In a relief effort dubbed “Fill the Willie Bus,” Okemah country singer/songwriter Shawna Russell is making her touring coach – formerly owned by music icon Willie Nelson – available today to help with the collection and delivery of supplies to tornado victims in Shawnee. The area was struck by devastating storms on Sunday, the day before the larger tornado hit in nearby Moore.
Russell’s bus will be parked at Exit 212 and I-40 (Cromwell/ Wewoka, OK exit) on beginning at noon today to collect items. Requested donations are for bottled water, sports drinks, baby formula, diapers, baby wipes, gloves, packaged snacks, toiletries, shampoo, and toothpaste and toothbrushes.
“The need is great everywhere,” states Russell in a news release “My thoughts and prayers are with my fellow Oklahomans in this trying time.”
What to do in Oklahoma on May 22, 2013: Hear red dirt music and support tornado victims at Eskimo Joe’s
Today’s featured event:
STILLWATER – Eskimo Joe’s regular Wednesday night acoustic music showcase will be transformed into a tornado relief show tonight.
“We always have acoustic music on Wednesdays and it most commonly features local musicians, Oklahoma artists, and it is predominantly red dirt artists,” said Tim Holland, Eskimo Joe’s general manager.
“The people in this music scene, particularly the red dirt music scene, are just so incredibly gracious about donating their time and talent to things like this that it just made a lot of sense I think for those involved. And it makes a lot of sense for Joe’s because we just have a track record of hosting events like this and we have these relationships with these musicians.”
The free acoustic show is set for 8 tonight at the iconic Stillwater nightspot, 501 W Elm. The confirmed lineup includes previously scheduled performer Ryan Reid, along with the Red Dirt Rangers, Steve Rice of No Justice, Jake Moffat, Clint Osmus, Cale Lester, Jason Savory, Val Joe Gladden and Billy Berkenbile. Holland said he wouldn’t be surprised if more musicians join the lineup.
“Eskimo Joe’s is an iconic Oklahoma brand. We all live here, we volunteer here, we give back to Oklahoma and statewide causes, we operate businesses throughout our state. And we just felt compelled to try to do something,” Holland said.
He said Oklahoma Red Cross representatives will be on hand to collect monetary donations for the tornado relief efforts. Checks to the Red Cross should be earmarked to Oklahoma tornado relief.
Eskimo Joe’s and Eskimo Joe’s Clothes, along with Mexico Joe’s and Joseppi’s Italian Kitchen in Stillwater, are all accepting cash donations for the Red Cross through the end of the month. They will not accept donations of supplies or other items, he said.
Destructive tornadoes ripped through the Shawnee and Carney areas Sunday before an even more deadly and devastating twister tore through Moore Monday afternoon.
“It’s absolutely heartbreaking,” John Cooper, singer/mandolin player for the Red Dirt Rangers, said of the tornado damage.
Cooper, who also is president of the nonprofit Red Dirt Relief Fund’s board of directors, said he has heard of at least two other benefit shows that the state’s red dirt musicians are planning.
“Music is a powerful tool to unite people,” he said. “It’s good for the soul. And this is what we do as musicians. This is how we give back.”
For more information on tonight’s show, go to www.eskimojoes.com.
For more events, go to www.wimgo.com.
Video: Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, other Thunder players step up to help Oklahoma tornado victims
In the wake of this week’s deadly tornadoes, Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder are helping out the state that has embraced them so eagerly.
Both the team and its star player on Tuesday stepped up and donated $1 million apiece to assist with disaster relief efforts in the aftermath of this week’s tornadoes that blew through parts of the state, reports The Oklahoman NBA beat writer Darnell Mayberry.
Durant, a day after encouraging his fans to make $10 donations to the American Red Cross, anonymously pledged a $1 million matching gift to the organization through his charity, the Kevin Durant Family Foundation.
Red Cross of Oklahoma announced Durant’s pledge on the social networking website Twitter.
Shortly after news of Durant’s donation spread, the Thunder and the Thunder Cares Foundation announced a joint donation of $1 million to benefit the local chapters of the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army as well.
The joint donation also will aid other disaster relief organizations to assist in efforts for those affected by the tornado outbreaks in central Oklahoma this week.
All funds will be used to give direct and immediate support for those in need, covering essentials such as food, water and shelter in the days and weeks to come.
“It’s devastating,” Durant told reporters in Minneapolis, where he watched the WNBA’s Minnesota Lynx and childhood friend Monica Wright. “Natural disasters are something we can’t control at all. To have it hit so close to home — I call Oklahoma City my home now — it’s tough to go through. But we’re a city that comes together. We’ll bounce back from this. It’s tough right now but the sun is going to shine soon. We’ve just got to stick together.”
Durant is scheduled to join the American Red Cross on Wednesday to tour the devastation left by Monday’s tornado that ripped through Moore. Durant said he was moved to assist in efforts after watching footage of the damaged areas.
“God told me to do something to help these families out and that’s the first thing I thought of,” Durant said of his donation. “I’m just tying to do anything I can to help. It’s such a tough situation. Some of those things you can’t get back. But I just try and help the families out as much as I can.”
Durant said he also will attempt to visit children who are hospitalized because of injuries caused by the tornado.
As you can see in the NewsOK video below, that’s exactly what fellow OKC Thunder players Russell Westbrook, Hasheem Thabeet and DeAndre Liggins and Thunder Coach Scott Brooks did Tuesday at OU Children’s Hospital, where they brighten the day of young tornado victims and emergency room staff. Westbrook even did the good deed in a wheelchair, since he’s still recovering from his season-ending knee surgery.
Even if you’re not a sports fans, it’s stuff like this that makes you gotta be a Thunder fan, folks.
Oklahoma country music superstar Toby Keith, who was born in Clinton, raised in Moore and lives in Norman, talked to CNN’s Piers Morgan tonight about the deadly tornado that tore through Moore on Monday afternoon.
“The first thing people do is get you transportation, get (you) water, take care of your kids. Pray and be glad you made it through and pray for the ones that lost people in these things,” Keith told Morgan of how Moore residents have reacted to this week’s tornado as well as the May 3, 1999, twister.
“The good thing is we’re resilient here. I’m proud to live here in this town,” he added.
The superstar also told Morgan that he has fielded numerous inquiries about playing a benefit concert for tornado victims at either the University of Oklahoma or Chesapeake Energy Arena. He said he is willing to do so, but plans are still in the works.
“Always when these things happen, music people get together, and I’ve had 500 text messages from people all over the music world saying ‘What are we doing? You know, we want to help.’ That’s just everybody’s way. Like I said, this just happened yesterday. I just got on the ground. So I’ve talked to the people at OU; they’ve called me (about) maybe using the stadium. There’s some more people trying to put one on at Chesapeake Arena in Oklahoma City. So I don’t know if everybody’s gonna unite. Whatever. I’m in. And Moore knows I’m gonna be here. But hopefully, in the next couple of days we can sort it all out.”
To watch video of Keith’s interview with Morgan, click here.
Oklahoma country music superstar Blake Shelton and NBC have begun organizing a benefit concert for the victims of the devastating Oklahoma tornado in his home state, according to Billboard.
On Monday afternoon, a massive tornado tore through Moore, killing at least 24 people and ravaging houses, schools and businesses.
“We’ll know more about it in the next 24 hours,” the Ada native told Billboard after Tuesday’s live edition of “The Voice.” “I’m hoping it will raise a lot of money. Obviously it will be televised and will happen really quickly.”
While pointing to his fellow coach on “The Voice,” Usher, Shelton told the trade publication, “I can call in some really big favors.”
As previously reported, Shelton and his wife Miranda Lambert, who live in Tishomingo, opened Tuesday’s episode of “The Voice” with a heartfelt acoustic rendition of Lambert’s emotional chart-topper “Over You.” The couple co-wrote the song about the death of Shelton’s brother, Richie, in a car accident. The song has earned song of the year honors from the Academy of Country Music and Country Music Association.
“I think it was the perfect song for this situation,” Shelton told Billboard. “The moment was right and I wish things would’ve been different and I wouldn’t have been thinking about performing a song like that.”
To see the video of their performance, click here.
Also as previously reported, with less than a minute left on Tuesday’s live results show, “The Voice” host Carson Daly revealed that Muskogee’s The Swon Brothers, who are on Team Blake, received enough public votes to advance to the Top 8 on the hit reality TV show. To watch their dramatic “save” on the show, click here.
Check out this fun video of the three finalists from Team Blake – Muskogee’s The Swon Brothers, 16-year-old Texan Danielle Bradbury and Baylor University student Holly Tucker – giving a spirited performance of Alabama’s country classic “Mountain Music” on tonight’s live episode of “The Voice.”
As previously reported, with less than a minute left in tonight’s live results show, “The Voice” Carson Daly revealed that Muskogee’s The Swon Brothers received enough public votes to advance to the Top 8 on the hit reality TV show. That meant that Oklahoma country music superstar Blake Shelton was able to get all three of his finalists through to the Top 8. Check out the video of Daly’s dramatic last-minute reveal that The Swon Brothers had been saved, also posted below.
Shelton and his wife Miranda Lambert, who live in Tishomingo, opened tonight’s episode with a heartfelt acoustic rendition of Lambert’s emotional chart-topper “Over You.” The couple co-wrote the song about the death of Shelton’s brother, Richie, in a car accident. The song has earned song of the year honors from the Academy of Country Music and Country Music Association. To see video of their performance, click here.
Video: Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert performing “Over You” in honor of Oklahoma tornado victims on “The Voice”
Check out this touching video of Oklahoma country music superstar Blake Shelton and his wife Miranda Lambert delivering an emotional tribute to his tornado-ravaged home state to open tonight’s live episode of “The Voice.”
The country music power couple, who live in Tishomingo, performed a heartfelt acoustic rendition of Lambert’s emotional chart-topper “Over You.” The couple co-wrote the song about the death of Shelton’s brother, Richie, in a car accident. The song has earned song of the year honors from the Academy of Country Music and Country Music Association.
As previously reported, with less than a minute left in tonight’s live results show, “The Voice” Carson Daly revealed that Muskogee’s The Swon Brothers received enough public votes to advance to the Top 8 on the hit reality TV show.
The first duo to make it to “The Voice’s” live playoffs, Zach and Colton Swon are competing on Shelton’s Team Blake. Shelton is an Ada native.
With less than a minute left in tonight’s live results show, “The Voice” Carson Daly revealed that Muskogee’s The Swon Brothers received enough public votes to advance to the Top 8 on the hit reality TV show.
For Oklahoma music fans, it was a triumphant ending for a show that started with Oklahoma country music superstar Blake Shelton, one of the show’s celebrity coaches, and his wife Miranda Lambert delivering an emotional tribute to his tornado-ravaged home state. Shelton is an Ada native.
To open tonight’s show, the country music power couple, who live in Tishomingo, performed a heartfelt acoustic rendition of Lambert’s emotional chart-topper “Over You.” The couple co-wrote the song about the death of Shelton’s brother, Richie, in a car accident. The song has earned song of the year honors from the Academy of Country Music and Country Music Association.
To see video of the performance, click here.
Throughout the one-hour show, urgings to donate to the tornado victims in Oklahoma flashed onscreen.
Zach and Colton Swon, who are competing on Shelton’s Team Blake, delivered an uptempo rendition of Randy Houser’s “How Country Feels” during Monday’s Top 10 live performance show.
But the brothers, who are the first duo to reach “The Voice’s” live playoffs, indicated Monday night that it was difficult to focus on the show because of the devastating news coming out of their home state, where a massive tornado had ravaged Moore just a few hours before.
“It’s hard to enjoy a night like this,” said Colton Swon.
“Our hearts are definitely going out to you, first and foremost,” Zach told viewers in their home state.
Tonight’s eliminated contestants were Kris Thomas of Team Shakira and Josiah Hawley of Team Usher.
Here is “The Voice” Top 8:
Team Blake: The Swon Brothers, Danielle Bradbury, Holly Tucker
Team Adam Levine: Judith Hill, Sarah Sims, Amber Carrington
Team Usher: Michelle Chamuel
Team Shakira: Sasha Allen
UPDATED Video: Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert to perform “Over You” in honor of Oklahoma on “The Voice” tonight; Swon Brothers contending on tonight’s show
UPDATED at 9:48 p.m. Tuesday: If you missed Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert’s performance on “The Voice,” click here to view it. – BAM
Oklahoma country music superstars Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert, who live in Tishomingo, will perform a special rendition of their emotional hit “Over You” in honor of Oklahomans affected by this week’s deadly tornadoes tonight on “The Voice.”
The hit reality TV show, on which Shelton serves as a celebrity coach, airs live at 8 tonight on NBC.
“Blake and I will be performing an acoustic version of “Over You” tonite on @NBCTheVoice dedicated to Oklahoma. #PrayForOklahoma,” Lambert posted today on Twitter @mirandalambert.
Lambert and Shelton co-wrote her emotional chart-topper about the death of his brother, Richie, in a car accident. The song has earned song of the year honors from the Academy of Country Music and Country Music Association.
On Twitter Monday night, Lambert urged her followers to “Pray. That’s all we an do. Pray for peace for Oklahoma.”
Also on tonight’s live episode of “The Voice,” Muskogee’s The Swon Brothers, as well as other contenders on “The Voice” Season 4 Top 10, will learn if they received enough votes to continue on in the competition.
Zach and Colton Swon, the first duo to reach the reality show’s live playoffs, gave an uptempo rendition of Randy Houser’s “How Country Feels” during Monday’s live performance show.
But they indicated that it was difficult to focus on the show because of the devastating news coming out of their home state.
“It’s hard to enjoy a night like this,” said Colton Swon.
“Our hearts are definitely going out to you, first and foremost,” Zach added.
Here is the video of Monday night’s episode, which was preempted in the Oklahoma City area due to storm coverage. The Swon Brothers’ segment starts at approximately 25:00:
Thompson Square to debut new single tonight on “Tonight Show,” playing Thursday at Cain’s Ballroom with ticket sales benefiting tornado relief
Country duo Thompson Square, which consists of Miami, OK, native Keifer Thompson and his wife Shawna, will debut its new single, “Everything I Shouldn’t Be Thinking About,” tonight on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.” The show airs at 10:35 p.m. weekdays on NBC.
In addition, the reigning Academy of Country Music and Country Music Association Vocal Duo of the Year will play at 8:15 p.m. Thursday at Cain’s Ballroom, 423 N Main in Tulsa. Doors will open at 7 p.m. Charlie Worsham will open the show.
The historic venue announced via Facebook today that Cain’s Ballroom, Ticketfly and Tulsa’s Dr. James Webb will each donate $1 per ticket sold to The Salvation Army’s Oklahoma Tornado Relief Fund. For tickets and information, go to www.cainsballroom.com.
Thompson Square will perform their new uptempo and light-heartedly clever song tonight on “The Tonight Show.” The New York Times describes “Everything I Shouldn’t Be Thinking About” as a “hint of domestic naughtiness.” It was co-written by Keifer Thompson, who celebrated his 14th wedding anniversary with wife and duo partner Shawna on May 15.
Oklahoma-bred Grammy Award winner Brett James and Grammy-nominated songwriter/artist David Lee Murphy also served a co-writers on the new single.
“Everything I Shouldn’t Be Thinking About” is the second single from the duo’s highly-anticipated sophomore album, “Just Feels Good,” which earned the duo its highest first week album sales yet. The lead single from the album – the No. 1 “If I Didn’t Have You” has earned more than 600,000 in sales to-date as well as a 2013 CMT Music Award nomination for Duo Video of the Year.
“Everything I Shouldn’t Be Thinking About” officially impacts country radio on June 10 and is available at iTunes now.
The Stoney Creek Records’ chart-topping duo is no stranger to “The Tonight Show” stage. Thompson Square made its national television debut on the program in 2011, performing its No. 1 smash, “Are You Gonna Kiss Me Or Not” which has since gone on to sell more than 2 million singles.
On June 4, Thompson Square will release its first fiction novel on Howard Books (a division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.). Titled “Are You Gonna Kiss Me Or Not,” the book was co-written alongside Travis Thrasher. It’s a dramatization inspired by Thompson Square’s chart-topping song.
On Sunday night, Thompson Square dropped by the season finale of NBC’s “Celebrity Apprentice All-Stars” in support of fellow country star Trace Adkins as he competed in (and won) the series’ final task. Keifer and Shawna Thompson hand-delivered donations on behalf of themselves as well as Benny Brown and the Broken Bow Music Group, the Academy of Country Music and California Customs in order to support Adkins and his charity, the American Red Cross.
In addition, Thompson Square successfully defended its ACM Vocal Duo of the Year crown when the husband/wife team took home the award for the second consecutive year last month in Las Vegas. The duo’s second ACM win in a row cemented Thompson Square’s status as a force to be reckoned with in the Country music industry.
Country music’s biggest breakout act of the last two years, the duo pounded the pavement for 15 years in the music industry before landing a record deal with Benny Brown’s small independent label Stoney Creek Records (sister label to indie Broken Bow Records and home to Jason Aldean). Since that day, Thompson Square has earned more than 25 awards show nominations – including two Grammy as well as American Music Award and Teen Choice Award nods – and made music history when it was awarded awards from both the ACM and CMA for Vocal Duo of the Year in 2012. Thompson Square was awarded its second consecutive ACM Award for Vocal Duo of the Year in April 2013.
Thompson Square’s breakthrough hit “Are You Gonna Kiss Me Or Not” has surpassed 2 million in sales, was the No. 1 Digital Soundscan Single for five weeks straight, the No. 1 country ringtone for 12 consecutive weeks and was iTunes 2011 Country Song of the Year. Thompson Square’s whirlwind 2011-12 saw them on national tours supporting Jason Aldean and Lady Antebellum as well as gracing the stages of “The Tonight Show,” “Jimmy Kimmel Live!,” “CBS This Morning,” “Conan,” “Fox & Friends,” “FOX’s All American Concert Series,” the 45th Annual CMA Awards, CMT’s “Artists of the Year” special, NBC’s “The Better Show” special and the MTV/VH1/CMT “Best of 2012” concert celebration. Thompson Square ended 2011 as Billboard’s No. 1 New Country Artist in terms of digital sales and the No. 6 New Artist across all genres. Follow-up hits include the award winning infectious, “I Got You,” (No. 6) and the critically-lauded power ballad, “Glass” (No. 15). The duo’s latest smash, the No. 1 “If I Didn’t Have You,” marked Thompson Square’s highest first-week sales of its career and has surpassed half a million in sales.
The duo is currently touring with Luke Bryan on his “Dirt Road Diaries Tour” through October 2013. The tour will stop Sept. 14 at Tulsa’s BOK Center. For more information, go to www.bokcenter.com.