Be The Machine

The Woody Guthrie Center & Horton Records Presents...

Be The Machine

Wink Burcham, John Flynn, Chris Lee Becker

Sun, April 23, 2017

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 7:00 pm


This event is all ages

Jacob Tovar
Jacob Tovar
Growing up Okie...​
Most of my upbringing was spent out in the central/ Western parts of Oklahoma. I worked for my family's business for years before pursuing music as a career. My musical interests stemmed from family influences, especially my uncle and late oldest brother, who both introduced me to the guitar and great artists to listen to and learn from.

There's something unique about people from Oklahoma. Oklahoma has been producing quality musicians, artists, and individuals with impact for decades. I love seeing that all around me in the Tulsa live music scene. It's a privilege to be making music with such a variety of quality musicians and legends. Through the Tulsa music scene, I have grown as an individual and performer more than I ever dreamed I could. I have made incredible national and international connections that have expanded my concept of collaboration and community and have grown my musicianship.
Wink Burcham
Wink Burcham
Wink Burcham is an old soul with a song craft that belies his age. With a genuine reverence to the past, this Tulsa, OK artist has a knack for writing witty, heartfelt lyrics that immediately pull the listener into his stories, ala John Prine or Townes Van Zandt. The music easily slips between old-fashioned country, grass-roots folk, and Piedmont-style blues and is an important part of the New Tulsa Sound movement.

He’s recorded and performed at the legendary Church Studio, once owned by Leon Russell and the home of Shelter Records and was a semi-finalist at the 2013 International Blues Competition in Memphis, TN. He’s shared the stage with artists such as Martin Sexton, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, The Gourds, Wayne “The Train” Hancock, Jimbo Mathus, Dale Watson, Dan Bern, Pokey LaFarge, and many others.

Wink's latest release is a European compilation called "Cowboy Heroes & Old Folk Songs", courtesy of CRS/Continental Recording Service. It's currently on the Euro Americana charts and has prompted some glowing reviews.

Previously releases include “Comfortable Shoes”, a stripped down affair recorded analog to tape, with just him and a guitar. Nice and warm. Also, check out his first studio album, “Irene Vennie” and his debut live album, “A Night at The Colony”. All releases are available from Horton Records and can be found on iTunes, Amazon, CD Baby, Spotify, etc or at Catch Wink live and be a fan for life. Cheers from Tulsa!
John Flynn
John Flynn
John Flynn is an American singer-songwriter and activist known for his powerful music and tireless efforts on behalf of “the lost and the lonely, the shackled and scarred”. His career has embodied an authentic troubadour odyssey that moved legendary folk DJ Gene Shay to call Flynn "the most quintessential folk singer in my life", and Andrew L. Braunfeld of the Philadelphia Folk Festival to say, "It has been disappointing that the world of folk music has not, during the last half century, been creating many new heroes. John Flynn is a notable exception, and is worthy of our respect as he follows the paths of Woody Guthrie, Phil Ochs and Kris Kristofferson."

Over three and a half decades, John Flynn’s music has carried him from Jersey shore bars to Nashville’s Music Row; from home plate performances in major league ballparks to concerts in maximum-security prisons; from star-studded benefit shows at Tipitina’s in New Orleans to awareness-building appearances at the Walter Reed Military Hospital and the Dover Air Force Base. Along the way Flynn has continued to make new friends and fans as he has given of his defiantly unguarded heart and optimistic spirit from large and small stages, living rooms, pulpits and schools across this country.

Although Philadelphia’s Main Line Times calls Flynn a “folk icon”, his work has often reached beyond the conventional boundaries of the genre. A wordsmith of rare facility, Flynn’s songs are laced with keenly observed and soul-resonant scraps of irony, humor, stumbled-on wisdom, and streetwise compassion. Reflecting on some of this music, long-time friend and Flynn champion Kris Kristofferson has called John “an important artist whose work in prisons, rehabs, and half-way houses is distilled into the truth and the beauty of heartfelt and heart warming slices of life”. In 2007 Kris cited Flynn to TV Guide Magazine as one of his favorite country artists, saying, “He’s got a great heart and I like the way he thinks”.

Few people who knew John Flynn as a boy would have predicted the path his life would take. In his youth, Flynn was seen as quiet and serious. As a senior at Ridley High School in suburban Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the former altar boy who once strummed a New Year's Day banjo in the world famous Mummers parade was named president of the National Honor Society and Scholar Athlete of the Year while receiving two congressional nominations to the United States Naval Academy.
John was making plans to play lacrosse for Navy when he found out he would not initially be able to take his guitar with him to Annapolis. Although music had always been an important part of John’s life, he was surprised to realize how much he had come to rely on his beloved Guild twelve-string. The thought of leaving it behind, even for a few months, caused him to begin to admit to himself that he had other dreams.

John abruptly changed course and began writing songs in earnest. He put himself through Temple University playing folk and country rock covers in bar bands, while slowly introducing his own songs into the mix. After graduation, John’s plans to attend law school were abandoned when Billy Swan's recording of John's song "Rainbows and Butterflies" went top forty on the country charts and John took a staff songwriting position at Combine Music in Nashville.

It was Swan who first introduced John to Kris Kristofferson. Since then Kris has written liner notes for John and sung on several of Flynn's CDs. It was a deeply personal honor to John when he found that Kris had even recited the lyrics to John’s song “Without You with Me” at the funeral of his longtime friend and guitarist, Stephen Bruton.
These days John's performances draw widely from a significant body of work, ranging from his early country offerings to story songs, love songs, songs for kids, funny songs, songs of social justice, and meditations on loss, presence, forgiveness, and hope.

The father of four spurned touring when his kids were young, but, as the children grew older, superlatives began to welcome their dad's arrival to the national stage. In 2005, Arlo Guthrie invited John to join musical legends like Willie Nelson and Ramblin' Jack Elliott on the historic "Train to New Orleans" tour following Hurricane Katrina. It was on that trip that Ramblin’ Jack generously dubbed Flynn “the John Lennon of the plasma generation”!

Flynn has regularly appeared at Philadelphia Phillies games where he’s performed both the American and Canadian national anthems. John was the first artist the Phillies called upon when Major League Baseball resumed play following the attacks of September 11, 2001. His emotional seventh-inning stretch performance of “God Bless America” was broadcast by ESPN. The sound of 45,000 voices singing along with him that evening prompted John to write his acclaimed ode to defiant courage, “I Will Not Fear”. Flynn was the last person to sing at Philadelphia’s storied Veterans Stadium before its demolition in 2004. Since 2007, Flynn was a regular performer at Phillies’ sold-out playoff games, appearing at home plate with his guitar many times during the “Fightin’s” torrid five-year streak of championship baseball.

Although an anti-war activist and former member of the Board of Directors of Delaware’s oldest peace and social justice organization, Pacem in Terris, Flynn’s deep concern for, and appreciation of, those who have served in the military afforded him unique opportunities to share his music in places where most folk singers would not necessarily have been welcomed. Rejecting the “support the troops by supporting the war” mentality, Flynn reasoned, “You can be against house fires, and still support firefighters”. Flynn’s powerful, anthemic songs, “Dover,” about those who’ve made the ultimate sacrifice, and “Semper Fi”, about the terrible and largely ignored cost of post traumatic stress disorder, have won Flynn numerous invitations to perform for men and women in uniform, as well as their families, across this country. John’s CD release concert for America’s Waiting was a benefit for the Eric Hall Foundation, an organization aiding combat veterans who have suffered PTSD or Traumatic Brain Injury.

Over the years John’s work as a social justice activist has garnered almost as much attention as his music. An ardent opponent of the death penalty, he has been an organizer and principle performer in a series of MERCy Concerts (Musicians Encouraging the Repeal of Capital punishment) in his home state of Delaware. Flynn currently serves on the Advisory Board for Camp Dreamcatcher, a therapeutic summer camp for children whose lives have been impacted by AIDS/HIV, where his annual concerts for the kids, and holiday fundraisers have become a tradition.

Since 2004, Flynn has volunteered at Delaware’s maximum-security state penitentiary, the Howard R. Young Correctional Institution, as the lead facilitator of an inmate support group called New Beginnings. For those leaving prison, Flynn also runs New Beginnings-Next Step, a sister group that is dedicated to helping returning citizens successfully transition from incarceration to freedom.

Among the recognitions John has received for his work are the Dominican’s Shining Star Award, Rotary’s Paul Harris Fellow Award, and Pacem in Terris’s Peacemaker Among Us Award. The American Library Association has recognized John for family recordings; and in 2012 he was a Grammy honoree for his song “Two Wolves” on the anti-bullying compilation, All About Bullies, Big and Small.John resides in northern Delaware with his family, and his aging yet exuberant Frisbee-obsessed German Shepherd, Chief.
Chris Lee Becker
Chris Lee Becker
Chris Lee Becker is a purveyor of original Americana Folk music based out of Tulsa, Oklahoma. He cut his chops playing bluegrass mandolin in the Rocky Mountains which is where and when he began adventuring in to the realm of songwriting. Becker sought knowledge from a wealth of talented creators of tunes amongst those mountains, especially from the venerable Benny “Burle” Galloway, whose attic apartment Becker inhabited for a stint, and the various rotating members of Rock and Rye, a Durango traditional Bluegrass band headed up by David “Windup” Smith.
After re-relocating to Oklahoma (where he was raised and let loose), Becker found himself playing the mandolin in a progressive Bluegrass outfit called the Skillbillies (including Thomas Trapp, Joe Mack and Kabe Cornell) as well as Bill Erickson’s New Migrant Workers (Bill writes perfect songs). The musical learnings recommenced as Becker was immersed in some of Oklahoma’s finest musical talentry, and he cut his first album in 2009, produced by Kabe Cornell and executively produced by Brandon “Bubba” Hamilton.
Since then, Becker has been lurking in the corners of the Tulsa music scene, witnessing an incredible amount of awesomeness, playing and writing alongside a long list of downright amazing musicians and evolving his sound and lyrical style. He can currently be seen playing with the various rotating members of his band, The Souvenirs, playing vicariously solo or sharing the stage with other songwriters.
September of 2014 saw the release of Imaginary Friends, Becker's new album produced by the one and only Jared Tyler. It includes eleven of his best new tunes and touts the Horton Records insignia on the back.
Venue Information:
The Vanguard
222 North Main Street
Tulsa, OK, 74103