Mugen Music and Management's Green Country Fest
In case you missed it, Wearetulsamusic.com is here with your review of Green Country Fest that went down at The Fur Shop this weekend from Thursday, April 20th, til Saturday, April 22nd. Green Country Fest was a well put managed event that took a fair amount of logistical effort by Ryan Paquette to coordinate and pull off. Mugen had to battle the elements trying their best to put a damper on the event (while we here at We Are Tulsa Music had to battle hangovers the next day... seriously, it was a ton of fun and we may have over indulged a bit at some points), they adapted to everything thrown their way and made sure that the show kept going strong from start to finish. We would like to sincerely thank Mugen Music and Management for allowing us the pleasure of covering this event.
Joey Bent of TFM-
"Green Country Fest is a breath of fresh air for Tulsa Music. There are so many genre's being represented here. It's cool getting to be a part of this and seeing how diverse we are as a city.
Day one started on 4/20 and was mostly devoted to the hip hop and rap stylings from around town. Tulsa has become a hotbed for hip hop/rap lately and it was nice to see the talent on stage. The first act to take the stage was Heavy Jones. Now, this band was an exception to the theme of the day on 4/20. Heavy Jones was what we would describe as an improvisational jam band. They came out strong and played some tunes that got the crowd moving around paying attention to the stage from the get go. Having two sets of drums, one traditional set and one set of bongos as played by Chris Ault, was a nice touch that added to the flow they were producing. Once they began vacating the stage, Shabaka quickly kept the crowd engaged by starting his set with nearly no downtime between acts. Shabaka is a solo artist. His beats were really good and he kept in time with them really well throughout his set. His stage presence is definitely of note too as he made it a point to keep the crowd in the show by adding phrases and parts to his song where the fans were allowed to sing along or yell back at him. He also had Scrooge Greedy come up on stage for a few songs. The two were quite in tune with each other and performed their duo songs
Brandon Young of Had Enough-
"This has been an excellent festival for the local community. To see all these local musicians and independent businesses out here is fantastic!"
Next up was another solo act, Unknown Kapriest. The first thing to catch your eye about Unknown Kapriest was his wardrobe.
Wearing all red with some really unique sunglasses to match, he's mastered the art of being able to be being noticed before a beat even drops on stage. And once the beat does drop, he kills it. A spectacle on stage, Unknown Kapriest was all over the place,keeping near the edge of the stage and getting right up near his fans, he's obviously no rookie. His lyrical depth was also on display with his song "King with a Crown". He told us the whole point of the song is about "being king of your own life". He was also Mugen's first signed artist, having signed on 9/18/2015. Look for an album to be coming out soon from him as well. Following Unknown Kapriest was No Name Bones. This hip hop duo came out swinging early with high energy. And they carried that energy all the way through their set. These two make sure to stay true to themselves and write from the heart. Their songs aren't your cliche money over everything type songs that invaded the mainstream for some time. Tulsa hip hop artists have a good habit of avoiding producing songs about lifestyles they aren't actually about and it was nice to see these two have kept this trend going. Next up on stage was TFM. They added in a break to hip hop for the evening by bringing on an 8 piece band that included trombone, piano and saxophone! The best way to describe exactly what it is that they bring to the table would be to call it a fusion of jazz and rock. Their smooth grooves allowed from a break from jumping around without being bored during the break. Bringing back the hip hop to the stage was the group Had Enough. And they absolutely rocked the stage. Brandon Young sang his heart out like all of Tulsa could hear him while Dicky Avants navigated the drumset like it was as natural as breathing and Michael Parker's gut punching basslines added a layer to the tracks that felt just right. Once Had Enough got done pleasing the crowd, The Situation came up. What an eclectric group of individuals these artists that came together to form The Situation is. Best part is, they play every Monday as the house band at the Yeti for the open jams they have there. A well versed band that showed their ability to encompass many different genres in their set. Their skill was impressive and they seamlessly transitioned into different music genres. The night ended with The Stinky Gringos playing their first of two performances for Green Country Fest. It was a very chill way to end the night with the number one reggae band in Oklahoma. The Stinky Gringos played a fantastic set with the sweet grooves that they've come to be known for. Their expertly placed trombone portions add a uniqueness that many reggae bands tend to lack anymore.
Forest Swepsteon of Zero 2 Panic-
"This has been a lot of fun and we love
playing at this venue. This is only our second time in
Tulsa. We loved it and the environment and sound
Chris Goddard of Zero 2 Panic-
"Tulsa has always been a cloud on the
horizon. A place all bands from places like where we
are from look to get on stage at. It's great that they got
all these local and regional artists together to give the
people of Tulsa a taste of what's out there."
The second night, Friday 4/21, had mother nature working against it from the start when the Oklahoma weather decided to start pouring buckets of rain earlier in the day. But Mugen Music had a backup plan and moved the party inside. The Crow started the shindig off on the downstairs stage. The three piece band brought fun to the party with their classic rock and roll style. The Crow came out with a lineup full of originals that got people walking in off the street. To see the next band, Mojo Thief, we had to head upstairs next. Mojo Thief made the trip from OKC to be at GCF and we are sure glad they did. If you take rock n roll infused it with psychedelic tones and a touch of bayou style music, then you have the not so secret ingredients that made Mojo Thief so fun to listen to. They are very different than anything you'll hear and deserve a look up once you are done reading this article. Once Mojo Thief got done laying down their voodoo music, it was a trip back downstairs to see The Mules. We had heard good things about The Mules from our friends Follow the Buzzards and were excited to see The Mules live. And they lived up to the expectations we had for them before they played. Their blues style rock that this 3 piece band rolled out on stage was a nice relief right after Mojo Thief's psychedelic rock sound. The Mules addition of modern sounds into traditional blues chord progressions and scales combined with their on stage presence made for a great set from this Tulsa band. A trip back to the upper stage following The Mules was Exit 34. Exit 34 has been a sensational hit over at the Dirt Floor Arena in Bixby and brought a great set to The Fur Shop. They covered a variety of songs that night. From blues to country to good ol' rock'n'roll, they hit all their bases. We'd say their best stuff was when they began going off script from the covers and just grooved with the music and jammed. Zero 2 Panic came up next after Exit 34. These boys came all the way from Pittsburg, KS, to be a part of the festival and really brought their A game with them. Ska music seemed like a dead art form until these guys took the stage and seemingly revived it single handed. They brought a ton of energy in their set, got the crowd engaged, had catchy lyrics and fun, memorable moments during their songs. They were a pleasure to watch and it's no surprise they have a #1 ranking on their Reverbnation. Colouradio had big shoes to go up on the stage and fill after Zero 2 Panic got done packing up and they stepped right into them without hesitation. Colouradio describes themselves as Experimental, but I think a better way to describe them is just a highly tuned jam band in the stylings of The Allman Bros. They have the same timbre to their music and are so in sync with one another that it's amazing. With all the different things going on at any given point in their song that if one person was off it could ruin the whole song and yet they never once fell into that trap. Following them, from Skiatook, was Skytown. We'd be lying if we said we weren't a bit giddy with anticipation to see Skytown at this event. A personal favorite of ours here at We Are Tulsa Music, they did a awesome job at GCF. So much so that Ryan Paquette requested one more song for an encore after they played their original set. The final band of the evening was Pocket Full of Shells. And they ended the Friday night/early Saturday morning on the perfect note as they really brought down the house. It's hard to go up so late and still have energy in your reserves to pull off a set like they did and yet they made it look easy.
Sara Disney from the Drug Policy Reform Network-
" I really enjoyed the whole show that was put on. I also really appreciated Mugen Music's professional approach to this event. They've made this enjoyable for not only the fans, but for the vendors and sponsors as well."
Saturday kicked off and things were all set back up outside. Albeit a bit chilly that day, people still made it out in numbers to get to enjoy the last day of the festival. The act to get the ball rolling was the Konkoba percussion group. They are a group that used only drums and percussion instruments to create impressive tribal sounding grooves. It was a mellow and fun way to get the show started for the day. Right after them, Ekubembe took the stage. Many of the members of Konkoba were doubling up to play in Ekubembe. With a stage full of members, Ekubembe brought a sound that felt very much like a mix of reggae and Latin music. They play the kind of music that make you want to get up and dance to it as you can feel it go straight to your core. After Ekubembe, our good friends Pawn Shop Heroes started their performance. PSH is a punk band that doesn't take themselves too seriously and their antics are part of what makes people so drawn to them. Some of their antics at this show included greeting people over at The Boxyard next door and playing pop songs to lead into their own. For a band that likes to jest about how "terrible" they are, they put on a great performance and they are continually getting tighter with all their music. The Casual Six had to follow this performance and they did so masterfully. Their smooth, flowy rock was the perfect thing to listen to while out in the back deck of The Fur Shop. Slick Grip, another out of town group who hails from Little Rock, got their chance to impress. Slick Grip reminded us of the days of bands like Sum 41 and Simple Plan. With a good formula to their music and execution to back it up, they made a great showing for their first time ever on stage.
And unfortunately after Slick Grip played, we ran into technical difficulties with some of our equipment. We apologize to the bands left who we didn't get to see play. I'm sure we will catch you around town. We would like to extend a huge thanks to Mugen Music and Management, especially Ryan Paquette, for so graciously extending an invitation to us to cover Green Country Fest. Thank you to Harmony's Kitchen and Marita Hoover for supplying such wonderful food for the staff and artists. Thank you to the Fur Shop for hosting this event. Thank you to all the artists who came and put on the shows that made this whole thing great. And thank you to every sponsor who made this all possible.
If you would like to see photographs of the event, please visit Down In Front Photography (the official photography company for Wearetulsamusic.com) as they will continually be uploading photos from all three days of the event.