News Column

Turpin Tunes entertains music lovers every month

August 10, 2014

By Jessica Miller, Enid News & Eagle, Okla.

Aug. 10--ENID, Okla. -- A surprise-filled evening is set on the third Thursday of every month.

From varied music styles to different musicians, no one can predict what Turpin Tunes will be like ahead of the event.

"It's kind of like an acoustic jam, but everyone doesn't play at once. Everyone gets 15 minutes to play, which is usually three songs," Main Street Enid Director Kelly Tompkins said. "So, in that two hours, we get to watch and hear eight different musicians.

"Whoever shows up first and gets their name on the list gets to play. Every month is usually different."

The purpose of Turpin Tunes -- which is sponsored by Main Street Enid and run by Sylvan Reynolds and Dale Gillham of the band "Those Guys" -- is to add more live music to downtown, according to Tompkins.

Turpin Tunes is held 8-10 p.m. on the third Thursday of each month in the Gaslight Theatre'sTurpin Theater.

Musicians from middle school age up to over age 70 have performed at the event, she said.

A sound system is set up and musicians usually bring their own guitars. There is a piano available to performing musicians, Tompkins said.

Musicians play a mix of their own songs and popular, well-known songs, she noted.

The music covers all styles, from rock and classic rock, to country and even some reggae at times.

The Turpin Theatre holds about 45 people and is sometimes standing-room-only, according to Tompkins.

"You never know how full it's going to be ... and then you also never know what kind of music you're going to hear," she said. "It's just to have a venue for a variety of musicians to enjoy music together, and sometimes musicians will go to play at Turpin Tunes and network with other musicians."

Tompkins said about half of the audience typically consists of people who follow the live music performed nearly every night around town.

Many of the musicians are local, but sometimes they come from Oklahoma City or Kansas to get some exposure and network with other musicians, she said.

"It's free and a variety of live music," Tompkins said. "You're usually surprised at the talent around here."

Audience members may bring their own bottle of 3.2 percent, or less, beer, Tompkins said.

Often, Tompkins attends the event in search of performers for future First Friday or other downtown events.

"It's kind of a way for me, and other people, to check out talent, to see who we might want to hire for other events," she said.


(c)2014 the Enid News & Eagle (Enid, Okla.)

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Source: Enid News & Eagle (OK)

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