NMF4: Saturday Sirens/Gregg Standridge/Man-made Objects
Rock, country and
shoegaze in a row
After arriving too early at
Blackwatch Stage for Unwed Sailor, I also arrived too early at Opolis for
ManMade Objects. Instead, I caught the end of Saturday Sirens' frantic
set. They were really pounding on their instruments and voices. It was a
pretty impressive ruckus with a lot of movement.
Heading up the street, I
stopped in at Bluebonnet Stage and listened to Gregg Standridge's
country/folk/Southern rock amalgam. His band was sharp, and the sound was
tight as a result. Ranging from outlaw country to ballads to crunchy
tunes, the band went through a wide range of sounds. Each was pulled off
impressively, not showing any signs of preference or of weakness.
After thoroughly enjoying Standridge's music, I returned to Opolis to
actually catch Man-Made Objects. Their tunes fell in the space between
psych and shoegaze, which made for a woozy, mind-melding experience. The
band didn't move around much, but they made up for their lack of motion in
dissonant volume. Fans of reverb and My Bloody Valentine should perk up
The Norman Transcript
May 6, 2011
NORMAN — Gregg Standridge
“Songs About Trains and the
(Witch Sermon Productions)
I was fortunate to cross paths
with Gregg Standridge at this year’s Norman Music Festival and snag his new
Standridge is well-known in our
music scene, both as a singer/songwriter and a guitar instructor here for
decades. He has an unmistakable voice that’s gently sincere and comforting to
hear. Standridge is the kind of pedagogue who looks forward to learning from his
students and even thanks them in these liner notes for the privilege of doing
He’s also a guy rich with
musician and vocalist friends. Fourteen Norman musicians perform throughout
these 17 original tracks. There’s a children’s chorus for the song titled
“Clyde” with five more names.
This is obviously a theme
record, but don’t come away with the impression that it’s just railroad tunes.
The “train” is more a metaphor for life’s journey, the people we meet along the
way and how that experience is more important than the destination.
The music is a good amalgam of
thoughtful folk, gutsy Red Dirt and cerebral rock. The level of musicianship by
all is first-rate. Standridge wisely taps a wealth of sweet female back-up
vocalists who add immeasurable depth to several compositions. His lyrics could
be described as poetically realistic, coming from a life of careful observation
with its share of pain, joy and dreams.
The CD package itself is highly
artistic, utilizing vintage 19th century photographs from when trains were
America’s most important connector.
Get this delightful disc at
Local guitarist Gregg Standridge is possessed of a bone-weary, road-hardened
voice that evokes far more than any lyric ever could - it's this distinctive
wounded tenor that binds together the ten tracks comprising the Gregg Standridge
Band's sophomore record, "Southside Songs and Stories."
With help from numerous local luminaries - guitarist Wess McMichael, bassist
Steve Tillman, drummer Dean Brown, violinist Natasha Nottoli, guitarist/mandolin
player Terry "Buffalo" Ware and guitarist/keyboardist Brian Eads - Standridge
builds compelling, rustic portraits that linger lovingly in your speakers;
"Devil Won't Dance" features some truly beautiful mandolin work from Ware and
"Blue Hat is the perfect dose of melancholy.
Recorded at Three Legged Dog studios in Norman, Standridge has made an album
great for curling up with some blustery winter night - it's a record that is
best appreciated in front of a crackling fire with someone you love.
Norman singer/songwriter Gregg Standridge's Red Dirt caked vocals deliver
skillfully crafted lyrics on his latest self-released album. Sounding a bit
like James McMurtry and singing with an accent that allows him to rhyme "bar"
with "wire" ("Circus"), the title alludes to the narrative quality Standridge
inserts into each track. While the vocal delivery and content remain consistent,
the disc freely roams a wide range of musical styles across ten tracks. From the
Willie Nelson-esque "Rupert and Jim" to the frantic ska of "Circus" and the funk
of "Do AS Your Told" (sic), Standridge is hard to peg in one style. The variety
present may have something to do with his enlistment of several local musicians,
including Wess McMichael, Alan Orebaugh (Wide Mouth,) Dean Brown (Mystery Dates)
and Terry "Buffalo" Ware.