Dirty Red shares new album, his soul with "Cloudless Day"
On what had been a cloudless day, something special happened when Eric “Dirty Red” McDaniel stopped into Studio Blanket/Tent Fort to share his new album. Called “Cloudless Day,” by his band of blues ballers, Dirty Red & The Soul Shakers, it carries the spirit and ease found in an Oklahoma sky.
The hometown boy grew up with co-host Steve Carr, a.k.a. Steve-O (who influenced McDaniel to pick up the harmonica) and he might as well have known the columnist a lifetime. A definitive front man, he knows how take being the center of attention and turn that spotlight back onto you. Be it in the studio or on stage, McDaniel does it right.
If you tuned in (and you should have) you heard new tracks from this long-awaited full length album from McDaniel and company. “Cloudless Day,” “The Party Don’t Start ‘til I Get Here” and “Hard, Bad Habit to Break” made blistering radio debuts on the show and offer an expanse of the sounds this top tier Oklahoma blues band brings.
Other numbers like the funky “Hot Sauce” and “Sweet Potato Pie” prove just as tasty as their namesakes. The food metaphors (dating back to “Cornbread”) allow the band to prove that instrumental and vocal flourishes add like special spices beyond pepper and salt. The ticklish “Creepin’” burns bright with its combination of sass and brass.
As much as their sound blends prime American music staples, when it strips into the bare blues like on “Pretty Boy Blues” and the closer, “Help Me Baby,” the band takes the genre’s defined boundaries and rocks them solidly while breathing new life. Reverential to its roots, it moves with a resonance of the moment. It’s rock, it’s soul. This is what blues by Dirty Red & The Soul Shakers is all about.
Featuring legendary Oklahoma guitarist Ike Lamb and drummer Forrest Worrell (both recording with Watermelon Slim) and John Stendel’s rock solid bass work, they mix with a new addition, the Dirty Red Brass Section, to spring life from each song. McDaniel calls the album both “a journey and a real labor of love.”
McDaniel said the album has been ready, musically, for two years. But getting a package ready for national release has taken a bit longer and more money than you would imagine. It’s already becoming worth it. Recently, McDaniel said, a friend said he was listening to the band’s song “Hot Sauce” on the radio and followed up with a photo of the band identified on Sirius XM radio’s B.B. King Bluesville channel.
“They’re playing it all over the place,” he said. “But I still got a day job.”
His day work as a nurse and nighttime gig as a bluesman have converged in a way that perfect for his lifestyle, McDaniel said. He’s doing it his way. That’s the only way to make it these days.
“As an indy (independent artist), there’s no record labels,” he said, “and 90 percent are indy artists.”
When an artist owns himself and his work, what fruit is born is completely organic. As he pointed to the back cover of the CD, McDaniel knows what makes “Cloudless Day” most special to him: “My favorite part of the record are these tiny words at the bottom of the package: Dirty Red Records.”
McDaniel knows a hard work ethic gets you where you need to be. He learned it from his true mentor into the blues. The late, legendary “Miss Blues” Dorothy Ellis spent 65 years perfecting its form. He earned his chops as her harp man and booking agent among other hats worn. His band played the Medicine Park Blues Ball the day she died in 2018 — she had been slated to follow for the Saturday night feature set. It was hard performing but something he said he needed to do for her.
“Everybody loved Dorothy; she was a cool person, she deserves to be recognized,” he said. “I learned a lot from her. She was a wonderful lady. In knowing her, I was touching the root. At the roots, you have people like Muddy Waters, Freddy King ... Miss Blues was my root.”
While the Mississippi Delta provided the crossroads for Robert Johnson into modern blues music, McDaniel said Oklahoma has become a similar central spot for American music. Whether you realize it or not, the variety of musical styles find their way here in the center of the nation, he said. It imbues with the essence of the Sooner State and becomes more.
“The crossroads are here!” he exclaimed. “Music is like water ... it seeks the exit from the ground and comes to us.”
Dirty Red & The Soul Shakers will be taking to an iconic Oklahoma City venue for the album release party on Feb. 15. The all-ages show starts at 8 p.m. at VZD’s Restaurant & Bar, 4200 N Western. Advance tickets are $10 and are $12 at the door. You can get tickets online: https://www.ticketstorm.com.
Pick up a CD at the show or get it online via the band’s Facebook page or any online music outlet.
McDaniel made for one of the most fun (and longest time spent recording) this week’s edition of ”Today’s Best Soundemonium!” with Steve Carr, a.k.a. Steve-O, and the columnist. He’s got stories for miles and a spirit that, joined with the hosts, made for many memorable moments best left for the cutting (up) room floor.
We three combined for a radio serial-style set-up for this week’s joke set-up. Here’s the punchline:
“Tell him I can’t see him now.”
Turn your radio dial to Magic 95.3 FM Radio around 6:25 p.m. each Thursday (if not much earlier) or stream the half-hour show online: http://s1.phx.icastcenter.com/start/kmgz953/ or www.onlineradiobox.com; or on the Apple or Android apps or on the TuneIn app, or: http://www.kmgz.com/.
And, hey, if you have a song you want us to check out, email us: email@example.com.
#Sundaymonium — Remember that every Sunday night you can listen to a rebroadcast of the prior week’s show followed by this week’s show: 6 p.m., David Dodson & Ryan McGowan from Southern Aggression; 6:30 p.m., Eric “Dirty Red” McDaniel.
Tune in after Sunday’s show at 7 p.m. for the Steve-O’s new weekly show, B-Sides Besides.
Visit, “like” (“love”) and follow our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/steveoandthescribe/.
Soundemonium Musaic Lawton music archive homepage: Scott Rains — https://www.youtube.com.
firstname.lastname@example.org. Live music
Apache Hotel & Casino, 2315 E. Gore, 9 p.m, Friday and Saturday: Blackwater Smoke; Tuesday through Thursday: Cecil Gray; 7:30 p.m., Feb. 22: Wynona & The Big Noise; March 22: Blood, Sweat & Tears; April 26: Sawyer Brown; May 17: Marshall Tucker Band; June 21: Chubby Checker; Aug. 9: Herman’s Hermits featuring Peter Noone; Oct. 25: Mickey Gilley & Johnny Lee; Nov. 22: Three Dog Night.
BrookRidge Retirement Community, 7802 Quanah Parker Trailway. 3-4:30 p.m. Wednesday, free. 536-9700: Frank & Friends Musical Entertainers.
Cooperton Senior Citizens 2nd and 4th Saturday Dance, Cooperton School. 6:30-9:30 p.m. Saturday. Kenneth Boyd, 580-530-9067: live band, free refreshments, family-friendly, smoke and alcohol free.
Legion Building, 6739 N. Wildhorse Road (I-44, exit 45, east) dance Fridays, 7 p.m., Wichita Sounds, traditional country, early R&R and ‘50s pop, ballroom; $6 cover and includes refreshments. No alcohol, no smoking. Everyone welcome. 574-1942.
The Silver Spoon Kitchen and Bakeshop, 529 SW C,Friday, 6:30-9 p.m.: Danny Harrison; 6 p.m. Thursday: John Moots — Free. 357-6800. www.facebook.com/SILVERSPOONLAWTON.
Park Tavern, 198 E. Lake Drive, Medicine Park, live music and karaoke; medicineparktavern.com. Friday, 8 p.m.: Rodney Whaley B-Day Bash with Just Strangers, Brad Wolf and Wesley Brown; Saturday, 8 p.m.: TBD; second Thursday each month, 8-11 p.m.: Open mic night with Bob Avila and Jack Smiley.
Railhead Saloon, 909 S. Sheridan, live music begins at 9 p.m., alternative/metal/hardcore/punk. Live music Friday 10 p.m.: TBD; Saturday, 9 p.m.: Stays in Vegas, Paid in Spades, Eddie & The Defiantz: 8 p.m., The Walking (Watching) Dead, Karaoke Dude and the Sunday Funday Hangover.
Guitar Bar, 1816 S. 11th, Monday: TBD; Tuesday: karaoke; Wednesday: acoustic open mic with Kris Brown; Thursday: acoustic with TBD; Friday, 9 p.m.: live music TBD; Saturday, 9 p.m.: live music, Rachel Stacy; Sunday: 7 p.m.: open mic jam.
Fubar Saloon, No. 4 W. Lee, 699-3550, Friday, 9 p.m.: TBD; Saturday, 8 p.m.: Casey Abbe Band.
Robinson’s Landing Marina & BBQ, north side of Lake Lawtonka, 1 mile west of Ann’s Country Kitchen to Lawtonka Road and down the shore line, free and open to the public, Friday, 6 p.m.: 2nd Friday Open Mic with Dave Laurence; 8 p.m. Saturday: TBD; second Friday each month: 2nd Friday Open Mic with Dave Laurence.