Along with Cooder Graw and Cross Canadian Ragweed, Jason Boland and the Stragglers are part of a talented crop of like-minded country-rock bands that popped up like virulent weeds in 1999. Along with the hugely popular Ragweed, Boland used to have a home base of Stillwater, Oklahoma (he now lives in Austin). He was identified early on as part of the Red Dirt phenomenon that included the Great Divide, David Childers and several other north-of-the-Red-River ensembles that were lumped together in the burgeoning post-Robert Earl Keen Texas music scene identified with the likes of Pat Green. Boland hit a homer with his first album, Pearl Snaps; the title track caught on with the college crowd and became his signature, an anthem as widely known among the frat-country audience as Green's "George's Bar" or Ragweed's "Boys From Oklahoma." Multi-talented guitarist Roger Ray's old-school taste for swing and hard-core honky-tonk keeps the Boland band firmly grounded in danceable grooves, but the Stragglers never shirk their responsibilities as part of the loud country movement.
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