Colter Wall’s latest album may be called Songs of the Plains, but Tulsa, Oklahoma had its own Songs of the Plains in store for Colter and his crew. Being that its spring in tornado alley, the songs were more to the tune of rain, thunder and tornado sirens. Severe storms moved through the area right before doors were to open and even leaving the concert afterwards, tornado sirens could still be heard throughout Tulsa. Lighting flashed above the Cain’s sign, making for an impressive display that I won’t soon forget. Even though these storms likely kept some from attending the concert, there was still a large crowd to see Colter Wall make his debut at Cain’s Ballroom.
For this tour, Colter brought along his friends and fellow Canadians, Kacy & Clayton. This duo happens to be second cousins and are due to release their next album, Carrying On, in October of this year. Kacy & Clayton have a vintage vibe to them, one might think from their song choices and lyrics that they are old souls. It’s a vibe that makes you think you might possibly have time traveled back a few decades and caught a folk duo in the middle of a performance. For me they fall in a similar vein as fellow Americana act, The Cactus Blossoms. During the set, the duo shared a mixture of songs from their three studio albums, like the popular title track from their previous album, Siren’s Song. Halfway through the set, Kacy quipped to the crowd that they had, “quite a variety show coming up” and individual members from Colter’s band joined them each for a song. Joining Kacy & Clayton on their last song was Colter Wall, who covered the song, “The Santa Fe Trail” with the duo.
Although currently traveling with a full band, Colter’s set started with him singing solo for the first two songs of the set, “I Ride an Old Paint” and “The Trains are Gone”. For the third song, “Thirteen Silver Dollars”, the entire band joined him on stage. Colter’s current band consists of Jason Simpson on bass guitar, Pat Lyons on pedal steel, Jake Groves on harmonica and Aaron Goodrich on drums. The set also included some of Colter’s most popular songs from his self-titled album, “Kate McCannon” and “Motorcycle” and “Sleepin’ On the Blacktop” from his 2015 EP, Imaginary Appalachia. The rest of the set was filled with songs from his most recent release, Songs of the Plains, as well as some covers that Colter is known for like, “Railroad Bill” or “Oklahoma Hills”, from Ramblin’ Jack Elliott and Woody Guthrie, both artists that he has mentioned in the past have influenced his music. Ending the night at Cain’s, Colter covered the crowd favorite which always ends up in a sing a long, “Up Against the Wall Redneck Mother”.
If you’re attending a Colter Wall show for the first time, don’t expect anything fancy. This isn’t a show with pyrotechnics, mood lighting or lots of special guests. It is however, a great showcase of Colter’s voice and what great music a bunch of friends can play for a large crowd. You’ll probably wonder how such a big voice can be possessed by an unassuming man. Dressed in his normal uniform of jeans, hat and button down white shirt, auburn hair and beard accented by the bright lights, this powerful, mesmerizing voice will emanate from someone you would never expect to come from and you’ll be hooked. This last show was my fifth time to see Colter in the past 2 years. Most of his shows are similar, but they’re never disappointing.
If you’d like to experience this for yourself, go catch Colter Wall out on the road. You can find his upcoming tour dates here: http://www.colterwall.com/tour