In their more than 20-year history as a band, the Red Dirt Rangers have played all over Oklahoma, from festivals and ballrooms to listening rooms and theaters.
But the venerable Payne County trio — singer/guitarist Brad Piccolo, singer/mandolin player John Cooper and singer/lead guitarist Ben Han — is continuing to explore new frontiers even in its home state. At 2 p.m. Saturday, the Rangers will play their debut show at the Science Museum Oklahoma, 2100 NE 52.
“I personally love it because I'm a science nerd,” Piccolo said with a laugh. “I'm somewhat of a mad scientist, so I love being there and seeing all those contraptions.”
The concert is geared for one of the band's favorite audiences: children.
“Performing for kids, it's the best, and one of the reasons it's the best is that they're the most appreciative audience. But they're also without trying to be the most critical audience because when they're into it, they'll scream and shout and get into it. But if they're bored, they'll just get up and wander off,” he said.
“You have to keep it fun, you have to keep it moving, and you don't talk down to the kids, you talk up to a kid. You treat them as an equal or really even better than you are because in so many ways they are.”
The Rangers, who are celebrating their 23rd year as a band, have released five albums and been featured on five compilations. They are working on their sixth album, titled “Lone Chimney” after the rural northeast Payne County community they call home, with renowned Pawnee-based producer Steve Ripley.
Saturday's concert will mostly feature songs from their 1990s album “Blue Shoe: Music for Kids of All Ages.”
“You really gotta be on you're A game, keep it short and sweet, keep it moving, jump around a lot, make it fun and happy, that's kind of the secret. And good songs, of course, that always helps,” Piccolo said of performing for youngsters.
The Rangers are the latest Oklahoma musical talents to play the fledgling family concert series at the Science Museum, said communications director Jacquelyn Musgrove. Last month, a big crowd turned out to see local children's favorite Spaghetti Eddie play at the museum.
“It filled our garden area,” she said. “We thought this is a need we're filling for the community, so we booked the Red Dirt Rangers.”
A spring break show featuring popular kindie rock duo Sugar Free Allstars also proved a big draw, so Musgrove said patrons can expect to see more concerts for families at the museum, particularly during the summer months.
Saturday's Red Dirt Rangers show is free with paid admission to the museum. For more information, call 602-3760 or go to www.sciencemuseumok.org.