The historic Wareham Opera House on Poyntz Avenue was full of pearl-snap plaid shirts, square-toed boots and beer-soaked Wrangler jeans on Friday night as the Randy Rogers Band took to the stage.
Rogers and his fellow bandmates hail from the dusty plains of Texas, where their red dirt and boot-stomping anthems are found in crowded bars all across the state and the Midwest.
Red dirt country music, named for the color of the Oklahoman soil from which it originated, is usually described as a cross somewhere between rock and country music. Though definitions vary, many agree that the sound of the Stillwater-based musical movement varies greatly from artist to artist.
Though it’s a few neon lights short of honky-tonk status, the Wareham bristled at its near 750 person capacity when the venue was filled with dedicated fans. The tight fit didn’t discourage many patrons from two-stepping, a popular form of dance common in country and western music, at the back of the crowd throughout the concert.
The band’s sound stays loyal to their red dirt roots, evident by their opening song “This Time Around,” a cover from Oklahoman red dirt legends Cross Canadian Ragweed. However, they maintain a very Nashville-country feel reminiscent of artists such as Gary Allan and Dierks Bentley. This shouldn’t come as a surprise considering they’ve shared stages with all of these artists in the past.
“The violin player, (he) really gets after it onstage,” Chance Weathers, junior in agricultural economics, said.
Weathers attended the band’s previous visit to the Wareham last year. Weathers said he returned because the band put on a great show.
The band’s fiddle player, Brad Black, was the highlight of the show for many with his energizing and provocative performance playing the violin.
The band played much of their own catalog, built up since their first album release in 2002 titled, “Like It Used To Be.”
“The show was awesome! I really liked it when they played ‘Flash Flood’.” Kalee Whitmore, a student from Butler County Community College who attended the performance, said.
The songs ranged from slow dancing ballads such as “One More Goodbye,” to the encore and closing song “Fuzzy,” which proved to be very popular with a swampy, down-home groove and a fun-to-sing chorus.
The concert was the first of many for the Wareham this fall. Many more country and red dirt music concerts are scheduled to take place throughout the semester. Upcoming events include the Josh Abbott Band on Oct. 4, Wade Bowen on Oct. 10 and Aaron Watson on Oct. 16. Those interested in attending can purchase tickets at the Wareham Box Office, at Hy-Vee or on the Wareham’s website.