Red Dirt favorite Stoney LaRue to play Cain's on Friday
BY JENNIFER CHANCELLOR World Scene Writer
Thursday, August 02, 2012
8/02/12 at 5:45 AM
Stoney LaRue is kinetic. The Red Dirt music man is always moving, always making music and always moving forward.
His peripatetic youth was spent with grandparents in Texas, then in Buffalo Valley, Okla., then with his father in Stillwater, then on a string of floors and couches before he graduated early from Stillwater High School and joined the Army.
He returned to enter a budding brotherhood in Red Dirt music and gained his wisdom and training from "friendly folks at the old yellow house" in Stillwater, where so many other musicians came into their own.
"Don't get me wrong. Life is beautiful. It really is. It's wonderful. But I've had enough knocks to earn those calluses on my fingers and to learn to appreciate the life I have," he said during a phone interview from his tour bus in Ardmore.
These days, the Red Dirt favorite still loves to travel - he spent more than 260 days on the road last year alone - but his heart keeps bringing him home. He can't have a future without fully learning from his past, he said.
His home is more than the back of a tour bus. It's a state of mind, and it definitely includes the historic venue of Cain's Ballroom, where he'll return Friday night.
His first album, "Downtown," was recorded there and released by his Organic Boogie Band in 2002.
He first played Cain's with the eclectic Red Dirt Rangers during their first Christmas show 17 years ago, which included icon and LaRue mentor Bob Childers, and later included the Red Dirt scene-makers the Turnpike Troubadours, Mike McClure and Cody Canada.
"I haven't been to Cain's since the 'Velvet' release," he said of his acclaimed 2011 studio release. The album was his highest-charting to date - it hit No. 15 on the Billboard Country Album chart and No. 53 on the U.S. album chart. It also hit No. 1 on the Texas music charts.
And although he cites influences as broad as Childers, Bela Fleck, The Grateful Dead, Frank Zappa, Bob Dylan and Stevie Wonder, it's "The House that Bob Wills Built" - Cain's Ballroom - that perhaps has given him tangible context to his varied muse.
"I go back and I feel all of my roots, all my inspiration. There are so many legends there and so much inspiration. I've recorded songs in the smallest back rooms. I've seen the original stage. Cain's Ballroom is more than a novelty. It's a gold mine of history," he said.
With this visit, he brings new music and old, he said. He's already writing for his next album, which he hopes to start recording this fall.
Even with a return, there are plans to keep driving on. The longtime Oklahoma resident recently sold his Edmond home, "and tonight I'll rest my head in the back of the tour bus. That's where I live right now."
That's not sad. It's just the truth: Oklahoma is his home.
with Chad Sullins & the Last Call Coalition
When: Doors open 7 p.m., showtime 8:30 p.m. Friday
Where: Cain's Ballroom, 423 N. Main St.
Tickets: All-ages. Tickets start at $16, plus fees, available at all Reasor's grocery stores, Starship Records and Ida Red; charge by phone at 918-584-2306 or online at tulsaworld.com/cains
Stoney LaRue discography
2002: "Downtown: Stoney LaRue and the Organic Boogie Band"
2005: "The Red Dirt Album"
2007: "Live at Billy Bob's Texas"
2009: "Live Acoustic"
Original Print Headline: Red Dirt favorite returns
Jennifer Chancellor 918-581-8346
Stoney LaRue brings his take on Red Dirt music to a show at Cain's on Friday. Tulsa World file