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Tulsa, Oklahoma, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2010

Tulsa, Oklahoma, United States
Established on Jan, 2010
Band Americana Folk




"Straight up Americana, whatever that may be"

"At a show you will experience the guys sing, scream, and whisper their hearts out. Ryan has no reservations to open his heart-on-his sleeve with lyrics of timeless folkloric themes of love, death, and home. There is something very familiar about the band, and I believe that familiarity is straight up Americana, whatever that may be." TrishaT. (2011) - Trisha Tulsa


"The band is both cinematic and precise, gathering an orchestrated western film score into a three minute catchy folk-pop-rock song that will move your heart and feet at the same time." Green-Country Tuner (2011) - Green Country Tuner

"Exciting New Bands"

"Bandelier is an American band. Their sound perhaps can be described as Midwestern. Just like they are on the map, their sound lies in between the Appalachian folk traditions, Southern country and the Southwestern Spaghetti Western soundtracks. They are truly a band from The Heartland." +OKUnderground (2010)
- OKUnderground

"American Wakes"

"Hailing from Tulsa, Oklahoma 'Bandelier' take pride in their rolling hills and red dirt roads. They seep in an American melting pot of musical traditions from folk, country, rock n roll, blues, gospel, and even Native American tribal songs. With themes of faith, the road, and death the band takes their place in a long line and an old lineage of simple folk music but stand out experimenting with spacey soundscapes and complex musical patterns; they somehow make something old new again. Ryan Allen's voice is jagged and airy as Karen Dalton, nasally as Woody Guthrie and yet at times has the echoey tenor range of Flaming Lips' Wayne Coyne. His unique raw voice weaves with Chris Comb's (Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey) smooth and intricate blues guitar infusing the "Tulsa Sound" which was paved by JJ Cale among others. 'Bandelier' are just as much freak folk as they are country and with jazz influenced songs like 'Pauline' they are often described as New Western Swing which is no coincidence coming from its' birthplace; Bob Wills' Cains Ballroom. With ragged horns, droning pump organ, classic pedal steel, deep tribal drum, and a one hundred year old piano 'Bandelier' steadily drive through their ambitious 15 track album called "American Wakes" that took over five years to make. At times harsh, others sweet; this wide album is a diverse, complicated and beautiful mess." +OTPblogspot (2008)
- OTPBlogspot

"Band of the Hand"’s-bandelier-calls-fans-real-country-give-them-hand


In a nation where country music has overtaken rock and roll as the dominant musical art-form, you’d think it would be easier for bands that subscribe to that style to get their work out to public.

But, like the false modesties that killed rock, today’s popular country is nothing more than slick, overly-produced redneck pop that says nothing and, even worse, means nothing, leaving real acts like Bandelier in the dust, resorting to asking fans to help produce their debut LP.

Ryan Allen, lead singer and guitarist for Bandelier and self-proclaimed “rounder and rambler” of the group, said their music has been described as “folk-rock” or, more accurately, “Americana.”

“There’s an occasional fiddle and banjo, lots of steel guitars and Spanish guitar so some folks have called us Alt. Country or Spaghetti Western; there’s even some native flutes, drums and shakers we use too. I have a friend that jokingly calls us “Okiemericana,” Allen said. “I guess it will always be uncomfortable for me to try and describe what we do but I am learning to accept it a bit more. It’s all not very intentional; it’s really just a reflection of all of us in the band in this place we love called Oklahoma.”

Playing music most of their lives, the Tulsa-based band divided most of their time between orchestral settings and church services, but Allen said that it wasn’t until he started getting into Woody Guthrie in college that he even thought about picking up a guitar, going on “pilgrimages,” tracing Guthrie’s footsteps throughout Oklahoma, Texas and New Mexico in search of inspiration. Most of the songs that the band is currently recording are a result of those journeys.

Over the past couple of years, Bandelier has amassed a decent fanbase in Tulsa, performing as much as their day-jobs and school schedules allow them. Still, that hasn’t stopped them from putting all of their energy and resources into the new album.

“The album is called Landlines and it’s pretty ambitious; basically a double LP,” Allen said. “There are 15 tracks and it ended up being quite an expansive and cinematic experience. We sort of wanted to aim high, with a go-big-or-go-home mentality, I suppose. That’s just my nature but we also didn’t know if this would be our only chance to write our songs in stone.”

Spending the past year recording in an empty West Tulsa house, they are currently in the “last phases” of mastering the album and printing the CD, but, as with most indie bands doing double-duty, decided to reach out for support via Kickstarter to finish the process, something that Allen laments was “not easy to do.”

“Kickstarter is a great and simple site to use but it’s a little scary as well,” Allen said. “If we don’t reach our final goal by Sat 9/20 then no credit cards are charged and we don’t receive any of the funds. These crowd-sourcing sites I think work really well for musicians because it’s a great way to pre-order the album digitally for $10 or CD for $15. It’s just another way of purchasing the music directly from the artists. If we go over our goal then those funds will help us expand our audience through advertising, press kits, etc.”

As they strive to reach their goal, Allen promised that the band will start making more trips outside Tulsa, including Oklahoma City and are in the planning stages of a mini-tour. But for that to happen, all they need is that little push from the few remaining true music fans out there.

“You know, in our day of age of free streaming music, it’s harder for people to really directly support musicians and artists,” Allen added. “Folks just aren’t buying as many MP3s or CDs these days but they are consuming more of it. But also with that same advancement of technology, it has allowed those who are willing and wanting to directly help and produce musicians able to do so. You have to put in a little more work and time in the process but the rewards are much greater in giving independent artists a chance to get started.” - Red Dirt Report



Bandelier formed in the summer of 2010 in a warehouse in downtown Tulsa. Frontman Ryan Allen, originally hailing from Texas, spent a lifetime exploring the vast roots of American music eventually turning the pianist and composer into a full-fledged songwriter. Today, the band's music can be traced back to those same traditions with an even stronger sense of place, especially that of the American Southwest and of their own home state of Oklahoma which lies somewhere in between the great Wild West, the folkloric Midwestern Ozarks, and the deep country-fried South. Bandelier's songs are a reflection of where they are in the world, at the very center The Heartland, as they turn those old anthems into new cinematic soundscapes. 

Band Members