Dec 1, 2014

2014 IN REVIEW WITH BRANDON CLARK

Well, 2014, has been a little bit of a different year for me. I’ve played less shows than I have in quite some time, but I’ve played better shows and traveled more than I ever have. My definite highlight of the year was getting to travel to Sturgis, SD and playing at the world famous Buffalo Chip campground. Sturgis is just as crazy as everyone says it is. It should be experienced by everyone at least once in their lives.

As far as the Oklahoma scene, I got to play a lot of cool shows this year. Two of my favorites were being included in the Medicine Stone festival and the Stone River festival. Nothing like a couple of good festivals to really see how top notch Oklahoma artists and music really is. I personally don’t think there’s another State in the nation that puts out the quality of music that comes from Oklahoma. More highlights include getting to play a lot of acoustic shows with who I consider to be the “youngin’s” in the scene. Eli Howard, Dylan Stewart, Patrick Winsett, Cale Lester, and handful of other guys. I had been a little worried over the last couple of years over the lack of good, young songwriters in Oklahoma, but this year definitely restored a little faith in that aspect of the scene.

I got to catch up with some of my dear friends this year as well. One thing I’ve noticed is that I’ve never seen crowds respond to a band the way they do the Turnpike Troubadours. A few years ago I told a friend of mine that they would be the biggest thing in so called “Country” music within a couple of years. I see no reason to still not believe in that statement. I’m happy for those guys and proud to call them my friends. I also got to see my longtime friend, John Moreland, again. What can I say about that guy except that he’s the best songwriter I know. I’m lucky to have some co-writes with him on a couple of my records. I’m really looking forward to hearing his new record coming out early next year.

Now, as far as a “Tops” list for Oklahoma music that came out in 2014, I’m not sure that I can do one. The Tom Skinner EP’s that have came out over the last year have been a mainstay in the cd player in the band van. I realized that every time I go off on a long run of shows or get a little down and tired in the scene, I find myself attending a Skinner show on a Wednesday night at the Colony in Tulsa for a recharge. To me it’s really kind of like a religious experience. No matter how good you think you are, how many shows you do, how tired you are, how down you are, etc. etc.. Tom has the ability to make you trudge on and want to do bigger and better things with your music.. At least he does that for me….Other great releases this year that have gotten a lot of time late night driving from town to town, gig to gig, or just getting home are Chad Sullins & The Last Call Coalition, John Fullbright, and Bo Phillips.. Can’t go wrong with those cats.. They know what’s going on and how to write songs that eat you up with emotion..

I don’t know if it’s my “Top” release of the year, but I will say it’s been my favorite for the last month and it took me completely by surprise because I didn’t even know that he had came out with a new record (shame on me), but, Randy Crouch’s new record, Got No Reason, is a gem of a rock and roll record. I’ve known Randy for a number of years and he might be the biggest treasure in Oklahoma music to date. I’ve never met a more hospitable, encouraging, supportive musician in Oklahoma scene. My hats off to him for just being the coolest, bad ass Okie I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and doing shows with.

A couple of last things in my 2014 recollections. I released my latest record, Burn, in January. Burn is and was 14 songs of me. The way I like to play and write music. If you wanna know a little about my music, listen to Burn and it’ll lead you right down the road of BC. It’s a little bit of everything.

The last thing I’ll mention is my biggest accomplishment this year was getting sober. For the past 15 years I’ve outdrank everyone I know. No kidding.. February 19th of this year, I decided to kick the habit. I haven’t touched a drop since. It’s really been the best decision I’ve made for myself (and my family) in a long, long, long, long time. I never realized how much of dark hole, tailspin I was in until I cleared up my head and reflected on all of my years of drinking. It was the cause of 99.9% of the problems in my life. Long story short, I’m a lot better person and happier than I’ve been in years. As much as I drank, it is possible to kick it to the curb and get past the need for alcohol in this business. I’m proof that it can happen..

Anyway, I’ve got some good changes and curve balls coming up in 2015 that I hope everyone will enjoy. I’ve got an acoustic album of my old BCB songs coming out in December and I’ve got a good group on new songs written to go towards recording a new, full band, rock record starting in January. I’m looking forward to kicking 2015’s ass. Although I played less in 2014 than I have in a long time, I get the feeling that something good is just around the corner so I guess you guys and gals have to put up with me for another year!
 

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