waka winter classics this week: Cain’s Ballroom

As we mentioned last week, this month is full of wakarusa’s waka winter classics. These are battles of the bands held in venues all around our region giving small local bands a chance to win a set at wakarusa in the coming summer. This week we’ve given each of the classics’ bands a listen and have our picks for you.

First up is Cain’s Ballroom in Tulsa on January 9th. The bands are:

We The Ghost
“Urban Acoustic, Indie, Reggae, Singer-Songwriter, Rock n Roll… Call it what you will, Midtown Tulsa’s We The Ghost has an unexplainable chemistry and authenticity that cannot be faked.”
We The Ghost has a really finished sound and is on a level above the average hometown band I think of when I think of the Waka Winter Classic. The band consists of Beau Tyler (lead vocals, acoustic guitar and synth), Jocelyn Rowland (violin and backing vocals), Dain Samuelson (djimbe), Jimmy Dean Adams (drums and backing vocals), and Matt McHan (lead guitar and backing vocals). It’s definitely the violin that gives this band it’s unique sound. Somehow the classical undertones it brings make the music sound like a mashup and the result is a really fun, different kind of sound.
Jumpship Astronaut
“Jumpship Astronaut began as an experiment in melding the danceable sounds of electronic music with guitar-driven indie rock, resulting in a stellar combination bolstered by polished pop sensibilities and a penchant for strong melodies.”
I would describe Jumpship’s sound as “gritty boyband”. The band consists of: Ryan Bryant (vocals and guitar), Chris Bourland (synth), Scott Dunn (bass and synth), and Kris Davis (drums). They are a newish band and their first album comes out in March.
The Dirty Creek Bandits
“With the rock recipe complete their stew will folk you up!”
The Bandits are: Justin (guitar and vocals), Wesley (guitar, vocals, and harmonica), Brandi (vocals and tambourine), Steve (guitar, mandolin, and keys), Jason (bass), and Eli (box drum and washboard). First off, any band with a tamborine girl and a washboard guy wins. Second, these catchy folk, bluegrass, psychadelic rock sounds did more than just catch my ear. I’m a fan. It’s like the Beatles learned what bluegrass is!

The Loaded Dice
“Many describe their sound as rockabilly, rock ‘n roll, and they are often compared to The Black Keys and the Kings of Leon.”
If you’re looking for a full on rock band, with piano that gives them a White Stripes-ish sound, here you have it.
The Younglings
“After a revamp in the fall of 2012 the band moved its lead singer to drums to continue the two piece musical onslaught. The band has taken influences from bands such as Manchester Orchestra, The Black Keys and The Queens of the Stone Age. With their new musical setup they are focusing on a new album to be released in the spring of 2013.”
Must every band compare themselves to the Black Keys? The Younglings at least achieve the comparison better than the previous band, in my opinion.

So, The Younglings would have been my pick, if The Dirty Creek Bandits hadn’t won my heart. Who’s your pick? Who do you think will win? We’ve got our fingers crossed for The Dirty Creek Bandits over here!