An Editorial Opinion by: Bradley Casada
I get this question all the time, especially when the terms Red Dirt and Independent Country get
thrown into the mix. The simple version is people singing about life from their point of view or
looking in on someone else’s, but the long story to come with it can come with it evolving just
like it all has.
It has early roots such as Joe Ely, Townes Van Zandt, and Guy Clark. In the early 1960s they where
touring West Texas, New Mexico, and Oklahoma with show’s extending out to Austin, California, and
New York. The writing of these guys will continue to be known in the scene as the set the
precedents for the Texas/Red Dirt Scene.
Along came the Performers of the Era though that continue to Be the names selling out Arena’s such
as Willie Nelson, Gary P. Nunn, and Jerry Jeﬀ Walker. All top 100 artist in the 1960s. We look back
at the “Glory Days” of this Broad music genre then with one Core Element Song Writing. Me and Billy
the kid is filled with guitar solos, all the way to Guy Clark’s “My Minds got a mind of its own”
being banjo filled and acoustic based.
This is still prevalent in the next surge of Texas Country with Pat Green, Robert Earl Keen, Kevin
Fowler, Rodger Creagor, and Cory Morrow. In the main light and these guys continue to stick it to
the song writing mentality, and merge the shows into having fun with multitudes of people.
The music scene was just as broad with Cory Morrow covering Hinders, Lips of an Angel, and Robert
Earl Keen singing the folk side with his biggest hit “The Road Goes on Forever”.
While this was happening on the Texas side the “Red Dirt” Oklahoma side was mixing up the same
musical writing style but a bit harder as what Koe writes about to day we all miss Cross Canadian
Ragweed! “Alabama” is a harder hitting guitar with Grady Cross mixing in some harder guitar solos
that drove the scene crazy. Again another generation takes song writing and a genre that writes and
performs there own music.
As we see there is a cross between two tales that opened the door for a broader scene for Red Dirt
or Texas Music. We now have national Acts as Giovannie and The Hired Guns and Koe Wetzel coming
with what some call a rock Vibe. We can thank the founders and guys who did things diﬀerent for a
style that is growing all artist.
That being said, I have came up with a new answer to it as I look and watch the next generation of
songwriters and performers change the scene in there own way. Who will do it next Slade Coulter,
Jacob Stelly, Ox Martin, William Clark Green, or will it be someone to be found of of a random
venue with a song everyone loves? I just can’t wait to see who catches “The Spirit of Texas/Red Dirt
Music with Real Songs, Real Emotion, and Real Sound!”
Note from the Editor
The views of this piece or that of Bradley Casada an independent reporter and may not reflect the same views and opinions of Texas Country Music News, Texas Country Music Media or any affiliates of them