What Is Red Dirt Country?
Red Dirt Country. What is it?
As i am writing this, "Oklahoma Stars" by Turnpike Troubadours is playing in the background. TT is arguably one of the greatest bands to hit the genre since its beginning in the 1970's.. Evan Felker's timeless lyrics mixed with traditional country elements is the perfect red dirt blueprint.
Red Dirt Music got it's name from the color of soil found around Oklahoma and Texas. However, Stillwater, Oklahoma is considered to be the center of red dirt music. Many of the acts met at Oklahoma State and started playing the local bars around the University. The first usage of "red dirt" is credited to Steve Ripley of the band Moses when the group chose the label name Red Dirt Records for their 1972 self-published live album
Bob Childers debut project I ain't no Jukebox which was recorded in Stillwater in 1979 with the help of his buddy Jimmy LaFave. The album was received by many positive reviews and led him to begin touring nationwide. Bob is known as the Father of Red Dirt Music. He had a old two-story, five-bedroom house called "The Farm" outside of Stillwater where musicians would come out and jam. Members of the The Red Dirt Rangers, Ben Han, John Cooper, and Brad Piccolo, became an integral part of the Farm’s musical brotherhood. The band was one of the first RD Bands, dating back to the early 1980's. The Botherhood paved the way for future acts like Jason Boland and the Stragglers, Stoney LaRue and the legendary Cross Canadian Redweed.
Cody Canada (Of Cross Canadian Ragweed) describes RDC as "It's country, folksy, it's bluesy, it's rock, and it's just blue collar music. It's a lot about the lyrics. It's a lot about the feeling of it. It doesn't have a label, I guess. It's everything from Merle Haggard influence to full blown Rolling Stones"- It's country music with backbone. Artists are not afraid to talk about what they want.
I think we can all agree that the OK/TX country music scene is whooping Nashville's ass with artists like Koe or Cody (Johnson/Jinks) who give a middle finger to music city with their music and record sales. One of my favorite moments of 2019 is when Cody Johnson used his platform to school his audience on his political views. It wasn't political, but it was patriotic. However, in 2019 folks can't separate the two... The point is corporate Nashville would NEVER let that fly.
RDC is more than just a genre, it's stories about our way of life. Every time i listen to these songs i think, Why ain't this on the radio? and Why has Nashville ignored RDC?
Well, Thanks to the internet we don't need them! Here's our own radio station playing nothing but the best artists from the genre.
(we recommend hitting that shuffle button)