OKMULGEE, Okla. – Saturday evening of the Muscogee Festival 2023 was dedicated to highlighting Mvskoke talents including Lance Gouge and The 99 South Band at the Claude Cox Omniplex.
An artist on the rise, Lance Gouge just started his music career last year.
During Gouge’s set at festival “Yellowstone” series actor Mo Brings Plenty took a seat in the front row and listened to him with intrigue.
According to Gouge’s father, Geebon, he hopes his son caught the Native star’s attention.
The quiet, humble young man recently recorded his first song, “This Time”. It was released last October on major platforms and has become a popular hit locally.
One of Gouge’s personal favorites is his song “She’s a good one.”
“It’s not about anybody,” Gouge said. “It’s a really good song I wrote, as soon as I wrote it everybody was listening to it right off the bat.”
Gouge claims his songs are being played in different bars and dancehalls. They are becoming popular among the young adult community.
Growing up, the Okmulgee native would attend the festival each year but did not see himself performing for the Mvskoke people then.
Gouge started out singing in church with family as a young kid. Now that he performs at major festivals, Gouge said he is molding into a different person and finding himself.
“I was shy,” Gouge said. “But I didn’t know how I was.”
In a previous interview with Mvskoke Media, Gouge claimed he did not think his music would ever circulate on a major platform.
“I didn’t think I could sing,” Gouge said. “I thought I was just an instrument kind of guy.”
Gouge’s vocal talent was not discovered until his friend noticed his voice during a fun singing session at their house. As Gouge started singing more openly, other friends started to notice his voice, leading him to record his first single in his bedroom.
“I have improved since then,” Gouge said joking about his bedroom record release.
The Lance Gouge Band has performed at several venues with many more performances to come in the future. Their next appearance will be at the 7 Hills Music Festival on Saturday, Aug. 5 at Nichols Park in Henryetta, Okla.
The two bands that appeared at the Native American night of festival competed with a long list of performers at a battle of the bands contest in May. Both bands won the competition and were invited to perform at festival. This competition was part of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation’s Employee Appreciation Day event.
The 99 South Band has been playing together for over six years all over the state, including other festivals like the Seminole Nation Days.
The band plays covers of country music, new and old and can be heard in local dive bars from time to time.