When his time comes, Charlie Robison will need a big tombstone, and the memories he's made at the Wormy Dog Saloon are a big part of the reason why.
“Most of the really good ones, you know, you can't put on the radio or you can't put in print or anything like that,” he admitted with a laugh during a recent phone interview from his home in San Antonio.
“I'm just gonna get somebody to put on the backside of my tombstone, ‘OK, y'all, here they are' and just write 'em all out in small font.”
An Oklahoma music institution, the Wormy Dog is celebrating its 20th anniversary Thursday through Saturday with a stellar lineup of red dirt and Texas country artists: Robison, Cody Canada & The Departed, Jason Boland & The Stragglers, Pat Green, Mike McClure, The Damn Quails and Kyle Park.
Robison's untold Wormy Dog stories stem from performing at the original Stillwater location, which was open from 1992-2004, as well as the Bricktown bar, established in 2003.
“We've been playing it forever and it's just always a blast. ... I love playing places like the Dog where it's real kind of narrow and closed in and there's the balcony and everything, so it just seems like everybody's right on top of you all the time. I mean, the energy's just crazy,” he said.
“There's a real big backstage so when you're there with a bunch of friends of yours and they're offstage, whether it's Cody (Canada) or Reckless (Kelly) or all of the above and everybody's hanging on the side of the stage having cocktails and everything — usually there's three or four or five tour buses in the back — the party gets to be pretty good.”
The Texas country singer-songwriter, 47, will be bringing new music Friday night to the saloon's birthday bash.
“We're finishing up the new record right now, so there'll be some new stuff and there'll be some of the real old stuff,” he said.
“The Wormy Dog's one of those places where the fans are so into everything that you never write a set list when you're there. ... You know, you might play songs that you haven't played in six years or something like that. So it really does truly have that vibe of anything goes.”
Wormy Dog 20th Anniversary Party
When: 7 p.m. Thursday-Saturday. Doors open at 4 p.m.
Where: Wormy Dog Saloon, 311 E Sheridan.
Thursday: Jason Boland & The Stragglers and The Damn Quails.
Friday: Cody Canada & The Departed and Charlie Robison.
Saturday: Pat Green, Mike McClure and Kyle Park.