Sol Cat will forever and always be my favorite Nashville supernova - a white hot act on a blistering ascent that ultimately falls short without a moments notice. No, I am not reveling in the foundering of (arguably) East Nashville's most promising dream deferred, but rather taking an extended moment to appreciate what Sol Cat's legacy has metamorphised into as of late - case and point being Okey Dokey.
If a more enterprising publication took it upon themselves to curate a "Where Are They Now" issue and/or feature a la Sports Illustrated, you'd be hard pressed to find a better inaugural focus feature than Sol Cat. The dying carcass this is/was Sol Cat in late 2015 managed to provide the proverbial rib bone that would eventually materialize into Okey Dokey (as well as bolstering additions to Rayland Baxter and The Weeks' live sets).
Sure, the founding members of Okey Dokey - Johnny Fisher and Aaron Martin - are holdovers from Sol Cat, and their live crew features an additional founding member of Sol Cat - Jeremy Clark - but Okey Dokey has easily placed itself at the forefront of Nashville's party rock scene (much like Sol Cat once was). That being said, Okey Dokey is definitively its own entity at this point, but the spirit of Sol Cat still manages to seep through when it can. Either way, they are still the grand marshals of any and every woozy bill they're a part of.
Last night's bill was particularly woozy, thanks in large part to the hallucinatory apparitions made possible by Nashville's preeminent purveyors of liquid light, Silver Cord Cinema. Compound the chromatic cacophonies with Liz Cooper and The Stampede's opening set and you've got yourself a Basement East crowd primed to pop off in psychedelic fervor.
Sporting a fairly fresh new lineup of players by proxy - The Lonely Biscuits' Graydon Wenrich and Nick Byrd - Okey Dokey had their dazed and confused song stylings in peak form. There's something so incredibly mesmerizing by Aaron Martin's punch drunk approach to fronting the group - meandering, yet constantly moving, nearly bemoaning lyrics as guttural utterances rather than fine tuned soliloquies of the soul - he's just bad ass. He could beat the hell out of you one moment and the next he's holding you with a cradling caress.
Okey Dokey is about as entertaining as bands come in Nashville if one wants for a fine example of inter-band juxtaposition, due largely because of band leader Johnny Fisher's perceived razor sharp focus throughout the set. While Martin wanders about, Fisher manages to zero in on auxiliary substitutes such as Byrd and Wenrich to usher in hits or breaks, meanwhile Jeremy Clark and Kole Sharp have inevitably been pressed into the pocket so tightly it'd be impossible for them to break rank. All the while, the band manages to produce its all too infectious and free flowing sound. So much so, that they even managed to make a cover of "Born in the U.S.A." sound like a bonus b-side off of their debut Love You, Mean It. That in and itself is an art (because I don't like The Boss, but I do like Okey Dokey) , and through transitive property, so is Okey Dokey.