Jason Boland and the Stragglers

Jason Boland: ‘Red Dirt’ rocker appearing at Yantis club tonight 

BY TERRY MATHEWS | News-Telegram Arts Editor

Mar. 29, 2007 - If you like your country music with an extra serving of rock, tonight’s your chance to see an act that promises to take up where Waylon left off.

Jason Boland is bringing his red-dirt brand of country rock to the East Fork Restaurant and Club for one show.  

Boland, who was raised in Harrah, Oklahoma, about 30 miles northeast of Oklahoma City, seems a little uncomfortable with the comparison to Waylon.

�I don�t know about that,� Boland said in a recent telephone conversation from his tour bus. �That flatters me, but I hope we are taking the music farther than where we found it.�

Boland’s roots are in the Red Dirt movement of Oklahoma. 

�Red Dirt is what we call music coming from Oklahoma,� Boland said. �It�s folk-inspired, with its great-granddaddy being Woody Guthrie. Mix blues and rock and roll with it, and that�s Red Dirt music.�

Boland’s other early influences were The Marshall Tucker Band, Fleetwood Mac, Kiss, and his father’s favorite, Johnny Cash.

�I always liked Southern rock and the influences it had on Hank, Jr. If you listen to Johnny Lee, you can hear some knobs being tweaked. I didn�t like Leif Garrett or David Cassidy,� Boland said. �I didn�t like bubblegum music at all.�

Boland started out as a songwriter, but soon found out the only way to get your songs recorded was to do it yourself. 

Boland has also written songs for other artists, including the popular rock band Cross Canadian Ragweed.

�We cover their song �Proud Souls� and I have a co-write on their hit, �17,�� Boland said.

Boland and the Stragglers  released their third album, “The Bourbon Legend,” on Halloween last year. They’ve been on the road promoting the album and making their kind of music.

Even with a quick listen, it’s obvious Boland knows the world behind country music.

The album’s title song could be an anthem for those who spend  their lives bar hopping and wasting opportunties.  

Boland’s new single, “Up and Gone” is number five on the Texas Music Chart. It’s a charming tune about taking time to smell the roses.

�Can�t Tell if I Drink� is a tongue-in-cheek admission that there are two sides to relationship problems � and they usually have something to do with whiskey.

��No One Left to Blame� examines what happens when there�s just been too much water under the bridge.

�� One of the most telling on the album is �Rattlesnakes.� Even Merle, Waylon and Willie couldn�t have written better hard-living lyrics.�

�Seems like Boland has battled a few demons of his own:

Well, only a natural fool

would take a rattlesnake to bed.

That rattler, he’ll warn you before he strikes.

Cocaine will sneak up on you and pretend to be your friend

and be more deadly than that viper’s bite.

These are just a few examplesThe list goes on and on.

A million things can drive a man insane.

You don’t have to live in fear, but keep an open eye

for those rattlesnakes, painted laides and cocaine.

Boland’s band provides solid backup to his plaintive, world-weary voice. These boys are going to be around for a while. Grab your favorite dancing partner and head out to East Fork for a night of boot-scooting, toe-tapping Southern counry rock.

Boland will also be appearing at the Crosswire in Paris on April 5.

For more information on Jason Boland and the Stragglers, see their website: www.thestragglers.com.

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