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Oklahoma, The World’s Independent Christmas Music Capital?

Nathan Price
"The Naughty List" Album Cover

Norman auto dealer Jonathan Fowler wants his home state to be known as the “independent Christmas music capital of the world,” and he may just reach his goal.

Friday, December 12 marks the official vinyl release of Fowler VW's “The Naughty List,” a 13-song, holiday-themed album - the fifth in a series of albums commemorating Christmas and showcasing some of Oklahoma’s leading independent musical talent.

“Whenever we opened the Volkswagen store in 2010, we were trying to find ways to market the store, and do things a little bit differently,” said Fowler. “And we knew that we wanted to do things that were geared around artists and musicians.”

Fowler’s first collection, “Checking It Twice,” was recorded in collaboration with Nice People, an independent record label in Norman.

"We wanted to rotate between studios and move from studio to studio locally, so that we could keep it fresh and work with different people to get different ideas going,” Fowler said.

The next year Fowler joined forces with Norman-based Blackwatch Studios to produce “A Blackwatch Christmas.”

“There was just this large amount of stuff, ideas and concepts that didn’t make it… because we only had so much room on the vinyl to be able to put something out there,” Fowler said. “And that was exactly why we decided to stick with Blackwatch.”  

Four years hence, and the chemistry continues. This year’s “The Naughty List” found Blackwatch co-owners Chad Copelin and Jarod Evans playing even more direct roles in the project.

“Without giving too much away, it took on this futuristic, Grinch-meets-‘Miracle On 34th Street’ twist,” Fowler said. “And we were like, ‘We have to do this!’”

Among others lending support to “The Naughty List” are fellow Oklahoma artists: Ryan Lindsey, Sherree Chamberlain, Jordan Elder, Nathan and Brad Price, Josh Evans, Brine Webb, Cale Chronister, and Benjamin King.

“As it stacks up, it gives me faith that if Blackwatch wants to keep working with us, we can work with them for years on this stuff and still have ideas that are out there,” Fowler added. “That’s what makes me know that this concept – making Oklahoma the Christmas music capital of the world – it's legit.”

Friday, December 12, 2014 marks the official release of “The Naughty List” on vinyl, with a public concert scheduled from 8 p.m. to midnight at Stash, 412 E. Main Street in downtown Norman.


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Jim is a journalism/mass communications graduate from the University of Oklahoma. While still a student, he became the host of what is now The Weekend Blues. He currently serves as KGOU’s Program Director where he supervises all aspects of KGOU’s on-air programming output.
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