Back to Live

by Kaytlin Smith

In 2019 Jordan Longstreth had just graduated from Southwest Oklahoma State University with a major in music therapy and a passion for playing live music.

She was the lead singer in an alternative rock band and found her passion on the stage.

“I found myself the odd girl in most settings growing up. I grew up in OKC, OK and was the oldest of two. I did not know how to carry a good conversation. I was so shy and really self conscious,” Longstreth said. “One day in middle school I found myself singing with folks at my local church and the next thing I knew, I was writing songs, playing a guitar. By high school, I was in a band, playing with friends and at church and anywhere I could really. I found my voice, literally and figuratively.”

After finding her voice she began to follow her favorite bands. She found local artists that didn’t have recording contracts and she looked for ways to use music to relate.

“I first saw a Christian band Skillet right here in Oklahoma. I could relate to the story of being lost, without a cause or purpose, then finding music and the sound and it all clicking,” she said.

Longstreth’s music, she said, was about finding her place and purpose. And making good music and sharing that passion with others.

Then 2020 happened and everything stalled.

“When the pandemic first happened I had just moved to Texas to be a lead singer in a new band. I had it all planned out. We would travel to local dives and play our new music, opening for bigger bands etc.,” Longstreth said.

The once lively shows were gone, but Longstreth said she didn’t let the music stop.

“I began to play daily, for me again. Not for the paycheck, the gig, the fans, the band. Just me and my music to keep myself company. I went back to work full time and my boyfriend and I were each other’s audience to play our songs to.”

The simplicity was nice, but it was also missing something.

“It was refreshing to connect the guitar and songs themselves, but kinda a bummer too,” Longstreth said.

Longstreth believes music draws people together and sparks something when it’s experienced together. People remember their first concert, song and find they miss the crowd and the noise.

When you do not play live music, you find your soul, your love for yourself and the art itself.

Fast forward to 2021 and bands are back to booking gigs. The new records released during the pandemic are now being performed live.

“I think we all appreciate the roar of the crowd and the rush the song gives a little bit more,” Longstreth said.

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