Home Sweet Oklahoma

In 1996 Monica left the San Juan mountains of Colorado, headed home to the Stillwater area,  and moved out to The Farm… the legendary old farm that so many songwriters in the Red Dirt music field lived at or visited frequently.

A photo of The Farm, west of Stillwater. The birthplace of Red Dirt music... from the 80's.

A photo of The Farm, west of Stillwater. The birthplace of Red Dirt music… from the 80’s.

Monica formed another bluegrass band called Cedar Hammock with Brett, Franzmann, Kurt Neilson, and Karen Knust and once again had wonderful times singing with all of her old Red Dirt music friends.

A tent, and then a tarp stretched between a big tree and an old barn became Monica’s home. “I found 4 wooden pallets, put my lawn chair on it with a Therma rest pad and my sleeping bad.  My Coleman stove was set up on a table, a lantern, and my guitar. Life was simple and good.  My friend Becky and I broke ground north of the farmhouse and planted a huge garden… everyone who lived there enjoyed the bounty of the daily harvests.”

 

At night, a truck would pull in, slam of the door, and a knock on the custom built travel trailer about  40 feet away.  “Hey, Bob~ you awake?  Got a new song- wanna hear it?”  a heavy cough and a “Come on in.”  Bob Childers was always willing to listen to a new song or just visit with a songwriter. Or people would gather round the fire pit in the front of the Gypsy Café- the old carriage house, and have jam sessions til the cows came home.

Some of the young songwriters that made their way out the Farm for a place to crash, ears to hear new songs, or a place to hang with like minded Oklahoma musicians were: Mike McClure, Scott, JJ, and Kelly from The Great Divide;  Tom Skinner, Randy Crouch, Cody Canada and all the Cross Canadian guys, Jason Boland, Roger Ray, Grant Tracy and Stragglers,; Stoney Larue… to the Brandon Jenkins, Brad James, Scott Evans, Donnie Wood, Steve Littleton, Eric Hansen- to Greg Jacobs, Chuck Dunlap, Randy Pease, Gene Williams, Don Morris… and of course, along with Bob Childers another Godfather of Red Dirt music, Jimmy Lafave and The Red Dirt Rangers.

 

So many more.

Dr. Danny Pierce taught wilderness survival training and ropes course classes at OSU… he and John Cooper from the Red Dirt Rangers band, found the old farm house and Oklahoma Land Run homestead farm, asked if they could rent it… got a great deal.  For two decades and more, the Farm was a home to students at OSU, musicians who needed a safe place to be or live and formed their own styles and wrote their songs.  Every body brought their our ‘roots’ of music- from bluegrass and gospel, to country western, to western swing, to Cajun and classic rock.

 

Good people, good place, fellowship, friendship~ good stuff.

Monica and her best friend, Rosebud- German Shepherd and Lab mix- found a home. Many songs she wrote there, and many songs she learned there from the others.  In her bag of songs, Taylor has gathered songs by Childers, Lafave, McClure, the Rangers, Jacobs, Skinner, and Pease… and so many more. Her own songs are rootsy, bluegrassy, country, to folk.  Many recordings of the various Red Dirt artists she met there, have her harmony or duet vocals.

Life long friendships were formed and nurtured.

Most importantly, like a family…  Rosebud was at home at The Farm as one of the farmdogs… life was good.