Back to His Roots with Will

willhillBeau Jennings has a history in Rogers County, but spread his wings to New York, where he was all set to make a new album about his Brooklyn experiences.

His plans took a new turn, back to his Oklahoma roots and to a childhood hero — Will Rogers — and the Verdigris River, between his hometown in Inola and Will Rogers birthplace near Oologah.

On Saturday, May 16, Beau Jennings and the Tigers will headline “Will on the Hill – 2015”, set on the rolling hills of the Will Rogers Memorial Museum.

Other bands and performers are being lined up for the Festival from 2-10 p.m., said Bart Taylor, Will Rogers Memorial Museum assistant curator for education.

Jennings, who appeared in concert at the Museum two years ago, will play his new album/project, “The Verdigris: in Search of Will Rogers.”

To prepare for the project, Jennings retraced the steps in Will’s life, traveling from his Indian Territory birthplace to Alaska, where he and Wiley Post perished in a plane crash.

As he traveled to major locations in Will’s life, he recorded new songs written on the way, inspired by nature and places.

Activities will begin with a live podcast from noon to 1 p.m. with Taylor and Jacob Krumwiede, Museum assistant director, in an interview with Jennings about the process of writing his Will Rogers’ influenced album.

“He will play a song or two on his acoustic guitar to show and talk about his songs,” Taylor said.

Cody Brewer, associated with the Woody Guthrie Center in Tulsa, will be putting on a Will Rogers’ themed songwriting class for kids from 1-2 p.m. in the Theatre.

He will involve youngsters in songwriting and more specifically, writing about Will Rogers.

He does this program at the Woody Guthrie Center with kid’s excitement building as their creativity is aroused using Oklahoma history to tell a story.


Annie Oakley, an all-girl band founded by singer-songwriters Sophia and Grace Babb, is added to the list of musicians. Their music is described as Americana with a combination of folk, bluegrass, country, indie and soul.

The sisters are descendants of both Comanche and pioneer Land Run stock and share the Ulster Scots heritage of Woody Guthrie and Merle Haggard.

About Grazzhopper has a foundation of bluegrass and country. Frontman Cody Brewer draws from influences of his family and surroundings.

Grazzhopper’s songs discuss everything from trials and tribulations of life to the power of joy.

Other bands and singers expected are Travis Linville, Dana Louise and Joe Mack.

Linville has appeared on the David Letterman show and played multi-instrumentals with Hayes Carll on stages across North America, the United Kingdom, Australia, Denmark and Norway.

Joe Mack is a singer, songwriter, producer, and teacher with a 30-year history of performing in a variety of situations.

At the same time the grounds will be teeming with the Tulsa Windriders, a kite experience, artists and food trucks.

Sponsors are Cherokee Nation, Cherokee Nation Business, Arts & Humanities Council and Will Rogers Memorial Foundation.

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