Psychedelic George Strait

One day I was just cruising around Guitar Center and I wandered into the DJ section of the store. It’s a pretty cool section. There are turn tables and all this mixiGeorge-Straitng gear and the best part is all the lights and lasers. Why is that in the DJ section? Don’t bands want to use fog and bubble machines too? They’re pretty awesome. Well that got me thinking, why can’t bands have all that stuff… so I began the process of building large boxes with multiple lasers and fog machines for shows. At the same time I bought a penguin mascot outfit and a pumpkin head. It wasnt long until I was incorporating all this into shows. It was super fun. I loved the lights and watching the Penguin dance with people. Around the same time I started listening to the band The Flaming Lips. For anyone who has gone to a Flaming Lips shows it’s probably one of the best experiences you could ever have. The music is great but the show is mind-blowing. There are lasers, dancing Santas, spaceships, confetti and a giant space ball that rolls out on top of the crowd. I think the flaming lips were influenced a lot by Pink Floyd and their weirdness.

Switching gears let’s talk about modern country. Lately there has been a lot of borrowing from pop and rap/r&b. Musically speaking. Many of the songs you can’t tell if you are listening to top 40 or a country station. As for the rap influence, I have been hearing a lot of drum machine, and a lot of bumping bass like EDM. Also not so long ago a lot of eighty’s metal guitarists were jumping into country. I mean some of the guitar solos in county music are pretty hard core/shred crazy. Now I don’t really have an issue with country music borrowing thing from these other genres. Its just something I noticed, in fact I think it’s pretty cool.

Circling back to the Flaming Lips and Pink Floyd and all the psychedelic stuff of the late 60’s. It seems like country music never went that route. I always had this dream that Oak Street Blues would become the psychedelic George Strait, musically keeping that classic country sound. When Robin DiMaggio (Paul Simon) asked us the direction we wanted to go on our last record ‘Back Again’ we stuck with that classic Flying Burrito Brothers rock country sound. But in terms of the live shows? I want the weird. Let’s keep that great alt country sound but mix in the weirdness of lasers, penguins and pumpkin heads. Let’s make the show a total party. In todays world just going to see a band is boring. You have to give the people a little more, give them what they paid for. Give them a party of weirdness!

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