Mama Sweet’s first gig came in the spring of 2002, opening for the Hosty Duo, a show they refer to as ‘a nod from the King’ (Mike Hosty penned “Oklahoma Breakdown,” a song made famous by Red Dirt artist, Stoney Larue.) Before long, Mama Sweet had released two albums and developed a loyal following. But, “the call of the road and the ache of the heart,” prompted lead singer, Aron Holt, to relocate to New York City. The big city changed the Oklahoma native. Looking back to the red dirt of Oklahoma from the grey streets of New York made Holt restless and homesick, feelings he turned into verse.
After only nine months in the Big Apple, Holt returned to Oklahoma and his musical brethren. Mama Sweet fell back into place and using the material Holt had written in New York, they started recording a new album. With the help of producers Travis Linville and Trent Bell (Chainsaw Kittens) and assistance from Mike McClure, Mama Sweet completed their first professionally recorded and mastered album “Welcome to the Well”.
With their first “real” album under their belt, Mama Sweet began venturing to venues outside of Oklahoma. Soon, they found themselves playing with prominent regional acts like Jason Boland, No Justice, Wade Bowen, Micky and the Motorcars, Jack Ingram, and others. In 2008, Smith Entertainment discovered “Welcomed to the Well” and worked with Mama Sweet to re-release the album.
When “Welcome to the Well” was released, Mama Sweet decided to cease distribution of their two previous unmastered albums, “13 Tunes from Texas” and “Mama Mia”. As the band expanded their touring radius and fan base, new fans began pleading for recordings of songs that they believed were new. Old fans, in the alternative, wanted new copies of the unmastered albums they had long since worn out. The solution was simple, a live album.
So, in the fall of 2008, Mama Sweet recorded two shows (one at The Deli in Norman, OK and the other at The Wormy Dog in Oklahoma City, OK). The two shows produced a 13 track album, entitled “Now. Here. This.” that contains material from all three of Mama Sweet’s previous albums. “Now. Here. This.” was released in May of 2009.
Mama Sweet continued to play regularly after the release of “Now. Here. This.” By 2011, however, it was time for a rest. As Aron Holt put it, “There’s a time to go back into hibernation for a while, like burning the fields down before the next crop.” The members of Mama Sweet took the time apart to explore individual pursuits, but they always made it a priority to continue playing, even if it was just a few shows a year. But, the need to make more music together never faded and the crowds at the shows (although few and far between) continued to grow.
In the spring of 2014, Mama Sweet put their fate into the hands of their fans and launched a Kickstarter campaign. The funding goal was a very ambitious $17,000, but the funding goal would allow them to make an album deserving of their loyal and patient fans. Mama Sweet reached their funding goal in less than three weeks and ultimately achieved nearly $25,000 in contributions. In July of 2014, Mama Sweet flew to Seattle, Washington to record in Studio Litho, the iconic Seattle spot that has given birth to albums from the likes of Pearl Jam, Mudhoney and Soundgarden. The result of that trip was a renewal and Mama Sweet’s second studio album, “21 echo”, which was released in December 2014.
So, what is next? “You can’t be afraid to say you don’t know. A lot of the times we’ve tried to predict what Mama Sweet would do, it’s done otherwise. It’s a horse I don’t like to kick too hard, for fear of what might happen,” Holt said. “What I will say is that from moment one, out of the five different corners of the earth that these guys had come, it was like spokes on a wheel, immediately moving toward the same thing. Right now, that’s forward.” “It doesn’t matter if we put out a record every five years; we’ll always stick around.”