Abbie Gardner is a fiery dobro player with an infectious smile. Whether performing solo or with Americana darlings Red Molly, with whom she toured for eleven years, her acclaimed tales of love and loss, both gritty and sweet, are propelled by her impeccable slide guitar chops. After Red Molly decided to take an indefinite hiatus in 2015, having graced stages from Denver to Denmark and from Australia to Austin, Abbie began performing solo, just her voice, songs and dobro.
Her live show is truly unique - as both an award winning songwriter and interpreter of folk styles, a captivating vocalist, and a world class lap style dobro player, she has an unmistakable sound all her own. Her latest CD, Wishes on a Neon Sign was released in January 2018, and features twelve original songs, including a co-write with Chris Stapleton. She has opened for Lori McKenna, Hot Rize and Martina McBride.
Her background is as varied as the songs she writes. Abbie has listened to the sweet sound of high lonesome harmonies since her first bluegrass festival at the age of three. Her father, Herb Gardner, is a swing jazz and stride pianist and dixieland trombonist. Watching him laugh as he went off to "work" every day was her first introduction to the joy of being a musician. Abbie studied classical flute growing up, but once she started playing Dobro in 2004 she found her main instrument -- and she has indeed mastered it.
Programs at The Depot are made possible, in part, by grants from Norman Arts Council and Oklahoma Arts Council, by The City of Norman and by generous donors.
The Depot Gallery will host “Melrose Sessions,” an exhibition of new work by Oklahoma artists Douglas Shaw Elder and Skip Hill, opening March 8 with a public reception from 6 to 9 pm. A second reception will be held April 12, 2019. The exhibit continues through April 27th. Regular gallery hours are 9 am to 2 pm Tuesday - Friday and from 10 to 1 on Saturday. Admission is free.
“Melrose Sessions” is the culmination of a collaboration between Elder and Hill, conceived in 2018, when the two artists were convening regularly in Elder’s studio on Melrose Street in dedicated sessions to discuss art, life, and the world we live in. The driving force behind the meet-ups was to create art, to listen to music, and to support each other as artists. Both artists work with elements of nature, including birds and landscapes, independently. The two began to merge Elder’s sculptural woodcarvings and Hill’s colorful drawings, fusing their individual styles to create complementary pieces, resulting in the works in this exhibit.
Both Elder and Hill believe that “the process of making art is a cumulative experience that necessitates time, dedication, and persistence. All creative professionals are united in the need to carve out time for conceptual work, to eliminate obstacles and pursue their passions. The drive behind the Melrose Sessions is to ‘do the work’ and serve as an example and inspiration to all determined creative workers, as well as to the artists themselves.”
Douglas Shaw Elder is a working artist, primarily producing drawings and sculpture, who has exhibited nationally and internationally, and has been the Executive Director of the Firehouse Art Center in Norman, Oklahoma since 2007. Elder, a U.S. Army veteran who received his MFA from Boston University, is also an arts educator and visual arts advocate. His current works, titled OKecoSCAPES, explore Oklahoma’s unique ecosystems, specifically depicting the diverse visual landscapes specific to the state. All of the works in the series are influenced by forces of nature, contemplated through experiential art making, and result in raw and organic finished carvings and drawings.
Skip Hill is a professional visual artist whose body of work includes mixed-medium drawings, paintings, collages and murals that feature lush environments filled with colorful tropical birds, exotic fauna, mesmerizing moods, rich textures and vivid color inspired by his travels to Brazil and Southeast Asia. Using acrylic paint, markers, inks and cut paper from a collection of source materials, Skip Hill’s art focuses on process, on positive and negative space, on contrasts and flowing line. He thoughtfully juxtaposes these elements to create a delightful sensory world on canvas, paper, wood panels and interior and exterior spaces. Thematically poetic, and lyrical in content, the art of Skip Hill is a visual journey through the verdant gardens of Love & Nature he invites his audience to imagine, and to get lost and found in.
Exhibits at The Depot Gallery are made possible, in part, by grants from the Norman Arts Council and the Oklahoma Arts Council, and by individual donors.
Tickets for individual concerts may be purchased on-line (see links below), by visiting The Depot at 200 S. Jones, or by phoning 405-307-9320.
Online tickets: https://app.arts-people.com/index.php?ticketing=depot
Sunday, September 30, 2018, 7:00pm - $20
Amber Rubarth, moving fluidly between genres, has performed her music far and wide, touring solo across South Africa, Europe, Japan, and all throughout America. After many years of solo touring, Rubarth lights up these days with collaborations in both film and music. Amber was recently cast alongside Joe Purdy to star in the feature film 'American Folk' which won numerous festival awards (and was shown at the Depot earlier this year.) Rubarth has excellent mastery of the guitar, is equally impressive on piano... and has a soaring voice that can belt out any tune.
Sunday, October 7, 2018, 7:00pm - $20
Kyshona Armstrong, a music therapist gone rogue, began her career working in mental health hospitals and correctional facilities, writing music with her patients and using music to redirect behaviors and emotions. Kyshona soon found the need to write music independently to help her process her daily experiences with her clients. Audiences will often find a common thread of overcoming, hope, and empowerment in her songwriting and storytelling. She uses her emotional intelligence to create her unique bluesy and soulful style of music. Her latest album, "The Ride", shows off vocal stylings that are reminiscent of Aretha Franklin, Etta James and Al Green.
The Suitcase Junket
Saturday, October 27, 2018, 7:00pm - $20
Matt Lorenz [The Suitcase Junket] was raised in Cavendish, Vermont. He learned to sing by copying his sister Kate. Lorenz graduated from Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts, in 2004, having taught himself to throat-sing, inspired by a South Indian cooking class. On moving day, he pulled a guitar, filled with mold and worse for wear, from a dorm dumpster. He fixed it up and started pulling songs out of it. That was the beginning. Since then, The Suitcase Junket has built a powerful fan base in his native New England and far beyond, playing numerous festivals and winning awards. His music puts him in the company of artists working the border of Americana and rock -- Shovels & Rope, M. Ward, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeroes, Sam Amidon, Alabama Shakes, and The Record Company.
Sunday, November 18, 2018, 7:00pm - $20
Since 2013, Andrew Morris and Julie Bates, better known as the Matchsellers, have traveled the US and Europe developing their style of off the wall bluegrass & old-time music. In 2017 they began collaborating with Chad Graves and Betsey Mae, two of the Midwest’s finest musicians. (Graves is one of the country’s top dobro players and Mae is a sought after bassist from Lakin, KS.) Together the 4-piece combines absurdity, authenticity and excellent musicianship to create a performance that is representative of the present age: They are pleasantly stuck between the years gone-by and those to come.
Sunday, December 2, 2018, 7:00pm - $20
Rebecca Loebe, with her “breathtakingly beautiful, delightful and superb” voice (Randy Radic, Huffington Post) has spent the past decade on the road performing in 44 states of the U.S., as well as Canada, Europe, The U.K. and Japan. Along the way she has honed her voice as one of the Americana music scene’s most exciting new songwriters and earned a place on Alternate Root Magazine’s annual listing of The Top 10 Female Singers in America. She is again touring the world to share the songs of her latest album, Blink, her fourth full-length studio album. The 11-song collection of new originals is equally inspired by soul, folk and southern rock -- and the summer when she was 17.
Sunday, December 9, 2018, 7:00pm - $20
Johnsmith is one of those artists who possesses a genius that cannot be denied, ignored, or overlooked. For the past thirty-plus years he has been sharing his music all across America and abroad and has become a favorite at festivals, clubs, and house concerts alike. In addition to being a Kerrville New Folk Winner, Johnsmith has released eight solo CDs to rave reviews, leads musical tours to Ireland, teaches songwriting, and has served as a staff songwriter in Nashville. With his faded jeans, his twinkly blue eyes, and his infectious smile, John immediately connects with audiences.
Sunday, January 20, 2019, 7:00pm - $20
Sunday, March 3, 2019, 7:00pm - $20
This performance has been rescheduled from the original date due to illness. If you already have tickets, they will be honored for the new date. If you can't make the March 3 performance, please contact The Depot for a refund.
Eliza Gilkyson is a 2-time Grammy-nominated singer, songwriter and activist who has become one of the most respected musicians in Folk, Roots and Americana circles. Her songs have been covered by Joan Baez, Bob Geldof, Tom Rush and Rosanne Cash and have appeared in films, PBS specials and on prime-time TV. She has been inducted into the Austin Music Hall of Fame and recognized with countless Austin Music and Folk Alliance awards. Eliza’s music has always offered a vivid reflection of the times we live in, full of joys and sorrows, each song a window into a life of struggle and triumph in a world she feels is “poised on the edge of moral, economic and environmental bankruptcy.”
Sunday, January 27, 2019, 7:00pm - $20 ($25 day of show)
American Songwriter proclaims that “If you are looking to be blown away by raw talent, then look no further than Griffin House.” It is a true, and nowadays rare, musician who writes lyrics so vulnerable and authentic that an audience is irrevocably captured by the powerful experience of sharing the journey. With Griffin House’s upcoming album, So On and So Forth, it is clear the artist digs deep and offers up his narrative after much reflection. It is an album that is essentially an autobiographical account of personal mistakes, change, and growth that offers listeners a chance to reflect on their own experiences and connect with another’s story. We welcome Griffin House to his third concert at The Depot.
Sunday, February 10, 2019, 7:00pm - $20
The acoustic-duo, Ryanhood, featuring Cameron Hood’s rich and folky lead vocals and Ryan Green’s explosive guitar and mandolin riffs, together with their airtight vocal harmonies, prompted the Arizona Daily Star to call them, “a match made in radio heaven.” Ryanhood was named ‘Best Group/Duo’ in the 2014 International Acoustic Music Awards and they were recently named the “Discovery of the Year” by John Platt at WFUV New York City. They were a featured act at Australia’s National Folk Festival in April 2018. And their star is still on the rise. Their sixth and newest album, Yearbook, is led by their signature two-part vocal harmonies, decorated with flares of guitar, ukulele, and mandolin, and centers on songs about being young, growing old, and making peace with the passing of time.
Camille Harp and John Calvin Abney
Sunday, February 17, 2019, 7:00pm - $20
Camille Harp and John Calvin Abney have a musical chemistry that can't be denied. Join us for their duo performance in the listening room environment of The Depot for a magical evening.
Sunday, February 24, 2019, 7:00pm - $20
Seth Glier’s fifth album, Birds, is the latest entry in a burgeoning career that has included a Grammy nomination and a pair of Independent Music Awards while touring with artists including Ani DiFranco and Ryan Adams. The songs on Birds range from personal to political, and are bound together by the awareness that our world is a fragile place that is all the more magical for it. Glier (pronounced “Gleer”) recorded Birds in an airy loft in western Massachusetts outfitted with a grand piano and floor-to-ceiling windows. Birds roosting just outside those windows, became his sympathetic audience while Glier made the album. “I felt a tremendous amount of comfort talking to the Birds,” he says “I’d check in with them regularly to see how they thought things were going so far.” Seth Glier was selected as the Member’s Choice Concert for Winter Wind by vote of Depot Members.
The Brother Brothers
Sunday, March 10, 2019, 7:00pm - $20
“The Brother Brothers have been in this together for life, and their familial connection comes through in the music, harkening back to some of the greatest family harmonies ever made. They tour as an acoustic duo: David on cello and guitar, and Adam on the 5-string fiddle. With individual storied music careers under their belts, the brothers have finally teamed up to bring their experiences together. They approach their poignant and often charming songs with an almost startling sense of ease, and the tight harmonies are enough to send shivers down anyone’s spine. Often leaning towards the darker, moody elements of Appalachian folk, and bluegrass traditions, their songs are laden with near perfect sibling harmonies or unison singing, compelling writing, and imaginative arrangements.
Friday, March 22, 2019, 7:00pm - $20
Abbie Gardner is a fiery dobro player with an infectious smile. Whether performing solo or with Americana darlings Red Molly, her acclaimed tales of love and loss, both gritty and sweet, are propelled by her impeccable slide guitar chops. Her live show is truly unique - as both an award winning songwriter and interpreter of folk styles, a captivating vocalist, and a world class lap style dobro player, she has an unmistakable sound all her own. Her latest CD, Wishes on a Neon Sign, was released in January 2018, and features twelve original songs, including a co-write with Chris Stapleton. She has opened for Lori McKenna, Hot Rize and Martina McBride.