Clap your hands, tap your feet, laugh out loud, and shout yee haw…that describes what happens when you listen to the Klondike 5 String Band from Tulsa.
Eight years ago four talented musicians met at a music festival at Woodward Park in Tulsa. They casually started jamming together that night. With each song they played, they knew they had something; something not just good, but something great. That night a bond was made and the Klondike 5 became a band.
This last weekend our Friday Night Friends group went to hear them and left fans of the band. The lead crooner and guitar player is Matt Skelton. He is the son of the famous Gary Skelton. Other members of this great group are Carmen Skelton, Fiddle; Victor Wandres, Upright Base; and Eric Fransen, Banjo and Percussion.
As we nestled in our chairs at the Elote café where they were playing that night, and munched on nachos and other Mexican dishes, I couldn’t help but notice how the crowd was responding to this talented and fun band. Everyone was tapping their feet, or clapping their hands, or drumming their fork in rhythm with the lively music. Most of all, everyone was smiling and laughing. Klondike 5 has a way of engaging the audience with their humor, carefree attitude, and smiles. I asked Matt Skelton what their signature song was, and without hesitation he said, “Cluck Old Hen.” This song is a popular Appalachian fiddle and banjo tune. The lyrics begin as follows:
My old hen’s a good old hen
She lays eggs for the railroad men
Sometimes one, sometimes two
Sometimes enough for the whole damn crew
To see all the lyrics to this old but catchy song go to: http://toneway.com/songs/cluck-old-hen#ixzz1myY9SVKN
Between tunes and the skillful fiddle playing of Carmen Skelton; Victor, Matt and Eric made us laugh while they bantered amongst each other and with the audience. An example of their humorous teasing was about getting some….Like going to the lumber yard and getting some…some…..lumber that is…..
Klondike 5 has great vocal variety….from their bluegrass songs…to their special rendition of The Midnight Special. At one point they had the entire café singing, “I’ll Fly Away.” I am usually too embarrassed to even sing Happy Birthday but the Klondike 5 puts everyone at ease and instills the spirit of fun so much so that I caught myself singing and somehow my can’t carry a tune in a bucket voice seemed ok.
The Elote café where they played and play on a regular basis had a charm of its own. They use fresh ingredients. They have the honor of being the only Platinum Certified ECO restaurant in the state of Oklahoma. Their meats are free-range and grass-fed, raided in Bixby, Ok. They recycle, they compost, all of the to-go containers are made of 100% compostable corn and beets. They are located at 514 South Boston Avenue, Tulsa, Oklahoma. www.elotetulsa.com.
Klondike 5 is a crowd pleasing and entertaining band…impossible to sit still while listening to them….you just gotta move something baby….
The next chance to hear this entertaining and talented band will be at The Colony, on the 24th of March at 10 PM. The Colony is at 2809 S. Harvard Ave. in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The Colony is a Tulsa hotspot. In the 70’s Leon Russell owned this joint. Eric Clapton and George Harrison used to play at this little bar. The Colony has evolved into a seven-nights-a-week music venue. So put it on your calendar and get your bluegrass on. For more information on, “The Colony,” go to www.thecolonytulsa.com.
For a little taste of Klondike 5 please view the video from Friday’s nights show. Just try to keep your foot from tapping….it is impossible.