For Mama Sweet, it all began in 2002 with a gig at one of Norman’s most coveted venues: The Deli.
That’s when front man Aron Holt, along with band members Alan Orebaugh, Boyd Littell and John Carnuccio, joined forces to form an outfit that’s a little bit country, a little bit rock n’ roll and a whole lot of local flavor.
“When Mama Sweet started, it was just a matter of wrangling up the necessary ingredients to make a band,” Holt says. “I had written a bunch of songs and hadn’t been in a band in a while. Everyone was asking when I was going to start another one. So, I decided to give it a shot.”
It was a good call for both the band members and local audiences. Mama Sweet played their first show opening for Norman favorite Mike Hosty at the hottest spot on Campus Corner. They quickly established a loyal following among the locals and soon released two albums – 13 Tunes From Texas and Mama Mia – before Holt was lured to try his luck in New York City.
Now, nine years after that seminal show at The Deli, Holt is back from the big city and Mama Sweet is rocking local venues again. Touring has been put on hold indefinitely as the band focuses on recording a follow-up record to their 2008 studio re-release, Welcome to the Well, and their live album, Now. Here. This., recorded at The Deli and at Wormy Dog Saloon in Oklahoma City.
“All I can really tell you about the new material is that it is very representative of Mama Sweet and is a reflection of a band in constant evolution,” says Holt of their upcoming release. “There has always been diversity within the material and I don’t think that’s ever going to change.”
When asked about the band’s musical influences, Holt says each band member has been inspired by a wide variety of artists.
“I personally have always been drawn to very charismatic front men, but also appreciate the more folky storytelling stuff. So, that’s what I have tried to bring to the table: some sort of combination of those two,” he says.
After almost a decade in the local music scene, Mama Sweet is staying true to their musical roots, making regular appearances at The Deli and the bars of Bricktown.
When asked how they have changed musically since that first gig, Holt says, “We’ve always just done whatever we wanted to do. The music may have changed; that’s for the fans to decide. But I don’t think we have ever departed from how we do things.”