Introducing Red Dirt 96.7
Red Dirt gets its name from the color of soil found in Oklahoma. Stillwater, Oklahoma is considered to be the center of Red Dirt music but the genre also extends to music made south of the Red River in Texas. Outlaw country legends Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson have been associated with the distinctive Texas Sound, while the late Oklahoma singer-songwriter Bob Childers is widely recognized as the Father of Oklahoma Red Dirt music.
Critics say that Red Dirt can best be likened to the indie genre of rock ‘n’ roll as there is no definitive sound that can be attributed to all the bands in the movement. Most Red Dirt artists would be classified by the music industry as Americana, folk, or alt-country, though the range of sounds in the Red Dirt spectrum goes beyond these genres. It has been described as a mix of folk, rock, country, bluegrass, blues, Western swing, and honky tonk, with even a few Mexican influences. Singer-songwriter and former Stillwater resident Jimmy LaFave said “It’s kind of hard to put into words, but if you ever drive down on the (Mississippi) Delta, you can almost hear that blues sound,” he explains. “Go to New Orleans, and you can almost hear the Dixieland jazz. Go to San Francisco, and you get that psychedelic-music vibe. You hear the Red Dirt sound when you go through Stillwater. It has to do with the spirit of the people. There’s something different about them. They’re not Texans, they’re Okies, and I think the whole Red Dirt sound is just as important to American musicology as the San Francisco Sound or any of the rest. It’s distinctly its own thing.”
Some define Red Dirt music as “country music with an attitude”. Others say it’s a state of mind as much as it is a sound – a sound that successfully closes the gap between rock and country.