On the strength of her debut album in 1994, the Academy of Country Music (ACM) named Chely Wright Top New Female Vocalist in 1995. Wright's first Top 40 country hit came in 1997 with "Shut Up and Drive". Two years later, her fourth album yielded a number one single - the title track "Single White Female”.
As of 2010, Wright's previous seven albums and 19 singles released had sold over 1,500,000 copies and 10,000,000 digital impressions in the United States, charted more than fifteen singles on the country charts, and earned a gold album certification. She has written songs that have been recorded by Brad Paisley, Richard Marx, Indigo Girls, Mindy Smith and Clay Walker.
On May 4, 2010, Wright simultaneously released her memoir, the LAMDA nominated “Like Me,” becoming one of the first major country music performers to publicly come out as lesbian, and “Lifted Off the Ground,” her first album of new songs since 2005. In television appearances and an autobiography, she cited among her reasons for publicizing her homosexuality a concern with bullying and hate crimes toward gays, particularly gay teenagers, and the damage to her life caused by "lying and hiding”.
In 2016, Wright released her eighth studio album, “I Am the Rain.” The album, which has roots in Americana, was produced by Joe Henry, features collaborations with Emmylou Harris, Rodney Crowell and The Milk Carton Kids, and has drawn comparisons to Carole King's Tapestry. It entered the Billboard country chart at 13, the second highest debut of her career. It was also her first appearance on the Americana album chart, where it reached number 9.
A new EP titled Revival was released in May 2019. Wright previewed the first track, "Say the Word", through Rolling Stone Country on April 23. On August 10, 2019, Wright made her return to the Grand Ole Opry stage where she and Brad Paisley had performed their joint shows for the Opry’s 75th Anniversary (televised by CBS and nominated for Vocal Event of the Year at the 35th Annual CMA Awards.) Wright, now 48, had gone more than nine years after coming out without an invitation to again play the hallowed stage.
Chely Wright comes to Norman, and the intimate listening room atmosphere of the Depot, as part of a nationwide tour promoting Revival. Don’t miss this opportunity to see and hear her up close.
The Depot is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with a mission to create and present excellent and innovative fine arts programs for the enrichment and education of the community.
Winter Wind Concerts are made possible in part by the City of Norman Parks and Recreation Department and by grants from the Oklahoma Arts Council and the Norman Arts Council. Contributors include: Cindy Merrick - Therapy in Motion; Hugh & Keri Young; Skye Diers - Gingerbread Nursery School; Bruce & Trisha Bunce; Tom McAuliffe - Don Cies; and The Montford Inn. Friends are: EB Dancer; Danna Primm; Bob Schlegel; Jennifer Bell & Curtis Ensler; and Lazy Circles Brewing.
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
Pick 5 (5% off with fees waived) is available here: https://app.arts-people.com/index.php?subscription=depot
Sunday, September 29, 2019, 7:00pm - $20
Jeff Black's songs have earned Grammy recognition, radio chart-topping stats and numerous BMI awards. Although flying below the radar as a performer himself, he has been recognized by NPR as a musical pioneer in the digital age. Black has forged a reputation as a true folk troubadour entertaining audiences globally for over three decades. A master songwriter and performer in the tradition of the great storytellers, his passionate, soul driven live performances of songs from his vast catalog are not to be missed. Boston's WUMB listeners voted Jeff Black as one of the top 100 most important Folk artists of the last 25 years.
Smokey & The Mirror
Sunday, October 20, 2019, 7:00pm - $20
Smokey & The Mirror is husband & wife duo Bryan and Bernice Hembree. Based out of Fayetteville, Arkansas, Smokey & The Mirror have toured nationally/internationally over the past decade. They tour most often as a duo, but also play many shows as a four-piece band. Whatever the configuration, the interplay of their two unique voices coupled with engaging, accessible songs, form the foundation of Smokey & The Mirror. It is obvious that they truly treasure what they do, exuding a sense of positive energy right out to the audience.
Slaid Cleaves - SOLD OUT!
Sunday, November 10, 2019, 7:00pm - $30
Slaid Cleaves' songwriting has never been more potent than on his new album Ghost on the Car Radio, released in June. It is his first release since 2013's Still Fighting the War, which was praised as "one of the year's best albums" by American Songwriter and "carefully crafted...songs about the struggles of the heart in hard times" by the Wall Street Journal. The New York Daily News called his music "a treasure hidden in plain sight," while the Austin Chronicle declared, "there are few contemporaries that compare. He's become a master craftsman.” Described as "terse, clear and heartfelt" (NPR Fresh Air), Cleaves’ songs speak to timeless truths.
Susan Gibson with K.C. Clifford opening
Sunday, November 17, 2019, 7:00pm - $20
Susan Gibson’s naturally buoyant melodies and warmly reassuring, conversational singing and writing voice light up any song, room, or mood. Her refreshingly clear-eyed perspectives on matters of life, love, work, and loss illuminate a spirit-charging current of resiliency. She's had that in her all along, from her days in the beloved Amarillo, Texas-based Amerciana band the Groobees back in the ’90s and from the get-go of her solo career in 2003. It was all there at the very beginning, when in college she wrote "Wide Open Spaces" which (with a little help from the Dixie Chicks) became one of the biggest country songs of all time. Come hear for yourself!
K.C. Clifford is a three-time Woody Guthrie Award-winning folk singer/songwriter from Oklahoma City. Music has always been a guiding force in Clifford’s life, and her talent and love of performing on stage revealed itself at an early age. She was two when she first sang in public and composed her first song at age seven. Early influences included artists such as Paul Simon, Carole King, The Beach Boys and the popular bluegrass band Mountain Smoke, founded by her father in the late 1960s.
Sunday, November 24, 2019, 7:00pm - $20
Drawing from a multitude of influences ranging from elegant classical and jazz styles to the rawest, most basic blues, country and soul, Radoslav Lorković has taken on an unusually broad musical spectrum and refined it into his distinctive piano and accordion style. His tenure on the R&B and folk circuits has culminated in five critically acclaimed solo recordings and numerous appearances on the recordings of, and performances with, many well known artists. His thirty year touring career has led him from the taverns of the upper Mississippi River to the castles of Italy...and to Woody Fest and again to The Depot.
Sunday, December 15, 2019, 7:00pm - $20
Nobody’s Girl is a new trio formed by award-winning songwriters Betty Soo, Grace Pettis and Rebecca Loebe. Luscious harmony singers, effortless instrumentalists, seasoned touring artists – they recognized what each can accomplish individually could be made all the stronger by collaboration. The harmonies are thrilling. The songs are powerful and spare. The stage presence confident and assured. Now, the spark has been set, the fire lit and their individual and collective fans are eating it up.
Sunday, January 12, 2020, 7:00pm - $20
2015 Kerrville Grassy Hill New Folk winner Wes Collins calls his music “guitar driven folk-pop with teeth”. He released his debut album, One Layer Down, in 2013. Since appearing at Kerrville, Wes has played throughout the Southwest, from the legendary Bluebird Cafe in Nashville to a formal showcase at the Southwest Regional Folk Alliance Conference in Austin. In 2017 Wes took second place in Moravia Texas's 2017 Songwriter Serenade and received a songwriting fellowship from the North Carolina Arts Council, which funded his brand-new CD Welcome to the Ether.
Wood & Wire - SOLD OUT!
Sunday, January 19, 2020, 7:00pm - $20
The Texas songwriter tradition casts a long shadow today, and Austin-based Americana roots juggernauts Wood & Wire could easily rattle off a long list of songwriters that inspire them from Willie Nelson to James McMurtry, and everyone in between.
Respect for honest labor is a central theme in Wood & Wire’s 2018 GRAMMY Nominated album for “Best Bluegrass”, North of Despair ( Blue Corn Music), with songs populated by people like songwriter Tony Kamel’s own grandfather, who built the family’s hunting lodge in Llano, Texas with his own two hands. The characters on the album live large, and aren’t afraid to share their opinions about the modern world.
Peter Bradley Adams
Sunday, February 9, 2020, 7:00pm - $20 (advance) / $25 (day of show)
Peter Bradley Adams introduced himself as a member of Eastmountainsouth, the duo he put together with fellow songwriter and vocalist Kat Maslich-Bode. The demos the duo made, produced by Adams, blended pop and folk with subtle electronic touches, making it a pioneering effort in the realm of folktronica with a satisfying blend of ancient folklore and modern technology. Adams launched his solo career with Gather Up (2006), a brooding, autumnal album recorded in his apartment. Its hushed melancholy won rave reviews and led to Leavetaking (2008), an understated folk rock album that featured the hit “The Longer I Run”, followed by Traces (2009), and Between Us (2011).
Sunday, February 23, 2020, 7:00pm - $25
Richell Rene "Chely" Wright is an American country music singer and activist. On the strength of her 1994 debut album, the Academy of Country Music (ACM) named her Top New Female Vocalist in 1995. By 2010, Wright's seven albums and 19 singles had sold over 1,500,000 copies and 10,000,000 digital impressions in the United States, charted more than fifteen singles on the country charts, and earned a gold album certification. This year, a new EP, titled “Revival” was released in May, and in August Wright made her return to the Grand Ole Opry. Now she is coming to The Depot!
Sunday, March 8, 2020, 7:00pm - $20
Dori Freeman first broke out in 2016, with a stunning debut produced by Teddy Thompson and a sparkling voice that seemed to come from out of nowhere. Her songs were brittle, cracked, infused with heartbreak and seeming to speak for women everywhere, channeling Appalachian women in a way that harkened back to Loretta Lynn.
“The purity of Dori Freeman’s voice and the directness of her songwriting reflect not only her Appalachian hometown — Galax, Va. — but also a determined classicism, a rejection of the ways modern country punches itself up for radio and arenas.” – Jon Pareles, The New York Times
Thursday, March 12, 2020, 7:00pm - $20
Female–fronted, multi-instrumentalist power trio, The Accidentals, (Sav Buist, Katie Larson, and Michael Dause) kicked off 2018 with the release of their debut album, Odyssey, with Sony Masterworks.
Billboard Magazine says, “The Accidentals display a genre-hopping range of influences and some smart songwriting skills to go with their abundant musical chops” and Pop Matters Magazine say’s, you can’t define them by comparison to any one band, comparing them to a mash up of influences including, “Beatles, The Decemberists, Sufjan Stevens, Led Zeppelin, Ani Difranco, Neko Case, and Brandi Carlile."
Sunday, April 5, 2020, 7:00pm - $25
A troubadour, a singer/songwriter, a folky, and a storyteller -- all are fair labels for this artist, but they do not quite suffice. However, the tattoo of Woody Guthrie worn proudly on his arm is a good starting place from which to grasp Ellis Paul, for it is from the Woody Guthrie tradition that he hails, and Maine as well. Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, and James Taylor are also listed among his influences, and their spirits seem to occasionally grace his work. With an acoustic guitar in hand, he weaves intimate, provocative, and romantic tales of lives that were obviously witnessed by a most-talented voyeur.