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Twenty(something) Essential Texas & Red Dirt Tunes You Should Know

There are always new fans being introduced to our scene and I thought it’d be great to start a list of the essential Texas/Red Dirt tunes that we should all know.  This is obviously not a complete list but a pretty good start!



Gary P. Nunn

JB Cloud, Creator of “West Texas Saturday Nights” on KBCY, Abilene says that Gary P. Nunn’s “What I Like About Texas” is his choice.  He goes on to say, “It sums up everything about this great state that many of us have been to, heard of or have experienced first hand.  And it is sung by a legend.  This is a song from Texas and about Texas that has been around a long time.  A true Texan can find the beauty and pride in it similar to that of the National Anthem.”

“Tonight’s Not the Night” – Randy Rogers Band

“My Hometown” – Charlie Robison

“Nashville Blues” – Cory Morrow

“Carry On” – Pat Green

Abby, head honchoette over at the infamous Luckenbach says it must be “’Oklahoma Breakdown’ by Stoney LaRue.  She went on to say: “Anything he does really…but the stand out is ‘Oklahoma Breakdown.’  Stoney is the one Red Dirt guy who is still cranking it out like always.  He has stood the test of time.  Please note this is from a girl who has been listening to it since it’s inception.”

“One Thing” – Jack Ingram

“17” – Cross Canadian Ragweed

Wade Bowen – As far as a song, I believe I’d have to give Robert Earl Keen’s ‘The Road Goes On Forever’ as the most definitive song in our scene.  Such an incredible anthem that will last forever and I believe many of us looked to him as we started.  There are so many good songs to throw in this list, such as Pat Green’s ‘Carry On,’ Ragweed’s ‘Boys From Oklahoma,’ etc., but I’ll give REK the slight win.”

More than one person mentioned “Road Goes On Forever” by Robert Earl Keen including Bart Crow and Gary Braun of Micky & the Motorcars.  Gary went on to say, “The Road Goes on Forever’ and the party never ends sums it up pretty good.  I also think Robert Earl has been a big influence on today’s Texas red dirt artist.”

“Colors Are All The Same” – Bill Pekar


Aaron Watson aka The Honky Tonk Kid



“3rd Gear & 17” – Aaron Watson




“Pearl Snaps” – Jason Boland & the Stragglers

J.R. Schumann, Operations Manager, Cumulus, Dallas says “Battery” by Brandon Rhyder is his choice. “1. I think Texas/Red Dirt music represents small town USA…the little guy, if you will, just trying to find his way in the world and compete with the ‘big guys.’ 2. This song also represents the ‘get away from it all’ aspect of the Texas/Red Dirt music scene. ‘Get ready I’m tying one on’ – for me, this is the song I turn on when I need an escape. It’s a song that embodies the freedom that this music represents.”

“If These Old Walls Could Talk” – Kevin Fowler

Adam Drake, longtime Texas music supporter and PD/Morning Show Host for Maverick 102.7, College Station says, “To me, Texas Red Dirt is so wide and encompassing, I always have a hard time saying just ONE song or artist. I can do two though. Cross Canadian Ragweed’s ‘Alabama’ and Cody Johnson Band’s ‘Cowboy Like Me.’ They are both so different but still real and authentic.”

“Everclear” – Roger Creager

“$50 and a Flask of Crown” – Bleu Edmondson

“Wear My Ring” – Bart Crow

The incredibly talented producer, artist, musician extraordinaire, Walt Wilkins, says “LA Freeway” by Guy Clark is his choice.

“Screw You, We’re From Texas” – Ray Wylie Hubbard.  Really?  Do I really have to explain the pure awesomeness of this tune?  🙂

Ray Wylie

Ray Wylie Hubbard


2 Comments on Twenty(something) Essential Texas & Red Dirt Tunes You Should Know

  1. Denise Nichols // October 13, 2014 at 9:20 pm // Reply

    Great list but where’s Radney Foster? 🙂

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