Blues come alive in Okie City


You think Oklahoma City and I’m guessing you’re not thinking “the blues.” But in Bricktown, there is a place that has character and a character.

The character is French Hickman, a 77-year old practicing orthodontist who has a 2-year old daughter and a love for the blues. He opened Mojo Blues Cafe in another part of town before opening “The Biting Sow.” Sweet name, huh? I had to get a hat.

“A biting sow is the mean sow that won’t let you take the piglet off her,” said Hickman, who goes by the name Doc Blues when he’s in the club. “I grew up on a ranch and my dad used to say, ‘We’re going to work like a biting sow today.’ “

Hickman discovered the blues in Chicago at a dentist’s convention and started the process of learning how to play the harmonica. Sometimes, he would play one-handed while driving his car and listening to an instructional tape.

He now fronts the Doc Blues Revue Band and sits in with other bands outside on the porch. Some of the songs are Doc Blues originals including one with this line (and remember the guy is a dentist):

I drilled three women yesterday.
It wasn’t a record.
It was just yesterday.

Gloria, who offers everything a bartender should (genuinely friendly and efficient), told me to stick around for the band. It was almost 10 p.m. ET and this old man was getting tired. Dude, the owner is 77 and drinking Jack Daniels and he’s awake. Honey, they made me stay up.

So in walks this kid with his hat cocked sideways. And then another kid walks in and they start to set up a drum set. So I figured they must be the roadies.

Instead, they were the band. Three brothers make up Andrew Miller and 2 Low 16, and Miller, who is 17, is the front man. He is a star in the making, a combination of Stevie Ray Vaughn and Shia LaBeouf. If he makes it big, remember where you heard it first.

Anyway, I thought I’d share with you that the blues are alive and well in Okie City.