Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Red Dirt Rangers @ Country Fever

After talking with the Red Dirt Rangers John Cooper on the phone a few times arranging my press passes for the event and knowing that the Rangers were playing the Country Fever festival with Randy crouch i couldnt wait to see them. It was only after i returned home and read an article in the festivals program that my memory was jogged by a certain event involving the Red Dirt Rangers. About 5 years ago the guys were riding in a helicopter that clipped some power lines and crashed. I remember seeing the story on television on one of those reality video shows and didnt put that whole thing together until i read that. The Red Dirt Rangers have been making their brand of original Oklahoma influenced music for twenty some years and are considered red dirt music even though their songs go way beyond the confines of that genre. Taking cues from everyone from the Grateful dead to Tom Skinner, Bob Childers and Jimmy LaFave. Embracing the hippie jam band aspect and the cosmic country of late sixties and early seventies bands like The flying Burrito Brothers and Gram Parsons and with The "Hillbilly Hendrix" Randy crouch's amazing fiddle and steel guitar playing the Rangers are a treasure of the Oklahoma music scene. The band consists of a core made up of singer and mandolin player John M Cooper, Gutarist and vocalist Brad Piccolo and guitarist Ben Han Labuan with Randy Crouch often filling in on pedal steel and fiddle. Don Morris playing bass with Tulsa producer Jim Karstein on drums often rounds out the line up and they sat in with the Rangers in Pryor. I caught Don Morris sitting with Monica Taylor later that night.

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