State Thirty-Three: Oklahoma

Blake Shelton owns this category with “Oklahoma Christmas.” His duet with Reba McIntire serves up canned corn homesickness about that special Sooner State of mind while being stuck in yucky Tennessee. It’s measured and moderate and has some fine guitar riffs. But it’s overplayed (and too Trail of Tears) and i can’t do that to you, i can’t i can’t i can’t.
Now Dana Spencer belts out “Oklahoma Christmas Spirit” “…straight from the heart of the heartland!!” and, while the fiddle helps, i begin to suffer from pudding filling. By the by, her pretty warbling and bountiful belting can be found on my fave Songs Across America–good stuff.
On to the wonderful and weird… Bruce Robison and Kelly Willis have been happily married with kids for years. And singing on the road (Texas mostly) with the Bruce and Kelly Show. They come off as homegrown, straight-shooting, the real deal. “Oklahoma Christmas” seems to document him at the in-laws’ holiday gettogether outtastate and the problems with translation Texans have with Oklahomans. At the end of the live track Kelly admits, “‘Sfunny ’cause it’s true.” And totally appropriate for the holidays.