Its rare to witness six high-caliber performers share the stage on a given night, even more so at the exact same time. But Opolis Saturday Song Swap features six standout Oklahoma musical artists collaborating on one anothers songs, with the performers delicately adding their own little flourish to their colleagues ditties.
Everybodys mic and guitar will be on the whole time. As you feel led, you can add to your fellow songwriters song, said Samantha Crain, a featured artist who also helped organize the show.
Thats the fun of it. Its a more public sort of jam session for songwriters, which is something you dont see very often.
This is the second year for the swap, with plans for it becoming an annual event. Crain amassed a healthy smattering of local songwriters and friends like Ali Harter, Penny Hill, Brine Webb (pictured), John Calvin and Jesse Aycock to play at this incarnation.
Its an exciting and unfamiliar experience for these solo performers who typically opt for the seclusion of their bedrooms to write and assemble their most intimate thoughts and feelings.
Hill said she is looking forward to the chance to stretch herself beyond her normal comfort zone.
Its fun and exciting and vulnerable and nerve-wracking all at once, she said of collaborating.
Youre nervous it might come out jumbled, but youre excited to hear new life in something you maybe have moved past already.
Webb feels much the same, although he said hes most excited to have influences like Crain and Aycock there to add to his own works.
Theres the fact that we as songwriters often discuss ideas of collaboration, usually in the form of side projects, but its hard to get those ideas going, Webb said.
With this show, its kind of an instant forced collaboration, and whatever comes from it is the show. No hard work, no second-guessing, no arguing. Just collaborating. I think it is a useful exercise, if nothing else.
The somewhat structured progression of the show, with each performer playing one of his or her own songs before moving on to the next artist, should prevent any sort of full-on jamband session.
Gaudy guitar solos and 30-minute bongo breakouts are likely to be replaced by something a little more purposeful.
Songwriters are a little more thoughtful with what they add, Crain said with a laugh. Its a different perspective than the typical jam.