Show Review: the Aints and Chloe-Beth with Nellie Clay were Gifted Songwriters with Tangled Emotions at the Deli in Norman OK

Show Reviews

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I’ve spent a lot of time at Norman, OK’s live music staple, The Deli, lately. It’s addictive. Some of the best local songwriters and musicians congregate at the Campus Corner bar, often collaborating, occasionally inspiring one another, and always supporting one another. Much like the Blue Door, it’s a pretty special place, and pretty amazing to think of the talent and songs that have graced that there stage. My visit this past Monday night was an opportunity to catch two different groups of singer-songwriters that are rapidly becoming personal favorites of mine.

First up, kicking off their Monday night 7pm-9pm residency, were The Aints. I caught the tail end of their set a few weeks ago, as the played before Beau Jennings and the Tigers and Matt Woods and the Natural Disasters. I was thoroughly impressed with just the couple of songs I heard that night and regretted not having arrived earlier. If I had any doubts lingering at all, the songs frontman Derek Paul played at the WoodyFest Concert Series two days prior, erased them all. Paul’s contributions to that day’s song swap blew me away and took up a residency of their own in my head.

With The Aints, Paul is backed by an incredibly talented band of Matt Hargis and Isaac Stalling on guitars, Tom Young on drums, Justin Morris on bass and David Leach on keys. Together, these guys put out a rockin’ brand of Americana centered around some pretty incredible material written by Paul. Songs I’d heard a few days before played acoustically took on new forms delivered by a full band: “Wolves,” “Bleed” and “When I’m With You” being at the top of my list. “Wolves” in particular is the song I can’t get out of my head. Check it out for yourself on Spotify, and I guarantee you’ll thank me.

Not just content to grab you and rip your heart out, The Aints also take the ‘vices’ approach to their listeners with cuts like “Drinking & Doing Drugs” and “Cigarettes and Whiskey.” Paul told me there’s an album in the Aints future, and I am here to tell you two things. One, Derek Paul is one of my favorite new songwriter discoveries, and two, when that album comes out, you’re gonna hear about it. I’m thinking you’re gonna hear about it a lot. Keep up with The Aints via the bands Facebook page:

As if the set from The Aints wasn’t enough, next up was Chloe-Beth and her friends, Nellie Clay, Ali Harter and special guest on electric guitar, Isaac Stallings fresh from The Aints set. Chloe-Beth kicked off the song swap with a crazy good cover of Alice in Chains “Man in the Box.” Harter stepped up next with “Play A Train Song” followed by Clay’s haunting ”Freedom.” The talk between songs was fun and relaxed, the type of conversation held among friends. But as always, the best part of a song swap is seeing how the songs create the conversation that leads to the next song played, more conversation and so on, and so on.

Throughout the next hour and a half, these gifted songwriters tangled emotions with songs like Chloe-Beth’s “Come Up For Air,” Harter’s “Mostly Bad” and Clay’s “Wichita.” The three also touched on a variety of subjects ranging from Butch Hancock and Carter Sampson to The Voice and Bruce Banner. Through it all, Stallings, his slide and telecaster added subtle touches to an already special atmosphere.  Things didn’t stop there, as after a short break, they commenced again. Regrettably, after a long day and another one waiting, I had to take my leave. But, I think I’m going to be back really soon. Hell, maybe even next Monday night. You can visit Chloe-Beth’s webpage here:
Nellie Clay’s here:
Ali Harter’s (also, check out her fabulous shop!) here:

Lastly, visit The Deli to find out more:

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