#6 on the Texas music charts in 2009); #1"Pray for Rain" (2009 - 2010); and "Texas Kind of Way" (#6, late 2010 – 2011).

At first opening for other artists, Cody has also taken the Texas dance-halls by storm. Increasingly, the Cody Johnson Band is the attraction, and an honest-to-goodness one.

Cody’s childhood, though, was different from his rowdy onstage personality. Growing up, home was Sebastopol, a speck on the East Texas piney woods map, the perfect setting for that country boy to roam the woods, hunt, and fish. Home-schooling and family times around the piano provided the kind of life the kind many folks envy. Even Cody's music training started when dad Carl taught him the chords to “I’ll Fly Away,” a Southern Gospel favorite.

Starting public school as a freshmen, Cody expanded beyond playing the guitar and drums at church. When his “ag science” teacher overheard Cody playing an original song, he convinced Cody to form a band with other FFA (Future Farmers of America) members. A few months later, Cody's band placed "runner-up" in the highly competitive Texas State FFA talent contest.

Cody left the contest realizing he was in love for life: in love with the music, the crowd, and the energy of performing onstage. Beginning in small honky-tonks and bars, he tried different musical styles. Discarding many, today Cody's shows still keep a Garth Brooks-level of energy and a Ronnie Van Zant - outlaw dedication to individual style. Like the late Chris LeDoux's musical beginnings, “CoJo” sold his acoustic CDs from the back of his truck during three years of bull-riding. Cody still shows up today as the true cowboy he is.

After graduation, Johnson worked for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice in Huntsville. There, supervising prison inmates, Cody confides, "I developed an even greater appreciation for family and friends. Seeing how easy it was to go to prison set me on the 'straight and narrow'."

Also in Huntsville, Cody met Nathan Reedy, who became his new drummer. With Carl Johnson playing bass, the trio began traveling as the Cody Johnson Band. Their first CD, Black & White Label, provided funding for travel and radio promotion - and the assurance that the music dream was real.

Along the way, several popular artists have shared their friendship, fans and wisdom with Cody. Some had business advice and warned him of issues musicians face on the road. The common thread is that other professionals respect Cody as performer, songwriter and individual. In turn, Cody Johnson earns that respect, giving as much effort to an audience of 30 or 30,000. As he states, “I like the crowd to sing along, yell, or whatever makes them feel part of the show. I love big crowds because of the energy and showmanship I can exhibit. I love acoustic shows because of the intimacy and how candid they are. Acoustic shows are like sittin’ around the living room 'pickin' and grinnin'."

Winning the Texas’ Regional Music Awards as “New Male Vocalist of the Year, 2011,” caused Cody to choose whether leave the security of State employment to chase his dreams. So he followed his own advice to "Always pray for direction, and know that no matter what..., the good Lord has a plan."

The answer to that prayer came when Cody's wife Brandi gave her “thumbs-up.” As Cody puts it, "When the woman I love - and plan to spend the rest of my life with - told me that she 'stands by her man' and believes in me 100%, I believed even more confidently that I could live my dream. Though I've had lots of people believe, contribute, push and pull me along, no one's efforts affected my decision emotionally the way Brandi's faith in me did."

Cody indeed left his "day job" for the more-than-full-time music career. But, that’swhere the story really begins.

Expanding his boundaries beyond Texas, he flew to Nashville to record a new CD with Nashville studio musicians hand-picked by his "big brother," Nashville-based fellow Texan, Trent Willmon, producer of the new album, A Different Day (released October 31,2011).

Though new to Nashville recording ways, Johnson’s musical confidence showed in the Music City recording studio. Together, he and the studio musicians tweaked songs to obtain the exact intended effect. Listening to the Music City veterans, Cody adopted suggestions when they felt right, and would "hang tough" when he felt the music differently.

According to CoJo, "I don't want to be labeled as 'Texas' or 'Nashville.' I am me: Texas, outlaw, cowboy, country, and a God-fearing man using the gift He gave me."
William Clark Green
William Clark Green
William Clark Green Is not one for pulling punches. Where some songwriters trade in subtlety and dancing around blunt truths with clever feints and metaphor, Clark aims his words straight to the point and, when needed, right through the heart. His music is unrelentingly direct and hard-hitting, too, charged with a palpable rock ’n’ roll immediacy that’s as evident in his most intimate solo acoustic performances as it is in the full-tilt band shows that have packed rooms across his native Lone Star State from the Blue Light in Lubbock to the world’s biggest honkytonk, Billy Bob’s Texas in Fort Worth. And with the April 21st release of Ringling Road, his eagerly awaited fourth album, Green is set to make his biggest impact on the booming Texas/Red Dirt music scene — and beyond — yet.

But just don’t call him the “Next Big Thing,” because as Green makes patently clear on Ringling Road’s riotously myth-busting opening track, that’s a laugh, buddy. And even with tongue firmly in cheek, William Clark Green is only interested in being real.

“Oh it’s hard to pay your dues when there ain’t no money in the bank
It’s a shame I gotta make it to the show but there ain’t no gas in the tank
It’s insane what you do for a broken heart and some busted strings
And everybody saying I’m the next big thing!”

“I’m actually a little nervous about what people are going to think of that song, and if they’ll think I’m being an asshole,” Clark admits with a laugh. “And that’s not the case at all, because it’s actually sarcastic as hell. But we’ve been hearing that ‘you’re the next big thing’ thing for a long time now — and I’m guilty of saying the same to some of my songwriter friends who are struggling out there, too. And even though it’s always meant in a nice way, you can’t help but think, ‘What? I have no idea what you’re talking about. I’m actually sleeping in my truck tonight!”

Not that he’s complaining. Green is nothing if not fully committed to his chosen path. Granted, had a few chips fallen a little differently, he could have just as easily — and happily — devoted his life to ranching, but fate dictated pretty early on that he was meant to be a troubadour. He may have started taking guitar lessons at 13 primarily out of boredom — his family had just moved from Flint, Texas to College Station in the summer, and he didn’t have any new school friends yet — but it wasn’t long before he developed a keen interest in songwriting. A healthy obsession with his father’s copy of Willis Alan Ramsay’s classic 1972 debut had a lot to do with that (“That’s still the best album I’ve ever heard, and the reason I use three names,” Green enthuses). So did timing: “I remember seeing Robert Earl Keen and Pat Green and even Jerry Jeff Walker at the Wolf Pen Creek Amphitheater in College Station when I was in high school,” he says. “The scene was really kind of in its birth then, and I was right there in the middle, paying attention and really intrigued by all of it.”

College originally wasn’t part of his game plan — “I was a very poor student, and I still wanted to be a cowboy” — but after a lead on a ranch-hand job fell through and a miserable two-week stint at a feed lot scared him straight, Green enrolled in junior college and eventually found his way to Texas Tech. He majored in agriculture economics, but spent more time songwriting and playing guitar at every open-mic night and hotel bar gig he could find than actually studying. By the time fellow Red Raider and Texas country rising star Josh Abbott handed him the keys to his Tuesday-night residency at the Blue Light, Green and his own band were on their way.

“That’s when things got really serious for me,” Green recalls. “I came out with my first record [2008’s Dangerous Man], and it kind of got to the point where I knew if I was going to pursue music, I’d have to give it everything I had, because there’s just no room for half-assing it in this business. School went to the wayside — I ended up graduating, but it took six years because music was my priority. And here I am now at 28 — about to release our fourth album and hoping to get to five before I’m 30. That’ll be a pretty quick turn around, but that’s the goal.”

The aforementioned “next big thing” rumors started up in the wake of his second album, 2010’s Misunderstood, but it was 2013’s Rose Queen that proved his real breakthrough. Green recorded the album, produced by Rachel Loy in Nashville, at a real crossroads in his career — with momentum and high expectations at his back but barely enough money in the bank to foot the bill (and that only after a desperate call for help to angel investor Wade Bowen saved the day). “It was a huge leap of faith,” Green says today, “but I told the band, ‘We’re going to pull out all the stops, and we’re going to find a way to make exactly the record we want to make and need to make.” The end result was a triumph, yielding Green’s first three top-10 Texas Radio hits, including two chart-toppers in “She Likes the Beatles” and “Hanging Around” (the former also won “Song of the Year” honors at the fan-voted Lone Star Music Awards).

Of course, all of that set the bar even higher for the follow-up — and Ringling Road delivers in spades. Returning to Nashville to team once again with Loy (Green calls working with the gifted up-and-coming producer “the best decision I’ve ever made in my musical career”), the band overcame a a couple of early setbacks — longtime drummer Jay Saldana had recently left for a new gig with Wade Bowen, followed by guitarist Steve Marcus breaking his arm a week before they went into the studio — to come through like champs under pressure. Saldana ended up coming back as a guest to drum on most of the record (along with new band member Ryan Garza), while the lead guitars duties were initially shared between Nashville session vet Kenny Greenberg and band friend Josh Serrato, recruited out of fellow Texas band Six Market Boulevard for what originally supposed to be “fill-in” duty. By the time Marcus’ arm healed up enough for him to join the sessions halfway through, though, Serrato had been promoted from temp to full-time band member. Greenberg ended up staying on for the rest of the record as well.

“All three of those guys are monster talents on guitar, so It was a really incredible experience to have them all working with each other in the studio,” Green marvels. “It all just happened the way it was supposed to, and we weren’t going to get in the way of that!”

With that formidable triple-guitar threat augmented by Green on acoustic, seasoned band member Cameron Moreland on bass and key assists from Loy and others on background vocals and a few other instrumental tracks, it’s no wonder that Ringling Road boasts the fullest sound of any WCG album to date. But as has been the case since day one of Green’s career, it’s the quality of his songs that ultimately makes the boldest statement. And it’s not just the flatout rockers (“Next Big Thing”) and irresistibly catchy, up-tempo numbers (“Sticks and Stones,” “Creek Don’t Rise,” “Going Home”) that hit hard, either. Other highlights include “Old Fashioned,” a stirring elegy for a bygone Texas (“The interstate’s pumping just like a vein full of California license plates”), and the uproarious, Todd Snider-worthy title track, which takes its name from a real road in Green’s current hometown of Eastland, Texas. Back in the day, the Ringling Bros. Circus used Eastland as a regular resting stop between shows, where the elephants and other animals were let off the train for a drink and the myriad circus folk would unwind and do whatever circus folk usually do on their nights off. As colorfully imagined by Green and co-writers Ross Cooper and Randal Clay, that was a helluva lot more wild and entertaining than the actual ticketed performances.

“Ross is a good friend of mine from Lubbock, and Randal is a guy he met in Nashville who was actually a roustabout for 10 years,” Green explains. “I mean, what better way to write a song about the circus than to write it with a guy like that? Randal brought in a lot of truths about what really does happen behind the scenes in the circus. To be honest, after I told them about Eastland and the history of Ringling Road, he and Ross just got going on this tangent that was so good, I kind of just sat back and was like, ‘keep going!’”

“Ringling Road,” the song, may be a freak-show blast, but the rest of the album is hardly all fun and circus games. “Final This Time” is a devastatingly frank post-mortem of a divorce Green witnessed between two close friends. “Fool Me Once” and “Hey Sarah,” two of the three songs (along with “Sticks and Stones”) that Green wrote solo, are unflinching accounts of his own firsthand experiences at bad (or at least uncertain) love. And the lead single “Sympathy” (already a No. 1 on Texas radio) offers anything but sympathy to a former lover looking for a shoulder to cry on.

Most brutal of all, though, is the hauntingly plaintive “Still Think About You,” in which the kind of sympathy Green does offer an ex comes laced with painfully bitter honesty: “Sorry that you fell in love with someone you could never inspire …”

“You know, it’s not that I’m an asshole,” Green says again, laughing. “But I feel like everybody has those selfish feelings sometimes, but they’re never said in songs. I actually showed that song — I had the chorus written but still needed the verses — to Randy Rogers and Sean McConnell, and they both went, ‘oh, that’s not my style.’ And I thought, ‘Well, maybe this is a terrible idea …’”

Before giving up on it, though, Green showed it to one other trusted friend: Kent Finlay, songwriter’s songwriter, founder of the legendary Cheatham Street Warehouse in San Marcos, Texas, and, not for nothing, Green’s co-writer on Rose Queen’s hit single “Hanging Around.” Sage soul that he was, Finlay — who sadly passed away on March 2, 2015 after a long illness — took a shine to the unfinished song at first pitch.

“I took it to Kent and said, ‘I’ve got this song, and no one seems to like it,’” Green recalls. “But I played what I had for him, and he went, ‘Oh, I like that!’ And I was like, ‘Thank God, finally somebody does!’ So we ended up finishing it together, and I’m really glad we did.

“Taking uncomfortable feelings like that and putting them to paper and writing songs about them — that’s kind of been my staple, really,” Green continues. “And that song is about as true as it gets.”

He pauses on that thought for a moment. “Now, I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing,” he adds with a laugh, “but I guess the truth prevails! And that makes me able to sleep at night.”
Jon Wolfe
Jon Wolfe
The best introduction to Jon Wolfe is the basic yet not so simple fact that he’s a country singer and songwriter. Country music, as it was, is and always should be, with boots firmly standing on the bedrock of tradition and an eye focused on taking it into the future. And that, as any fan of true country knows, is no simple proposition.

At heart, it’s all about being a great singer and storyteller. Hence the other best introduction to Jon Wolfe is to hear him sing and share the stories in the songs he performs and writes. And to learn his life story — from small town Oklahoma to the bustling big city commodities trading floor to the dancehalls and honky-tonks of Texas and Oklahoma to Music Row, to give the highlights — and witness his faith in the power of music and determination to touch the hearts of others with something that means so much to him.

It’s world class country music from the American heartland, informed by the great singers that inspired Wolfe — like George Strait, Garth Brooks (a fellow Okie), Clint Black, Merle Haggard, Alan Jackson and Dwight Yoakam, to name a few — yet fired by his own contemporary energy and vision.

Wolfe’s music has been burning up the Texas Charts where he garnered six consecutive Top Ten singles (“Let A Country Boy Love You,” “That Girl In Texas,” “I Don’t Dance,” “It All Happened In A Honky Tonk,” “The Only Time You Call” and “What Are You Doin’ Right Now”), making Wolfe a “must see” act in the Texas touring scene. A seasoned performer, Wolfe has opened for some of Country’s biggest stars and has played more than 400 live shows over the past four years.

His 2010 release, It All Happened In A Honky Tonk, became such a regional success that it was re-released as a Deluxe Edition by Warner Music Nashville in 2013. The album debuted at #34 on the Billboard Album Chart and has collectively sold 25,000 units.

Wolfe’s much-anticipated forthcoming album, Natural Man, will be available for pre-sale on March 3 with a release date of March 31. The new album combines Wolfe’s classic Country sound with an edgy, modern energy. Leadoff single, “Smile On Mine,” is now at radio and is available for download on iTunes, Amazon and other digital retailers. Wolfe has also announced his Natural Man Album Release Tour in support of the album.

Natural Man, produced by Wolfe, Lex Lipsitz and Billy Decker and recorded at Nashville’s Westwood Studios and Ronnie’s Place, is a 13-track collection of songs that merges Wolfe’s signature traditional sound, influenced by some of Country music’s greatest legends, with an edgy, modern energy. Wolfe describes the album as a personal journey, saying, “Natural Man is a concept that I have wanted to record for a few years. This album stretches me as an artist and as a vocalist, while staying true to who I am. I have known how I wanted it to sound, and how I wanted it to look for some time now. I’ve been visualizing this album for such a long time, and it feels great to finally bring it to life!”
Randall King
Randall King
From the West Texas plains of Hereford, Randall King, a 4th generation “hay hauler”, son of a trucker, brings modernized neo-traditional/honky-tonk to life. His writing reflects his appreciation of his songwriting heroes, Haggard, Whitley & Jackson, and is characterized with a voice that rings true country.
Venue Information:
Expo Square Pavilion
4145 East 21st Street
Tulsa, OK
http://www.exposquare.com