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story.lead_photo.caption Photo courtesy: Joey Kneiser "If you like songs, you should come out. If you like people talking for 20 minutes in between the songs about the songs, you shouldn't come out 'cause we don't really do that," Tulsa artist John Moreland explains simply. Moreland returns to Northwest Arkansas with a "chill" show at Meteor Guitar Gallery in Bentonville on June 13.

John Moreland isn't here to preach. Growing up in church, he hates preachers, in fact. So the only thing you'll ever hear in his music is the only thing he feels truly comfortable being an authority on: his own thoughts and feelings.

"I feel like my day-to-day life is even more boring and unremarkable than it used to be, so I think that was maybe part of why I wasn't writing as much for awhile," the Tulsa artist says of the two-year break he took from churning out new music. Moreland's fourth studio album, "Big Bad Luv," dropped in May of 2017 and was the album he wrote after everything in his life changed with the notoriety that came with 2015's "High on Tulsa Heat."


John Moreland

With John Calvin Abney

WHEN — 8 p.m. June 13

WHERE — Meteor Guitar Gallery in Bentonville

COST — $15-$20


"Earlier in my career I would get asked, 'Now you're experiencing some success, does that come into your mind when you're making a new album?' And I was always like, 'No, no, of course not.' And hopefully it doesn't consciously, but I definitely was in more of a head space of trying to have a career or furthering my music career so it would last. And I feel like I'm really not in that place anymore.

"What helped me get back into writing," he goes on, "was finding, what do I talk about now? What do I want to say? And I found myself again going into that day-to-day minutia, or whatever's floating around in your head."

Moreland just finished recording his latest project in the studio and what happened to be floating around in his head were all the musical influences he's always felt he wasn't allowed to pull from. As an "Americana/folk" artist, Moreland says he used to feel confined by the perceived conventions of the genre in order to try and build a lasting career.

"Sht's going good and I don't need to really worry about career bllsh*t, and I think that freed me up musically to incorporate some of those influences that I might have shied away from in the past. And in terms of the songwriting, it freed me up in that the songwriting felt a lot less precious," he says of the coming album, which he describes as the most artistically gratifying work he's ever done.

"I mean, I worked hard on the songs, but I feel like I did a better job of just stepping back and letting it be, like, 'If that's what was in my head and that's what came out on the page then, cool. I'm just going to go with it and not feel like I have to tweak every little thing all the time.'"

NAN What's Up on 06/09/2019

Print Headline: The Sound Of Freedom

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