MUSIC STAND: Hosty


By: Miranda Liming, assistant editor

Normanites and OU-students are intimately familiar with a great part of the Oklahoma City music scene. Many local musicians make their way down toward Norman at some point in their underground career, and are always welcomed with open arms and overflowing taps. But there are those who are Norman regulars in the local bars, and then there’s Hosty.

In a league of his own, Michael Hosty is known for his upbeat songs about dinosaurs and the down home soul in songs like “Oklahoma Breakdown” and “The Ballad of Ol Blue.”

Whether on tour around the states, or playing The Deli in Norman, Hosty brings something unique to the table every time.

Who’ve been your biggest influences of your music?
My dad, whose record collection of jazz, blues, bluegrass and classical turned me on to music. He would take me to the record store to browse. I still have the tapes we bought- Merle Haggard, Willie and Waylon.

When did you start playing music?
I started playing the guitar in 1979; my mom rented-to-own a $90 guitar at 19% interest. I wanted to play like Willie Nelson.

When was each of your bands formed (Hosty solo, duo, and trio)?
The Trio was in the late ‘90s from 1997 to June of 2000. The Duo followed. The solo show I’ve been doing since 1994 or ’95 when the two guys I was playing with quit on stage at a gig over an argument concerning a pot deal. The owner came up and told me I had better think of something fast, as the place was packed. So, I grabbed the drums and played them with my feet while I sang and played.

Are you a member of any musical organizations?
[The] ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) and the Americana Music Association.

How has your music evolved (or devolved) since the beginning of your career?

I have kept a pretty even keel the whole time trying to develop a sound of my own. The greatest compliment I can receive is when someone says, “What’s it sound like? It sounds like Hosty!” Usually, that comes out after two or three beers.

Do you have any favorites to play or a most requested song by the audience?

I love playing them all, anything I came up with, which is always better than “Freebird”. The most requested song is “Oklahoma Breakdown”, which was covered by Stoney LaRue, who made it the number one song played on Texas radio [stations] for the entire year of 2007.

What are you unabashed views on today’s music industry?

Most of my concern is on my own music and mostly the folks who come out and support me. Making personal contact with them, getting to know them and trying to entertain them. For me, it’s those folks who are my focus. The major labels and indie labels (which are usually run by kids with a trust fund, time on their hands, and the desire to be a major label someday) are interested in sales. I am interested in music.

What advice would you give to anyone about the see his or her first Hosty show?

Come to Oklahoma and have fun. You might just get roped into singling along, joining a conga line, or have your beer wizard staff made out of Duct Tape and spent [Pabst Blue Ribbon] cans.

How can fans gain access to your music?
They can get all the songs on iTunes if they search “Hosty” or they can go to the Web site http://www.hosty.com/merch and buy albums, kazoos, koozies, T-shirts and for &30 I’ll write a personal song too.

Upcoming Shows:
September 18 at the 51st Speakeasy
Every Sunday at The Deli in Norman, Okla.
www.hosty.com/tour

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