- Lani Hansen
Small town Keetoowah rising in music scene
BY LANI HANSEN
Blaine Bailey shares his story of becoming a Red Dirt Musician
TAHLEQUAH - Lost City, a rural community outside of Tahlequah is the home of local UKB music artist Blaine Bailey. His passion for playing music started when he was a young boy, and as he grew older Bailey kept with it adding his own voice for vocals would later bring him to bigger venues such as Diamondhead Resort’s Diamond Stone Festival.
As he spoke about his childhood, Bailey had grown up around musicians. He received his first small guitar, which he believes was from Walmart, from his uncles so that he could strum along with them.
As he grew older, Bailey got his first guitar and learned the basics from his dad. He learned how to play solos before knowing the difference between chords in music. With a lot of spare time on his hands playing guitar was something he wanted to learn.
His music playing started getting serious as he got older, his biggest inspiration as a Red Dirt musician came from Tahlequah’s own Turnpike Troubadours and other musicians such as Jason Boland and the Stragglers and Cross Canadian Ragweed.
“I started writing songs when I was about 11 or 12 but didn’t really like them,” Bailey laughed. “But that’s what got me into writing songs that people might like, and I enjoy myself. My mom has helped me out a lot with encouragement, and my family has always been all for it.”
Bailey first started performing in front of an audience when he was playing with the Rising Stars at the Roxy Theater in Muskogee. This helped him get over stage fright, he said.
He played electric guitar for a while before picking up on acoustic. He started writing songs again, then released his first five. His fanbase grew since he released those songs, Bailey started singing at open mic nights around Tahlequah and met people along the way.
Last year, Bailey started his first full band with Richard Wood playing bass and a drummer from Shady Grove. His band was able to get studio time in and from there released a full album called, “Lost City.”
As a Native Owned Business, Bailey fully supports Cherokee Artists, if you haven’t seen his merch or album cover those were designed by Artist Dino Kingfisher.
After his album was released, it has taken the band to Oregon to play in the Wild Hare Country Festival, which was held in July.
Bailey said he has two drummers for his band that he uses, Noah Lyons and Jason Walker both from the Muskogee and Ft. Gibson area. With a full band and two drummers on hand, Bailey hopes to get back in the studio soon.
“Everything I do in music now, it always leads back to playing in Lost City and Briggs,” Bailey commented. “I’ve never really sung until I did at the Roxy, I was self-taught. Yeah, my dad did sing, but he never took it seriously. Been training my voice since I was 13.”
Bailey’s band is called, “Blaine Bailey Band.” Some other venues he’s played at recently are at the Muskogee Brewing Company and Grove’s Cherokee Casino.
In September his band is part of the lineup for the Diamond Stone Music Festival, which will be Sept. 9-11 at Diamondhead Resort on the Illinois River.
“I’m really excited that we’re on the lineup, because I grew up going to Medicine Stone with my mom, I know it’s not the same but it’s at the same place,” Bailey said. “It has been one of my top shows that I’ve always wanted to play.”
Besides music, Bailey is part of the crew for UKB Housing Department working alongside Loy Shade and Gil Hooper Jr. They work on minor rehabs and emergency repairs on UKB houses. He met Construction Manager Richard Vann a couple of years ago and has been with UKB Housing since.
His parents who he spoke of earlier, on his mom’s side he is related to the Dreadfulwaters. His grandma, Rebecca Dreadfulwater is the Director of UKB Title VI Programs. She is a big part of his support system in his music. Bailey’s dad, Daniel Gourd is who he picked up playing guitar from. His dad passed in 2020, Bailey stated when he plays music he plays for his dad.
Although Bailey may have numerous inspirations when playing music, his biggest and probably his number one fan would be his lovely girlfriend, Kelly Kowis. He said she helps him out on a lot with managing, marketing, decision-making and scheduling.
Blaine Bailey Band will only be playing a few more shows before wrapping up the year until 2023.
For more information follow the Blaine Bailey Band on Facebook @BlaineBaileymusic or visit, www.blainebailey.com