The cover of This Land: Fall 2015 features an original portrait of Leon Russell that ten-year-old Harrod Blank drew in 1973.
On the inside, we wade through the hype of the rebooted Leon Russell documentary, A Poem Is a Naked Person. We also meet a niche group of Japanese musicians obsessed with American bluegrass, dig up Lee Hazlewood's Oklahoma roots, and confront Tech N9ne about his lock-up OKC ex. You'll also find poetry, historical fiction, rare photographs, and so much more.
WOODY’S JESUS: Although Woody Guthrie didn’t necessarily sing old-time gospel music as it is traditionally recognized, he touted the word and deeds of Jesus Christ as depicted in the New Testament and decried the perversion of that message by a society riddled with greed and corruption. By Faith Phillips.
BOOKSTORES OF THE BIG MIDDLE: Jeff Martin takes vacations based around bookstores so you don’t have to.
RADIO REVIVAL: Gail Banzet-Ellis gives a listen to the radio programs garnering national attention for regional artists and issues.
TRESPASSING OKLAHOMA: Richard Higgs shares some tips he’s picked up from trespassing all over the state.
CHET BAKER’S RETURN: A poem by Paul Austin featuring a silent figure in navy vee-neck.
A NAKED PERSON IS NOT A POEM: Thomas Conner wades through the hype to figure out what’s really going on in A Poem Is a Naked Person, the 1970s Les Blank documentary about Leon Russell that was shelved for 40 years before Les Blank’s son, Harrod, rebooted the project.
THE BICYCLIST: A poem inspired by muscle memory, by Frank Graham.
SCHOOL SPIRITS: Kristi Eaton tells the story of how Thep Phongparnich brought the spirit of the cowboy to Thailand.
OLD TOY TRAINS: Rhys Martin stumbles upon one of Route 66’s rusted relics.
BORROWED TRADITION: Denis Gainty gives a hard listen to a niche group of Japanese musicians who became obsessed with American bluegrass.
HITTING THE CHENO NOTE: A lesson on the anatomy and physiology of vocalization by Denny Mask.
A RIDE WITH BOB: Ray Benson recalls meeting his idol, Bob Wills.
CAIN’S: An ode to the beer and twang inside Tulsa’s most famous dance hall, by Casie Troter.
THE FILTH AND THE FURY: John Wooley and Brett D. Bingham recall that time the Sex Pistols played at the Cain’s Ballroom.
LEE MAKES THE FLOWERS GROW: Mitch Gilliam takes a trip to Mannford to dig up Lee Hazlewood’s Oklahoma roots.
BANG: A linguistic meditation by Kathryn Parkman
RIDING THE MYSTERY TRAIN: Brian Ted Jones sits down with JD McPherson to talk about music and pop culture.
WHAT RHYMES WITH HIDEOUS CAR WRECK: Midwest independent rap mogul Tech N9ne reconciles the bizarre end of his relationship with a girlfriend from Oklahoma City. By James Benjamin.
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS WITH BRYANT ODEN: We caught up with the most popular children’s songs singer on YouTube to ask him about his process and success.
THE MIRACLE OF MASS: Jake Johnson remembers a particularly enigmatic performance of Leonard Bernstein’s MASS.
FIREFLIES: A poetic ode to nostalgia by David Beebe.
FIELDLESS RHYTHMS: Historical fiction by Rhiannon Poolaw.
SO LONG, TOM SKINNER: A tribute to one of the great pioneers of Red Dirt music by Lindsay Kline.
ORIGINAL OKIE: Dixie Michell, musician and luthier.