News Column

Swon Bros. talk about Tuesday's Tulsa concert

October 14, 2013

YellowBrix

Oct. 14--Zach and Colton Swon both spent time working at the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame, working backstage for the concerts.

They said they remember getting towels and water bottles for the performers during the induction ceremony concerts, they remember when Blake Shelton and Carrie Underwood received the Hall of Fame's Rising Star awards.

Now, it's their turn.

"I think it really means more to us than anybody just because we've been to the other side," Zach Swon said. "We've thought about this our whole lives. We can't tell you how much we appreciate it."

After making it to the finals of the NBC singing competition "The Voice" last spring, the Muskogee brothers have been working to keep their momentum going. They got a boost by receiving the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame's Rising Star award.

Now, they are set to play a full concert at Tuesday's induction ceremony, scheduled for the Mabee Center, 7777 S. Lewis Ave. Most of the inductees this year are slated to perform, including songwriter Jimmy Webb, guitarist and comedian Mason Williams, mezzo soprano Barbara McAlister and country singer Norma Jean.

Other inductees include Journey guitarist Neal Schon, who was inducted in August when the group played The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel and Casino; the Mabee Center itself and Western swing steel guitarist Bob Dunn, who died in 1971 and is receiving the award posthumously.

The new inductees will receive their awards Monday night at an event at the Hall of Fame museum in Muskogee ahead of Tuesday's concert.

It's still a bit surreal for the young brothers to be mentioned in that company, they said in a recent telephone interview.

"It's like the dream job," Zach Swon said. "We get worn out at times, but we love it. It's a dream come true."

But as they continue to write and perform -- and ahead of an album slated for release next year -- it starts to feel more real.

"We always knew we wanted it but now that we're in it, it just confirmed how much we love doing what we do," Colton Swon said.

The Swon Brothers gained nationwide appeal in the fourth season of "The Voice" in the spring, but they had been playing and working long before that.

They made a name for themselves regionally playing small shows in eastern Oklahoma around Muskogee for several years. Colton Swon even tried out for "American Idol" and made it past the audition, but not past that.

Before trying out for "The Voice," they had moved to Nashville from Muskogee, the city they needed to be in to start their music career.

"It's where we need to be," Zach Swon said. "Oklahoma is home, but Nashville is where we're getting the business done. It's awesome. We couldn't ask to be more blessed than we are right now."

Their time in Nashville is productive, Colton Swon said. They have a single due out by the end of the year and have an album planned for release next year, their first major releases since "The Voice."

They still keep working at a breakneck pace in the meantime, he said.

"Monday through Wednesday we're in town writing and we hop on a bus or a plane Wednesday night and we travel the rest of the weekend," Colton Swon said. "It's so fun. We're just playing all kinds of shows."

Since the show, they have played several shows in northeast Oklahoma, most recently in Tahlequah at a special show with music legend Charlie Pride.

"He's just a funny guy, real down to earth," Colton Swon said. "That was a really cool experience. When you finally meet a legend like that and it's a really cool experience."

And it's all these experiences they are using to write their new songs. Understandably, the songs they are writing right now are pretty happy songs.

"We're on a kick of writing up tempo rocking songs because that's kind of what it feels like right now, we're on a rock and roll ride," Colton Swon said.

That should translate to a pretty raucous celebration of the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame's new inductees and for their own successes.

Colton Swon said that the crowd picks the setlist and it includes a big sample of up-tempo and exciting songs.

"All in all, you're just going to have a really great time at a Swon-cert," Colton Swon said. "Everywhere we go we just hope people feel like they are in our living room with us. I think that's when we have the most fun."

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Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame Induction Concert

When: 7 p.m. Tuesday, doors open at 6.

Where: The Mabee Center on the Oral Roberts University Campus, 7777 S. Lewis Ave.

Tickets: $10-$175, available at mabeecenter.com, by calling 1-800-678-1353 or at the Mabee Center box office the day of the show.

Musicians to be honored: Jimmy Webb, Mason Williams, Barbara McAlister, Sandi Patty (unable to attend), Norma Jean, the Mabee Center, Bob Dunn (posthumous), Neal Schon (inducted Aug. 23), The Swon Brothers (Rising Star recipient honored June 7), Roger Davis (Governor's Award)

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(c)2013 Tulsa World (Tulsa, Okla.)

Visit Tulsa World (Tulsa, Okla.) at www.tulsaworld.com

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