My introduction to John Moreland came through Ben Nichols’ (Lucero) cover of “God’s Medicine.” This was a songwriter I had to get to know better. So when I found out that Moreland would be playing at Rockwood’s Stage 3, I immediately bought a ticket and convinced mollyT, rtb, and violaleeblue to join me.
From Tulsa, Moreland has Oklahoma tattooed across his fingers. He opened the set with “Hang Me in the Tulsa County Stars” from his latest album. The intimacy of Rockwood’s Stage 3 is perfect for Moreland’s sad and quiet songs. He’s a big man and the acoustic guitar looks like a cuatro in his hands. Moreland’s sweet face and voice are a perfect match for his songs about heartbreak and loneliness. There is a little raspy-ness that breaks your heart even more. I do not know how he makes it through an entire set of his songs without breaking down.
For the most part, Moreland simply closed his eyes and sang. But occasionally he would make a humorous comment with a twinkle in his eye. For one of the songs he said he found out it was too sad for Dallas/Ft. Worth morning television.
Moreland’s mother was working the merch table – he reassured us that she had volunteered for the job – and what a young, pretty, and sweet mother he has. I could see where Moreland gets his gentleness.
Moreland has been described as a songwriter’s songwriter and a few of his songs have appeared in Sons of Anarchy. I do hope that more people will be checking Moreland out.
By Carene Lydia Lopez