Join The Church Studio Team April 23 to celebrate the release of "Heaven Forever" the new album by Casey VanBeek and The Tulsa Groove. The evening will include a meet and greet with the band, wine and nibbles and of course, live music!
ABOUT THE BAND
Casey Van Beek and The Tulsa Groove is composed of Casey Van Beek (Vocals and bass); Walt Richmond (Drums, piano, producing and engineering); Steve Hickerson, Rockin’ Jimmy Byfield, Charles Tuberville, Jared Tyler, Ron Getman, and Seth Jones(Guitar); and Steve Bagsby (Non-pedal steel guitar).
Casey Van Beek was born in Holland and raised in Los Angeles from the age of five. By his teens, fitting right in to the burgeoning local ‘60s rock scene, he was playing bass and singing in The Vibrants, who opened for the Dave Clark Five and the Rolling Stones’ first L.A. area show, and also toured with Peter and Gordon. He moved on to backing the wonderful Linda Ronstadt, along with two guys named Don Henley and Glenn Frey. When the duo left to start the Eagles, Casey headed to Tulsa with Don Preston to record with the Shelter People, part of Leon Russell’s Shelter Records label.
Tulsa surprised him—the blues, country, and rockabilly had fermented there into a mellow blend called the Tulsa Sound, and he quickly discovered that the bands in town were playing as much Freddie King and B.B. King as Merle Haggard. Then he realized he was home, a place where the music vibes were right, and where you could get out of town into open country in five minutes. It took a while to find his way into the scene, but fairly soon he was in a band with Walt Richmond and Jim Byfield. And is once more.
Eventually, Casey joined Tulsa’s multi-platinum, Grammy-nominated band The Tractors, which included Casey, Walt Richmond, and the future Tulsa Groove member Ron Getman. Three members of the Groove (Richmond, Byfield, and Steve Hickerson), would back Bonnie Raitt during her tenure in Tulsa, playing shows in the area to (successfully!) protest the construction of the Black Fox Nuclear Power Plant. Walt would go on to play on Tulsan JJ Cale’s Grammy-winning Gold album collaboration with Eric Clapton, The Road to Escondido, impressing Eric so, that he’s played on all of his albums since then.
When they weren’t on the road collaborating with people like Eric Clapton, JJ Cale, Bonnie Raitt, Linda Ronstadt, or Bill Medley, they played around town. Casey and Walt Richmond began to get tight, first recording Christmas songs, then writing original Christmas songs, then gathering at Walt’s home studio to record more of their own originals and favorite covers, selecting the best players around to add their touches on a few songs at a time. This wasn’t to satisfy anyone’s record contract or dreams of stardom, but out of camaraderie and an enjoyment of each other’s musical company; music for music’s sake. There’s a purity to that. This record, produced by Walt Richmond, showcases what they are capable of when they focus their in-demand skills on their own music. Carrying on the legendary Tulsa sound of forerunners like Leon Russell, JJ Cale and Elvin Bishop, the band is adding their own new flavors while keeping that historic tradition alive for current and future generations.
That’s where the Little Village Foundation came in. Little Village is a nonprofit record label which finds musicians who don’t fit the relentlessly commercial values of the music industry and helps them to be heard. It is motivated by a faith that sees in diversity the seeds of empathy, and out of that connectedness, the source of stronger communities and a better world.