The scissor-tailed flycatcher perched atop the electric guitar amplifier on the cover of Taddy Porter's self-titled debut album announces the arrival of yet another homegrown band that's proud of its Okie roots.
Formed in Stillwater in 2007, this rock quartet from Cowboy country has come a long way in less than three short years, all the way to New York in fact, where they played one of stages at the New Year's Eve bash in Times Square, and New York Mets pitcher Mike Pelfrey adopted their song "Shake Me" as his theme music during warm-ups and when he's at bat. Their music also has been played on "Monday Night Football" broadcasts.
And on the Hollywood front, two other Taddy Porter songs — "King Louie" and "Mean Bitch" — were featured on the soundtrack in the season premiere of HBO's "Entourage" last Sunday.
But even with all that excitement, Andy Brewer (lead vocals/guitar), Joe Selby (lead guitar/backing vocals), and brothers Doug (drums) and Kevin Jones (bass) have mainly been eagerly anticipating the release of their record like a bunch of kids all antsy for Christmas.
"That's exactly how it is, man," Brewer said in a recent phone interview from a tour stop in Birmingham, Ala.
"When we first got to see the CD it was pretty much like Christmas," he said. "We'd been waiting on this present for so long. We're very anxious for the album to come out, to see how people like it, how well it does and, yeah, it's very exciting."
This interview took place a couple of weeks prior to the Tuesday release, but the album's lead single, the guitar-stoked locomotive rocker "Shake Me," had already debuted as the No. 3 most added track at active rock radio. Clear Channel has named them "New Artist to Watch," and Gibson Guitars has dubbed them "Artist of the Month."
On Saturday, they'll be squeezing in a show at Bricktown's Wormy Dog Saloon between dates with Saving Abel, We are the Fallen and American Bang on a national tour that launched Wednesday in Kansas City, Mo.
Not bad for a band that played its first gig in October 2007 in Stillwater.
"We played at the Vault, a place in Stillwater that's no longer there unfortunately, and Dirty's Tavern there in Stillwater," Brewer recalled of the early days.
A native of Wagoner, Brewer had been playing some college baseball and studying at Oklahoma State University to become a petroleum geologist.
"But I always had a love for music," he said. "I was always writing my own stuff, and finally, when I ran across a drummer, it just took off."
Having met and jammed with Doug Jones at a party, the two initially thought to form a two-piece, a la The Black Keys. But Brewer and Jones soon determined they were too limited as a duo.
"I myself am not necessarily a lead player," Brewer said. "And it was funny that it worked out that way because I wanted it to be that way, so I started taking guitar lessons, trying to improve my guitar playing skills, and that's how I met Joe. Joe was actually my instructor."
Selby was in another band that was on the verge of breaking up, and Brewer invited the guitarist over for a jam. That combination clicked, and with the addition of Doug Jones' younger brother Kevin on bass, the lineup was complete. After casting about for a band moniker that fit them well, the fun-loving boys named themselves after an expensive brand of British beer — Taddy Porter.
And the sound they began to develop was goodtime-oriented as well: Southern-accented, blues-tinted, electrically-charged rock 'n' roll. It was a sound that helped them win March Bandness, a battle of the bands organized by the now-defunct Oklahoma City radio station 94.7 The BUZZ.
This, in turn, led to a showcase and the signing of a contract with New York-based Primary Wave Music and a record distribution deal with EMI Label Services.
"They (Primary Wave) have a great team of people that work their marketing department," Brewer said. "They have like 27 people that are pushing to try to get your songs on the radio and on TV shows and in movies and commercials and all these things."
And it certainly doesn't hurt that Pelfrey is having this Okie band's music pumped through the loudspeakers at Citi Field ballpark whenever the Mets play at home.
"My father is actually a pitching coach with the Mets organization," Brewer admitted.
Now it all makes sense.
"It's good because (Pelfrey) is winning, you know?" Brewer said. "Because he's 8-1 right now, and he's undefeated at home, and that's whenever they play the song, is whenever he's home. And Citi Field has about 35,000 or 40,000 people there, and there's a lot of people there that hear it.
"And, like, they may not think about it, but they hear it a lot because he pitches quite a bit, and sooner or later they'll hear that song and they'll think, 'Well, I like that song.' And they'll look for it and they'll find us, and it's kind of like a connect-the-dots type thing."
Taddy Porter CD release party
With: Sherree Chamberlain Band, Flatland Travelers. When: 9 p.m. Saturday. Where: Wormy Dog Saloon, 311 E Sheridan. Information: 601-6276.