MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Features

June 26, 2014

OMHOF award ceremony to include show by honoree

An Okemah native will bring his critically acclaimed live performance to the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame, where he is to be honored today with the Rising Star Award.

John Fullbright, 26, said the award brings him a sense of pride.

“It’s really validating to me as an artist in Oklahoma,” Fullbright said. “I’m very proud to receive it.”

The Grammy-nominated Americana singer/songwriter will receive the award this evening. The celebration will begin with a VIP reception at 6:30 p.m. followed by the award presentation and a full performance.  

Fullbright said some of his greatest influences are from Oklahoma.

“It’s the songwriters from here that I idolize the most,” he said.

Fullbright listed Leon Russell and Woody Guthrie as some of his fellow Okie inspirations. He said he carries his Oklahoma roots with him on the road.

“I spread the gospel everywhere I go,” Fullbright said.

This will be the first time the honor is presented with a full performance by the artist at the OMHOF.

The hall of fame’s director, Jim Blair, said he first met Fullbright when the performer was a teenager.

“I’ve known him since he was 18,” Blair said. “He’s so quiet and shy.”

Those who have seen his performances say the “shy” artist puts everything out on the table during his live performances.

Blair said Fullbright’s concerts are very powerful.

“People walk away from his performances, and they’re just amazed,” Blair said.

In 2012, The Wall Street Journal praised Fullbright by announcing that he gave one of the year’s 10 best live performances.

Fullbright said each of his shows is unique.

“It’s music, it’s not extremely rehearsed,” Fullbright said. “We never play the same thing the same way twice.”

National Public Radio listed Fullbright as one of its “10 Artists You Should Have Known” in 2012.

His first studio album, “From The Ground Up,” was a 2013 nominee for Best Americana Album at the 55th annual Grammy Awards.

Fullbright joined an impressive nominee list including The Avett Brothers, The Lumineers, Mumford & Sons, and Bonnie Raitt.  

His latest album, “Songs,” was released in late May to good reviews.

For those who are not able to attend the concert at the OMHOF, Fullbright will be performing at WoodyFest in Okemah at 9:30 p.m. July 12.

Reach E.I. Hillin at (918) 684-2926 or ehillin@muskogeephoenix.com.

If you go

WHAT: John Fullbright Rising Star Award presentation.

WHEN: VIP reception begins today at 6:30 p.m.; show starts at 8 p.m.

WHERE: OMHOF Frisco Depot, 401 S. Third St.

INFORMATION: (918)687-0800.

TICKETS: Reserved seating is $30, and VIP reserved seating is $60. Tickets can be purchased online at www.eventbrite.com and www.omhof.com.

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