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Graham Colton comes home to rock Bricktown

Oklahoma can't claim too many successful musicians in the field of rock music. We have our share of bands that have made it big, sure, but out of those, there are only a few who have really done well.

Fridayland may have a claim on its own rocker though. Certainly an up-and-comer, Graham Colton is on a steady path to the top with his band's blend of rootsy, truthful rock and roll. Colton should be familiar to Friday readers because of his success playing football at Heritage Hall. The 2000 graduate set passing records for the school on game nights but spent his weekends dabbling in music.

"Football was on Fridays," Colton said. "Saturday was playing in the Paseo or at Mamasitas on Western."

After playing some of those solo shows, he started writing his own songs. It was those songs, written in Oklahoma City, that found their way onto the Internet and helped him get a big break. As a student in Dallas at Southern Methodist University, Colton said he would receive emails from fans who would download his songs off Napster asking when they could purchase his album. Of course, he didn't have one.

Colton assembled a band while in college and played the music scene there until the fateful day when Counting Crows frontman Adam Duritz called and asked if the Graham Colton Band would open for the Crows on their next tour. The resulting whirlwind took the band all around the states, landed them an album deal and launched their career into the world of rock.

GCB has toured with Counting Crows, Dave Matthews Band, The Wallflowers, John Mayer, Guster and just finished playing with Kelly Clarkson. But in Oklahoma City, they're coming home to headline the show at Bricktown Live. And it really is home. Colton owns a house in Nichols Hills and comes back to Oklahoma to write songs. The state has a sort of presence in his music.

"I write about what I've experienced," Colton said. "I'm not trying to reinvent the wheel. The style is not too southern and has a kind of middle-American straightforwardness. To me, it reminds me of home."

Colton's album, Drive, came out a year ago, but the band has progressed and evolved since it came out, and Colton says the best way to get a feel for the band is to see a live show. "There's a lot of Spontaneity," he said. "We just hope we're honest on stage."

It's about connecting with the fans and making a connection, he said. That's what makes the long tours and late nights worth it.

Tickets to the show Friday night are $15 and are available at Homeland stores. Doors open at 7 p.m. Bricktown Live is located at 319 E. Sheridan.