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Acoustic Oklahoma gives voice to local talent
Acoustic Oklahoma founder Casey Friedman found inspiration sitting in front of him. Having shuttered Inner State Studio, his longtime music lab, in 2007, Friedman was looking for his next move while working with the stagehand union.
“During that time, I taught myself how to make videos,” Friedman said. “And at a certain point, I decided to reopen the studio. I had this room I emptied out, and I had this Singer sewing chair. I set it down and thought, ‘I'll start recording solo musicians here, maybe.'”
That chair, with the name “Singer” embossed on the back, became a popular perch for aspiring acoustic musicians on Sept. 29, 2010, when Friedman officially launched Acoustic Oklahoma at the studio, 112 S Western.
He booked four musicians on his first day, and before the first year ended, Friedman was booking as many as 10 artists per day to come in and play their music.
At first, the participants were Friedman's friends and colleagues he met during his Inner State days, but then word traveled quickly.
Eventually, Friedman began inviting bigger names in acoustic music such as Australian singer-songwriter Rick Price and discovering young talent such as local singer-songwriter Jaesen Pemberton.
“There were a lot of musicians who I didn't know about or didn't have the courage to ask who were now stepping forward,” Friedman said. “So now I'm getting tons of emails every day, people wanting to be a part of this thing. There are people who come in, sit down in the chair and just amaze me: Tim Miser, Joe Stansberry, Dustin Prinz, Jaesen Pemberton. John Parker Milsap, he's a young kid from Purcell, and he's phenomenal.”