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A Brief History of Red Dirt Music

Stillwater, Oklahoma is a one-of-a-kind historic college town. The spirit of the American Midwest is alive and well here, and a captivating way to experience it is in the tradition of Red Dirt music. Named after the richly colored soil in the state of Oklahoma, live Red Dirt bands can be heard often in the bars surrounding Oklahoma State University.

Country-folk musician Bob Childers is often credited as the father of Red Dirt music. The genre has been classified as a blended sound with elements of Americana, folk, country, rock, honky-tonk, and bluegrass. Some have defined it to simply be “country music with attitude”.

Regardless, its popularity is deeply rooted in Stillwater. Other musicians like Tom Skinner, Jason Boland, and Stoney LaRue all got their start in Stillwater's local live music venues, including  "The Farm”, a popular gathering place for Red Dirt musicians in the late 20th century. Nowadays, students, locals, and visitors alike can experience the rich tradition of Red Dirt all over town!

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