TULSA’S BEST KEPT SECRETS: SITTING DOWN WITH RICK TAHDOOAHNIPPAH
It’s been said that music is a language that can unite even the most divided of people. One thing the world typically bonds over is melody, rhythm and rhyme. We had the distinct pleasure of making friends with a brilliant and humble guitarist whose work around the country can best be described as methodical and hypnotic.
Rick “Jones” Tahdooahnippah can fortunately been seen and heard all over the greater Tulsa area these
days shredding with rock and roll act “Swan and Sword” and local country/comedy act “Dixie Wrecked.”
Rick is a technician of the language of music. His skillset has taken years of what others would call tireless effort and what he refers to as a “positive obsession.” At the age of ten, he begged his mother for a guitar. He told his mother she would never have to buy him another Christmas or birthday present.
Mama didn’t agree. She thought it was something that would spend time in a closet collecting dust and offered up a harmonica instead.
“She got me a harmonica; so I was pretty much like I guess I’ll just do this” he said in a recent interview with us. Rick’s family wasn’t against his love for music and his desire to learn it and practice it professionally. In fact, they shared his passion and played piano years before Rick’s venture into music.
Eventually, he got his guitar and it did anything but collect dust. Four hour practices a day at times became eight hour practices a day. In short, he took to it and stuck with it. He believes the instrument doesn’t make the music and that the artist does. He digs deep into music theory, and describes some of the best sounding chords and riffs he’s ever worked with as happy accidents.
Rick is not your ordinary garage band-guitarist. We asked him what acts locally and nationally grabbed his attention. Fleetwood Mac, Frank Brown, Dave Ira, Damon Snow, Skytown, Grind, Oldman, Screaming Red Mutiny, Jeff Hale and get this—Mozart.
Rick took his skills, his talent and his drive to California’s Musicians Institute: Guitar Institute of Technology where he went to school for music and produced a little of everything from laying down tracks of his own, laying down tracks with various local bands, recording music that made it into TV commercials and Super Bowl ads. He’s quietly probably the most accomplished musician you’ll meet in everyday life and continues to improve with each day. His best advice to young and aspiring musicians—“learn from everybody.”
The best thing about Rick? He’s approachable. He thoroughly enjoys shaking hands, meeting new people and can make friends with just about anybody. Roger and I met him just being silly and singing karaoke with him long before we got the distinct pleasure of seeing him cut loose on a guitar and have had an even greater pleasure working with him. Rick surrounds himself with great people and has an infectiously positive outlook on life.
To hear this whole interview just go over to the interviews page and give it a listen.
Check out some of Rick's work out here!
This is Rick's PSA he did for the Muscogee Creek Nation!
And check out his ReverbNation for more of his musical work: