, Muskogee, OK

July 5, 2013

Solo performers form trio

Group coming to Fort Gibson for Cherokee Casino show

By Leilani Roberts Ott
Phoenix Correspondent

— Lauren “Niki” Nichols calls the trio she sings three-part harmony with “sassy, rock, country.”

The women, who are in their 20s, are bringing their band, Kalamity Jane, to Cherokee Casino in Fort Gibson at 9 p.m. today. It’s all free but you must be 21. Although they usually play larger casino stages, even Nashville, they are excited to come to Fort Gibson.

“We’re all from small towns,” Nichols said.

Nichols, Kaitlin “Kat” Parrish and Lauren “Raquel” Pylate are from communities around Oklahoma City. The three didn’t know each other when they were put together by Jack Joseph Puig and Eddie Grant, co-CEOs of Land Run Records in Moore, about six months ago.

“We all had solo careers,” Nichols said. “They found us online.”

The tiny redhead said she grew up in musical theater, taking the stage the first time at age 6 playing Annie in “Annie.” She sang the national anthem at numerous sporting events and eventually was doing concert tours. Pylate was a wedding singer and Parrish a songwriter. They all sang in church.

Puig and Grant call the women a “breathtaking and dynamic girl group” on the record company’s website. They believe that with continued guidance from Land Run Records, Kalamity Jane is well on its way to winning the hearts of fans across the nation.

Nichols has family in Muskogee, Barry and Ralene Nichols, but she hopes to make  new fans in Fort Gibson when the trio performs on the 3 Rivers Tavern stage at the 28,500-square-foot casino, which opened in December. The stage is above the bar. It can be viewed from most of the 500 games on the floor and the restaurant.

Kalamity Jane is booked every weekend, and this is the band’s first time playing in the area.

“All of our dream is to make this our full-time job,” Nichols said. “We’re really excited about it.”

The women take the stage wearing corsets made of ceramics that are hand-painted and made by a woman in Oklahoma.

“They are an art piece,” Nichols said.

The trio sings cover songs and originals with a “great” band that includes a drummer that played with country superstar Reba McEntire. The band will be with them in Fort Gibson.

Nichols describes the group as a cross between Nicki Minaj and Miranda Lambert. They are in the process of cutting a CD.

“We’re having a great time and getting lots of attention,” she said.

If you go

WHAT: Kalamity Jane.

WHEN: 9 p.m. today.

WHERE: Cherokee Casino in Fort Gibson.

COST: Free.

ETC.: Must be 21 or older.