Cooper is especially thrilled to share the lineup this Red Dirt Christmas with The Great Divide, the first band on the scene to score a major-label deal. The seminal band — singer/songwriter/guitarist Mike McClure, bassist Kelley Green, drummer J.J. Lester and his brother, rhythm guitarist Scotte Lester — reunited in summer 2011, more than eight years after a bitter breakup.
“They're old friends of ours. We played some legendary shows with them at Horsethief Canyon ... back in the day,” Cooper said, referring to a secluded spot on the Cimarron River southwest of Perkins. “It will be just great to do a show with them again.”
J.J. Lester fondly recalls playing past editions of the Red Dirt Christmas, and this year's show will mark The Great Divide's first performance at Cain's since reuniting last year.
“My brother and I ... grew up with grandparents who were musicians. And they played all that old Gene Autry and Bob Wills and the old cowboy music and the Texas swing band stuff. So the nostalgia of all the different guys who have been there and made that place famous, for me it's like the Gruene Hall of Oklahoma,” Lester said. “So it's just a really cool vibe in there. It's a fun place to play, and we love it.”
Plus, he said sharing the bill — and hopefully the stage — with the Rangers is sure to be a good time.
“It's just a special thing for us to get to go and play with those guys. We're huge fans of their hearts for this music and the Red Dirt Relief Fund,” Lester said.
“We're just thrilled about the cause and excited to spend some time with friends and ... we're getting to celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior. So it's a trifecta of good things.”
MORE FROM NEWSOK
17th Annual Red Dirt Christmas
• With: Red Dirt Rangers, The Great Divide, The Damn Quails and Bo Phillips Band.
• When: 8 p.m. Saturday. Doors open at 7 p.m.
• Where: Cain's Ballroom, 423 N Main, Tulsa.
• Information: www.