Jared Deck Photography by Yasmin Shirali
In this week’s Creator Conversation, Americana artist, Jared Deck, talks about his self-titled album, his challenges in making it, his favorite places in Oklahoma, and more.

Let’s start by talking a bit about yourself, your music, and how you got involved in making music for those unfamiliar with you.
The initial idea behind the album was to tell the story of where I’m from, which happens to be my own. Living in Western Oklahoma, the musical landscape can be lonely, and there are many stories that aren’t covered in mainstream music. But, along the way, the process uncovered more about myself than expected. That piece of paper looked like a mirror, and I began to write what I saw. Sometimes, it’s difficult to admit what you see, especially if it’s failure. But this album is honest – about me and from where I come.

Use only seven words to describe the album.
Honest ride through rural dreams and failings.

Your song, 17 Miles, is about broken dreams and leaving Oklahoma. Where were you planning to go?
I didn’t have a plan. I just wanted to drive and never look back. Looking back, I was upset with the life I’d created. I never did leave, but instead learned to understand the meaning of home.

What does the American Dream mean to you?
Anymore, I’m unsure of what the “American Dream” is supposed to look like. My life isn’t perfect, it’s hard work, but I love it. Perhaps that’s the dream: to work at what you love, even if you fail.

What was the greatest challenge in making the album?
The greatest challenge of the album was the initial decision to let Wes (Sharon) do what he does best. Once I made the decision to trust him on the journey, everything came together.

What have been some of your favorite places/events to perform or experience music in Oklahoma?
My greatest honors have been playing Cain’s Ballroom and the Blue Door, both with my old band. Also, backing Wanda Jackson in 2010 & 2011.

Jared Deck Photography by Yasmin Shirali
On the subject of Oklahoma travel, what are some of your favorite places in the state you’ve visited?
This question is a trap – for you! My friends get annoyed at my superfluous knowledge of all things Okie. Me and the Tire Man in Roosevelt go way back. Sometimes, we go to the Liberty Theater in Carnegie just to eat their “showdogs.” Fried pies down by Davis. Medicine Park is great for a weekend getaway. I’m the kind of guy that can find something interesting about anywhere I go.

What do you hope people feel when they hear your songs?
I hope people visualize these stories in their mind, because these stories are everyday people. It’s the story of where I come from; it’s my story. By album’s end, I hope people feel that, no matter what they’ve been through, there’s a way forward.

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Dennis Spielman

I'm Dennis Spielman, the Producer of Uncovering Oklahoma, which I started in 2009 as a way to show that Oklahoma isn't boring. As for about myself, I’m a creative person that writes imaginative stories. I also run The Show Starts Now Studios, which is my umbrella organization for all of my shows I create. Come join me on Patreon as I create content that adds adventure and wonder to peoples' lives. More about my stories and projects are at DennisSpielman.com

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