Damn Quails’ Byron White headlines

Red dirt outlaw country music is headed for Salida by way of a handful of musicians from Shawnee, Okla., and Nocona, Texas, June 29 through July 1. Brian “Catfish” Waldrip of 3 Trees Productions is responsible for bringing the shows to town. A musician in his own right, Waldrip hails from Nocona, Texas, a north-central Texas town made famous by the Nocona brand of cowboy boots.

Waldrip’s partiality to his hometown is apparent and it’s clear he wants others to share his affection for Nocona. “I care about that little town. Since I moved here, I’ve been encouraging the chamber there to look at Salida as a case study for a small town that draws tourism.” His enthusiasm has taken hold, as two or three Nocona Chamber of Commerce members will be traveling to Salida for the showcase. They’ll be among a contingent of 20 Nocona town residents attending the event.

Locals may recognize Waldrip’s name from his bi-weekly Americana and coffee-shop music radio show on KHEN 106.9. “Sunnyside Up” airs from 8-9 a.m. on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Outside of that, his day job is running a small, two-acre livestock farm on his property in Swissvale. Thus far, the “I only sell to neighbors” operation includes a small herd of goats and 40 laying hens. He’s a relatively recent transplant to the Upper Arkansas Valley after a brief return to Nocoma following moves to Oregon (to enjoy the mountains) and Los Angeles (to study raw food veganism). Waldrip eventually landed in Swissvale for the views, affordability and proximity to family – “it’s only a day’s drive.”

Waldrip characterized red dirt music – with roots in Oklahoma, Texas and Kansas – as a “genre within a genre.” The showcase will be one of a dozen shows he’s produced in the Ark River Valley, (his fourth at the Salida SteamPlant) and he has two more on tap for the summer.

Headlining the Red Dirt Showcase is Damn Quails’ guitarist and singer-songwriter Bryon White. He’s penned lyrics for the likes of Mike McClure and John Fullbright. With the Quails currently on a tour break, Oklahoman White has taken the opportunity to work on a solo project. Of White, Waldrup waxed poetic. “If you listen to his lyrics, his wordplay and word trickery is interesting; you can hear the hardships he’s had right along with his love of life. He’s deep; he’s profound.” Waldrip described White’s folk Americana music as reminiscent of Woody Guthrie and Bob Dylan – with a hint of Celtic influence – attributing the latter to White’s Scottish-Irish heritage in a musical family; his sister and parents are all musicians.

Also on the lineup is rising star Tanner Fenoglio of Nocona, Texas. As evidenced on his recently released seven-song EP “This Town,” Fenoglio crafts “from music from the heart; mixing small-town vibes with some good songwriting,” Waldrip says. Listeners will hear a bit of Chris Stapleton and outlaw country in Fenoglio’s smooth voice. The week his EP came out (his first), Fenoglio was nominated for the Texas Regional Radio and Music Association’s Best New Male Vocalist award; his radio single “This Ain’t the Movies” was awarded “Best New Song,” also by the TRRMA. Fenoglio has been making music since high school, when he first picked up his sunburst Ibanez guitar. Listen online and get to know more about Fenoglio at tannerfmusic.com.

Waldrip clearly put a Rocky Mountain adventure spin on the showcase for his Texas compatriots; the press release encourages visitors to partake in a classic Colorado locals’ weekend of four-wheeling, craft beer, whitewater rafting and hot springs soaks in between enjoying the live music 3 Trees has lined up over three days.

Red Dirt gets underway Thursday, June 29, in Buena Vista with a free acoustic “soft show” dinner performance at The Lariat. Fenoglio opens at 6 p.m. and White follows from 7-9 p.m. This will be Fenoglio’s first time performing in the valley. More information can be found at thelariatbv.com.

The following evening, Friday, June 30, White returns to the stage at 7 p.m. This time, he’ll be plugged in and electric when he performs at the Salida SteamPlant as part of a trio, The Leering Heathens. Percussionist Luke Talon joins him, along with Quails’ bassist Dillon Sampson. Tickets for the show are $12 in advance and $15 at the door and may be purchased at the SteamPlant Box Office. Prior to the show, Salida progressive bluegrass band Old Mose will perform a free, hour-long acoustic set in the SteamPlant’s Paquette Gallery beginning at 6 p.m. More information is available at salidasteamplant.com.

Wrapping up the Red Dirt weekend, Fenoglio will headline from 7-9 p.m. Saturday , July 1, at Soulcraft Brewing in Salida. He’ll play a barstool acoustic set, maybe joined at times by Waldrip, who opens prior to Fenoglio beginning at 6 p.m. Waldrip brings his own musical outlaw country style to the stage. He claims influences from Bob Wills, Willie Nelson and Hank Williams Sr. , Jr. and III. Find out more about this free show at soulcraftbeer.com.