Muskogee's outdoor summer concert series, "Dancing in the District," continues Friday, July 31st at the Beechcraft Hangar at Hatbox Field in Muskogee. The event has changed and will start at 7 pm and end approximately 11 pm, with the official after-party being held at Max's Garage, downtown Muskogee.
When brothers Jordan and Jonathan, raised in rural Missouri, met lively Arizona native Cassandra in the mountains of Flagstaff, Arizona, the foundation was laid for the adventure of a lifetime. All three classically trained students had plans of making the 2,600 mile journey to Music City to follow their dreams. But it wasn't until an impromptu concert in Phoenix that the trio realized there was an undeniable blend between their musical styles.
So in January of 2002, the eldest brother Jonathan was the first to pack up his little truck and make the 28-hour drive. Cassandra followed suit 6 months later, with Jordan not far behind. For the next several years, they each paid bills by working various industry jobs, playing for several country artists including Sara Evans, Josh Turner and Lorrie Morgan. But it wasn't until May of 2008 when they met the easy going Indiana drummer, Tyler Oban, that the story was set in motion. After a couple years of fitting shows in between rigorous touring schedules and school, they reached a crucial fork in the road. On April 11, 2010 they all took a deep breath and a leap of faith, signing their names on a crumpled cafe napkin that said "September 1, 2010 or Bust." Vowing to quit their jobs, and start their quest to becoming full time artists. "It was probably the scariest time in our lives, walking away from a steady paycheck and into the great unknown," vocalist, mandolin and fiddle player Jordan Lawson said.
But so far, it's paid off. Within the first month of freedom, they landed an opening slot on Sara Evans' Fall and Christmas tour. And shortly after that, another 60 show tour was booked with an Irish starlet. More than 200 shows and 12 months later, they were sitting in the office of the President and CEO of Sony ATV Publishing. After two songs, he wouldn't let them leave his office until a contract was in the works. By the next year, they were offered a major label record deal with Warner Music Nashville/Atlantic and show no signs of slowing down. By combining personal lyrics, air tight harmonies and earthy instrumentation using Mandolin, Violin, Concertina, and Acoustic Guitar and percussion, the group melts their energetic songs with classic groundbreaking styles of the Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, Dixie Chicks, Nickel Creek and Bonnie Raitt, leaving audiences with an undeniable sound and unforgettable live show.
Like the city that brought them together, Uncle Lucius is a gumbo, with hints of Americana and folk juxtaposed with a slow-cooked roux that is steeped in classic rock 'n' roll and the blues. A certain spirit inhabits the tunes and tunesmiths alike, a seeking and a questioning that leads one far from the prescribed path. It was that spirit that brought Kevin Galloway, then a banker and music minister, from his East Texas upbringing to the streets of South Austin, in search of a life more imbued with meaning than financial well-being. Around his voice and songwriting the other pieces fell into place. Mike Carpenter left his job on a Houston assembly line to vie for greatness in one of America's foremost guitar scenes. San Antonio's Josh Greco fortified the emerging group with his considerable classical and jazz training. The road brought them to Lexington, KY, where restless Jonny "Keys" Grossman was ready to eschew his comfortable life for a van's eye view of the country. Last to join was Nigel Frye, the pride of Tulsa, Oklahoma's outcast jazz scene, and low-end accomplice for some of Austin's finest musicians.
Deeply indebted to the country/jazz/rock fusion native to Austin, as well as the ever-evolving gumbo that is New Orleans music, the band serves as a vehicle for its lyrical vision, one that imagines a life where profits and losses no longer rule man's motives. Though its focus falls on the darker edges at times, at heart the band's vision is a hopeful one. What could we possibly lose, after all, when "right now is all we've ever had"? After 8 years of touring across Texas and to both coasts and back, the band was named 2014's Best New Band by the Texas Regional Radio Report. Their most recent release, "Live @ Grady's 66 Pub," is available for free download at: www.noisetrade.com/unclelucius. They are currently in preproduction for their next studio recording with George Reiff (Ray Wylie Hubbard, Shinyribs, Band of Heathens), with the album to be released in early 2015.