MP3 kris hollis key - return of boy howdy
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10 MP3 Songs
BLUES: Texas Style, COUNTRY: Country Rock
Tulsa Sound resurfaces in Southern California disc, 'Return of BOY HOWDY' Southern California's Kris Hollis Key set out to make a rockabilly record. But the Tulsa Sound kept creeping in. "A lot of that got in there by accident," Key said with a chuckle during a recent telephone interview about his new disc, "The Return of BOY HOWDY," released on the independent Stickville Records. "I intended to do a rockabilly album, but that rhythm shuffle seeped in." Part of it has to do with some of the disc's musicians. Keyboardist Dick Sims and guitarist Rick Beilke are both longtime pros who exported the sound of their hometown to acts like Eric Clapton, Bob Seger, Freddie King and Joan Armatrading. Engineer-guitarist Dale Lawton hit the Tulsa music scene a couple of years after that duo, making plenty of his own contributions before moving to the West Coast to continue his musical career. Most of the record's Tulsa Sound, however, comes via Key himself.
A New Mexico native, he settled in Oklahoma during the late 1970s, after spending most of his young-adult life touring in bands throughout the South and Southwest. At first, he lived in Oklahoma City, where he took recording classes. Ultimately, after deciding to put together his own recording studio, he ended up in Tulsa, where he and his father opened Sunset West Studios on Pine Street and Harvard Avenue. "A lot of great people came through there," he recalled. "My buddy Ronnie Dunn, when he was working as a solo artist, used to cut his demos there. Dickie Sims recorded there, and so did Dale Lawton and Pride Hutchison, who are both doing real well out here (in California)." At the same time, Key also was working in a band called the Know, which played a lot of jobs at Cain's Ballroom. "We opened there for U2 on their first American tour," he said. "At one point, the Cain's also started a skate night, and it was hilarious. They'd have punk bands play and guys would be skating by. It used to make us dizzy on stage, just watching them."
It was another venue, however, the long-gone Magicians Theater, that turned Key on to the classic '70s Tulsa Sound. "It was at the tail end of the Leon Russell thing in Tulsa, and a lot of Leon's musicians were spinning around, trying to figure out what to do next, forming new bands," he remembered. "A lot of great people played at the Magicians Theater. I was in a different rock 'n' roll place at the time, but I started going there and soaking up that Tulsa Sound, that rhythm shuffle. "It was half Little Feat and Dr. John, half J.J. Cale and Leon," he added. "All of it was a new thing for me. I'd traveled all over in bands, but I hadn't heard that sound until I got to Tulsa, and it was everywhere." It's all over "The Return of BOY HOWDY" as well, although the Tulsa Sound is less out front on some tracks than on others. Cuts like "She Devil" and "Be So Cold" are pretty much full-blown rockabilly, while "Hot Rod King" (dedicated to Tulsa racing legend Big Daddy Don Garlits) is a spoken-word rocker with sound effects in the tradition of "Hot Rod Lincoln." Another track, "Rebel Thunder," seems a perfect melding of the Tulsa Sound and rockabilly, with that space-between-the-notes vibe lending a different twist to the rockabilly lyrics and licks. Key sang and played bass and guitar on "The Return of Boy Howdy," as well as producing it and writing all the songs (except for an inventive cut-time take on James Taylor's "Steamroller Blues").
He plans to get a second disc in the can before beginning a tour this summer, which he said will be under a group name rather than his own. "It'll be called Return of Boy Howdy, and it'll be kind of an all-star band, depending on who's available at that point," he explained. Meanwhile, he's got the "Hot Rod King" single out to newspapers and magazines, hoping to create a buzz that will help the song's chances on college radio. "I'm finding out that the hip DJs check out the hip magazines to see if they can find something the other DJs aren't playing yet," he said. "That's what I hope will happen with 'Hot Rod King.' " At the same time, he admits he's not entirely sure what the reception for the single and the album is going to be from audiences unfamiliar with or unappreciative of his musical influences. "I played it for one of my old buddies in New Mexico, and I got kind of a lukewarm response -- and then I remembered, 'Well, he likes Marilyn Manson,' " Key said with a laugh. "The Return of BOY HOWDY" is available in Tulsa at Starship Records & Tapes and Borders Books and Music on 21st St. It also can be ordered from the https://www.tradebit.com Web site.
John Wooley 581-8477 https://[email protected]://www.tradebit.com Rhythm shuffle strikes again JOHN WOOLEY World Scene Writer03/20/2005Tulsa World (Final Home Edition), Page H4 of Music_Previews, Entertainment
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