Our home state of Oklahoma has produced its share of musical talent over the years. From Woodie Guthrie to The Flaming Lips, Oklahoma has been home to many genre-defining artists that have reached the pinnacle of their field or even changed it forever. Whether they have been inspired by the state’s rustic geography, rugged individualistic culture, or laid back lifestyle, it has been typical for Oklahoma musicians to reinvent the sounds of the past to create something new for today.
One of the latest examples of Oklahoma’s musical ingenuity is found in what is known as Red Dirt Music. Much like its indie rock counterpart, sometimes it is easier to define it by what it is not than to try and nail down one or two characteristics of the genre that set it apart. While Red Dirt is always country music, it is not of the TOP 40 variety you hear in heavy rotation on your FM radio. While the latter seems to have worked hard to polish out or completely ignore its roots, Red Dirt embraces many forms of Americana that have influenced or been influenced by country music, including rock and roll, blues, dixieland, swing, bluegrass, and more. The result is country music that seems more genuine, more real, and more raw. Basically, it is country music with its soul still intact.
Modern Red Dirt has grown past its Stillwater, Oklahoma roots and is now a staple of thriving music scenes across Texas, Tennessee, and throughout the region. To keep up with this exciting and evolving genre, Tony “The Rooster” Brown has graciously agreed to blog about all things Red Dirt for us, including interviews, reviews, and trends while keeping us up to date on the events surrounding his show Red Dirt: Live that is currently in development. You can read Tony’s first post and all his subsequent posts in the Red Dirt: Live section. Take it away, Tony…
My name is Tony “The Rooster” Brown and I am the creator and co-host of Red Dirt: Live. What is Red Dirt: Live you ask? Red Dirt: Live highlights Red Dirt artists both known and upcoming in the Red Dirt/Texas music scene. Each episode will profile a specific band providing viewers with an in depth background into each band, featuring interviews as well as showcase live performances shot exclusively for the show at Oklahoma’s Red Dirt destination, The Wormy Dog Saloon.
Now that I have gotten that out of the way I’ll give you a little background on myself and why I like this genre of music so much. My love of Red Dirt/Texas music started back in 1999 with frequent trips to Stillwater, Oklahoma, the birth place of Red Dirt music. My idols have always been Waylon Jennings, Willie, Cash, the outlaws of country music. They had their own way of doing country music which was totally against the Nashville-way, much like these guys in the Red Dirt/Texas music scene, their lyrics and almost rock-n-roll style is profoundly unique.
My grandfather actually enjoyed Red Dirt more than the new pop-country songs that were out there which meant a lot to me growing up because I idolized him as a musician. Working for 93.3 KKNG got me even more involved with the Red Dirt/Texas music scene. I became friends with a lot of the artists and realized how down to earth they were, just like me. When I hear the lyrics, it’s like I’m back home in my one horse town, backroadin’ and livin’ free.
I’ll be using this blog to post interviews from the road and keeping you up to date with albums of the week, upcoming shows and my big trip to CMT in Nashville and let you all know what’s going on and with Red Dirt: Live and the music and musicians of the Red Dirt/Texas music scene.