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October 21, 2012

Rodeo crowd fills arena for concert Friday

Jason Boland and the Stragglers keep things lively

DUNCAN — Both young and old turned out in droves to the Stephens County Fair & Expo Center for the PRCA Ram Prairie Circuit Finals Rodeo on Friday and they weren’t just there to see the bulls, broncs and those brave enough to enter the arena with them.

The evening rounded out with a performance from Jason Boland and The Stragglers, one of the top Red Dirt country bands around. Much of the audience from the rodeo stayed and crowded in at the foot of the stage inside the arena.

What was earlier in the evening a place for competition turned into a dance floor for several fun loving concert goers.

And, even those with little ones in tow were able to enjoy the concert, while their children ran and played in the red dirt arena.

There were a few who were seeing the band for the first time.

“We’re from Davis and we were here for the rodeo also,” said Skylar Primrose. “I’ve never seen (Jason Boland) before but he’s good.”

Boland and his band mates worked to keep the crowd involved and treated them with a variety of songs from their first album, all the way up to singles from his unreleased album. There were also a few cover songs thrown in, one of course from his number one music influence, Merle Haggard.

Among the covers were “Rainbow Stew” by Haggard, and “Mountain Music” by Alabama, but the song that got everyone singing along and clapping to the beat was “Tulsa Time” by Don Williams.

Among Boland’s own songs were “Pearl Snaps,” which was one of his earliest big hits and a song he said that may make the title track of his upcoming album, “Dark and Dirty Mile,” which he wrote with fellow Red Dirt musician Stoney LaRue.

Additionally, he played the final single being released off his latest album “Rancho Alto.”

“If the radio stations you listen to play our songs, this is the one we want y’all to call in and request,” he said. “It’s called ‘Obsessed.’”

Throughout the evening shouts were heard around the arena of audience members claiming their love for Boland and as he played his new ballad, their faces shined with adoration.

“I love it, it’s a great love song even if it’s kind of sad,” said Shyann Nichols, of Sulpher. “Jason Boland, he’s one of the best.”

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