Path Home Shows 2014 Show Archive December 2014 Show 1452 Oklahoma Horizon TV Show 1452

Oklahoma Horizon TV Show 1452

This week on Oklahoma Horizon, we take a look at Oklahoma’s impact on the music industry.
Oklahoma Horizon TV Show 1452

Oklahoma Horizon TV Show 1452

For more information visit these links:

Red Dirt Music - Stillwater Oklahoma

Medicine Stone

Bat-Or Kalo Band

Oklahoma City University

U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Tulsa Technology Center


Woody Guthrie Festival

Show Details

Show 1452: Oklahoma Horizon TV
Air Date: December 28, 2014



Courtney Maye: Here’s what’s coming up on your “Horizon.” From high notes to sold-out stadiums, we take a look at Oklahoma’s impact on the music industry. Stay with us for “Oklahoma Horizon.”

Male Announcer: “Oklahoma Horizon” is made possible by the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education.

Female Announcer: Oklahoma’s investment in CareerTech provides more than nationally recognized technology education and training. It produces solid financial returns for the state’s economic future. Oklahoma CareerTech, elevating our economy.

Male Announcer: And the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry, helping good people grow good things. And now, from the CareerTech studios in Stillwater, here’s your host, Courtney Maye.

Courtney Maye: Hello, everyone. Thanks for joining us here on “Horizon.” I’m Courtney Maye. Rob McClendon is away this week. Whether you’re listening to the radio or sitting front row at a concert, Oklahoma is a vibrant musical state offering all types of genres with one thing in common – a love for music.

Courtney Maye: From Broadway [Kristin Chenoweth] to alternative [All American Rejects] to country [Carrie Underwood] – Oklahoma has a rich musical heritage. [Garth Brooks] From the greats like Garth Brooks [Reba McEntire] to Reba McEntire, Oklahoma has definitely made its mark on the music industry.

Courtney: After taking a long break from music to raise his three daughters, Garth Brooks is back on stage. His new album “Man Against Machine” is his first new music in 13 years and debuted at No. 1.

Courtney: It’s been 10 years since Checotah native Carrie Underwood won American Idol. The singer is putting out a greatest hits CD in honor of her milestone anniversary.

Courtney: And the tiny girl with a bigger than life voice has graced screens and stages worldwide with her outrageous acting and vocal ability. Kristin Chenoweth returned home to Broken Arrow to record a PBS concert special.

Courtney: Whether it’s country, alternative or theater, Oklahoma’s musical roots run deep.

Courtney Maye: And in Oklahoma no musical roots run deeper than red dirt – a music style that can be found at honky tonks, state fairs and sold-out concerts. Our Andy Barth caught up with some red dirt stars in an exclusive behind-the-scenes look, and he joins me now.

Andy Barth: Courtney, red dirt music has a long history, but it recently exploded across the nation, thanks in part to two singers who rock stages nationwide. And I sat down with both artists to talk about the music they love.


Andy: With guitars jamming and fans dancing, the stage is rocking with red dirt music. [Music.]

Jason Boland: The ultimate goal of the bands on here are to have a positive, healing experience. It’s not to, “Oh, my God, one day we’re all gonna get famous or something.” You know? This is it. This is what we do.

Andy: Jason Boland and the Stragglers headline red dirt concerts around the nation.

Boland: Especially when we all, when we all four met, the original four of us, Roger, Grant, Brad and I, we all had really different musical tastes and backgrounds, but all agreed on the type of band we wanted to become, which was, just a good, somewhat garage-style, honky tonk band.

Andy: And something you hear in every chord, Boland says energy is key.

Boland: You gotta be excited at 11. Not just maintaining at 11. At 11 o’clock you have to be, you know, Superman and ready to go, so naps help.

Andy: The Currentland magazine covers the music scene in Oklahoma. And publisher Tom Barlow says red dirt is the foundation to modern day music.

Tom Barlow: It’s the roots of rock and roll. In Oklahoma, it has that Woody Guthrie roots. It has that the-song-is-the-message-and-the-message-is-the-song roots. And so that message is a little more on top. And it’s a little more folk background than it is in Texas, where in Texas, it’s a little more country background.

Andy: The magazine distributes to more than 450,000 people. And Jason Boland makes a regular appearance in the publication.

Barlow: He was on our very first cover. He’s been on the cover more than anybody else. I just fell in love with Jason’s music. My favorite album is still “Pearl Snaps.” As a songwriter, he’s so superb. The words are like, they’re just like silk. And they tell a clear message.

Andy: And Boland is not the only artist highlighted in the magazine.

Barlow: There’s just something in the Turnpike Troubadours’ music, like Jason Boland, that it’s timeless.

Andy: Evan Felker is the Turnpike Troubadours’ lead singer.

Evan Felker: Well, I always loved playing music you know. And I just kept pursuing it more and more. We were working. You know, I was working as an electrician, and R.C. was a pharmacist, and we were playing music on the weekends, you know, and writing songs together on the weekends and stuff. We eventually just kind of phased out all the work and just started playing music full time, you know?

Andy: And for Felker, being on stage is his biggest rush.

Felker: The live show is the most exciting thing that a person can probably do, I think. I love to play, you know, especially the hometown crowd. Regardless of the venue, playing to a large group of people who are really into it is one of the greatest things you can ever imagine doing. It’s great. The crowd feeds off the band, the band feeds off the crowd, and you get this vicious circle going on. It perpetuates just this frenzied, exciting show.

Andy: And Felker says red dirt music is true Oklahoma.

Felker: As an Oklahoman, you identify with the music, and it’s kind of our music you know? And it’s an interesting thing for a state who’s so new, and often I think struggles with its identity, this is something that’s real, and that, you know, we’re identified with this kind of music.

Andy: And no matter how famous he gets, Boland says music is still the reason he loves his job.

Boland: Music, once it becomes a business, gets grouped in like everything else, and it doesn’t have to be. It can still be something so close to pure, you know? As close as we can get it. We’re still selling tickets, and there’s sponsors and things going on, but it’s, the goal is still for a bunch of people to get together and have a positive experience. [Music.]

Andy: Two artists, one event, all telling stories the best way they know how. [Music.]

Andy: Now, red dirt music grew from an old two-story five-bedroom house in Stillwater called "The Farm." For two decades it was the center of what evolved into the red dirt scene, and Courtney, from there it continued to grow and thrive.

Courtney: All right. Thank you so much, Andy.

Andy: You’re welcome, Courtney.

Courtney: Now, when we return, an Oklahoma sound with an international flair.

Male Announcer: You’re watching “Oklahoma Horizon,” featuring some of the good things that are happening in the great state of Oklahoma.

Courtney Maye: Not only are Oklahoma natives talented musicians, many find the Sooner State a great place to establish their musical foundation – even coming from another continent. Our Alisa Hines caught up with a musician who has come to the States to follow her musical dreams.

Alisa Hines: It’s music night at Frank and Lola’s in Bartlesville. [Music.] Rockin’ the room – the Kalo Band. [Music.]

Bat-or Kalo: It’s about grabbing the attention. I’m a stage person. I’m a performer.

Alisa: Bat-or Kalo is a guitarist/singer/songwriter from Israel who loves playing the blues.

Kalo: It’s just something that I’ve learned from a very young age, how to play blues.

Alisa: Now, her style is not traditional blues.

Kalo: OK, so my music, I don’t really know how to describe it. We just went to a kind of a blues competition, kind of a music, me and my band, and it was awesome. It was awesome not just because we won, but it was awesome because everybody said this is not blues. But we won, so. You know everyone said it’s interpretation, right? It’s how you’re interpreting that. But everyone I see is basically playing that, you know, that. And that’s great, it’s awesome, but it’s not for me [laugh.]

Alisa: Playing since 10, Bat-or is glad her father didn’t listen to her mother wanting to keep her playing classical guitar.

Kalo: It was cool. They forced me to do that. It’s hard to force me stuff but that was one of the things that they managed to do, my parents, my teacher – they were, you got to learn how to play classic first. I’m like, “No, I want to play electric.” [Music.] And, you know, there were all the boys in my class and you know, above me, you know, in school, in high school. Those were the cool people playing, you know, they had bands and stuff and I’m like, “What? I want to do that, That’s cool.” Looked like fun. So after a year of busting my ass and crying, I got my first electric guitar, and it was the happiest day of my life. [Clapping.]

Alisa: So Bat-or is making her own path.

Kalo: And it’s really scary. It’s like – what are you doing? Everybody would say that – are you crazy? You’ll have maybe one or two, three if you’re lucky, good friends that will push you over this edge but then, you know, you’ve got to learn how to do that [flaps arms] and just fly [laughs.]

Alisa: And fly she is – all the way from Israel to Oklahoma with a few stops along the way.

Kalo: I was just jumping [laugh] off a cliff. I’m still not sure if that was the right direction but the wind was right, so I was like, “OK, do this.” So I did. It was good. It was good. I jumped to New York first from Israel and then, you know, I felt that I was like, “All right, I’m done here. I’m not ready to go back to Israel but I’m ready to learn more in other places.” I think this is how I learn best. I was never a good student in school sitting down, you know, in a class, but I was good when I needed to experience, when I needed to work with my hands or sweat or, you know, just do stuff, create stuff. And so it was the best. So I guess I’m taking myself places to learn. I went to school in OCU in the College of Israel – HED College. They send me here, I mean, you know, it was a student, student exchange and it was my first jump kind of by myself in America ’cause I really wanted from very, very young age to come here. [Music.]

Alisa: Now, Bat-or lives and works here on a visa for someone with extraordinary abilities in the arts.

Kalo: You know it’s a, it’s a simple visa. It’s a work visa like any work visa, and it’s just an artist visa. You know, it’s like you have a chef, so a chef have to work in cooking – have to prove himself. We have, you know, a lot of people that work here, that move here to work. You have to prove yourself as a carpenter, as a chef, as a teacher, as a musician and an artist. [Music.]

Alisa: But don’t call her the “I” word.

Kalo: I’m not an immigrant. I’m working here. I mean, you know, I’m on a visa. I’m very well taken care – pursuing my career, my life, myself. There are millions of artists in New York that I know that work around the world, and they carry this visa for many, many years. And, you know, just sort of, kind of a wave, you know, America is America. Yea, it’s all about exploring, you know, it’s not about the visa, it’s about exploring.

Alisa: And proving herself.

Kalo: How do I prove myself? I just keep playing. I try to talk less [laugh.] I’m trying to keep it honest but still very entertaining ’cause it’s about my entertaining life. And so, you know, it’s, uh, it’s fun. What I do, it’s maybe put out a message, maybe just for you to just forget the day, maybe just for you to believe in another dream that you have.

Alisa: But at the end of the day, Bat-or Kalo is living her dream and loving it.

Kalo: It gives me wings, that’s all [laugh] it does; yep, it gives me wings. [Music.]

Courtney: Now, if you would like to learn more about Bat-Or Kalo we do have a link to her website, as well as a story on the educational partnership that brought her and many other Israeli musicians to the state, just head to ok horizon dot com and look under our value added section.

Female Announcer: Still to come on “Oklahoma Horizon,” an Oklahoma music legend, but first, the technology behind the sound.

Courtney Maye: Few realize what it takes to make their favorite song pitch perfect. We visited a CareerTech program that teaches high school students the art of sound.

Courtney: Hands-on learning with musical instruments, video and audio helps students at Tulsa Technology Center leave career-ready.

Max Miller: I could set up live shows from what I’m learning. I could, I could work in TV or movies. There’s a lot of different options that I could kind of go with.

Courtney: Max Miller is a student in the broadcast sound engineering program and says he will finish prepared for a job in music, broadcast or production.

Miller: There’s job readiness training in there as well to be ready to be hired once you get out in the industry.

Courtney: The program lasts one year – training students to produce audio and video projects. Instructor Walt Bowers says students will leave the program with more preparation than their competitors.

Walt Bowers: We try to give what would be a five to six year head start. Things we wish we would have known our first years as we were trying to hit industry.

Courtney: And co-instructor Michael Haggard says he is lucky to be able to use music as a teaching avenue.

Michael Haggard: We use, you know, our musical talents as a vehicle to learn the production side. If they’re coming in wanting to learn to be behind the camera or the man behind the console or the woman behind the console, that’s really what we teach, and there’s a lot of art to that. We just get to play with some really cool toys along the way.

Courtney: Haggard says his students are creative, their work original – allowing him to learn from his students.

Haggard: It just amazes me the things they’ll do, and I just, “Wow, I wouldn’t have thought of that,” and it’s awesome. And then there are the times that you just see that light bulb come on, and you see them get excited. And that’s just awesome. It gives you goose bumps.

Courtney: Haggard and Bowers have been a part of the industry for a combination of more than 70 years, and Miller says the experience his instructors have has been the key to his success in the program.

Miller: They’re not just teaching you the content, but they really know how it works in real-life situations.

Courtney: Students are taught how to run their own audio, video or production company from the ground up – from buying the right equipment to marketing strategies. And Haggard says the program prides itself in advanced hands-on training with professional equipment.

Haggard: To our knowledge there’s not another program that has this extent of studio at high school level and we are very blessed and very lucky to have what we have.

Courtney: And Bowers says it’s a self-promoting industry that you have to have a passion for.

Bowers: It’s an art form. We love it because we are using our technology, powerful technology, to create our art, but it’s an art form. So you don’t get to walk in to jobs that often like a nurse or a welder saying, “Here’s what I’ve done. I’ve done some work for free. Here’s what I can accomplish for you. Listen to this or see this.” And that starts to bring you work as you go. So it’s gotta be something you love.

Haggard: I have my kids at home, and then I have my kids here. When they do something, I’m right there. “Hey, that’s my, that’s my student.”

Courtney: Students in the program have access to 15 studios filled with professional production equipment – helping them hit the right note when getting a job.

Rob McClendon: Want to share something you’ve seen here today? Well, all of our episodes are streaming on our YouTube channel at OklahomaHorizonTV, or you can subscribe to our weekly free podcast on iTunes.

Courtney Maye: Well each year, Oklahoma is the gathering place for those paying tribute to a person and a sound born in the Sooner State. Kela Kelln takes us to the annual Woody Guthrie Festival.


Kela Kelln: It’s a sound that Woody Guthrie would be proud of. [Music.]

Kela: From a son paying tribute to his father. [Music.]

Kela: To musicians of all generations and genres. [Music.]

Kela: Every July, Okemah becomes a hot-bed of folk music.

Phillip Reeves: Okemah is everybody’s hometown. It’s just a really nice community with really wonderful people here, a lot of hardworking people, successful people.

Kay Reeves: Woody Guthrie kind of people.

Phillip: Woody Guthrie kind of people. [Music.]

Phillip: Well, of course, uh, Woody was, uh, a child of, uh, the Oklahoma Dust Bowl and the Oklahoma, uh, the nationwide depression. And, uh, he was, uh, you’d have to say he was from the poor side of the tracks. [Music.]

Kela: Guthrie’s birth is celebrated in his hometown of Okemah, where each summer, families and entertainers gather together for events to help keep the memory and traditions of the folk legend alive. [Music.]

Kela: David Arman traveled all the way from New York.

David Arman: He was always conscious of people who were hurting. Some of his great songs and a lot of his activity was to try to help out people who had no voice, who were in need, who were hurting. But not at the expense of demonizing those who had something, but rather celebrating all of us being together; when he said, “This land is your land, it was meant for you and me,” he meant that literally, that all of us should be part of the blessings that we have here in this beautiful place of ours. [Music.]

Kela: Arlo Guthrie, son of Woody Guthrie, comes each year to help celebrate and show respect to his father’s legacy. [Music.]

Kela: An event that honors not only a life and a legend, but most importantly, strives to keep the music playing. [Music/applause.]

Rob McClendon: You can keep up with us throughout the week. Just head to where you can see more of any of our stories, read our reporters’ behind the scenes blogs, see what others are saying about us on Twitter and face the facts with our regular updates. So reach out and touch us anywhere at anytime.

Courtney Maye: Next time on “Oklahoma Horizon,” we take a look into the future with our annual economic outlook series.

Mark Snead: The momentum of the state, the momentum at the U.S. level suggests that 2015 could actually be a very big year in Oklahoma. It’s just that one big variable about the path of oil prices.

Courtney: Looking ahead to see what 2015 has in store, on Oklahoma’s show for the heartland, “Oklahoma Horizon.”

Thanks for including us as a part of your day. Rob McClendon will be back next week. I’m Courtney Maye. Thanks for watching.

Male Announcer: “Horizon” is made possible by the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education and the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry, helping good people, grow good things. Copies of today’s show are available on our website, Thank you for watching “Oklahoma Horizon.”