GLENCOE, Okla. (KFOR) – The Red Dirt Rangers can almost set up with their eyes closed.

Longtime friends John Cooper, Brad Piccolo, and Ben Han have pulled cable for thousands of shows big and small over the past 35 years, and always playing their own music.

“We quickly discovered that we weren’t good enough to be a cover band,” chuckles Piccolo.

“But we were good enough to play our own stuff,” adds Cooper, “and nobody else could do what we did.”

This gig is remarkable for the view and for the short commute.

“I’m only 3 miles from my house,” Cooper tells his appreciative audience.

Red Dirt music and the Rangers have always called places like this home.

“This is where our songs are, This is where the music is, where our family and friends are,” says Cooper.

On a perfect June evening at the West Point General Store, miles from pavement or traffic noise, the Red Dirt Rangers will still play for good food and the chance to pass a tip bucket.

From their early days at a place near Stillwater called The Farm, and the Gypsy Cafe, to big dates in Austin, TX, Colorado, and even Europe, they always managed to circle back.

Piccolo says, “We stayed with the original mission which was to have fun, see some cool places, hang out with some cool people, get paid, and get to play our music.”

It’s been almost 30 years since we first profiled the band on the opening of their ‘Oklahoma World Tour’ which ended up as 33 shows in 30 days all over the state.

They turned around and did a big kids’ show right after that.

Through moves, and changes within the band, through a helicopter crash the three original Rangers all survived, always moving in lock step.

Cooper says, “We always found a way to make it.”

On an evening when everything in the world feels just right, this little island near Lone Chimney represents all the confirmation the band needs that they did the right thing in staying true to their music and close to where it came from.

The Red Dirt Rangers play gigs all over the state, including a standing weekly date at the Mercury Ballroom in Tulsa.


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