Born & Raised Music Festival in Pryor, OK had a stacked lineup this year that was impossible to miss. With a little something for everyone, artists included Randy Rogers, Gary Allan, Kaitlin Butts, Southall, Ryan Bingham, Jamie Lin Wilson and more.
This four day festival was a well-oiled machine with three main stages and several small stages for VIP experiences. Even with four days to walk about, it would be challenging to take in every brand installation, retail vendor, specialty photo booth and themed bar Born & Raised had to offer. This impressive festival layout left no detail forsaken from western hanging florals in the dining hall to good morning texts from the Born & Raised app.
We had the pleasure of speaking with a few bands about their Born & Raised performances and upcoming projects. To catch a glimpse into individual live shows, check out our Born & Raised '23 highlight reel on Instagram. For those new to the Taylor (that's me, hello reader!) interview style, we also have a highlight reel of crazy questions with artists (I always do this, no exceptions) that give a little insight to who they are as people.
Mike & the Moonpies
This year was Mike & the Moonpies second year at Born & Raised, the first having Zach Bryan as direct support for their headliner slot.
"I feel great about our set," said Mike. "I've seen both sides of this festival now, because [we] played at 2 PM today and last year was at midnight. Now I get to hang out for the rest of the night. I'm pretty stoked to see everyone else that's here."
When asked about new releases, Mike told Pickin' Petals about an October release: Live at the Devil's Backbone Tavern.
"Last year we did a two night show at the Devil’s Backbone Tavern, and we’re releasing that as a live record and live video," said Mike. “The video is shot by Texas Music Scene. They shot the whole concert and will do an episode kind of about the show, so hopefully that all coincides and comes out at the same time.”
That's not all though, folks. A new studio record is set to release early 2024.
"We really went outside the box on this next record," said Mike. "We have some guests on this record that I’m very excited about. We got a fiddle player from a big band that’s playing on a couple of songs, and my friend Brent Cobb is going to be singing a song with me. There’s a lot of cool things we’ve never done before on this next album.”
Stay tuned for that live record and new releases next year-- and a big CONGRATULATIONS to the Moonpies for their Ryman Auditorium showcase which immediately followed their Born & Raised performance.
“I love Born & Raised," said Tanner Usrey, returning festival artist. "It’s one of my favorite festivals to play.”
Usrey spoke with Pickin' Petals about his latest single release "Destiny" which debuted the same day as his Born & Raised performance, September 15th.
Produced by Beau Bedford, "Destiny" was a last minute grab at a new song on the way into the studio.
"This is one of my favorite songs off the new record," said Usrey. "I thought of the first line and the idea for the song pulling into the parking lot."
This single has a rockabilly, heavier honky tonk feel with keys, smoky bar electric guitar riffs, and ribbon microphone sound.
You can find "Destiny" on all streaming platforms or catch it live at Tanner Usrey's Ryman Auditorium debut with Shane Smith & the Saints on November 30th.
Also in his second year back, William Beckmann kicked off the main stage Big Sky for Saturdays Born & Raised lineup. He performed many tracks off his newest album "Here's to You, Here's to Me" that released last month.
"My favorite song to play live [off the album] is a song I wrote with some friends of mine, Jeremy Spillman and Randy Montana," said Beckmann. "It’s a song called 'Tennessee Drinking.'"
The track features Beckmann's South Texas influences from Corpus Christi summers to that steel guitar dancehall twang. Beckmann told Pickin' Petals about additional artistic influences you can pick up in "Here's to You, Here's to Me."
"Radney Foster has been a big mentor of mine over the years, and I think that subconsciously a little bit of what I do sounds like him," said Beckmann. "There’s also a song off of the record called ‘She Can’t Be Found’ that is very outlaw country, kind of like a Waylon Jennings type of song.”
You can find William Beckmann's latest releases on all streaming platforms or catch him live throughout his tour the remainder of this year.
Holly Beth is a spitfire Oklahoma native who started the final day of Born & Raised with heavy drums and power pink pants. Holly gave Pickin' Petals the EXCLUSIVE FIRST RELEASE of her new album name: *and the drumroll pleeeeaseeee* "twentyfive"
"We’ve worked really hard and for a really long time on 'twentyfive,'" said Holly. "We’ve created a whole project along with these songs and a storyline around it, and I’m really excited to roll out the whole project."
This new album leans more towards pop with alternative rock vibes, produced by Taylor Kimball of the Sour Sonics record label.
"All of the inspiration on this album was really female driven," said Holly. "Some of it has some Sheryl Crow influence, Miley Cyrus, Paramore, Adele, Lady Gaga... We pulled a lot from Avril Lavigne. We also worked with a lot of really cool women on the creative visual side along the way.”
We are excited to hear more about "twentyfive" and further review the stunning visual stories (we got a sneak preview that we cannot wait to talk about!) created with its release. In the meantime, you can catch Holly Beth's LAST live show of the year at the Texas State Fair on October 17th before her band goes into "dark mode" in preparation for the new album.
Logan Metz of Lukas Nelson & the Promise of the Real
Lukas Nelson & the Promise of the Real brought an electric energy to the Big Sky stage at Born & Raised. This dynamite band consists of high caliber musicians to include Logan Metz who Pickin' Petals had the pleasure of getting to know.
Metz is an artist in many form, keys being his focus with lap steel, guitar, harmonica and vocal credits.
The POTR released album "Sticks and Stones" in July and took the Born & Raised attendees on a trip through the tracks.
"We’ve got this new album out and there’s one little song in there called ‘Icarus’ that I just love," said Metz. "We recorded it with kind of Bakersfield Country type of sound, but live we do it with a little Louis Prima drum beat and swing thing. It’s just a joy to play on the piano, and the lyrics are hilarious."
In addition to the Sticks and Stones tour, the POTR released a few videos to coincide with their album tracks. Micah Nelson, Lukas' brother, created an animated visual to tune "All Four Winds."
"I think [Micah] used AI software on the 'All Four Winds' video," said Metz. "It's a very cool, kind of psychedelic, kaleidoscope piece inspired by the song."
Metz is a great advocate for the artistry of the POTR camp, having showcased his many talents on stage with his bandmates. When asked about the truly one of a kind jam performance the POTR provides, Metz said "we can jam, but there’s a very artistic songwriter element supporting our live extensions. It's more of an experience.” To which we whole heartedly agree, backing the intentional and thought provoking songwriting from Lukas.
Metz also told Pickin' Petals he's "always curious to see what everyone’s favorite song is off the record" and would enjoy hearing listeners feedback if you'd like to send in your thoughts.
You can catch Metz pittering along the piano and other joyous noise machines on the Lukas Nelson & the Promise of the Real Sticks and Stones tour throughout the U.S.
An Oklahoma favorite, but Texas raised band Flatland Cavalry closed out the Neon Moon stage Friday night at Born & Raised with surprise guest Kaitlin Butts.
"It’s always fulfilling seeing Kaitlin chase her dreams and getting to see her [perform] the day before we play,” said Cleto Cordero, lead singer of Flatland Cavalry, about his Oklahoma native honky tonk wife. Born & Raised gave these artists a sweet reunion to a country couple that fans love to see and hear together.
The boys in the band told Pickin' Petals about their future studio album.
"We went into the studio earlier this year in March and recorded another Flatland record," said Cordero. "We have 13 more songs coming out before the end of the year."
Fiddler Wesley Hall hinted at some serious fiddle licks but slyly responded with a "you just have to wait and see" about his favorite tracks on the release. However, self proclaimed "six string singer" Reid Dillon did let us know there will be "a lot of slide [guitar] on the new record."
Flatland Cavalry has an exciting show lined up at Red Rocks Amphitheatre with Lainey Wilson on September 26th. You can watch that concert live through VEEPS livestream.
Looking back at our Born & Raised Music Festival 2023, it was a joy to attend and a carefully curated festival experience for the country music concert lover. With a lineup as star studded and kinetic as this years was, we're itching to see what Born & Raised has for 2024.