DUNCAN, Okla. – The action of the Chisholm Trail Ram Prairie Circuit Finals Rodeo doesn’t end when the last bull bucks inside the Stephens County Fair and Expo Center.
The championship rodeo is set for 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 18-Saturday, Oct. 20, in Duncan and will feature the top 12 contestants in each event from the Oklahoma-Kansas-Nebraska region. It’s also home to the Friday and Saturday night concerts featuring two of the top regional acts Red Dirt music.
Jason Boland and the Stragglers will perform after the rodeo on Friday night, and No Justice is in concert Saturday night. It’s an electric way to close out an action-packed weekend in southern Oklahoma.
“Jason Boland and the Stragglers are a fairly well known Red Dirt band, and they’re pretty well known regionally,” said Joe Henderson, chairman of the volunteer committee bringing the circuit finale to Duncan. “They have been showing up pretty regularly on our country music stations.
“They teeter back and forth between the Red Dirt music and what we call country music, and they’ve been well received, especially in our area. We wanted to try to bring to our rodeo not only the person who would come to the rodeo but those who would want to come to a concert.”
The idea is catching on. The Chisholm Trail committee has kept the ticket prices within range to attract rodeo-goers and concert fans all to one event – Thursday night’s performance is $15 for adults, $10 for children 4-10, and youngsters 3 and younger get in free; the Friday and Saturday that feature the post-rodeo concerts will be $25 for adults, and the children get in for the same price.
“We’re hoping that people who would not normally come to the rodeo or normally would not go to a concert will have an opportunity to do both,” Henderson said.
No Justice is a five-member, Stillwater, Okla.-based band featuring Steve Rice on vocals, Cody Patton on lead guitar, Jerry Payne on rhythm guitar, Justin Morris on bass guitar and Armando Lopez on drums.
“No Justice has become one of the bands to go see,” Henderson said. “They are really becoming the band that’s going to make a big difference.”
Boland was raised in Harrah, Okla., just east of Oklahoma City. Like most, he got into the Red Dirt scene in Stillwater, Okla., and now he’s been working at the craft ever since. He’s released several albums in the last 13 years, and his raspy voice and identifiable lyrics have been a hit with fans. For Boland, his style of music is a correlation of genres, with one significant direction.
“It may fit in with some other types of music, like Americana maybe, but I’m not ready to give up on the idea that country music can be relative,” Boland said on a release from the band’s website. “And country music is what I play.
“My fans are George Straight fans. They go to the dancehalls to see the shows. I know these people. They are more capable of complex thought than the country music industry thinks they are.”
That’s the reach of Red Dirt music. No Justice has been a fixture on Texas radio since 2005, with 10 Top 10 singles and two chart-toppers.
“We’re honored to be associated with the music of those legendary musicians from Texas and Oklahoma,” Rice, the band’s vocalist, said in a release. “We have a strong connection to our fans down there. No Justice is a diverse band that’s been inspired by a lot of different artist, and because of that, we appeal to just about anybody, from 5-year-olds to 50-year-olds, from cowboys to punk rock chicks.”
Maybe that’s why it’s so appealing that the two Oklahoma-driven bands will be part of the regional rodeo weekend, where champions will be crowned and the entertainment value soars.
“We’re putting together an event that we hope will attract a variety of people who want to come to the show and have a good time,” Henderson said.