Fullbright was just 17 when he brought a banjo to one of the Red Dirt Rangers' Okemah shows. The band invited him to sit in, and they became fast friends.
“John's played with us a lot. We've had him sit in on piano, on the different instruments that he plays, which is I think all of them. You know, we didn't really know what we were getting into there,” Cooper said with a laugh.
“He's just a delightful young man ... and we just couldn't be happier for his success. It's so deserving. Artists like him do not come along every day.”
Typically, the songwriter showcases are free to club members or $5 for nonmembers and take place in the scenic bar area, which can accommodate about 65 music fans. The Cooper-Fullbright show will be in the main dining hall, which seats about 150, and tickets were priced at $15.
“We see the same faces every month ... and the artists have caught wind of it. My friends, I've been getting calls from them,” Cooper said. “Artists want to do it, the fans want to see ‘em, it's just exciting to see. I'm really enjoying it.”
Millsap, 19, said Cooper is a fun musician to partner with and the song swap has an appealing spontaneity.
“Any situation where you're on your toes is going to make you better,” he said. “It's real up close and personal. It's a pretty intimate setting. You're 10 feet away from everybody, there's no stage or anything ... and it's almost like playing a house party.”
The Purcell resident said many small towns like his don't have a venue available and willing to showcase homegrown music.
“For a small community like that to be supporting live, original music, I think that's important. I wish more communities around here would do that,” Millsap said.