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Red Dirt Music-An Alternate to Mainstream Country Music Part 2
Red Dirt music goes by a few names. It is also called Texas music, Texas/Red Dirt music as well as Americana music. Regardless of what it is called, one thing is certain. That one thing is the fan of this music has a desire and taste for music that is beyond mainstream radio. I have called my local station to request Texas/Red Dirt music. I've been told that they only play what the people want to hear. My question back that continually goes unanswered is "How do you know the people don't want to hear this music if it never gets played?". Americana music is about the songwriting and the live performance. The songs written by these artists are not cliche filled songs written for corporate radio to be force fed to the masses and their live shows are second to none. They aren't arena shows with pyrotechnics and teams of back up dancers. They are a band on stage delivering music with talent and passion. Americana music doesn't just bring out the country music fans. The fans it appeals to is as far ranging as the bands contributing to the scene. It is great to see cowboy hats at a rock show like Cross Canadian Ragweed and rockers at an Aaron Watson show which is as country as it gets. In my first hub on Texas/Red Dirt music I talked about Randy Rogers Band, Jason Boland and the Stragglers, Stoney LaRue and Cross Canadian Ragweed. With this hub I'm going to go further into the scene.
Bands To Listen To
If you ask a band such as Uncle Lucius what they play, the answer will be along the lines of "we play music". Uncle Lucius is a great example of an Americana band. They are country, southern rock with a bit of blues and southern soul. They are a band that is taking Austin, TX and the rest of the country by storm right now. Spring of '10 saw them on tour with the legendary Leon Russell. Since then they have headlined shows all over the country including the upper midwest with stops in Nebraska, Illinois, Wisconsin and Minnesota. They are currently on a western U.S. run and gaining fans with each show. The songs they write and perform are based on their own life experiences and you can feel that when seeing them live. Uncle Lucius puts on a live show that will grab your attention immediately and keep you captivated until the end and wanting more. They are the type of guys that will finish a performance and step off the stage to meet and mingle with the fans.
A newer band coming out of Oklahoma is the Turnpike Troubadours. The Turnpike Troubadours got their start running the honky-tonk circuit of Oklahoma and now are touring beyond the borders of Oklahoma and Texas. This past February saw them spend a winter weekend in Minnesota even. They took some time to drive out on a frozen lake in a truck to see what ice fishing was about. Their style of music blends country, folk, cajun and bluegrass. If you like your music to have some fiddle, then you will be liking the Turnpike Troubadours. I've seen this band perform live twice and I can say their live shows are a ton of fun. They have a style that is all their own and have fun performing it. They are currently touring to promote their second album that is called Diamonds and Gasoline that was produced by Mike McClure. Diamonds and Gasoline is one of my favorite CDs and is getting alot of play on my iPod.
Wade Bowen is another very popular Texas country artist. Wade Bowen has a very large following in Texas as well as other parts of the country. He is another one that writes most of his songs and also has co-written songs with Randy Rogers, Cody Canada and Bleu Edmondson over the years. Wade Bowens most recent CD is a Live at Billy Bob's CD. The CD does a great job at capturing what a Wade Bowen live show is all about. His most recent studio CD is called If We Ever Make it Home and was released July of 2008. This past May was the 12th annual Bowen Classic Golf Tournament. It is an event that Wade hosts and is a benefit for Postpartum Support International. This year the event raised over $106,000! The other part of the event is the live music. This year the fans saw Cody Canada, Stoney LaRue, Randy Rogers, Brandon Rhyder, Kyle Park, Kristen Kelly and LeeAnn Womack perform.
Wade Bowen, The Turnpike Troubadours and Uncle Lucius are three great examples of the wide range and appeal of Americana music. I will be showcasing more of these Americana bands in future hubs. Hopefully you take the time to check out one or all of them and like what you hear. If you do like them I hope that you buy a CD or two and even go out to a concert when one of the bands are near you.