Somehow basketball and independent music just seem to go together. The cultural anthropologists among us might point to the fact that more so than the three other major sports, basketball is decidedly minority-centric, and, well, independent artists are also minorities of a sort, not all racially or in terms of gender, of course, but socio-economically. A regular person, one who doesn’t sleep in his parents’ basement and who probably has a real job, would simply say that, like basketball, independent music is grassroots –– all you need is a ball, a goal, and a guitar.
For out-of-towners who have landed in North Texas for the Final Four, Friday night in Fort Worth will be the place to be. On the Near Southside at Magnolia Green Park (1100 Lipscomb St.), Friday on the Green –– a free seasonal monthly concert series put on by Fort Worth South Inc., your friends here at the Weekly, and a few other sponsors –– will kick off at 7 p.m. Opening up for Dallas/Fort Worth electric-blues purveyors Oil Boom will be two upstart Fort Worth acts: rocking dance machine Ronnie Heart, a.k.a. Fort Worth’s Answer to Prince, and newcomers Leon Bridges & The Texas Gentlemen, whose sweetly soulful frontman could also be known as Fort Worth’s Answer to Sam Cooke. As I’ve said, FOTG is free, but bring some foldin’ money for some cold adult beverages and food-truck fare. And get there early because the couple thousand folks who normally fill up the field every month sure will.
Definitely the most packed post-FOTG show will be at Lola’s Saloon (2736 W. 6th St., 817-877-0666), when Fort Worth boys and recent Atlantic Records signees The Unlikely Candidates take the stage with Dallas’ Somebody’s Darling and Fort Worth newbies The Oregon Trailers.
The songwriting vehicle for 23-year-old multi-instrumentalist Taylor Lackey specializes in a kind of dreamy, folky pop with country flourishes and sumptuous vocal harmonies, sort of like a less somber Fleet Foxes or a less bombastic Telegraph Canyon or Mumford and Sons. “Walking After You,” off the self-titled debut EP that The Oregon Trailers are releasing at the show, is a brisk, sunshiny acoustic-based jaunt illuminated by a yawning chorus that demands to be sung along to. Meat-heads might dismiss it as, say, Hart of Dixie-ish. I choose to think it’s nothing but a beautiful piece of songwriting that’s clear-eyed and urgent. And, OK, a little saccharine but not to the point of mouth-puckering.
Recorded at Lackey’s home studio, the EP is definitely fresh –– he said he only started writing the songs about six months ago. Formerly known as the indie-rocker Tyler Lee, Lackey said he wanted to do something different. “Instead of writing songs intended to a specific genre, I just picked up my guitar and wrote with what came to mind,” he said.
There’s a direct correlation, he said, between the music and his band’s name. “Like The Oregon Trail, this musical project was all about a journey and exploring the unknown,” he said. “For me, it was about exploring new ideas as a musician, as well as the stories that I could create through the songs.”
The goal now is to play more shows (with backing from Tyler Kelso, Eric Reaves, and Matt Spivey) and write more music in keeping with the EP’s style. “We would love to eventually tour and let the world hear The Oregon Trailers,” he said.
Cover to the show is $10.
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