Green Corn Revival with Fiawna Forté
10 p.m. Thursday
309 White, Norman
A year ago, Green Corn Revival was relatively unknown, having played a few shows around its Weatherford home base and recorded a three-track EP.
Fast-forward to the present: The alt-country group has performed across the Southwest, opened for acts like Cotton Jones and The Watson Twins, recorded a full-length album, and acted as Wanda Jackson's backing band at South by Southwest.
Not a bad year, huh?
Working with Jackson proved to be an especially big spark to the group, both in notoriety and preparation.
"It helped us step up our game as performers," front man Jared Deck said. "We had to get our act together in a short amount of time. There was a firestorm of practices leading up to that experience."
Not that the band had been taking things easy before then. After gaining steam since late 2009, members of Green Corn Revival largely handled all the work that goes into being a successful, working band.
"We do everything ourselves," Deck added. "We do promotions, booking, publicity, recording, producing "¦ the list goes on."
That DIY approach has proven fruitful for the group, and added hands help move things along. The act started with a core of five that expanded into a rotating cast with six to seven players on stage at any time.
"We've had 10 members a part of this 'collective,'" Deck said with a laugh. "It's a give and take. You teach (the new members) your songs, but you allow them to influence your music while you teach them, and just see where it goes."
Aided by a surprising lack of alt-country bands in the area, Green Corn Revival found a niche supporting touring acts in that vein and received overwhelming support for its blend of alt-country and cowpunk. Now it has risen to headlining status with a slate of top-billed performances across the metro. Singer Natalie Houck believes these opportunities are the result of strong networking and making new friends.
"It's just about making connections and forming relationships," Houck said. "That's how we have been able to do what we've done this past year."
Having a sound that suits the area so well only helps. Although influenced by a range of bands like Arcade Fire, Neko Case and Wilco, the songs settle in on a vibe that is purely Oklahoman. Its full-length album, "Say You're a Sinner," holds that prairie vibe near and dear to its heart.
"I wouldn't call it driving music, but if you listen to it while you are driving out in Western Oklahoma, it's a nice fit," Deck said. "We tried to create a landscape with the album, and we hope people understand that when they give it a listen."
And Green Corn Revival has the full intention of getting everyone to listen. The rest of the year will be devoted to supporting that disc around the area, as well as on a national tour. With the group meeting all its previous year's goals, all signs point to it being successful in this quest.
"We're not really looking for a record deal, just a means of getting music out to people," Deck said. "We are willing to put this album out there and stand behind it. We just hope people will give it a chance."