If Childers leaned the other direction when the song ended, arm thrown over the back of the chair, that usually signaled there was still more work to be done.

As the Farm transitioned from party spot to a music mecca for Red Dirt singer-songwriters, a younger generation of musicians who would go on to merge the scene with Texas country came to learn. Cody Canada, a frontman for Cross Canadian Ragweed and then The Departed, moved to Stillwater in 1994 without a car and rode his bicycle to the Farm.

"I was at the perfect age where everyone thought I was going to college. I wasn't. I got kicked out of high school. Everybody asked if I'd gone up to Stillwater to learn," Canada says. "I always just told them 'yeah,' because I did. I moved up there because of the music, and I didn't leave until I really felt like I'd learned enough ... and I could go out and do it on my own."

Canada found kindred spirits in musicians like Jason Boland or Stoney LaRue, who before they were old enough to drink all came to the Farm looking to learn the trade. Sleeping in truck beds, the three eventually shared a home in town, Canada says, and tried to replicate the creative collaboration they'd learned on the Farm.

Canada's Cross Canadian Ragweed was one of several to use what they learned on the Farm to make their mark in Texas and beyond, touring the country as ambassadors of the Texas country/Red Dirt sound. He says he was used to pointing the finger at guys like Childers, LaFave and others when asked why he got into this, but he never expected the roles to be reversed. While at a recent festival in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, he sat down for an interview beside fellow Farm peers Boland, LaRue and a newer Red Dirt band called the Turnpike Troubadours.

"This Texas radio station wanted to interview all the Okies at once, and I ... always considered myself a student. I'd never ever, ever put myself in the teacher category," Canada says. "I remember they asked Evan (Felker), who is the lead singer for the Troubadours, 'What made you do this for a living?' He looked at the three of us ... and said, 'These guys did.'"

The Farm closed down around 2003, and the Red Dirt sound is less centralized than it once was, as new musicians make it their own across Oklahoma and Texas. Still, the philosophies that the Farm instilled carries on with those who label themselves "Red Dirt." Make no mistake; it's still one big damn band.

"I've done so many interviews for Nashville papers or (radio) ... and people (ask), 'Do you think this scene is going to last forever?' And some of those people are being kind of smartasses about it," Canada says. "And yeah, I do. As long as everybody keeps looking out for each other, then this scene will be here forever."

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1 comments
cajunscouse9
cajunscouse9

I was able to be a part of an interview with members of Ragweed a few years back. Cody was there, but talking to others a few feet away. I asked Randy Ragsdale who was the bands inspiration and he pointed at Cody. Shows the passion and influence that Cody has in not only inspiring musicians in other bands, but his as well. Top notch.

 
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