Lauren Calve, Joey Frendo

Showcase Lounge

We regrettably announce that the Lauren Calve & Joey Frendo performance scheduled for September 18, 2023 has unfortunately been cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances. Refunds for credit purchases will be issued automatically. Refunds for cash purchases are available at the HG box office. Apologies for any inconvenience.

$12 Advance | $15 Day of Show

All Ages

Lauren Calve has been undergoing a metamorphosis in her life, a massive shift. You can hear it seeping through every song, oozing out of every lyric, and feel the shedding of her skin with every note on her first full-length album Shift. The subtle and understated yearning in her voice, the intonation in her haunting vocals and delivery, Calve is longing for something more. Through the ten-track collection of songs on Shift, she invites the listener to come along on her journey of self-discovery and change, demonstrating a musical masterclass in the art of emotional storytelling.

Shift was recorded in Nashville at 3Sirens Music Group with producer, engineer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Dex Green (Margo Price, Aaron Lee Tasjan, Allison Russell). “He took songs that had never been road tested, songs that went directly from my living room to the studio, and effortlessly brought them to life,” says Calve. He also brought heavy hitters into the studio: Fred Eltringham on drums (ACM Drummer of the Year, Drumeo Country Drummer of the Year, Sheryl Crow, Willie Nelson), Audley Freed on guitar (Sheryl Crow, The Black Crowes), Robert Kearns on bass (Sheryl Crow, Lynyrd Skynyrd), Marlon Patton on drums (Larkin Poe, Lera Lynn), Jared Reynolds on bass (Ben Folds) and Joe Costa on the board (Ben Folds). “Nashville is home to some of the best musicians in the world,” says Calve. “But I felt like I got to work with the best of the best. It wasn’t just their technical ability, they approached every song with true artistry and infectious enthusiasm.”

During this process Calve learned that she liked putting herself in uncomfortable situations.

From embracing a different sound to recording in Nashville for the first time with “musical Jedis” as Calve calls them to trusting the unconventional fourteen month writing and recording process, she was thriving on pushing herself outside of her comfort zone. In turn, Shift was the catalyst for major paradigm shifts in her life. Several months after wrapping up the album she ended an engagement and six-year relationship, she finally stopped drinking after years of failed attempts, and the writing process forced her to examine the ways she had limited herself. “Ultimately, I made this album, but it remade me,” says Calve.

The sound reflects the environment in which the songs were written, in quarantine, mainly, and therefore in periods of silence and self-reflection. “At the time, I was more drawn to the softer qualities of my voice than the aggressive, blues-rock side,” says Calve. The instrumentation followed suit. Dex and the band really nailed the feel and filled in the emotional landscape with ethereal tones, lots of intentional space, and the perfect amount of grit. The result is a collection of songs that include the title track “Shift” with its dramatic imagery of a literal tectonic plate shift and asteroids colliding in space that illustrates her state of mind when it builds into an expression of what it feels like to her in the middle of an emotional shift. “Everything At The Same Time” is the guiding light, the North Star of the album. “It reminds me of who I am and what I believe,” says Calve. The lyrics were written based on alchemical opposites – she was really into medieval alchemical theories at the time. When combined, these pairs of opposites create magic. “This theory, along with the concept Both-And thinking and how contradictory ideas can be true at the same time–expanded my oftentimes limited view,” says Calve. “Subtle Alchemy” is the song that most represents her musical shift. “I love the ethereal, dynamic production and arrangement, both of which are in perfect step with the lyrics and theme of the song. This song explores the alchemy, or magic, in our everyday observations and interactions; it’s a theme that feels emblematic of my songwriting,” says Calve.

Shift is the follow up to her 2020 Wildfire EP, which featured the stand-out lead track, “Better Angels,” written by Calve after listening to a radio interview with Jon Meacham who cited Abraham Lincoln’s inaugural address on the eve of the Civil War as inspiration for his book, The Soul of America: The Battle For Our Better Angels and it reflected what the world was going through during the pandemic. With Shift, it’s different from her past releases primarily because it’s her first full-length and complete album of work. “My prior releases were collections of songs I wrote around the same frame. This album is way more thoughtful and intentional; each song has its purpose and place. It’s the first record that really sounds like me,” says Calve.

Now, with the new album coming, Calve is building off the momentum she’s gained with her music, from touring with the likes of Ray Wylie Hubbard, Rhett Miller, Tom Paxton, Justin Townes Earle, and Amythyst Kiah, to name a few, recent writing sessions with Grammy-Award winning songwriters Jon Vezner and Don Henry, and a performance on the prestigious Mountain Stage. As a singer, songwriter, avid reader, and voracious observer in the human condition with a propensity for storytelling, this shift has brought Calve closer to herself and to her audiences in the process. “I want to continue to share my stories, play great shows, and meet more talented, inspiring people,” says Calve. “Every year seems to exceed my expectations; I don’t see why this year would be different.”

“We’re not sure if Calve was at all inspired by Wilco, but we are picking up some major Summerteeth vibes with this one, which is easily one of the finest staples of the genre. And though Calve’s vocal is, of course, much prettier than that of Jeff Tweedy, we’d wager that seeing them share a stage together would be seamless and, in a word, epic.
“Everything At The Same Time” also throws down some hard Big Thief vibes, with a dash of Sharon Van Etten, two artists whose aptitude we constantly try to find within the Americana that is sent to us. However, rest assured that Calve can definitely hold her own and these comparisons should be ingested with a grain of salt. Everything from the rhythm section to the guitar have all been carefully procured to ensure that this beast of a song becomes one to which you will return all summer long

Joey Frendo is a man on a mission: to tell stories that speak to the human experience with authenticity and passion. His grit will pull you in, and you’ll stick around for a while once you’ve caught an earful of his lived-in blue-collar storytelling. After building his brand on the soulful hooks and detailed arrangements of 2021’s Stone Mason’s Son EP, Frendo returns in 2023 with his debut full-length offering Bound for Heartache.

Equal parts alt-country, Petty-esque jangly guitar anthems, and bonafide Red Dirt twang, Bound for Heartache marks a natural progression for Frendo as he settles into his craft, showing that his new home region has rubbed off on him for the better. He’s not afraid to show his range here — from pedal steel and barroom piano-laden rompers “Fool Hearted Woman” and “Building on Quicksand” to the driving rhythms and pop hooks in “Get What You Get” to the forlorn balladry of “Wild Pilots” and “Nebraska Rain” — each track standing on its own while never once feeling misplaced or out of sequence.

“I think more than anything, this record speaks on the stories we tell ourselves,” Frendo notes of the album’s overarching theme. “It captures pieces of that dialogue we constantly have with ourselves — how life is always unfolding, leaving you to shade in the details, and how those stories affect where we end up and how we interact with others along the way.”

“Old-Fashioned Country Singer” is perhaps a high watermark on the new album, with Frendo calling out: “I think Ol’ Waylon said it best when he asked If Hank really done it like this,” posing an existential question of how and why we do what we do in life. These introspective, character-driven narratives are a hallmark of Frendo’s output, unpacking emotions and experiences which listeners from all walks of life can relate to.

With a heart rooted in his native Michigan and a mind that’s steeped in Southern musical tradition, Frendo is a perfect representation of the ever-evolving greater Oklahoma music scene that brought us beloved fellow acts like John Moreland, Turnpike Troubadours, John Fullbright, and more. He relocated to Tulsa in 2020 during the pandemic, shortly after losing his mother — crediting in hindsight that the one-two punch of major life events inspired this batch of songs. Getting back into the studio to record them over a year later proved to be a cathartic experience.

“I honestly felt like I was writing the best songs of my career, and finally starting to really see what I wanted to be as a songwriter,” he recalls. “I was grateful to be making music with people again, full stop, but also to be doing so in a new city with new people who I was genuinely ecstatic to be working with.”

Fully embracing this self-discovery, Frendo has now firmly planted his roots in Tulsa and found his identity as an artist. He’s a songwriter’s songwriter, pouring his soul into each and every line, and Bound for Heartache is a triumphant showcase of that commitment. This is but the latest chapter in a story that’s still being written; this is his life’s craft, being methodically chipped away by an artist hard at work earning his keep.

“I try to be a student of it, to serve it as best I can,” he affirms of his passion for the trade. “It’s the thing I know I was put here to do.”