Source: The Corridor November 2014/Volume IX Issue IV
Written by: Rick Reiley
Title: Notes Along The Corridor
It’s always refreshing to hear new song material that blends in with my old favorite tunes of the past while nudging me a little toward the edges.
Stacey Sanders isn’t really a secret songster, but here in central Oklahoma, he’s just becoming known. I’ve been familiar with his music for a couple of years and was impressed with what little I heard. But recently I heard him play up close and personal for a few hours in the living room and I was genuinely thrilled to sit back and listen intently.
What does he sound like? David Crosby, James Taylor, Lyle Lovett, Vince Gill, Rupert Holmes (remember the Pina Colada Song?). I even hear shades of Michael Franks and Michael Martin Murphy. Those are pretty good comparisons to draw from.
Sanders’ songs could just as easily have come from the back catalog of the Eagles or America. They’re that familiar. They’re that good.
From Americana Deluxe- his song ‘Ali MacGraw’ is one of those. I swear I’ve heard it on a movie soundtrack. But no, I haven’t. Not yet anyway. Same goes for ‘Pontiac Blues’.
These stories are told in the best way possible. His sad songs don’t drag you down.
His happy songs don’t sound giddy and over the top. They leave you satisfied, yet wanting more.
I posed a few questions to him over the weekend and here they are. With his answers…
RR: Where are you from and where do you call home?
Sanders: I was born in Blackwell, Oklahoma. My dad was in the army so we moved a lot. We finally settled in Enid, Oklahoma in 1976. I’ve been here ever since and still call Enid my hometown.
RR: What brought you into the musical fold as a singer/songwriter?
Sanders: Listening to all the acoustic rock of the 70’s; Jackson Browne, James Taylor, CSN, Neil Young, Dan Fogelberg.
RR: What about family influence? Did they think you were crazy or did they understand it from start?
Sanders: My folks wanted me to take music lessons when I was 10. They let me choose the instrument and I picked the guitar. They always stood behind my desire to be a musician.
RR: Do you recall a specific song or musical moment that set you on the journey? The song that brought music to the forefront?
Sanders: My epiphany came when a friend of mine in junior high gave me a copy of James Taylor’s album “JT”. THAT’S when I decided I wanted to be a singer/songwriter. That following summer I was fortunate enough to meet three local troubadours: Steve Bradley, Steve Fluman and Peter Whitworth. They were all in their 20s when I was 15 and I really admired their musical abilities. All three are long-gone, but their memories live on and I still play their songs in my shows.
RR: What’s your musical history? Solo, bands, other groups. Recordings? Where is your music available?
Sanders: I started playing solo 30 years ago when I was 19. That’s when I met and started hanging out with other musicians in Enid.
They were all 10-20 years older than I and took me under their wings. My first band was “Sweet Misery” a blues band I was in from ’85 – ’88. I played acoustic guitar and sang harmony. I wanted to concentrate on my own original tunes after that so I played solo gigs in the ‘90s. i was the lead singer of "The Gene Pool" from '08 - '10. We played mostly classic rock covers. I was honored to be the baby of the group. All the other guys were 10-15 years older than I. In 2013 I fronted a band that really dug my original tunes.
They liked my songs so much that we named ourselves “Americana Deluxe”, which was the title of one of my albums and songs bout a fictional motel. We burned hot and fast then went our separate ways.
I have 2 CDs (“Invisible Highway” and “Americana Deluxe”) available at cdbaby.com.
I have a 3rd CD “Kha-Riz-Mah” currently only available at live shows.
I’m working on my 4th CD “Sharecropper’s Sin” which will be available soon.
RR: Do you play other instruments?
Sanders: I play mandolin on my next cd “Sharecropper’s Sin”, but I stick to what I know best (my Martin D-35) when it comes to playing live shows.
RR: Where are you performing these days? Do you have your schedule or more info on the web?
Sanders: My favorite venue is Indian Creek winery west of Ringwood, Oklahoma. I play outdoors there a few times a year when the weather is favorable. My website is currently under construction.
RR: Can you name a couple of highlights from you that you treasure most?
Sanders: I opened for Lucy Kaplansky once in ’97. That was cool.
I met John Gorka at Four Corners Folk Festival in Colorado. He sat in my chair next to Kay (my wife) and listened to a set of my original songs.
Remember “Sweet Misery”? We opened for Roy Clark. Roy played my Strat. I also met Bob Shane of The Kingston Trio that night. We swapped songs on my acoustic guitar.
I shared the stage along with other Enid musicians when Michael Hedges came home for a show in ’86. (Kaplansky and Gorka are big names in the field of modern Americana and folk music. Hedges, from Enid, is considered one of the most original and influential guitarists of his generation. He died in a California car crash in 1997.)
RR: What’s in your future?
Sanders: Traveling Oklahoma and the country to play house concerts and festivals. I enjoy telling stories through the art of song. I love playing for a handful of people in someone’s living room because the intimacy allows the listener their own personal interpretation of my lyrics. It’s gratifying to have a fan ask where the inspiration for my songs came from. Many of my songs/stories are culled from life’s experience while other are simply wild, fictional tales.
Stacey Sanders stays true to his craft and does it well. If you like sweetness and light while revving your engine on a Saturday night, you’ll certainly enjoy hearing from this Oklahoma troubadour.
Stacey Sanders. You can check him out on Facebook. Here are links to his two CD’s available on CDBaby:
©2015 - Stacey Sanders