As a nod to Bob Wills and the past, an inaugural “Live From Cain’s” event Wednesday night began with the song “Take Me Back to Tulsa.”
One of the guitars used during the event is staying in Tulsa.
Kevin Odegard was a guitarist on Bob Dylan’s 1975 album, “Blood on the Tracks.” Odegard is in Tulsa to participate in the “World of Bob Dylan” symposium.
Odegard accepted an invitation to take part in the “Live From Cain’s” event, which included musical performances.
“He came in and he played on ‘Tangled Up in Blue,’ which is one of Dylan’s big, iconic songs,” said Julie Watson of “Live From Cain’s.” “And the guitar he played was this beautiful Martin, and he has kept that guitar ever since (originally recording the song) because, as he describes it, the six minutes of his life recording that song were some of the most amazing moments of his life basically and that was 40-some odd years ago. He has kept the guitar forever.”
After Odegard’s performance (other “Live From Cain’s” participants chipped in to sing verses of “Tangled Up in Blue”), he presented the guitar to officials from the Bob Dylan Archive. Tulsa is the guitar’s new home.
Watson said Odegard had previously donated other Dylan-related materials to the Bob Dylan Archive.
Watson described the “Live From Cain’s” launch as an amazing night. The intent of a “Live From Cain’s” series is to build on the tradition of live radio from the historic venue.
“As the home of Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys in the late ’30s, the Cain’s Ballroom hosted daily broadcasts with Wills and his band that reached audiences across the U.S.,” co-producer Kelly Burley said in a news release announcing the venture.
“ ‘Live From Cain’s’ is an opportunity to bring smart, edgy entertainment to a national public radio audience and a great platform to showcase not only national talent, but Oklahoma talent, as well, and to highlight Tulsa as a premier destination for music, tourism and culture.”
Grammy-nominated Chicago alt-country singer-songwriter Robbie Fulks hosted the first show. It was not broadcast live, but it was recorded and will be pared down to a 58-minute show that will go up on PRX (Public Radio Exchange) for free use by any public radio station. Watson said feedback from the first seven shows will be used to shape “Live From Cain’s” for a 26-episode series that will be syndicated.